on your last fight against Jason Dent. How did you feel about the fight?
George: I was happy with the outcome. I did everything that I trained
to do. I’m looking to improve with every fight. I’m working on everything
I can, my boxing, my wrestling, my muay thai, my jiu-jitsu. I want everything
to be an improvement from the last fight and I want to be a better fighter
every time I fight. So, yes I was happy with the outcome.
Elie: Joe Stevenson is your next fight, what
are your thoughts on him?
George: He’s a great fighter, well rounded, good stand up, good wrestling,
very good grappling and some dangerous submissions. He’s got the gas,
his got the heart and he is a well known fighter. He’s fought the who’s
who in the lightweight division. It’s another great challenge for me.
I’m looking forward to fighting him. I believe I am better than him
in all aspects of the fight game. I’m aware of his strengths and I am
aware of his weaknesses and I’m looking to capitalise on where he’s
weak and impose my skills against him.
Elie: What is your prediction?
George: If it’s not a knock out in the first 10 seconds, it will be
a submission in 30 seconds. (smiles).
Elie: What do you think this UFC event is going
to do for Australia?
George: Look, it is going to put Australia on the map, well we’re already
on the map, but it’s going to give the UFC another outlet. The sport
is obviously going to grow, it is going to give the fighters from Australia
more recognition. The UFC is going to leave its footprint here, their
going to have consecutive events, their going to start with one, two’s
going to follow, three and four. Soon there will be a pattern where
they will be holding X amount of events every year. So there will obviously
be benefits to follow, dollars and revenue coming into the country,
but for the fighters who love fighting, it’s going to be an opportunity
for them to make their way to the big show and fight in front of their
home country. They are going to show the world that we are as good and
can be better than the rest of world.
Elie: For the not so educated fans who don’t
know much about you, give us a little background?
George: I train hard, I fight hard, I love what I do, I live to train
and fight and I put my heart and soul into training and fighting. This
is all I’ve been doing for several years now, it’s been my goal for
over 10 years to fight in the UFC and be the champion in my division
and I am working my way towards that goal.
Elie: When we were at the UFC dinner you were
joking around with Joe Stevenson, how do you actually get in the cage
and fight him?
George: Very simple, everyday I train very hard and I focus on what
I do very strongly. That’s all I do, all I think about. So Jokes aside,
he doesn’t need to be my enemy, I don’t need to be angry, I just need
to be focused which I am. So come fight time I’ll focus on what I did
through boxing, wrestling, grappling and muay thai, that’s what I will
be doing. It’s a sport, I am motivated by winning, by achieving my goals
and that’s what I’ll do on February 21st.
Elie: So obviously you’re working your way towards
a title, BJ Penn annihilated Diego Sanchez, what do you think you bring
to the table?
George: I bring all the skills that BJ’s got, as much determination
and heart as any other fighter out there if not BJ himself and I’ve
got all the tools to fight BJ or any fighter in this division and have
equally devastating results, if not better.
Elie: Is there anyone you want to fight in particular?
George: No I don’t have anyone I want to fight. I’d like to fight everyone
in the division.
Elie: So if you did fight BJ, do you think it
would go the distance?
George: Anything is possible. I could finish him, he could finish me,
the outcome I don’t know, but I believe I would win that fight.
Elie: Going back to your first fight, describe
George: I was in a trance going into that fight, almost mortified because
I’d placed so much emphasis on training and preparing myself for that
first mixed martial arts fight, that it was a combination of years of
training and preparation. I had grappled and competed in jiu-jitsu,
submission grappling, free style wrestling, amateur boxing over the
years, just for that first event which was years of training, so everything
lay on that event. In my mind it was do or die. It was my future on
the line, so I had to perform and that’s why there was so much pressure
on me and I delivered.
Elie: For people that don’t know, you in the
ultimate fighter season 6 house, what did that do for your career?
George: Obviously it propelled me into the spotlight. It gave me a lot
more recognition; it got me to the UFC. It was a stepping stone from
the smaller shows into the big show which was the UFC. Keep in mind
that the entire time my first vision of mixed martial arts was the UFC.
I saw the UFC and knew immediately then, that was what I was going to
do. So I started training with jiu-jitsu, then I progressed to wrestling,
competed in jiu-jitsu, submission grappling and wrestling, then boxing.
So everything I did was to build a fighter from scratch. It was like
building a car, you start with the chassis, add the engine, the body,
the interior, the wheels, and then you’ve got a car. I was doing the
same as a fighter. I was adding the ground work, I was adding the take
downs, I was adding the striking and what you get in the end is a complete
fighter. So that’s what I was doing over the years, since 1997 when
I started training, by 2004 I was a complete fighter which I’m still
refining and improving daily. But I finally got myself to the point
where I was ready to start fighting and I wasn’t going to start fighting
until I felt like I was well rounded. I didn’t want to go into the sport
of mixed martial arts having one strength, such as jiu-jitsu or wrestling.
I needed to have all the strengths like Pankration, which is all powers.
I wanted to have everything so I could be the complete fighter, the
complete package, deliver and deal with every bad situation in fighting.
Because fighting is all about bad situations and you want to be comfortable
when you’re uncomfortable and fighting can be very uncomfortable. There
is a lot of adversary in the ring, every moment is adverse and you’ve
got to be able to deal with those moments affectively and prevail.
Elie: You’re undefeated in the UFC with a 4-0
winning streak, what does it mean to you?
George: It means I’m achieving my goals, it means I’m doing the right
thing in my training, it means I’m affective and working hard and it
means that I’m going to stick to my goals and continue working with
the same way if not harder.