‘I’d love to wrestle with Chris’ – Owen Livesey hopes to test takedowns against Weidman at Polaris 23

Owen Livesey is hoping for a takedown battle against Chris Weidman at Polaris 23.

Elite British grappler Owen Livesey is preparing for a clash of wrestling styles when he takes on former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman in a 10-minute submission-only match at Polaris 23.

With his extensive background in competitive judo, Livesey has made a name for himself as one of grappling’s best and most entertaining takedown artists. When he squares off with Weidman on March 11, he’ll be testing his trademark foot sweeps, fireman’s carry, and upper-body throws against the folkstyle wrestling of Weidman.

While Weidman might be best known for his extensive MMA career, which includes his UFC middleweight title reign from 2013 to 2015, the 38-year-old is also an accomplished grappler. He was an NCAA Division 1 All-American wrestler, as well as a 2009 ADCC Trials winner.

Livesey recently appeared on the Chewjitsu Podcast, where he spoke about his upcoming showdown with Weidman, as well as a variety of other topics.

According to Livesey, he doesn’t alter his training from opponent to opponent, and that’s been no different as he prepares for Weidman:

“He’s a fantastic grappler and athlete. For me, my training hasn’t changed at all, I’ve trained the same. I do train relatively hard year-round anyway. I’ve just put a bit more emphasis on my conditioning because I do see it being quite scrambly and quite a bit of wrestling there as well. So I’ve picked up me conditioning a little bit. A few more wrestling rounds, a few more grappling rounds.”

Given their respective backgrounds in judo and wrestling, Livesey expects a stand-up battle with Weidman, but ultimately hopes to put on an entertaining performance:

“I literally just grapple the same against everybody. I’d love to wrestle with Chris, I know he’s a good wrestler as well. I just hope for a good match. I always want me matches to be entertaining whether I win or lose. I want it to be a match that people have paid to go and watch, I want people to leave and say ‘f***, I’d see go and watch that guy again.’ I just hope for an entertaining match, and I’m pretty sure it should be.”

Because he is still focused on his UFC career, Weidman requested that leg locks be prohibited. Livesey was fine with that stipulation, and even believes it will lead to a more entertaining contest:

“With it being no leg locks, you grapple against some people nowadays that are so good at leg locks, you kinda grapple a way that you got to be careful the way you pass, you got to be a lot more cautious. But with the leg locks out of it now, there’s actually nothing holding us both back from going 100 percent after it.”

How to watch: Polaris 23 takes place on Saturday, March 11 and will air live on UFC Fight Pass (subscription required).

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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