Matt Dwyer (11-7) knows he is being brought in to lose against Elias Theodorou (17-3) at Rise FC 6 due to the fact Theodorou is co-promoting the card.
In the main event of the card, the two former UFC middleweights will collide in a historic card as Theodorou will be the first fighter to be able to fight with a therapeutic use exemption for cannabis.
However, Dwyer, from Kelowna, B.C., doesn’t care about any of that as he is just eager to step into the cage again.
“I’m just pumped. I’m just excited to still do what I love to do, despite what is going on,” Dwyer said to MMA Empire.
“It has been a long layoff, but I have had long layoffs before. This is my life.”
Although Dwyer is eager to make his return to the cage and snap his three-fight losing streak, he does have a tough opponent in Theodorou who has only lost to Derek Brunson, Brad Tavares, and Thiago Santos. Yet, Dwyer knows he has the style to beat the Mississauga, Ont., native.
Not only is Dwyer confident he will get his hand raised, but he believes he has the capability to frustrate Theodorou and pick him apart on the feet.
“Elias has only ever been beaten by the top guys, he has also never been finished and went up against guys who are finishers. I don’t care about any of that. It is just me and him in there,” Dwyer said.
“I will do whatever it takes to get my hand raised. I’ll get gritty and vicious and let him know the point game doesn’t work with me and I’ll frustrate him and pick him apart. If he wants to wrestle, he can try, but I’ll defend it. At the end of the day, I will make him play my game.”
Despite the fact Dwyer is confident he will get his hand raised, he is uncertain about how the judges will play a factor.
Theodorou is a co-promoter for Rise FC, so Dwyer knows he has to either get the stoppage win or completely dominate Theodorou so he can’t lose a controversial decision.
“Rise is making him the poster boy for this show and I have to make it decisive, if not finish him, to get my hand raised. The odds are against me, but I welcome it,” Dwyer said.
“There is less pressure on me and I know who I am and what I have to do.”
If Dwyer does get his hand raised, the goal for the 31-year-old is to continue fighting in Canada and stack up wins.
He has his eye on Teddy Ash next time out and if he wins that, he believes a return to the UFC would be within reach.
“The goal is to beat Elias and see whatever doors open for me. I will put in all the effort it takes to continue the rise. There are some Canadian fighters I want to fight, Teddy Ash is one. That would be a good matchup and a big fight for Canadian MMA,” Dwyer said.
“After that, I still plan on getting back to the UFC. I remember when I got cut, I understood it, but it hurt. I just had so much more to give and it was heartbreaking. With that understanding, I realized the new approach and mindset I needed to have. The problem has been getting fights, like opponents haven’t shown up. I also am starting to have fun in there.”
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