Jon Manley thinks UFC fans are going to like their second chance to see him in a national setting.
"I'm a nice guy," he said Thursday.
Well, nice until he enters the octagon, that is.
Manley, a 26-year-old Adams native and former competitor on the TV show "The Ultimate Fighter," makes his UFC debut Saturday evening in a preliminary bout of the UFC 157 event at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The welterweight fight, against fellow "Ultimate Fighter" participant Neil Magny, is one of three that will be shown live on Facebook beginning at 6:35 p.m. Saturday. It can be watched on the UFC's fan page after clicking "Like" on the page.
Manley is 7-2, according to the UFC website. In the 16th season of "The Ultimate Fighter," aired on the FX network this past fall, he advanced to the semifinal round before being eliminated.
"The biggest thing I learned [from the show] is just the attitude," Manley said. "I had to deal with a lot of injuries over the years. I got four fights in six weeks. It made me enjoy it a lot more."
The 6-foot-1, 170-pound fighter and Team Link Northampton owner/head coach has won three of his matches by submission. His opponent, Magny, is also making his UFC debut Saturday.
"Neil's a tough dude, but I don't fight to fight chumps," Manley said. "I know that he's a counter-striker. He wants me to rush in and try to take him down. ... Which is what I like to do. I like to fight. He likes to let the guy come in and move around. I have a pretty good game plan I'm working on."
The Honda Center will be the biggest venue in which Manley has ever fought. Aside from his "Ultimate Fighter" bouts, the Facebook audience will be the biggest viewing audience he's had. Manley admits that he'll get nervous, but he doesn't believe nerves are bad.
"Right now ... I don't even try to think about the fight," he said. "When we're a few hours away, I'm going to get more nervous. But I'll deal with it."
He expects the fight will be on a few screens in his hometown -- "I know they're probably watching it at the Grille, maybe the PNA," he said -- and said that, win or lose, he'll head to Adams after the bout to relax before continuing his teaching at Team Link Northampton.
"They're going to see me come out and fight my heart out," Manley said. "I don't hold back. I'm coming for him the whole time. There's no way I give up."
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