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Gerald Meerschaert wants to be dominant at UFC on ESPN 41: 'I don't want it to look like a comeback'

Middleweight hopes to avoid slow start against Bruno Silva on Saturday in San Diego, Calif.

Gerald Meerschaert is all about new surroundings and scenery. It's the mentality he put into his training camp this time around and it's what he is getting out of fighting in San Diego at UFC on ESPN 41.

Last time out, Meerschaert spent time training at Fusion X-Cel in Florida, but following his loss against Krzysztof Jotko, he decided that he needed to make another change for his camp, so he made his way over to Kill Cliff FC in Deerfield Beach.

"They have a real professional team, a lot of those guys have been in the game for a while and I got a lot of connections down there. Brendan Allen trains there and Jared Gordon does, too," Meerschaert said. "I've met Henri (Hooft) before, nice guy. Jason Strout, who is going to be in my corner, he's a coach there, he's from Wisconsin, as well. Even though it's a new place, there are still a lot of familiar faces."

The 34-year-old wanted to find a place where he could prepare to the best of his ability, and that included finding a place where he could train with bigger bodies to level himself up as a fighter in order to get to ready for his opponent this weekend, Bruno Silva (22-7 MMA, 3-1 UFC).

After spending his last four fights in the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Meerschaert (34-15 MMA, 9-7 UFC) is eager to have the sounds of fans in the background as he makes his way to the octagon.

"It's just different when you hear that collective roar of everybody in an actual stadium; it just really amps you up," Meerschaert said.

"GM3" was riding a three-fight win streak prior to his loss against Jotko, and it's something that he wants to get back to, starting with his bout against Silva, who is also coming off a loss, his against middleweight contender Alex Pereira.

The bout between these two fighters should bring some fireworks. Combined, the two have 56 victories and 51 of those wins have come by finish. Meerschaert has 26 wins by submission and six knockouts. On the other hand, Silva accounts for 19 wins by knockout and three by submission. It will be interesting to see where they end up, as both fighters have the "no judges needed" mindset and are always looking to finish their opponent.

"He is kind of like me, just on the other end of the spectrum," Meerschaert said. "He is known for his knockouts, he has power in his hands, but he does everything well. He has really good grappling, and he's a black belt in jiu-jitsu. If you've seen him in any of his UFC fights, if anyone tries to grapple heavy with him, he is always right there with them.

"He is making them work even if he gets taken down – he is either right back up or he is defending well enough that he is never really in danger. I make my money choking people, but I always do really well on the feet, no matter if the guy is supposed to be one of the best strikers or whatever the case is, so I think we are kind of opposite ends of the spectrum and it's going to make for a great fight."

Even though Silva brings a lot of finishes to the octagon, his UFC experience doesn't match up with Meerschaert, who has been on the roster since 2016. Silva only made his UFC debut in June of 2021. Of course, there are certain aspects where experience comes into play, but sometimes it just doesn't matter.

"It all depends on who shows up on fight day," Meerschaert said. "As long as you're mentally clear on fight day. If I show on fight day and I'm not feeling good, it doesn't matter how much experience I have, but I'm going to lean on that to help me be in the best mental and physical state possible and get out there and do what I have to do."

The strategy for Meerschaert to come out with a statement victory and one that he would be proud of is simple.

"If I can get out there and implement my gameplan, and I don't really have any bumps or bruises and I just dominate every position. Sometimes, I'll have a little bit of a slow start and I'll have to fight my way back," Meerschaert said. "I don't want it to look like a comeback. I want to go out there and impose my will and do everything on the A-side the entire time."

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