JB: Your story on TUF, I believe, was just as responsible for the eventual success of the UFC as the Griffin-Bonnar fight was. It was your story that got viewers to continue to watch TUF and eventually be interested in the fights at the finale. It might seem like a long time ago now, but how do you feel about that time in your life surrounding your entry into the UFC?
CL: That time in my life was extremely exciting both in and out of the cage. I definitely learned a ton as far as training goes - being on the show, living in the house, training every day. But also, I learned a ton about myself. In hindsight, that was really the time I realized I had some battles to face outside the cage as well. Before the show I didn't realize it wasn't normal to get piss-drunk every night. The show definitely put that into perspective.
JB: You were part of Team Quest in a legendary period of its development. What did the training there do for you and who, in particular, helped your evolution as a fighter?
CL: Training at Team Quest in the old days was amazing - amazing we all made it out alive. We all used to beat the crap out of each other. There were so many awesome people that were a part of the team: Randy Couture, Matt Lindland, Chael Sonnen, Ed Herman, Chris Wilson, Evan Tanner, me, Nate Quarry, and many others. Just knowing I could survive a practice gave me the confidence to step in the cage with anybody.
JB: You entered the UFC and went on an amazing run of 5-0 in your first five fights before welcoming Anderson Silva for his first fight in the octagon. Since then you have gone a very respectable 7-7 against some of the best middleweights in the UFC. What has been your most satisfying performance in the UFC thus far and who, if any, are the opponents that you would like to rematch?
CL: Definitely the most satisfying win is always the most recent one. LOL. But if had to pick one, I'd have to go with my Terry Martin fight. I was probably down all three rounds and he had me all but completely knocked out when I somehow landed a huge left hand to secure that win. I had lost my previous two fights, so I needed it more than anything. As far as rematches go, hindsight’s always 20/20, and I'd love to get back with any of the guys that have beat me. But definitely my last fight against Derek Brunson. There's nothing worse than losing a fight because somebody doesn't want to fight, and not having a single injury. You know if someone knocks you out, OK they beat me, but the way he beat me makes me so upset and I'm also disappointed in myself for some of the decisions I made. I would love to have another opportunity to knock him out.