RIO DE JANEIRO – When Brazilian special-forces officer Paulo Thiago was forced to withdraw from this weekend's UFC 142 event, it only made sense that welterweight replacement Ricardo Funch (8-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) stepped in to face Mike Pyle (21-8-1 MMA, 4-3 UFC).
Sure, Funch isn't quite as well-known as Thiago, but as a recently commissioned police officer in his current residence of Ludlow, Mass., he's capable of carrying the shield.
"I was in the right place at the right time," Funch recently told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) in his native Portuguese. "I had just won a fight, and Paulo Thiago got injured. Since I'm Brazilian and I have a passport and the UFC needed a quick replacement, it was this combination of factors that allowed me to come back."
You may remember Funch from his two previous UFC contests, a pair of losses to Claude Patrick and Johny Hendricks. If you don't, that's just fine, according to the 31-year-old. Funch now admits he probably wasn't ready for the UFC experience at the time he got the call.
If I was 50 years younger I'd kick your ass!