June 10, 2008

As the ruling class of the MMA landscape gets younger by the day, there is still a wealth of veteran fighters looking to keep their careers relevant in hopes of making one last run towards the big time. Among them is Illinois welterweight product Brian Gassaway.

Having been in on the ground floor while the sport was being built, this 12-year veteran is still going strong and looking to put together the kind of winning streak that will get him back to the national stage.

After taking some time off to recoup from injury and illness, Brian will be seeking to add to his current three-fight winning streak as a featured fighter this Saturday, June 14 at Adrenaline MMA's debut in Chicago.

"It's a great feeling," said Gassaway of making his return at Adrenaline. "There's not just the UFC anymore, there's a lot of organizations that are showcasing a lot of talented fighters, so I'm proud to be part of this.

"Monte (Cox, Adrenaline's promoter) has been putting on shows for years, so he definitely knows what he's doing as far as putting on a good show, plus there's not a bad match-up on the card."

Gassaway will be stepping back into action after being part of one of the more gruesome moments in recent MMA memory when his last fight, against fellow veteran Jose "Pele" Landi-Jons, ended when Landi-Jons broke his shin attempting a leg-kick in their fight.

When asked if being part of such a freak accident would cause him to in any way hesitate or be apprehensive in his coming Adrenaline fight, Gassaway responded, "That's something that you really can't worry about.

"I would have more of a mental crutch if it would have happened to me. I might be more apprehensive to throw a kick full power, but as far as I go, I don't worry about it."

Heading into Saturday's bout, Gassaway's attention will be on his new opponent, just named a week prior to fighting.

"Tony Fryklund got hurt, I'm not sure what it is, but he had to pull out of the fight," he announced. "I was looking forward to that fight, it would have been very exciting for everyone to watch, but now I'm fighting Forrest Petz.

"I know he likes to bang, and I think he has good boxing skills, good hands, which I think is a great match-up for me. Styles make fights and with our styles I think everyone's going to come away from this fight a winner."

According to Gassaway, he feels his years of developing a precise striking style could be the determining factor in the fight.

"He's not afraid to stand and trade," commented Gassaway. "As long as I can keep good, crisp technique and not try to brawl with him, I'll be fine.

"I'm not a brawler -- I'm more of a stick and move, using angles kind of striker. I'm going to use my reach and try to end the fight like that."

Should he add to his winning streak and look impressive against Petz, Gassaway could see himself back in the limelight.

"I definitely want to see myself fighting in organizations such as the WEC or UFC," he commented. "As far as I know, I still have a couple fights under my contract with the WEC, so I would definitely love to see myself in there again.

"It's just a matter of showing people what I'm capable of doing now. It's all about testing yourself and I'd love to do that with the best guys in the world -- that's what it's all about."

With ample tread still left on the tires of his career, Gassaway is intent on making the latter portion of his career the time he will be most remembered for, continuing this Saturday night in Chicago.

"I know that Premier Fighter is sponsoring us, so thank you to them," concluded Gassaway. "It's going to be a great night of fights, and every fight on the card is solid, so come out and support Chicago MMA.

"I'm not afraid to get in there and trade with people. It can go to the ground, that's fine, but there's nothing like cracking somebody in the head -- and that's what I do."

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