It’s been a busy month for City Kickboxing, and Brad Riddell is the latest member from the New Zealand-based team to have a big fight in the UFC.
Lightweight Riddell (9-1) finds himself in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 22 on Saturday, paired up against the 15th ranked Gregor Gillespie. It’s unquestionably the biggest test to date for Brad “Quake” Riddell, who also hand a lengthy career in kickboxing prior signing with the UFC.
In Gillespie’s last fight, he was knocked out in highlight reel fashion by Kevin Lee. The head kick that Lee landed helped serve up the first loss of Gillespie’s career. “Obviously [Lee] exposed him a little bit,” noted Riddell, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press during the UFC Vegas 22 virtual media day. Riddell is not sure, however, how much the knockout effected Gillespie. Kevin Lee hit Gillespise with “two beautiful shots, just like Gregor said himself,” Riddell noted. “It was quite early on in the fight. I’m a completely different fighter. The same result would be great, but we’ll have to see how it goes.”
Riddell is looking to prove he can hang with a high-level, All-American wrestler like Gillespie this Saturday. Focusing too much on his opponent’s wrestling could be a mistake, however. As a result, Riddell is trying not to get too caught up in talk of it. “His wrestling is great, but you cannot just focus on that. You have to focus on your own thing, otherwise the fight’s going to go his way,” Riddell explained.
“I’m just going to do my thing out there,” he later added.
As much as Riddell doubts how much the Lee knockout effected Gillespie, that doesn’t mean he won’t be looking for any sign of weakness. “I’m definitely going to look for a bit of PTSD and see if it’s still there. It could be,” he admitted. “Knockouts like that are beneficial or detrimental. Especially your first loss, you can come back bitter, or you can never come back at all. I’ll definitely be looking to see how he reacts to me when we jump in there and touch gloves and get going.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 22 virtual media day scrum with Brad Riddell above.