Lambert to make 185-pound debut at UFC 88

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Sometimes a change of environment can be good for a person. Getting a fresh perspective on things can often stem a tide of bad luck.

This is what Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Jason "Punisher" Lambert hopes to do with his recent move down to middleweight to face JasonMacDonald at UFC 88 on Sept. 6 in Atlanta.

Long a dominant force in the smaller shows, Lambert has experienced a mixed bag since making his UFC debut in 2006.

On one hand he's had impressive wins over the likes of top 205-pound fighter Renato "Babalu" Sobral, and on the other he's lost three of his last four fights heading into Atlanta.

With the decision to move down in weight, he looks to recapture past prominence and establish himself as a legitimate title contender.

"I've been training my butt off and getting ready to get down to 185," said Lambert of his recent activities.

"It's been going good. I've been working a lot on strength, endurance and stuff like that; trying to keep a lot of my strength going down in weight class."

Long known for his physicality, he says so far he hasn't experienced a loss in power that some fighters experience when changing weight classes.

"I'm still doing a lot of things that I did at the old weight class," he reiterated. "Just sticking with those routines has been pretty tough when you're cutting back on calories, but it's been going pretty well.

"The whole goal is to move quick and still keep that power. I'm just ready to get out there and get back into the octagon and test my skills."

At UFC 88, Lambert is slated to face MacDonald, a fighter who is also looking to get back on track after a loss in his last fight.

"I'm expecting a high-paced ground fight," he commented. "Both of us like to fight on the ground, so I think we're both going to be fighting for that top position.

"I'm sure he's going to be looking for some submissions, and I'm going to be looking to ground and pound, so it should be quite a ground war, for sure."

The loser of this fight could very well find himself out of the UFC, but Lambert says he's not feeling any of those anxieties heading into the match-up.

"I kind of try to drop some of the pressure," he admitted. "A lot of people can get sucked into that, but I'm just trying to go out there and have a good performance either way.

"I can't control every aspect, I just know I can control myself, and I want as fight as hard as I possibly can, and whatever happens is gonna happen."

Win or lose, he wants to continue to be active and take full advantage of his formative years in the sport.

"I just want to fight," exclaimed Lambert. "I want to get out there and compete as much as my body will let me.

"I wanna get out there and constantly improve. I think that's where you do it the most -- in fights -- the more you stay inactive and on the shelf, it doesn't help so much."

In a new weight class with an opportunity to rebuild his career, Jason Lambert knows now is the time if he wants to make the run he's always been capable of, sooner than later.