Hey guys, Brian Hemminger here. I got my start writing fanposts on Bloody Elbow and I still contribute weekly with Bloody Elbow Radio on Tuesdays, Thursdays and with some immediate post-event reaction shows on Saturday nights.
Some of the guys in the showthreads requested that I post the links to my interviews from Mania here on Bloody Elbow, but I'm not the only one that does good work. I figured I've earned "Daywalker" status, the ability to walk the line between both sites so I'm going to try to give you guys an update each week on some of the best stuff that was produced by MMA mania that you most likely missed.
I'll include a link as well as a snippet from each interview/article.
Without further ado:
Interview with Chael Sonnen (by Adam Guillen Jr.)
Adam Guillen Jr.: Many people say your "Achilles heel" is Jiu-Jitsu. What do you say about that, do you feel that is an accurate assessment?
Chael Sonnen: Sure, whatever you say. I'd say that I have better things to do than beat the guy across the cage from me with an inefficient and unsophisticated modern fad that help effeminate men feel tough. Jiu-Jitsu, Tae Bo, no difference. I prefer the ancient sports, like wrestling. If it wouldn't show up in a Ridley Scott movie, I won't do it.
Adam Guillen Jr.: What is one thing in mixed martial arts today that you would change?
Chael Sonnen: I would ban the triangle choke, the refuge of cowards everywhere.
Interview with Pablo Garza (by myself)
Brian Hemminger: One more question about UFC 129. I heard a recent interview that you put a down payment on a house with your bonus money from "Submission of the Night" at the event. I know you had that crazy commute to get to your training every day, having to drive over an hour each way every day. With this new house, are you closer so it's not as killer of a commute to get to training every day?
Pablo Garza: Yeah, I actually bought a house where I train in Fargo, North Dakota. That's where my gym is. Before that, I lived in Grand Forks which was 75 miles away so it was a 150 mile round trip every day that I had to do. Yeah, with that bonus, it definitely made it pay off by buying a house here in Fargo so now it's only about a 10 minute drive to practice instead of an hour and 15 or hour and a half drive.
Brian Hemminger: That's life changing for you then because that adds at least and extra two hours that you be working on other things instead of driving.
Pablo Garza: Yeah, yeah, it's great. I'm here all the time now. I don't have to live with the stress of, "Oh man, the roads are gonna be bad," like in the winter I'd have to leave like five hours earlier just so I could make it to practice and not get stuck. Now I can just do it and be at the gym all day now.
Chael Sonnen: One UFC fan's story about the fighter you never knew (by Jesse Holland)
Underneath the hard shell, the barrier that separates Sonnen the personality from Sonnen the human being, lies a "gentleman" who -- with the cameras off and crowd out of sight -- gave one lucky fan, 11-year-old Ty Costlow, an experience he'll never forget.
"Chael took off his wraps and signed them for my son. There are professional photo sessions taken immediately after the fight, Chael included my son with him in the photos. He then took us to each locker room, introduced us to the fighters and had them sign Ty's shirt, hat, and program. We then were allowed into Frankie Edgar's locker room where he was warming up for his title fight."
Brian Hemminger: Can you tell me what it would mean for you to win this tournament? You've had two great performances so far but what would it mean to go out there and be the best out of these eight talented guys that Bellator picked up?
Douglas Lima: It means everything man. That's what I came to Bellator for. I want to be a champion there. It means a lot. I'm training very hard. Very, very hard and I've dedicated all my time to the camp preparing myself and it means the world to me right now. This is the most important fight so far in my career and I can't wait to go out there and do what I've been doing. I'm gonna win this fight no matter what.
Cole Escovedo expects an early submission victory against Alex Caceres (taken from Matt Bishop's interview on Bloody Elbow Radio)
"I honestly see it with me winning by a submission, probably maybe end of the first or early into the second when he gets frustrated that he's not capable of using his reach maybe and thinking that the ground game might be his alternative. Realistically, that's it. I can't guarantee you anything except that I'll go out there and do my job and leave with my shield or on it. That's what I always say. I think it'll be a good fight for me. It'll be my first interview with Joe Rogan is pretty much what I'm visualizing."
Interview with debuting Bellator light heavyweight Roger Hollett (by myself, Ben Thapa and Gerry Rodriguez)
Ben Thapa: For you, what's the correct balance between the stand up and the grappling. Do you have a particular place that you like the fight to be in?
Roger Hollett: Of course I like to be on the feet. The fans want to see the big knockout and I want to give my fans what they want to see but I'm prepared to go anywhere and use the tools that I have to take it there. I'm ready for anything.
Gerry Rodriguez: Bellator's done a great job in the lighter weight classes. What are your thoughts on the heavyweight division?
Roger Hollett: The talent is definitely growing. The UFC takes up all the number one guys of course, so you have to pretty much take what you can get. The talent is definitely there, but the UFC is the big dogs and they get all the top guys so that's kind of the way it is.
Brian Hemminger: How would you like the fight to play out against John Hawk on Saturday?
Roger Hollett: I'm predicting a first round knockout. I've got some mean tricks up my sleeve for him.
I also highly recommend every MMA 101 series by AintNoSunshine
And lastly: Sergio Hernandez's 'History in the Making' series
Well if you didn't have enough to read, now you do. Let me know what you guys think and if the response is positive, I'll make this a weekly thing.