Well-rounded veteran Bart Palaszewski entered the Octagon at UFC 137 a hungry, dedicated competitor making both his UFC and featherweight debut in the 50th fight of his career. On the flipside, his opponent, Tyson Griffin, came into the bout overweight and, to hear Palaszewski’s take, perhaps a bit complacent as well.

“Bartimus” recently spoke out about his “Knockout of the Night” victory, offering his opinion on why Griffin may have been out of shape, as well as what the win meant to him and how far he sees himself going at 145 pounds.

“I don’t know what happened. If something happened, I hope he comes out with it and tells me. It’s over and done with, but I kind of took it as kind of — I don’t know if it was disrespect, but I feel like he overlooked me and didn’t take the camp super seriously, I think,” explained Palaszewski in an interview with Sherdog Radio. “He didn’t take it too seriously overall — camp, diet and everything else. I think he thought I’d be a steppingstone to getting his career going again, but obviously it didn’t work out that way. Unless there was a reason why he didn’t make weight, as far as an injury or whatever, I think that’s what happened.”

As far as why the 36-14 finisher was emotional after his successful showing, Palaszewski revealed the moment marked the fulfillment of a dream, saying, “It took me a long time to get in the UFC. I’ve done things differently. I always wanted to be in the UFC, but I’m super happy and ecstatic that it happened now. I’m actually mentally and physically ready for the challenge that the UFC brings.”

“I’ve said it a hundred times, but they have these guys that are 7-0 or 9-0. They come in the UFC and they make an impact, but then they disappear and you never hear about them,” he continued. “I never wanted to be one of those guys. I want to be in the UFC for the long haul. I want to retire under the UFC banner.”

According to the 28-year old, not only will he be around for awhile but he sees himself making a serious run at divisional gold.

“I think that, give me another 18 months and I’ll be right up there, either getting a title shot or being next in line,” Palaszewski stated. “At 145, I think the only person that would give me a hard time standing up would be a guy like Jose Aldo, who I wouldn’t be afraid to stand with anyways. Other than that, I’ve got my grapplers and wrestlers to worry about. As far as grappling goes, I’m not really worried about getting submitted by anybody out there. As far as wrestling, that’s a work in progress as far as I see it.”

With 28 stoppages to his name, as well as wins over opponents like Griffin and Anthony Pettis, 2012 may turn out to indeed be the year Palaszeweski moves from being on the cusp of greatness to a title-contending threat.


MMATraining Take: I’ve always liked Palaszewski, a fighter who consistently brings his lunch-pail to the ring, clocks in, and goes to work until time expires or the referee stops the action. He looked better/healthier in his featherweight debut than Griffin or Kenny Florian did, an aspect boding well for his future in the division. As far as Griffin missing weight I doubt it was disrespect and more likely an injury affecting his fitness.