Now that the UFC has finally adopted flyweights into the organization, they are faced with the daunting task of filling it up with talent to provide the necessary depth and variety for the division. Some outside guys have been brought in, and some have made the drop down from 135. One such fighter, making his way down from bantamweight is Louis Gaudinot. Following a fight of the night performance over John Lineker, at UFC On Fox 3, the New Jersey native feels that he's finally where he belongs. In a recent interview with TapouT Radio, Gaudinot discusses his win and what he hopes the future holds for him.
*Note: Interviewer is either my co-host, Evan Shoman of TapouT Radio, or myself. When I don't conduct these interviews by myself, I just put "Interviewer" to eliminate having to bounce back and forth between three different names.
Interviewer: How does it feel to have won fight of the night honors?
Louis Gaudinot: It feels really good. I mean, it still hasn't quite hit me completely, that I made that much money in 10 minutes of work, but it's pretty cool.
Interviewer: After receiving an unexpected bonus of that size, does it kind of make you want to just go out there and go balls to the wall every single time you fight?
Louis Gaudinot: Yeah it does. I was lucky enough to have an opponent who felt the same way. Leading up to the fight, a lot of people said that it was going to be fireworks, and I was expecting it to be, too. It turned out to be a good show for everybody.
Interviewer: Some names are being thrown around for your next fight among fans and media. John Dodson is the one we've seen most. Would a fight with him make sense right now, or do you have someone else in mind you'd like to challenge yourself with?
Louis Gaudinot: You know, I have no idea. They were asking Dana White the same thing at the press conference after the show. I'm just looking for another exciting fight, anything that's going to move me up the ladder and get me closer to a title shot.
I'm not looking too far ahead, but if I had a choice, I would love to fight one of the four guys that was in the tournament, just to show that I belong up there with the elite. I want to prove to the fans and the UFC that I am one of the top guys at 125.
Interviewer: It appeared that your hair was causing some hindrance to your vision, and at the very least, looked to be annoying you. Will you be securing it better, maybe with cornrows or possibly cutting it?
Louis Gaudinot: Well, no matter what I do, it's going to be green, so you guys can count on that, but I'm kind of superstitious. The last time I cornrowed my hair, that didn't work out too good, so I don't think we'll see that look from me again.
Maybe I'll tape it up in a ponytail [laughs], or maybe I'll cut it shorter so it doesn't get in my eyes. I don't know. It's definitely going to be green, though. I can tell you that much. Maybe I'll do pigtails. That would suck for the other guy to get his butt kicked by a guy wearing pigtails.
Interviewer: How soon would you like to get back in there and fight again?
Louis Gaudinot: Well, my face is a little swollen up, and I've got to get my hands checked out. They're a little swollen, too. I don't think anything is broken, but I'll get X-rays just to make sure. I trained for 15 weeks for this fight. I felt like I was in the best shape I've ever been in, so I want to get back in the gym as soon as possible, as soon as my body lets me, and just wait for the UFC to call and see who they give me and when.
Interviewer: After the fight, were you given a temporary suspension of any kind, due to the swelling?
Louis Gaudinot: Yeah, I got one until I get an X-ray on both of my hands. My left and right hand were both swollen after the fight. The guy was called hands of stone, but he should be called head of stone. I hit him clean with some good shots, and my hands were killing me after the fight. I had trouble taking my gloves off and getting the wraps off, but I'm feeling better now, a couple days later. Like I said, I don't think anything is broken, but maybe I'll take a week off from training, because I want to get back in the cage sooner, rather than later.
Interviewer: All but one of your fights have been in New Jersey. Is this by design, or just the way it's worked out so far?
Louis Gaudinot: You know what, I think it's just the way it's worked out. The fight that I lost in Vegas, that was at 135. I'm actually undefeated at 125. The two losses I have were at different weights. Bedford was at 135 and the second fight of my career was a catchweight of 129, because my opponent couldn't drop down to 125.
Of course fighting in New Jersey is great, but I'll fight wherever the UFC wants me to. Obviously, if they have a card in Jersey, I would love to fight in my home town, so hopefully, timing lines up good, I can get a couple fights in, and I'll be able to fight on the next Jersey card, too.
Interviewer: Do you ever miss The Ultimate Fighter house?
Louis Gaudinot: Uh, no, not at all. The only thing I actually do miss is the list. Every night, you fill out the list, and you wake up, whatever food or anything you ordered is there in the morning. It's like Christmas every morning. That's the only thing that I miss.
I never asked for anything too crazy, but they would get you like T-bone steaks, and basically anything you wanted to eat. Anything you wanted, except lobster. I guess it was because it was expensive, but I really don't know. I think a T-bone steak is expensive too, but who knows. They got me stuff like bison meat, and pretty much anything else I ordered, but they were clear that you couldn't order lobster.
Interviewer: You've been exceptionally active in your career, logging eight fights in just three years. Are you happy with that pace, or do you want to take a couple months off?
Louis Gaudinot: Oh not at all. I want to keep on going. I actually feel like I haven't fought that much over the last two years. After I got my title in the Ring of Combat, I didn't fight again until I got into the TUF house, so that was like almost a year off. Then I had to wait until after the show was over until now to fight again, so I'm looking to get back in there, within three months, hopefully. I want to get at least two more fights in this year. If I could fight three or four times a year, that would be good for me,
Interviewer: Do you feel like, at 27 years old, that you have some ground to make up, and that you want to get in as many fights as possible?
Louis Gaudinot: Yeah, and with the lighter weight classes, your speed and timing is one if the first things to go. I don't think you're ever going to see flyweights or bantamweights being able to fight in their late 30's or early 40's. The younger you are, the better it is, because the lighter weight guys tend to age a little bit faster than the heavier guys do.
Interviewer: How relieved are you that right at your entry to the UFC, they finally bring in the flyweight division?
Louis Gaudinot: Yeah, at this level in the UFC, there's a reason there's weight classes, and some of those dudes are huge, and would step in the cage at 165 or 170, so it's good to be fighting guys my own size now. I feel comfortable at 125. I know how to make the weight. It's not a problem for me. I didn't even have to go to the sauna when I was cutting for this fight. It's perfect timing. The two cards that feature flyweights, both ended up with the flyweights winning FOTN honors, so I think we're off to a good start.
Interviewer: After the fight, you said that it was fun. Would you say you've acclimated yourself to the big show at this point?
Louis Gaudinot: Yeah, I love it. One of my friends makes fun of me, and calls me an attention whore. I mean, come on. To be fighting in front of 20,000 people on national TV, you've got to be a little bit of an attention whore. There's nothing else as exciting as standing out there and banging with somebody while that many people are watching you.
The first 30 seconds, when me and John went out there, and we started banging, you could just see the crowd go crazy. That gives you so much more energy. All eyes are on you. The lights are on you. I loved it. It was awesome. It was definitely fun because I won, but the fight, in general, was fun. There's a couple of times there, if you watch, I'm just smiling as we're standing there banging. The night couldn't have gone any better. It was just surreal.
Follow Louis via his Twitter, @LouGaudinotUFC