UFC’s Ewell shifts to ‘barbarian-type mindset’

UFC bantamweight Andre Ewell is done being “Mr. Highlight.”

“The Afro Monkey is back,” Ewell told Fight Night Picks’ John Hyon Ko. “They’ll see that barbarian-type mindset come back into the cage.”

The return of that mindset for Ewell begins on Saturday, July 24, at UFC Vegas 32 against Julio Arce, who drops down from featherweight to face Ewell.

Ewell spoke with JHK for 20 minutes about the matchup with Arce, the bantamweight division and the legends tour he hopes to embark on after dispatching Arce.

“The reality is I’m still learning,” said the 33-year-old Ewell (17-6). Ewell comes off a decision defeat to Chris Gutierrez. “The world is watching me basically get better, and it’s fun.”

He was previously scheduled to face Cody Stamann, but that bout fell out after a false positive COVID test, Ewell said.

But Stamann is not on his list for potential callouts if he should win on Saturday. Rather, he’s looking to the veterans of the bantamweight division, including Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz.

“I’m only fighting legends now,” Ewell said.

First, though, Ewell must get past Arce, who is known as a striker but Ewell believes may turn somewhere else to find success.

“At the end of the day, all my opponents become wrestlers,” Ewell said. “I’m hoping he ends up staying a striker. If he does, then people will get what want: an exciting fight.”

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