Las Vegas, NV — Matthew Semelsberger didn’t buy into the narrative that opponent Martin Sano was only brought into the UFC to placate Nick Diaz.
“I knew that he trained with Nick Diaz, he’d been in Diaz’s camp for a while,” Semelsberger said following his blistering 15-second knockout of Sano on Saturday. “He comes from a world class camp, he trains with really good people, so I didn’t really buy into the whole ‘oh they’re just bringing this guy in,’ this and that. I was fully ready for a war with a better version of Martin Sano.”
That said, Semelsberger was confident he could get the job done fast. “For sure, I knew that I had the ability to go in and finish it lightning quick, as I have that belief with anybody I fight.”
It’s not the first time Semelsberger has made it a short night at the office. His other UFC win came in just 16 seconds. Having two sub-30 second finishes puts him in rare company, with the only other welterweight to do so being Anthony Johnson.
Speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press after the victory, Semelsberger admitted that envisioning a quick win, then seeing it play out in reality, was something that’s “definitely hard to put into words. Just a reaffirmation of what hard work does for you, man.”
Admitting that he has “a lot to go in terms of being a better athlete, being a better fighter, being a focused as I can be,” Semelsberger suggested that he’s not nearly at his full potential yet. “I’ve been reading David Goggins’ book, he talks about the 40% rule. I’m probably at like 50, 55% right now. I’ve got a whole bunch more that I’m capable of, but I truly do believe in myself, and I take that into every fight camp, particularly this last one.”
As for what comes next, “Semi the Jedi” admits that he’s not a callout guy. But, he added, “I will say, if there’s any welterweights out there who want to dance, give me a shout, and we can set something up.”
Watch the full UFC 266 post-fight press scrum with Matthew Semelsberger above. More coverage of the event can be found below.