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Photo by John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Yancy Medeiros is set to open the UFC 212 main card in Rio versus the always game Erick Silva. Medeiros is coming off a performance of the night bonus at UFC 203 when he submitted Sean Spencer in the second round.

That was his first fight at welterweight as he makes the trip to enemy territory to take on Brazil’s Silva. Both guys have racked up multiple performance bonuses throughout their UFC career which makes this match-up one of the most exciting fights of the night.

On paper, it’s the exact kind of fight that gets his blood pumping but Medeiros knows that getting lured into brawls with his opponents has sometimes cost him the fight.

“I’d say he’s most dangerous when you get into an emotional battle with him and you want to try and brawl,” Medeiros explained. “That is one of my problems because when I get hit, I’m ready for it I’ve trained, I’ve been in camp, and I’ve been through hell. It’s not about me being emotional but it’s me trying to get my punches and my hits back in. I’ve really worked on my technicality, patience and my timing so you’ll see a different Yancy Medeiros out there.”

While his plan is to be a little more cautious, Medeiros is always down to scrap which has made him one of the most exciting fighters to watch on the roster.

“I mean I always want guys that will try and take my head off,” Medeiros said. “Erick’s game, he’s down for a good fight and Hawaiians we like to fight and have big heart. We got big hands and big heart so it’s right in my realm.”

He will share the card with his teammate and fellow Hawaiian Max Holloway, who will look to unify the featherweight title in the main event versus champion Jose Aldo.

“I’m just happy I can be on the same card as one of my brothers,” Medeiros said on Holloway. “You come to another country with a big team and represent as best as we can, handle business and get back home.”

Medeiros splits his time training at home in Hawaii and with the Diaz brothers in Lodi. He represents both Team Hawaii and the Nick Diaz Academy in California. In this camp, he got the chance to work with Nate Diaz and Gilbert Melendez, his Skrap Pack teammates.

“I got the chance to go up to Lodi and train with Nate, Randy Spence and I got to link up with Gilbert Melendez.,” Medeiros said. “It was great to be able to learn everything I’m doing at home, go to California to collaborate with them and see if everything at home is working and so far so good.”

His opponent Silva is coming off a decision win over Luan Chagas in a hard fought battle. Silva is 1-2 in his last 3 and has cardio issues in his last couple of outings. When asked if he felt that Silva has regressed, Medeiros said he’s expecting the best Erick Silva yet.

“You know I’ve had my bad fights, there are no excuses you just get back to the drawing board and I feel like he’s trying to do that,” Medeiros explained. “He had a tough fight his last fight, he came out with the victory and he doesn’t want to look like that. He’s going to want to try and look for that KO on me and Hawaiian’s looking for the same thing.”

“He’s fighting at home, it’s all his people and he wants to give them a show but I got nothing to lose. I’m a small island boy coming to a big country and trying to represent so I’m more than ready for this fight.”