UFC Junk's ultimate goal
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
Scott Junk has a clear vision. It involves a return to the UFC.
First, he must win the main event of the Galaxy MMA's "Worlds Collide" mixed martial arts card at the Blaisdell Center Arena tomorrow.
Junk, who is from Kailua, will face Brazil's Fabiano Scherner in the main event of Galaxy MMA's inaugural card.
"This is the biggest fight of my career," said Junk, who has a professional record of 6-2-1. "This guy is a beast, so it's a huge test."
MMA fans last saw Junk in December, when he was leaving "The Ultimate Fighter" television series due to an eye injury.
At the time, the injury was thought to be career-ending. But he has since had successful surgery and has been cleared to fight.
"I love training, I love fighting, that's why I'm doing this," said Junk, 31. "If my eye gets tagged, there's a chance of (permanent) damage, but I can't think about that."
Upon leaving The Ultimate Fighter show, Junk said he was instructed by UFC president Dana White to "win two big fights" to earn another shot at the UFC.
"Basically he said if I can win two big fights, he would bring me back," Junk said. "So I'm looking at this as the first big fight."
Scherner will definitely be a big opponent. He is 6 feet 3 and 270 pounds; Junk is 6-1 and 248.
The weight limit for tomorrow's bout is 265, so Scherner said he still has to cut a few pounds.
It will also be a contrast in styles. Junk is known for his striking power. Scherner is a former world champion in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
"This is a classic match-up — striker versus grappler," Scherner said. "It will come down to who can execute their game plan better."
Scherner's jiu-jitsu resume earned him a UFC contract in 2005, but he lost three consecutive bouts and was released.
Scherner, 37, has a professional MMA record of 8-8.
One of Scherner's losses came against Roy Nelson in February 2008.
Nelson won The Ultimate Fighter show last season, and became friends with Junk in the process.
Junk recently spent six weeks training with Nelson in Las Vegas. Nelson will be in Junk's corner tomorrow.
"We didn't really look too much at my fight (against Scherner), just because it's hard to translate when we're different fighters," Nelson said. "For the most part, we worked on Scott's control. The thing about Scott is he can take people down and ground and pound. Of course (Scherner) is dangerous on the ground, so we worked on how to be safe, when to hit, when not to hit."
The semi-main event will feature a pair of up-and-coming Hawai'i fighters. Tyson Nam will face Keola Silva in what should be an action-packed bantamweight (135 pounds) bout.
The first round of a lightweight (155 pounds) tournament will also be staged.
Heavyweight: Scott Junk vs. Fabiano Scherner. 135: Tyson Nam vs. Keola Silva. 170: Brennan Kamaka vs. Preston "Bruski" Louis. 185: Roderick Richter vs. Elden "Sale" Sproat. 155: tournament: Jenzen Espanto vs. Kristopher Kyle; Steve Gable vs. Clay Lewis Jr.; Kyle Ka'ahanui vs. Jose Salgado; Harris Sarmiento vs. Chris Yee. 205 (amateur): Zack Pang vs. Kimo Sanders. 170 (amateur): Markus Kindblad vs. Evan Lowther. 160 (amateur): Ryan Clay vs. Chris Templo.