Don Shainis knows he has a tough match-up in front of him at UFC Vegas 61 this Saturday, and he doesn’t care.
After fighting five times in a year and calling for a shot in the UFC, Shainis finally got the call to the biggest fight promotion in the world. Oh, and he is fighting a top 15 featherweight in his debut.
Two weeks ago, when Sodiq Yusuff’s fight with Giga Chikadze fell through, the UFC scrambled to fight him an opponent. According to Yusuff, no one would agree to fight him on a week’s notice or even two weeks notice, understandably so.
Shainis would, though.
“I had just come back from vacation [when I got the call]. This is the first time I’ve done this in forever; I went to a wedding back home and to see my family for a couple of weeks,” Shainis told Cageside Press in a recent interview. “I was eating and feeling good- letting my body recover. Two days into coming back, thinking like, alright, this is gonna be a good adjustment week for me to get my diet in check and to get my body used to training, and I get a call on Tuesday.”
Shainis couldn’t do it on a week’s notice as his weight was a little too high because of his rare vacation, but he was game on October 1.
Shainis is a huge underdog, and many people have written him off. He doesn’t care. He has been grinding his whole career to get to the UFC.
“Look, I’ll put it like this, right? Like, I didn’t get in this game to play it safe. I didn’t do this to play safe,” Shainis said. “So, you know, it’s a ranked fighter. It’s not a favorable match-up for me. I don’t f*cking care. I’m not saying no [to the fight]. Like, this is why I’m here.”
“I really think this is going to be like skills versus intangibles. So I think as far as like striking goes, he’s gonna be the far crisper striker. He’s gonna look pretty on TV. But I’m so awkward and weird. And, like, the stuff I do doesn’t look pretty, but it gets the f*cking job done. So I think what will win me this fight is my intangibles.”
Watch the rest of our interview with Don Shainis above. He fights Sodiq Yusuff tomorrow at UFC Vegas 61.