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Maguire called UFC for Riddle fight at UFC 154

ESPN staff
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John Maguire fights Matt Riddle on November 17 © Getty Images
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John Maguire has shed interesting insight into his hastily arranged welterweight bout with Matt Riddle at UFC 154, revealing he called the UFC to ask for the fight.

Maguire has filled in on three weeks' notice in Montreal, meeting Riddle on November 17. He steps in for Besam Yousef who had to withdraw injured.

The Brit is coming off a forgettable defeat to John Hathaway when he - by his own admission - failed to turn up for the first time in his career.

Now he gets the chance to remind people of his obvious quality on one of the biggest cards of the year, headlined by Georges St-Pierre v Carlos Condit. And Maguire revealed he actively went hunting for a quick return to the Octagon.

"I asked for it. I knew they needed a replacement so I suggested it to them and they went for it straight away," Maguire told ESPN. "I heard Yousef was injured so I contacted Joe Silva.

"I don't owe them a fight but I owe it to myself to actually have a fight."

Maguire is clearly still extremely angry at himself for the no-show he turned in against Hathaway, in a bout that also frustrated president Dana White. Reflecting on that night in Nottingham Maguire still cannot explain his performance, but he insists British pride will be on the line against Riddle.

"I just didn't fight against Hathaway. I can't swear so... let's just say I did nothing and leave it at that. It's the first time it's happened in my career. I put too much pressure on myself.

"I didn't do anything. Only in the last minute I took him down. I wasn't worried about his striking, I just can't put my finger on what was wrong. I spoke to Joe Silva after the fight and he asked, 'Why didn't you take him down in the first minute like you did in the last?

"Now I get to make amends against Riddle, I know he wanted to fight Dan Hardy so there's a bit of British pride on the line. I'm just going to go in there and this time do what I need to do."

The obvious concern over weight has been raised by Maguire's lack of preparation time for the bout, but he insists he will be fine. And it appears Riddle is heading for a punishing first round in Canada.

"I've got about two-and-a-half weeks to prepare for it, but it's a good fight for me," Maguire said. "The doughnut's down and I'm in training. I'll make weight easy, I've got one more week of hard rounds training and then I'll be ready."

Maguire then joked: "I'll be good for a round! That's all I need."

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