MONTREAL — Following Francis Carmont’s submission win over Karlos Vemola in July, the Saint-Tropez, France native said he was ready for and wanted a top-10 or even top-five middleweight in his next outing.
He did not get his wish, but the standout member of Montreal’s Tristar gym is not complaining and knows he has a tough task on his hands as he readies to fight Tom Lawlor at UFC 154 on Saturday.
“I asked the UFC to give a top-five, top-10 but they gave me Tom Lawlor, a very good opponent for me,” the Frenchman with relatively limited English told Sportsnet.ca his at the open workouts Thursday.
“He’s a tough guy. He comes for the fight. He doesn’t have a game plan, he loves to fight, he’s a good wrestler, he can strike. He’s a dangerous guy but I make hard training and I’m ready for the fight Saturday night.”
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Carmont is 3-0 in the UFC with wins over Vemola, Magnus Cedenblad and Chris Camozzi. Overall he has won eight straight fights and the Camozzi bout was the only one to go the distance.
The 31-year-old said he doesn’t think Lawlor is the toughest guy he’s fought in the UFC, but he brings something else to the table.
“All the guys in the UFC are good fighters, it’s just Tom Lawlor has more experience than all the fighters I fought in the past. … If I win this fight it’s an opportunity for me to be in the 10 best in the world in the UFC, but I must win this fight.”
Carmont is quite tranquil, while Lawlor is as colourful as they come in the UFC. At the open workouts, Lawlor and two teammates (which included former UFC light-heavyweight Seth Petruzelli) put on a skit where they pretended to be sumo wrestlers — and yes, if you were wondering, they were wearing adult diapers.
Needless to say, that’s not how Carmont does things.
“I’m more reserved. I don’t like trash talking. I’m just a relaxed guy. I make my job in the Octagon and want to fight the best, that’s it. I want to go to fight for the belt. Lawlor is just a guy in my way.”
Interestingly, Lawlor said at the workouts that Carmont’s name was on a list of fighters he wanted to take on next.
“If Tom Lawlor asked to fight me it’s good because he sees maybe one of my fights in the past and he likes my game and maybe believes I’m one of the contenders for the belt and wants to fight a contender to be the best and that’s cool, I like this.”
Currently there is a logjam in the 185-pound division and if Carmont comes out of the Bell Centre victorious he has his eye on a few fighters that he considers to be the top contenders.
Carmont added that he feels Chris Weidman, Alan Belcher and Michael Bisping are the top guys at middleweight and he is ready to take on any of them.
“If the UFC tells me you must fight Bisping in one month I’m ready for that, I’m here for that.”
Carmont is close friends and training partners with Georges St-Pierre and says the welterweight champion has been very influential in his career.
“Georges give me a lot because when I go to Montreal he saw that I’m a serious guy and he said if you want to be better you have to train with the best.”
Saturday will prove whether or not Carmont’s is ready for that next step.