The times have changed, but the messages remain the same.
“To be honest, I hear all the stuff you’re saying and I don’t want to sound disrespectful in any way, but I don’t think any of that is the actual factor,” Green said politely when I asked if changes in his approach to training and simply being a little older and wiser have been key pieces in his recent run of success. “I’ve been fighting this way and doing the same things; the day is the only thing that has changed.
“You guys are just paying a little bit more attention,” he said, lumping me into a collection of folks that includes judges, fans, and critics, all of whom have started to take greater notice of Green and his efforts in the last several months.
The 34-year-old has been one of the standouts during the UFC’s restart period, having collected unanimous decision victories over Clay Guida, Lando Vannata, and Alan Patrick in the span of a dozen weeks. Saturday night, he looks to make it four victories in 19 weeks when he steps in against Moises.
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The last time he earned four straight victories inside the Octagon was at the outset of his UFC career, ahead of his bout with Barboza, when he had earned eight consecutive victories overall and held down a spot in the Top 10 of the lightweight division rankings.
“I’m getting a little bit of respect, but I feel like I haven’t gotten what I deserve,” continued the 38-fight veteran. “We’re talking about Fighter of the Year and I’m not mentioned in those spaces. They’re talking about Israel (Adesanya), they’re talking about Khabib (Nurmagomedov), and they’re talking about that Khazmat (Chimaev) guy, but they’re not talking about me. Where’s the respect?”