How he feels since he started his MMA career: “I feel like it’s been a very long time, but in actuality it hasn’t been that long. But I feel like I’ve been doing this forever. I started in 2009 – that’s when I started training. I’ve had two surgeries where I was out for at least a year, another I was out three or four months, another that had me out three or four months … I’ve only actually been training for two or two and a half years, which is crazy. I’m very new, but it feels like forever. I have a lot to learn and a lot of things I do in practice that I haven’t been comfortable enough to do in the octagon yet. I haven’t shown my true self or true style yet. I’m excited to be able to do that over time. Experience is the main thing I’m working on.”
How he checked Anderson Silva’s kicks in their rematch: “I checked his first kick pretty good, and I thought that was definitely a message to him, like, ‘Don’t kick me anymore,’ because I’m sure it hurt him a little bit. And then when he went to kick me again, I saw it coming and checked it. When it landed right on my knee, I knew it would hurt him to where he probably wouldn’t be kicking me the rest of the fight, or he might be limping.”
What he thought happened right after the leg break: “I wasn’t sure if he hurt his ankle, twisted his ankle, if it was his foot – I just knew he was in extreme pain and the fight was over. The amount of force he kicked me at, landing on my knee, I knew he was done for the fight. I’ve done that to people sparring, and they either have to take a round or two off, or walk it off when you kick someone as hard as you can and it lands on his knee. I didn’t know he broke his leg in half, pretty much, until the replay. Even when I was checking on him, I just knew he was in a lot of pain. I didn’t know until the replay what really happened.”
How the fight ended: “It’s not the way I’d have wanted the fight to end, for sure. It’s not the most perfect ending I imagined. To see Anderson go out like that, I don’t like to see that – in a lot of pain, leg snapped in two. I don’t want to do that to anybody, so I do feel bad about that. But I do know that I was the better fighter and I was going to finish the fight, regardless. I would rather have finished the fight in that first round when I dropped him or finished him at some point later on in the fight than break his leg in half. But that was the way it ended it up, and there was nothing I could do about it.”
At this time, the date is not set, but he will be fighting Vitor Belfort soon.