When the octagon door closes, Brad Riddell gets primal; his demeanour akin to that of a great white shark.
Standing in his corner as he is introduced to the crowd, there's no emotion in his eyes, no expression on his face. While some fighters play up to the audience during their introduction, Riddell stands there letting the noise wash over him, staring at his opponent.
"When I walk out, it's just tunnel vision," Riddell says. "Whoever's in the crowd is in the crowd – I appreciate the support, but when I get in there it's just me and my corner."
When the fight begins, he works his jab like a great white's 'curiosity bite' - studying his opponents tendencies on the fly. When the time is right and the opening presents itself, he attacks - the sight of blood simply a motivating factor as he works to get the job done.
In Auckland last Sunday, Riddell announced himself as yet another Kiwi star on the rise in the UFC, with a split decision win over highly touted Russian lightweight Magomed Mustafaev. While the Russian fighter came to Auckland with 14 wins from 16 career bouts - including 11 knockouts - he was in deep water against Riddell; the Kiwi knocking him to the canvas with a strong right hand early in the first round.
While Mustafaev was able to recover and closed out the round holding Riddell against the fence, it was a sign of things to come. Riddell pieced him up on the feet, forcing Mustafaev to resort to his wrestling. While he was able to secure eight take downs, he failed to keep Riddell on the mat and was made to work hard to simply maintain an advantageous position. When he had cage control, he did little with it.
When the pair clashed heads late in the fight and the Kiwi was split open, the blood running down his face only seemed to spur him on as he took the fight to the mat and looked for the finish.
"It kind of pissed me off a little bit," he said of being cut open by the head clash. "I could just feel his body breaking. I could see it in his face - the fight was leaving him; his spirit was broken. My coach was yelling at me to disengage and step back, and I probably would have finished him on my feet, but I was in the moment.
"It's different when you see a man down there, their will is broken and they're trying to defend and lie on their back - I just wanted to keep going and stop him down there... a little bit primal."
Riddell finished the fight landing 60 strikes to Mustafaev's 36.
It wasn't until late in the fight that Riddell showed any emotion, playing to the crowd as he had Mustafaev pinned to the ground, before finishing off the fight in strong fashion. When the final horn sounded, he stood over Mustafaev and let out a triumphant roar.
"He underestimated me, I feel like. And that worked in my favour. You can never underestimate somebody."
It's hard to imagine anyone underestimating the Christchurch-born Riddell going forward, with the 28-year-old now counting a 2-0 record in the UFC (8-1 overall) with two impressive performances inside the octagon.
Training out of Auckland's City Kickboxing gym, he's the latest from the stable to show they are a fighter to watch going forward, alongside UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski, No5 ranked lightweight Dan Hooker and No7 ranked flyweight Kai Kara-France.
While he's now surely on the radar of the lightweight division - his fight against Mustafaev was highlighted as one to watch by UFC boss Dana White - Riddell knows patience will be key going forward.
"I'm going to talk to Eugene (Bareman), Doug (Viney) and my other coaches. One thing I've learnt with City Kickboxing and from Dan Hooker is to be patient; not to rush or dive into things head first. It can be very detrimental to young fighters in their careers.
"So I'm going to go back, see what they advise and do what they say."
While it's too soon to say when his next fight will be, there's every chance Riddell and his team will be looking to get a spot at UFC 251, which will take place in Perth in early June.
Volkanovski is expected to put his featherweight title on the line in the headline bout, with talks of a rematch against former champion Max Holloway in the air, while women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko will put her belt on the line against Scotland's Joanne Calderwood.