On a late Wednesday afternoon, George Sullivan waits in his hotel room with coach Kurt Pellegrino, while being stir crazy and anxious to fight.
“I worked my but off for all these years, trying to get here,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan is a two-time veteran inside the octagon, defeating Igor Araujo and Mike Rhodes.The Brick, New Jersey native has fought in Chicago and Brazil, but Sullivan said this is a unique opportunity to have over 600 people cheering just for him.
“I love fighting for the UFC to begin with, but not being booed or killed by Brazilians is nice,” Sullivan said. “It’s a good thing to be cheered on, I am excited for that.”
Sullivan said he misses fighting inside the Borgata Hotel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, but this is better. He will be featured on the UFC Fight Pass main event inside the Prudential Center in Newark.
The former Cage Fury Fighting Championships champion will also join the UFC on FOX 15 card with fellow CFFC veterans, Jim Miller and Aljamain Sterling.
“Aljamain is a friend of mine,” Sullivan said. “Two cage fury champions throwing our careers together.”
Sullivan takes on Tim “Dirty Bird” Means who replaces a injured Kenny Robertson. Sullivan heard about the change eight weeks into his fight camp.
“I had about two weeks of training for this guy,” Sullivan said. “Robertson was more of a grappler, a 5’10” righty, Tim Means is a lefty southpaw thai boxer; they are the complete opposite.”
With little time to prepare for Means, Sullivan said he still has an advantage over Means.
“I dont think there is a guy in the welterweight division as strong as me, once he feels my power, my strength, I think he is going to be in for a rude awakening,” Sullivan said. “I’m not saying he is not technical, not a great striker, but I feel like when I hit him it is going to be a big difference than when he hits me.”
Sullivan said throughout the entire fight camp he changed his diet, eating more clean. His sparring is more intense and been working with former Bellator welterweight champion, Lyman Good.
“We got to beat each other up a little bit, it was fun,” Sullivan said. “I would have worked with him more, but unfortunately Kenny Robertson got hurt, so I had to go find a thai boxer.”
Sullivan continues to improve on his wrestling, along with his strength and conditioning. This is all in the hopes he will climb the ladder.
Sullivan is grateful he can share it with Pellegrino, making the wait till fight day less difficult.
“I am following Kurt’s footsteps as my mentor,” Sullivan said. “Just fighting at the same stage he did and be a part of it is an honor.”
By Connor Northrup