It's finally here! If you're an MMA forum dweller, then you've waited a long time for this day to come. Useless aka Ulysses Gomez has finally made his way into the UFC and fights tonight against John Moraga. It's been a long time coming, and with the flyweight division being so new, I think he'll be a welcome addition to it's ranks. In a recent, short TapouT Radio interview, Gomez discusses his struggle to finally achieve his dream, to be a UFC fighter.
*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: Everyone always talks about octagon jitters, but do you think you've just been around the game long enough to where it's not really going to affect you?
Ulysses Gomez: There's always jitters with any fight. I'm going to walk out half naked and try to beat up another half naked guy in front of thousands of people. Other than that, this is something that I've always wanted to do, so I'm definitely going to cherish the moment.
Interviewer: Are there any hard feelings or bad blood between you and Moraga, or is everything copasetic?
Ulysses Gomez: No, not at all. There are some people that don't want to even talk to you before a fight, but I'm like whatever, I like to talk to my opponents. I'll even invite them to dinner. Just because we signed up to fight, that doesn't mean I have to hate you. It's just something that we get paid to do. He's been really respectful and I have nothing bad to say about him.
Interviewer: You're fighting on a Fox card, in the Staples Center where the Lakers win championships. What is your level of excitement like?
Ulysses Gomez: I'm just chill right now. I break everything down. Finish my weight cut. Relax. Have dinner with my family. Wake up and have breakfast with my team. I won't really think about much else until I check into the venue. It's just another day at the office.
Interviewer: You're a late replacement in this fight. What have your preparations been like?
Ulysses Gomez: When they originally offered me the fight, I asked my manager if I could fight in Vegas on September 1st, because I had never fought there before. I guess the UFC politely said no, so I'm fighting Moraga. I do wish that I had more time, because obviously, I want to be 100% prepared both physically and mentally.
I literally only had 10 days to train for this fight. The camp was basically train, eat, rest, repeat. I had nothing else to worry about focus-wise. I've put everything into my training. I didn't have enough time to get nervous, but that's a good thing. I've been busy constantly, so I've had no time to let myself worry. It's actually worked out pretty well. All that sopunds good in theory, so we'll have to see how well it works at fight time.
Interviewer: How many more times would you like to fight this year?
Ulysses Gomez: Well, I haven't fought at all in 2012, and I normally fight three times a year, so I would like to fight three times over the rest of this year, including this fight with John. That only gives me four months, but I think I can do it [laughs]. I'm not dumb. I know I have a limited time in this sport, and I want to take advantage of it to the best of my ability. I want to fight frequently and stay consistent. If I can beat John, and not get hurt in the process, and if someone got hurt for the September card, I'd love to fill in on that card. Then, ideally, I'd like to fight on the New Year's card. Barring any injury, I'd like to get in three fights this year, for sure.
Interviewer: Do you plan to stay at flyweight, or would you like to go back to bantamweight again?
Ulysses Gomez: The only way I would go back to bantamweight is if someone pulled out of a fight and they said they needed me to fill in. At 125, I'm two, maybe three fights away from a title shot and being the number one guy in the world. At 135, there's like 12 fights to get to the top, so I want to go with the path of least resistance. The problem with this path at 125 is that because there are so few guys in this division, everybody is really, really good.
Interviewer: Let's lighten the mood a little. Your brother, Hercules, is 5'10 and your other brother is 5'9. What happened with you?
Ulysses Gomez: I'm 5'6 on a good day, but I'm gonna tell you why I'm so short. It's because I'm really bowlegged. If my legs were straight, I would be like two or three inches taller. Because they're so crooked, I'm two or three inches shorter than I should be [laughs]. I'm theoretically a 5'9 guy in a 5'6 frame. They're really bowed out. It helps with triangles, but not with armbars because it's hard to get my knees together.
Interviewer: What's your take on TRT?
Ulysses Gomez: I don't really worry about it so much in my division, because here, it's a young man's sport, but I do kind of think of it as cheating, no matter what weight division you're in. That's just the way I look at it.
Interviewer: It's awesome to see you go from posting on the Underground forum to fighting in the UFC. It's like we all got to take the journey with you.
Ulysses Gomez: When I first started training, I was just a keyboard warrior with a big dream. Now that I'm in the UFC, I'm still that same guy. It's just kind of funny how it all worked out.
*Note: Ulysses will be raffling off his fight shorts to aid a friend with cancer in paying for his chemo treatments. You can find out more information via his website, UselessGomez.com, or his Twitter, @UselessGomez.