George first of all thank you for joining
us here. Thank you very much.
Now you are right now scheduled to fight Josh Koscheck, you guys have wrapped up filming
of The Ultimate Fighter, you guys have very different personalities, very different styles
both of fighting and of just conducting yourself. What was it like being on the show with him? Well I’m not going to lie. Eh… I didn’t
really like Josh Koscheck. And he doesn’t like me either. And so I tried to avoid him
as much as I could but unfortunately it’s a reality show and I had to be with him almost
all the time. And eh… we had two different ways of coaching our team. I think mine was
more on technical and tactical advice. And Koscheck was more on… you know, like, more… mostly
on… mind games and aggressiveness and try to, you know, try to … intimidation… I know that once I get in the Octagon, they
close the door and I hear the ring all that stuff is out of the window. How much of your training is dedicated to
visualisation…? Fighting, there is a big science behind it.
I believe I am champion not because I’m the strongest guy. Not because also I’m the more
skilled guy. I’m very skilled, I’m very strong, I’m very athletic, I’m fast, but I think the
reason why I’m champion is my mind. The way that … I’m very good to using my skills
to neutralise my opponent’s skills and make the fight turning to … putting the odds
on my side. I think that’s a key. You are very open about your fears, you’re
very open about the risks that you take, you’re very open about not wanting to take damage.
You know, I think that’s very important. I that it’s very intelligent, the approach that
you take. Of course it’s a full contact sport and every
time I step into the Octagon, my well-being is on the line and, yes I’m scared. I’m not
afraid to say it. Someone who said he doesn’t… he’s not afraid is because he’s a liar or
cos he’s a little bit crazy How did you change the way you dealt with
fear? You become older and more confident. You need
to know yourself, know your opponent, know what, I guess, with who you dealing with.
And em… you need also to respect his strength but not fear it. You know, like Josh Koscheck,
I’ve been analysing him a lot. I respect him, I respect what he’s good at – you know, his
strong points – but I’m not scared of it. So in between fights when you have a long
time in between you still work a lot on strength and conditioning. At first, there’s one thing: I don’t believe
in strength and conditioning. I don’t … I never do strength and conditioning. I don’t…
I do not believe that doing running on a treadmill or doing, I don’t know what so-called machine… I
don’t believe that’s going to help you have a better cardio during a fight. I think everything
in fighting is about efficiency. So you don’t do strength and conditioning
as far as like hitting tyres with sledgehammers…? I never did in my life. I remember I had a
Muay Thai instructor from France – Jean Charles Skarbowsky – that I brought even on the reality
show The Ultimate Fighter. The guy smoke I don’t know how many pack of cigarettes a day,
he’s always drinking alcohol, he’s a real character. And he’s completely out of shape.
But when he spar with us in Muay Thai, he kick everyone’s ass. The reason is because
he’s more efficient than we are. In the UFC I do believe everyone is in shape. We’re all
athlete, you know. We all have a maximum VO2 Max that we can reach, but I believe the reason
why a guy is more tired than another guy is because one guy is more efficient than the
other. One guy is able to bring the fight where he’s the strongest, and the other guy
worries… he’s taking… he’s out of his comfort zone. The only reason why it’s good to lift weight,
I do believe – do bench press and stuff like that – I believe it’s because it’s gonna make
me more marketable, it’s gonna keep myself more symmetric, have a better image. Which
is very important because if you look good, you feel good. And you feel good, you do good.
So it’s nothing wrong with that, you know I… You lift weight for Looks? Yeah. I lift weight for looks. I… I… I’m
gonna admit it. Some time after training I’m gonna lift weight but I’m not doing it because
I’m gonna punch harder or I’m gonna be stronger because it has nothing to do with it. I’m
doing it cos I wanna be, you know like, a good shape. And I do it for myself. How old are you now, George? I’m 29 years old. You’re still not even in your prime. I hopefully not. I feel great. I mean, I don’t
have any injuries. I, you know, like I said, I train hard but I train smart so that make
my career even longer, you know, and I hope it will stay that way. What do you think about competing in other
weight classes because I know that there has been talk about you possibly sometime competing
at 185lbs? That’s true. And I plan to do it at one point
in my career. The problem is not to go up, the problem is to go back down after. And
it’s not good to play with your health. Because when you, you… eh… when you gain weight
and you jump another weight class, the reaction time is not that f… it’s different, you
know. And the reaction time for a fighter, it’s very important. And you have the reaction
time and the reset time, and these thing when you add weight to yourself, and you change
weight class it change … according to the weight class, you know.
So that’s a problem. I wanna, I wanna make sure I have… I did everything I had to do
in my division before I go up because once I’m gonna go up, I might for a little bit
hold two title in the same time but as soon I’m gonna go up and, you know, take care of
business, when I’m up I’m gonna let go my other title. I don’t wanna play with my weight
like this. That’s not an healthy thing. What is your goal in this sport before you
decide to hang it up? I wanna be the Michael Jordon of mixed martial
art. I wanna be the Tiger Wood of mixed martial art for, for, for a different reason of course.
Not that one that we… you know what I mean? But I want to be, you know, that guy. I want
to be the Wayne Gretsky of mixed martial art. The one that is the best at, like, of all
time. Fantastic stuff man, thank you very much. Thank you very much.