- UFC 154
Maguire's corner to throw towel in if Brit gets gun-shy
England's John Maguire is hoping to avoid a UFC first on Saturday, revealing his corner will throw the towel in if he fails to perform against Matt Riddle at UFC 154.
Maguire has arrived in Montreal with a point to prove - not only to the fans and the UFC, but to himself - after he failed to show up against John Hathaway in Nottingham. That night went down as the worst in his career.
Now Maguire has the chance to redeem himself against Riddle, a fight he asked the UFC for on three weeks' notice. The Brit is "bang on course" to make weight on Friday, and he revealed the emergency plan set up by his team if he freezes again this weekend.
"My corner's under strict instructions that if I fight like I did in my last fight, they've got to slap me in the corner. A proper slap, they've got to backhand me," Maguire told ESPN.
"Or they'll just throw the towel in and walk off."
Looking back on that Hathaway fight, which Maguire only appeared to come alive for in the last of 15 minutes, he admits he will never watch the bout again.
"I didn't fight in that last fight. I've watched it once and never again. I fell asleep watching it back. I dozed off and woke up when it was finished!
"You're only as good as your last fight, and on that fight I'm… I won't say it on camera… but I'm pretty bad. I got a lot of hate mail that night - my favourite was, 'I thought all you gyppos could fight, obviously not'.
"I replied to most, and most of them just got, 'You're right - I agree!'"
Given the fact he had three weeks to prepare for Riddle, it will be interesting to see how many minutes Maguire can last this weekend. The charismatic Brit predicts not many.
"I've got a round-and-a-half. According to my coach, I've got a round-and-a-half. So I'll cruise the first five, and then I've got to let it go for two-and-a-half. After that, I don't know, auto-pilot.
"Looking at my last fight and how poor I looked, I think he'll try and keep it on the feet. He likes to come forward and charge, and use his size. That's what he'll do.
"Hopefully he'll punch himself out on me, get tired, and then I'll have energy left to take over!"