This is a guest post by Stephie "Crooklyn" Daniels. Follow Stephie on Twitter @CrooklynMMA.
Cupcakes and MMA don't typically go together, however, if one is referring to Lloyd "Cupcake" Woodard, a strong case can be made for the union. With an impressive, submission win via kimura over Patricky Freire that resulted in an arm fracture, Woodard will advance in the Bellator lightweight tournament to meet Rick Hawn on April 20. In a recent interview, Lloyd discussed his upcoming bout with Hawn, and the importance of a rematch with Bellator lightweight champion, Michael Chandler.
TR: Have you been made aware of the extent of damage to Freire's arm?
LW: I remember when I was twerking on it, I felt the weird, crunching, kind of twisting noise. I was told that he has a mild fracture, and that it might have gotten dislocated. Last I heard, they were going to Houston to get an MRI on it.
TR: He could have tapped a little sooner, but chose to take the hard way and wait. How do you feel about that?
LW: When I had that figure four around his head, I knew I was going to get it then, but he made me go on and break that thing. You gotta do what you gotta do. You gotta get paid.
TR: You called out Chandler in your post fight interview. Are you looking past Rick Hawn in anticipation of that rematch?
LW: I've got one more tough guy in front of me, and I'm not looking past him, but I know I trained really hard, and I'm going to continue to train really hard. I'm going to go in there and fight him just as hard as I fight all my fights. That said, Chandler is the only guy to defeat me on my record, and I'm definitely out there to get him. I keep telling him that, because he was there. I told him, 'You're going to have number two, and it's going to be a good one.'
TR: Was it a tremendous ego boost for you, getting a submission win over a Nogueira black belt?
LW: I don't think it's that big a boost. No offense to him, but he's from Brazil, and I'm a mountain man. You get a Brazilian beach boy in against a mountain man, the mountain man wins every time.
TR: Bjorn Rebney tweeted out that your fight was the fight of the year for him. How did that make you feel?
LW: It was awesome. I told him when the Bellator video game comes out, that I want them to make sure my mustache moves when I move. That's all I want [laughs].
TR: How would you describe your fighting style?
LW: I don't really have any specialties. I'm not like a blackbelt at this, or amazing at that, so all I can do is fight my heart out, and that's what I come out to do. I don't work hard to go in there and just score a win. I work hard so I can go in there and fight hard. I know as long as I fight hard, I'm going to be happy. I think people appreciate somebody that goes in there and really pushes the pace and keeps the action going. If I wanted to see a staring contest, I'd just go watch chess.
TR: What did you think of Rick Hawn's performance, and do you plan to make any adjustments to your game plan for him?
LW: I plan to do the same thing. He's an Olympic judo guy, so I've got to watch out for that, and get in close to try to throw my knees, but other than that, I'm just going to go in there and push the pace. I come to fight, and I hope he does, too. We're going to have a war. I already know it.
TR: Hawn has a good knockout ratio on his record, despite having numerous accolades in judo. Do you think his stand-up will present as much of a danger to you as his ground game?
LW: I would say that I have a strong beard [laughs]. This mustache gives me extra padding, so if he hits me hard, that's just going to motivate me to hit him harder. Right before I got that big knee on Patricky, he landed a big one on me to the gut, and I felt it. It hurt, but all that did was make me mad, and make me want to get him right back. I got him with that little knee to the head, and was able to get it down to the ground where I finished him off. I'm just competing. If he takes me down, I'm going to take him down. If he hits me hard, I'm going to try to take his block off. That's what it's about.
TR: You're a pretty big lightweight, but have been making this weight longer than Hawn. Do you feel that puts you at an advantage, since he's just come down to this weight and only has one fight there?
LW: Yeah, when I'm not in training camp, I'll walk around at about 199. I'll usually start the real cut when I'm at 185, and the day before, I try to be within 10 pounds. With him dropping down, I just think he's not used to doing it yet, and I've been doing it since the second fight of my professional career. It's not a real big thing to me, though. He's dropping down, and I'm just like, 'Come on down here, and I'll show you what I've got.'
TR: Obviously, winning the title is the ultimate goal, but is avenging your loss just as important to you?
LW: The belt isn't necessarily the most important thing. I just want to go out there and be the best that I can be. I mean, I definitely want the belt. I want to have that gold at the end of my career to look at and show my kids, but other than that, I'm just here to have a good time for myself, and I have a blast doing it. I'm truly thankful and honored that other people like it too, and that they can enjoy my fights.
Follow Lloyd via his Twitter account, @MMACupcake