Following a bye-week for the UFC, our very own Curtis Calhoun and James Lynch have you covered for the upcoming weeks! Here’s your MMANews.com Weekly Interview Round-Up!
Julian Erosa Talks Move To Vegas, Sparring, And UFC 279.
Kicking off our MMANews.com Weekly Interview Round-up is Julian Erosa! Erosa returns to a PPV card for the second time ever in his second UFC stint. Sitting down with Curtis, he talks moving to Vegas, sparring, and UFC 279.
Erosa points out that the last time he was on a PPV was UFC 196: McGregor vs. Diaz. That was EIGHT years ago now. Erosa was cut, only to return to the promotion following a highlight KO on DWCS. He was cut again after going 3-0, but welcomed back short notice, and is 4-1 since. Erosa claims that his move to Las Vegas and training at Xtreme Couture has helped dramatically.
“The whole moving to Las Vegas was huge for me. I was coming from a small town in Washington. The problem with that is I had all different teammates, but they were all different sizes. I was dealing with a heavyweight, smaller guys who are like 125ers. We had a middleweight. We got guys all over the place that you gotta train with you know? Beggars can’t be choosers.
“The great thing about Vegas is that on any given day, I can gather up guys who are all featherweight. Some of the best featherweights in the world and go train… a whole group of just featherweights if I wanted to. Just that in general and obviously at Xtreme there’s a lot of great talent in there… We got Dan Ige, some of the best featherweights in the world training right next to me.”
Erosa also tells us that he believes that hard sparring has a place in camp, but not all the way through. He tells us that he dialed back hard sparring after not being able to remember sparring partners, and gives us his pick for UFC 279.
Stevie Ray Talks Anthony Pettis, Repping UK, And Renegotiating Contract
With all of the PFL Championship bouts finalized for November, Curtis catches up with Stevie Ray. Ray discusses what it means to represent the UK alongside Brendan Loughnane, and the contrast between winning and losing in the PFL. This certainly goes against some of the rhetoric that PFL fighters get paid more than in the UFC.
While average pay likely higher, it is skewed by big names like Harrison and Pettis getting paid upwards of $500,000 per fight. Speaking of Anthony Pettis, Stevie Ray believes that he may be in the same boat as Conor McGregor, as he tells Curtis:
“How much does he need to do it? Does he really need to do it? I don’t know. He’ll know himself if he’s still got that hunger. He was talking about the hunger of winning another belt. Because obviously if it was only about money, it’s difficult to get motivated. He looks pretty rich to me. It depends on where his mindset is at. But skill wise, the skills are there. It’s just if he’s got the motivation to train hard…”
Seems like getting out of satin sheets is harder than you’d imagine.
Mackenzie Dern Discusses Second Main Event Bout, Luke Rockhold Retirement, And Esparza vs. Weili Winner
MMA Twitter darling Mackenzie Dern sits down with James Lynch following teammates Chito Vera and Luke Rockhold’s back-to-back camps ending. She talks how they bring out the best in each other by going through camp together and gives her prediction for Esparza vs. Weili.
She also advocates for the UFC to introduce submission grappling, similar to ONE Championship. She also says it would be awesome for the UFC to introduce a submission grappling format, like ONE Championship. On Rockhold’s FOTY contending retirement bout against Paulo Costa last month, she had this to say:
“[I’m] proud of him. It’s hard. He’s accomplished everything already. He didn’t have to do that. He could have been like “whatever”. I’ve always known he had that champions heart in him. I was proud of him. Not many people have their last fight like that. Even though it was a loss, it was a win. Borrachinha is a great fighter too. Everyone was basically counting Luke out. I was like “NO!” But we’re with each other every day so you see all the hard work. Borrachinha messes up, this could be over for Borrachinha too, you know? I’m happy for him. He’s a cool guy, he’s a character.”
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