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Chris Camozzi on Nick Catone: ‘I Expect Him To Be As Strong Mentally As I Am’

Nick Catone (Englewood, N.J.) will return to the UFC Octagon June 22 in nearby Atlantic City for his first fight after a torn Achilles tendon sidelined “The Jersey Devil” for 15 months when he faces Chris Camozzi at UFC on FX 4.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27: Kyle Noke of Australia shapes up against Chris Camozzi of the USA during their middleweight bout as part UFC 127 at Acer Arena on February 27, 2011 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27: Kyle Noke of Australia shapes up against Chris Camozzi of the USA during their middleweight bout as part UFC 127 at Acer Arena on February 27, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
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Nick Catone (Englewood, N.J.) will return to the UFC Octagon June 22 in nearby Atlantic City for his first fight after a torn Achilles tendon sidelined "The Jersey Devil" for 15 months when he faces Chris Camozzi at UFC on FX 4. The match will take place on the undercard of an event headlined by Gray Maynard vs. Clay Guida.

Catone was an accomplished wrestler for Brick Memorial High School and competed at Rider University, where he became a three-time Division I national qualifier and conference champion with 100 career wins. Reading that resume, Camozzi knew he had to improve his ground game, so part of his regimen included a visit to West Linn, Oregon, to work with former NCAA Division I champion and Greco-Roman wrestling Olympic alternate, and current No. 1 middleweight contender, Chael Sonnen.

"I think I’ll walk in there as a better wrestler as far as MMA is concerned," Camozzi said. "I’m training with guys on another level."

Camozzi went in depth about his long-term plan to establish himself as a brand and how he will contend working against a home-team disadvantage for my feature story running on UFC.com. Catone is a student at Ricardo Almeida’s Jiu-Jitsu academy in Hamilton and trains with Frank Edgar’s boxing coach, Mark Henry. Despite Cantone’s long layoff, the last thing Camozzi expects is ring rust. He’s bracing for a hungry fighter to push the pace and prove his devastating injury is a thing of the past.

"He’s going to come out even harder than normal because he’s had such a long layoff," Camozzi said. "I think I’m one of the strongest people mentally in the UFC. I’ll never quit and I expect him to be as strong mentally as I am."

-- Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC