For former Maximum Fighting Championship middleweight champion and current World Series of Fighting title contender Elvis Mutapcic, the upcoming WSOF 5 event this weekend will be the biggest night of his career.

This is Mutapcic’s first fight in a major MMA organization. It’s his first fight on national television, and he’s fighting a guy that has nearly twice as much name recognition as he does. To top it all off, he’s immediately been thrown into a four-man tournament for the promotion’s inaugural 185-pound title. All he needs to do now is win his next two bouts.

For many fighters, the pressure would start to become overwhelming, especially with the additional media attention and spotlight that comes with signing with one of the larger MMA promotions. For Mutapcic, however, the result is just the opposite.

Mutapcic (L) delivers a right hand (Jacob Bos/Sherdog)

“I perform better under pressure. I’m not nervous at all,” said the Bosnian fighter in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “I guess I don’t think about it. To me, there’s only two people, just me and him, and everyone else around us really doesn’t matter.”

Obviously, Mutapcic doesn’t believe all of the lights and production for WSOF will affect his time in the cage. He’s earned his dues in MFC and a few other smaller promotions, and is slowly making his mark as one of the more talented middleweight prospects in the sport. In order to live up to the hype that has developed following his dominant run in MFC, however, he’ll have to take out one of the most experienced opponents he’s ever competed against. That man is Ultimate Fighter alum and UFC veteran Jesse Taylor.

A solid wrestler that has fought everyone from Luke Rockhold to Hector Lombard, Taylor has been a recognizable name in the MMA scene for over five years now and could provide Mutapcic with the stiffest test of his 15-fight career. Although he realizes that Taylor is a difficult opponent, Mutapcic is still extremely confident heading into the bout.

“I don’t know, I think he has more experience, but I just think I got a little edge on him,” Mutapcic admitted. “I think I’m going to be a little tougher than him, a little harder to break down, and I think I can break him.”

If Mutapcic uses his usual game plan to attempt to “break” Taylor, that attack will likely come on the feet, where “The King” feels most comfortable. Still, Mutapcic has plenty of confidence in his ground game if the wrestling-based Taylor tries to force the fight to the floor. He’s also very aware of Taylor’s tendency of losing fights by submission, and Mutapcic won’t hesitate if an opportunity arises on the mat.

Mutapcic (Jacob Bos/Sherdog)

“I’m very confident in my submissions. I’ve never been scared to go for a submission if it’s there. So if there’s a submission opening, I’ll go for it,” Mutapcic said. “I’d rather get a knockout or a TKO, but if there’s a submission opening, I’ve got no problem with that.”

Considering “The King’s” 13 wins have mostly been evenly split between knockouts and submissions, Mutapcic definitely has the skill set to finish the fight anywhere against his opponent. That’s what he’ll be trying to do in order to move another step forward in the WSOF middleweight tournament.

Although Mutapcic admits he hasn’t given much thought to the other two participants, Dave Branch and Danillo Villefort, he’s extremely motivated for the opportunity to grab another championship belt to go along with his MFC title.

“[I’m] very excited, minus going all five rounds,” Mutapcic said. “You know you’ve got to train for five rounds again, as I’ve been doing for most of my career. Everything else, I’m excited about. It’s a real honor being chosen and to get the opportunity to compete for a belt, so I’m really excited.”

Saturday night might be the biggest of Mutapcic’s career, but if he wins, an even bigger night lies ahead. You can bet he’ll be excited for that one too.

Top Photo: Elvis Mutapcic (L) connects wtih a kick (Jacob Bos/Sherdog)

About The Author

Vince Carey
Staff Writer

Vince Carey has been writing about the sport of mixed martial arts since 2010. Although he is just 21 years old, the Omaha-based writer is looking to provide readers with interesting content on all things related to MMA.