Yancy Medeiros has all the respect in the world for Gregor Gillespie, but UFC Brooklyn may come early if his opponent gets too close during stare downs.
The Hawaiian fighter is all for a friendly face off, just watch your distance. If you try and plant a kiss like Craig White did on Diego Sanchez, Medeiros might just go Heath Herring on a fool. Medeiros spoke exclusively with Bloody Elbow ahead of his significant bout at UFC Brooklyn on Jan. 19.
“When it’s time to get down, it’s time to get down... You gonna give me a bad vibe, I don’t tolerate that stuff. I don’t play that kissing game... I do that with my girlfriend. If you’re going to get up in my face, I don’t tolerate that. If you wanna put your hands up we can put our hands up, but you ain’t going to be putting your face in my face. Nah, step back. There’s a line,” Medeiros says. “If [Gillespie] gets up in my face he is going to have a rude awakening cause it ain’t going to be a smile with my face, it’s going to be a smile with my fist.”
That is just a warning.
“From what I see, he looks like a cool guy,” Medeiros says of Gillespie. “I see that he likes to fish. Bro, after the fight, come to Hawaii. Let’s go fishing, bro. I don’t even know how to fish but I’ll take you to all the fish spots.”
The happy-go-lucky Hawaiian feels like a man reborn heading into UFC Brooklyn.
“I found the click, I found the link. Somethings been missing and I think I finally found the secret ingredient. Bro, sugar, spice and everything nice,” he laughs.
Medeiros credit his improvements to self-growth and a world class training partner in UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway.
“I keep the most patience with him. My emotions are intact. I haven’t been doing that under the lights [of the octagon] and I will do that Jan. 19,” he promises. “How can I do that with one of the best in the world, training everyday with [Holloway] and I’m not doing that when I need to perform [on fight night.]
“When I got injured in the summer I had to really evaluate everything mentally, physically, and even spiritually. It was really emotional for me. It was one of the biggest reasons as to why I lose my fights. I lose my patience and I lose my emotions. I’m not in tune with my emotions,” he confesses. “You can see it in my last fight against Cerrone. He was way more patient. Cerrone is great, I’m not taking anything away from him, but I don’t feel like he’s a way better fighter than me... I was being straight up impatient.”
Medeiros is not taking Gillespie lightly. “Everyone in the UFC is there for a reason. I don’t take any of them lightly. Gregor is 12-0 for a reason.” That being said, “Gregor is great... but he’s fought men. He has never fought a gorilla and that’s what he’s going to fight on Jan. 19.”
The former UFC welterweight — who has previously fought as high as light heavyweight — even has a potential move down to featherweight on his radar.
“Bro, I woke up at 161 [pounds] today. Watch out, I evolve backwards. I’m training in the jungle. I’m on that gorilla s--t. A ninja gorilla,” proclaims Medeiros. “I get chicken skin, goosebumps talking about this.”
Fortunately, Medeiros has a wealth of motivation thanks to the international success of Holloway and “Aquaman” star Jason Momoa, among others. Medeiros recently met the “Aquaman” lead and says the two formed an instant connection.
“That was one of my first interactions with Jason personally. Bro, it felt like we were family... It was just organic... It’s a crazy, crazy bond of Aloha,” he explains. ”I think it’s because such a small island and maybe people think less of us. Subconsciously we’re like, ‘nah, we there. We ain’t lose those steps.’ Maybe 10 years ago we were a step behind but now we’re modernized and ready to represent. The world has seen that lately.”
The same can be said for the UFC featherweight champion. “We’re brothers... Max and I challenge each other. He’s one of the best in the world,” says Medeiros. “I’m fortunate to have that as one of my best friends and my training partners. He makes me better everyday.”
Medeiros is not the type to predict the outcome of his fights. All he can promise is exciting action, punctuated perfectly with this closing statement: “People have seen the worst of me, now they’re going to see the best of me.”
Check out the full interview in the video above to find out what happened when Medeiros caught up with the kids who stole his car on Christmas and what to expect if you honk your car horn at someone on the Island.