As was reported by Sherdog.com last week, perennial Canadian veteran Joe Doerksen (Pictures) confirmed that his Aug. 5 meeting with former PRIDE powerhouse Paulo Filho (Pictures) will be for the vacant World Extreme Cagefighting middleweight title.
"I don't get excited about much, but yeah, I'm looking forward to it," Doerksen told Sherdog.com from his home in Winnipeg.
"I think it's a good fight for me," he continued, "I don't think it's an easy fight, but I think it's a winnable fight."
Doerksen was one fight into a three-fight deal with PRIDE, but with all the tumult caused after that organization's acquisition by Zuffa, Doerksen said his manager Monte Cox told him there was a chance that there may be no more PRIDE shows, and that they should see if there were any other options for him.
Cox approached UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, and they came up with a deal that Joe could be happy with; a new four-fight contract with the WEC, with the first fight being for the title.
"Am I excited about it? I'd say yes. It's a big deal I guess, to be on TV fighting for Zuffa again. I get to fight a Top 10 guy and I've been wanting to do that for awhile now."
Filho is undoubtedly a Top 10 guy, as Doerksen put it, so how does he think the two of them will match up?
"His strength is on the ground obviously -- from what everybody has told me," Doerksen said. "I honestly haven't seen him fight all that often. I'm going from what I‘ve heard, but just a real aggressive in your face kind of guy."
Filho does indeed have impressive ground skills, with six of his wins coming by way of submission. Joe compares their skills this way:
"I've always been a ground guy, so I don't think that's going to be a huge issue. I've been getting more and more comfortable on my feet the past year or two, so I think I might have a slight advantage on the feet. The trick is to keep it there. I've got my work cut out for me, but it's a winnable fight."
There is one thing that Doerksen knows he'll try to definitely not do however, and that's to go to a decision. "I don't tend to do well when I let it go that way," he chuckled.
"I'm not going in there to not lose or to just look good, it's not going to be enough any more," continued the Canadian, veteran of nearly ever major mixed martial arts organization. "I want more. I want to win and I want to beat some Top 10 guys and I want to see how far I can go in this sport."
Doerksen will be in Dartmouth, N.S. this weekend to give a two-day seminar at FitPlus, and we'll be there to get an update on his training.