Many fighters approach bouts differently. Some ignore game plans and just fight, while others take time to study their opponents, inside and out. At the same time, some express comfort in every area of the game, while others admit to looking for one specific way to win.

On that end of the spectrum, you see fighters like Tyson Steele. When it comes to fighting, Steele doesn’t try to hide the truth. Not to say he does not prepare for everything, but when he knows where a fighter excels, he will often try not to match his foe in one or more of those areas.

Take, for instance, his most recent win against Gregor Gracie, which came at the inaugural World Series of Fighting event. Traditionally, anyone who combats a Gracie knows to expect a step above a “solid” Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game. Therefore, Steele knew that while he needed to press the action against Gracie, he also needed to avoid playing too much into Gracie’s hand.

“I was really happy about the way the fight went,” Steele told The MMA Corner in an exclusive interview. “It went pretty much to plan…I’m a realist when it comes to things like this. I knew that going into the fight, I definitely wouldn’t be able to match up to him jiu-jitsu wise, so the plan was to keep my hands on him on the ground and basically hurt him as bad as I could with punches, and I knew that would be the way to beat him.”

Steele (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Although Gracie would get the fight to the ground and attempt an arm-triangle, Steele would prevent Gracie from securing the hold. After the fight returned to the feet, Steele would lay in a number of punches before dropping Gracie with a knee and finishing with ground and pound.

Steele knew he needed to prepare for the predicament he’d face on the ground, even if he knew that he would not match his opponent on the ground. Even still, Steele knew that mixed martial arts is unpredictable and was prepared for everything, even things that Gracie was unlikely to unleash inside the cage.

“You have to prepare for either/or,” Steele said, “I never really go into a fight expecting it to stay in one area or another because things like that can change in an instant. I just prepare to be as ready as I can in any area of the fight.”

At WSOF 3, which emanates live from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Steele squares off with Steve Carl, who ironically also fought and won in WSOF’s inaugural outing. Carl submitted Ramico Blackmon in the first round, extending his streak to five in a row.

Steele admittedly has not been able to watch Carl’s fight with Blackmon, but he still remains excited to compete against the former M-1 Challenge and Bellator standout, especially given his last performance and the caliber of opponent against whom Carl scored a victory.

“I know that Ramico’s a talented wrestler,” Steele said, “so for Steve to finish him the way he did, I’m impressed with that.

“What makes Steve so exciting is that he’s as gritty as they come. He is no pushover, and he’s proven that he can go three hard rounds with some of the toughest guys out there, so he’s got no quit in him.”

Steele (top) delivers a left hand (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Stylistically, Steele sees similarities in himself and Carl. Like Carl, Steele prepares to go hard for three rounds and definitely serves a challenge to anyone. Fans who will watch either Carl or Steele for the first time can expect both guys to bring their all and leave it all in the cage.

‘I’m capable to do that, and I’m no pushover,” Steele said, “so for those watching, when you’ve got two guys that are both like that, it’s guaranteed fireworks.”

In just his second outing inside the WSOF, Steele can potentially turn heads and go 2-0 in the upstart promotion. As for what lies ahead, Steele will focus on that when WSOF matchmaker Ali Abdel-Aziz and president Ray Sefo come calling with a name in mind.

“Ray and Ali are good at their jobs, so whatever they have in store for me, I’ll definitely embrace it. My prediction [for Friday] is a “Fight of The Night” performance out of both of us. I’m going to come out on top, but I’m expecting that it’s going to be a long, hard-fought fight.

“I’m not expecting to finish him early, though I’ll definitely be trying to. I’m expecting it to go into the later rounds and be non-stop action throughout the whole thing.”

Tyson would like to thank the World Series of Fighting for this opportunity and all of his coaches, staff, and training partners at Alliance Martial Art System in Saskatoon.

Photo: Tyson Steele (top) finishes off Gregor Gracie (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

About The Author

Dale De Souza
Staff Writer

Dale De Souza is a 22-year-old kid straight out of Texas, who grew up around Professional Wrestling but embraced the beauty of Mixed Martial Arts and Combat Sports at a young age. Dale is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report MMA, a writer at The MMA Corner.