|(photo via Sherdog.com)|
“I was excited man,” the 33 year-old vet said about his next fight, which will take place at Grande Prairie’s Crystal Centre. “I’ve been training a lot--looking to get back in there--and I’m really excited to compete again.”
In Brieire (8-2), Cardinal will take on a man who’s only losses to date have come against UFC competitors Mitch Clarke and Chris Clements. Since Briere began fighting professionally in 2006, the vet has recorded victories over experienced fighters like Chase Maxwell, Ricky Goodall and Tim Smith.
“In the age of Youtube it’s pretty easy to see everybody’s fights so I’ve scouted him a little bit,” Cardinal said. “I’ve also seen some of his fights live before. He’s a powerful guy.”
“I think he’s a little bit shorter than me, thick, and really athletic,” Cardinal added. “I don’t think he’s as technical as me but physical attribute wise I think he’s going to be strong and fast. I think it’s going to come down to techniques and tactics to beat this guy.”
Although Briere has put together an impressive record to ascend Canada’s rankings, Cardinal has been recording noteworthy victories and fighting established names since 2004. During his eight year career the Calgary fighter has defeated the likes of Myles Merola and Thierry Quennenville, and has battled highly regarded competitors like Yves Jabouin and Daron Cruickshank.
“I do think so,” said Cardinal, when asked if he believes he’ll have an experience advantage over Briere at “Unified.” “I think I have more time in the cage than he does. I think I’ve fought--I don’t want to say better competition because he’s fought some tough guys--but I think I’ve fought a lot more stiff competition. I think that’s going to be an edge.”
“A fight’s a fight though,” Cardinal furthered. “So you never know until you’re in there.”
Cardinal continues to train out of Calgary’s Champions Creed facility, which is home to accomplished trainers like Brian and Sheila Bird, as well as, UFC middleweight Nick Ring.
“I’m a brown belt in jiu-jitsu under Roy Harris, so I think my ground skills are probably my strength,” Cardinal noted. “But I’ve been working a ton on my stand-up. I’m a big fan of martial arts so I like fighters who rely on techniques and tactics. I’m not going to go out there and try to brawl. I’m going to try to beat him with a good game plan and strategy.”
“I guess it’s almost a full time job between teaching and training,” Cardinal added, while discussing his instructor position at Champions Creed. “I’m not making amazing money but my bills are paid...I get to take it easy; living life.”
And how has Cardinal’s camp been going?
“So far so good,” Cardinal said. “We took it on pretty short notice...but I’m always training. I’m always ready. I’m never out of the gym for too long. Obviously you can’t keep yourself in fight shape all the time but I like to keep myself very close, so if a call like this comes I can jump on it. It’s a good opportunity for me and I’m going to make the most of it.”
Tickets for the April 28th card can be purchased at the Crystal Centre’s box office.
Other bouts that will be featured at “Unified” include Behrang Yousefi vs. Josh Machan for the vacant Canadian bantamweight belt, and UFC veteran Tim Hague vs. heavyweight Jordan Tracey.