Paris, France — “The Last Pirate” arrived in the UFC this past Saturday at UFC Paris, with Morgan Charriere impressing fans both at home in his native France and abroad.
Charreire (19-9-1), who made a name for himself in Cage Warriors, ended the night of fellow newcomer Manolo Zecchini early care of some nasty body kicks, and left an impression — on more than just Zecchini’s liver.
A star on the regional circuit in Europe, Charriere now feels like he’s arrived on the global stage.
“Now I feel like a world star. Like for real. I was like ‘come on!’ It’s something indescribable,” Charriere told Cageside Press and other media outlets following the fight. “I’ve worked so much just to have the people that follow me, and to know that they are going to see me, it’s a dream come true.”
“I made everything perfect for them, and for me,” he added. “I’m really happy that it played out like this.”
Asked about his approach coming into the fight, Charriere explained that “the game plan was just to circle around him on the right, for me, and don’t get caught by his right hand. And just feel his timing, touch him with the jab, touch him, touch him, and just read everything. Because I have great eyes.” Watching tape on Zecchini, added Charriere, “I just felt like maybe going with something else other than the game plan, I don’t know.”
“When the fight started, after the two minutes, I just saw he had just a big right hand that he was throwing to knock me out with.” That told Charriere that he could start throwing his kicks. “Just don’t get caught on the kick, and keep my hands high” were his thoughts. “When I just threw my first hard kick ot the liver, that’s a kick that I like, I trained a lot on it but I never used it in a fight [before] now, so I just have a thing like this that I keep in my pocket for some guys, and I touched him right away. He couldn’t fake me, I’d see it, so I just threw two more, and then just took my time, don’t go into something hard, and that’s it.”
While he hadn’t shown those kicks in the fight before, Charriere knew how good they were. “My kicks are hard, really hard. I have really hard kicks that can hurt people, and I know it.” Charriere’s coach has complained about those devastating kicks in the past, in fact having to deal with them in training. “I knew my kick was so powerful that even if you put your arm [up], I’d break your arm or hit your liver. So that’s what I did. I just threw two or three more, he was already in pain, so he couldn’t block, couldn’t do nothing.”
Watch the full UFC Paris post-fight press conference with Morgan Charriere above.