Bellator heavyweight Cole Konrad says he's only as good as the man standing across from him. The former NCAA heavyweight wrestling champion told BloodyElbow.com in an exclusive interview that even though Damian Grabowski is the best opponent he's ever stepped into the cage with, he's got a surprise in store for Grabowski and the fans:
I think they're going to see an ever evolving Cole Konrad. More well rounded. Every time I go out there I get a little bit more comfortable. I think they'll be impressed when it's all said and done. I tend to rise to the level of my competition whatever it may be. So I'm not to worried about if he's the best guy I've fought. You're going to see the best Cole Konrad show up.
The two square off tomorrow in the semifinals of Bellator's heavyweight tournament. Grabowski was the early favorite in the eyes of many in the industry, but Konrad doesn't think experience or public perception with play major roles in the bout:
Records mean nothing to me. I wasn't impressed with his last fight. I haven't been impressed with a lot of his fights that I've seen. So, I don't care. Underdog, overdog. I treat every fight the same.
The wrestling standout has spent years in the training room with UFC Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar. Training with the best heavyweight in the world is an obvious advantage of the arrangement, but there are some other fringe benefits to being around the champ - world class training:
It's awesome. I'd have to fly out to every corner of the country to get the same training partners and coaches and stuff that he brings in. It's just not feasible for most people - you can't afford it, let alone find that kind of flexibility. Most people can't bring all these guys in. You'd have to go to them. But he's able to do that. I'm just fortunate to be able to tag along and learn all this technique from all these well accomplished guys in all different disciplines. It's been great.
You can listen to the entire interview with Cole Konrad on the latest edition of Ring Psychology. We also talk with MMA Torch Editor Jamie Penick about the UFC's big show tonight on SPIKE TV. The podcast is available streaming at Angry Marks or you can download it on iTunes. Thanks for your support.