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TUCK READY FOR MACAU

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By Patrick Lujan

Jon Tuck and UFC President Dana White at UFC 152 in Toronto in Sept. (courtesy photo)

All the sweat and injuries. The hours of training and pain. It’s now time to show the world what he’s got.

Guam’s Jon Tuck (6-0) is set to make history and enter the Octagon as the island’s first UFC fighter this Saturday night against China’s Zhang Tiequan (18-3) at the Cotai Arena in the Venetian Hotel, Macau.

“I’m ready to go,” a calm Tuck said just days before departing from Guam to Macau. “I had a good training camp in San Diego with my stateside team (The Arena MMA) the last month to hone the skills. I’ve been excited since I first found out I was fighting in the UFC. Now it’s here.”

Like UFC ring announcer Michael Buffer would belch: “It’s time!”

Tuck leaves for Macau Tuesday morning for his fight Saturday night which will air live on Fuel TV 6 at 11 p.m. Chamorro Standard Time (9 p.m. Macau time).

“It’s a two-hour difference between Macau and here so it shouldn’t be too tough on the body adjusting to the time, but fighting that late at night will be different,” Tuck said as he makes his final preparations to leave.

Prior to his month-long intense training camp in San Diego, Tuck was given the privilege of being a guest of the UFC to attend the festivities of UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort on Sept 22. That experience helped Tuck get the feel for the big stage.

“Ya, hanging out with the UFC fighters and Dana White and seeing the behind-the-scenes of a big show like that opened my eyes to the enormity of the event. When I go into the Octagon on Saturday, I don’t have to worry about the show part, just concentrate on the fight part.”

It was his famous toe injuryin March and the time leading up to the filming of the Ultimate Fighter that showed UFC officials that Tuck had what it takes to fight in the highest level of mixed martial arts.

Tuck talks to the Guam media before heading out to Macau. (courtesy photo)

“I held my own against those guys during the show,” Tuck said. “It wasn’t the actual show that caught their eye. I trained with the guys on the show and I knew my skill level was at UFC quality.”

The injured toe drastically affected Tuck in the one-round live show where he eventually lost by decision to finalist Al Iaquinta. The abbreviated bout did not go against his professional record.

Last Few Pounds

Tuck has been training at a steady 165-lbs and is confident he will be stepping on the scales at Friday’s weigh-ins at the 155-lb. lightweight limit. (weigh-ins 7 p.m. Chamorro Standard Time – 5 p.m. Macau time)

http://www.akguam.com/ou/tamuning-scion/“That’s always the toughest battle for any fighter – making weight,” Tuck said. “But that won’t be a problem at all. I’ve come this far and I’m too prepared mentally and physically to let that ruin my goal.

“This is just the start of my UFC journey and I’m determined to make it a long one.”

Note: GSPN is an accredited media for UFC Macau. Log on to www.guamsportsnetwork.com for exclusive photos of Jon Tuck in Macau…both Tuck and his Chinese opponent are brown belt jiu-jitsu practitioners.

 Q&A with Jon Tuck

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Main Card

Franklin vs Le

Silva vs Nedkov

Kim vs Thiago

Gomi vs Danzig

Caceres vs Tezuka

Zhang vs Tuck

Prelims

Urushitani vs Lineker

Fukuda vs DeBlass

Mizugaki vs Hougland

Mitchell vs Lim

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RIP: Former Guam football player Phil Mendiola, shown here with son Tano, passed away in Las Vegas due to a heart attack. Mendiola played for numerous Guam teams from youth to varsity. He was 39.
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Morgan McKenna (left with black face mask) poses for a photo with Guam Football Association Technical Director Sang Hoon Kim (seated, with blue face mask) and Guam Football Association Assistant Technical Director Ross Awa (standing) after signing his letter of commitment to play intercollegiate men’s soccer for Muskingum University in Ohio. The Fighting Muskies compete in NCAA Division III’s Ohio Athletic Conference.

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