Prindle talks PTSD, punt kicks to groin - Mixed Martial Arts News

JB: You debuted in Bellator at Bellator 40 in 2011 and won via TKO. How did the promotion differ from the others that you had fought for and how satisfying was winning in your debut?

EP: Bellator was really awesome. All the people that worked for Bellator, they showed us around. If we wanted to go get some food or watch a movie, they actually seemed like they cared about us, which was pretty cool. I still talk to all the people that work there, with Bellator, the drivers and all that. As far as the promotion, it was really professional. I like the tournament. It was just a new experience. They were way more professional. You could tell they put way more into their fighters and into their promotion.

That fight was an awesome experience. It was really good because I fought a good friend of mine, Josh Burns, who is a phenomenal stand-up guy and a good wrestler. We had a war. We were basically rock 'em, sock 'em robots. We went back and forth, and beat each other up. I cut him and the ref stopped it, which I was really upset about at the time. But, you know, fighter safety comes first. I just wanted to have a good fight and a good finish. But like I said, fighter safety is the most important thing.

JB: You fought for both a tournament championship and the heavyweight championship in Bellator. How did those championship fights compare to your other fights?

EP: I'll be honest with you, in my fight against Cole Konrad, mentally I had some stuff going on and I had a broken ankle. I was basically mentally not prepared, and I went in there and it showed. It definitely bugs me because when I'm training now, I think back to then and I push that much harder. I lift weights harder. I do strength training as hard as I can. Sometimes I get done working out and I get in my car and I pass out. That's how hard I'm training now. I want to get in the best physical shape I can right now. I want to be able to fight like a 135-pounder, full-on for every round. That's what I want to be able to do as a big guy. If I can do that, I can definitely have a good run going in Bellator.

JB: You and Thiago Santos will always be linked to the groin kicks that each of you landed to end your two fights with each other. What exactly was the story between the two of you and those groin kicks?
EP: If you know about Vale Tudo, that's basically no rules, they can do groin kicks and stomp on heads while people are down. So as far as him, I think he was in the heat of the moment and just saw an opening and took it. I understand, but at the time it hurt. Actually, a doctor told me I was going to have to have surgery, but I went and got a second opinion and that doctor said just wait and see how my testicle heals up with the contusion that happened. Thank God I just waited.

As far as my kick with him, I honestly just tried to land an axe kick to his solar plexus. I missed. I was a little bit further away because, fighting him before and seeing him fight, I was worried about him kicking my knee, my lead leg. So I was a couple inches further back than I should have been. And then when I threw the axe kick, I came up short and landed in the groin. Five inches higher and it would have landed in the solar plexus and it probably would have been a short night for me. Landing a devastating kick like that, especially with as much power as I have in my legs and my hands, it would have been a good night. But I made a mistake and I definitely won't be throwing that kick again. And I learned my lesson.

But I don't know how a more deliberate kick earns a "No Contest," but throwing an axe kick, which is a harder kick to pinpoint, gets a "Disqualification," basically a loss. I don't understand the ruling. I think that should be finalized. But like I said, it is what it is. I respect Bellator and the referee that judged me in that fight. I understand that he had a job to do. It definitely gives me a point to look back to when I'm into a fight and I get ready to throw an inside leg kick. I think I'll make sure and hit him in the best place versus hitting him and getting disqualified again.

JB: Where are you currently training in Arizona and who has been working with you?

EP: I've been training a couple places. The Lab has been my main gym here. My home gym is CSW, Combat Submission Wrestling, in California, with Erik Paulson. That's my main gym, but he understands that I can't travel there all the time. So I've been training out here at The Lab and the Fight Ready gym. Also, there's a new gym, the UFC Gym. I've been training there with Shannon Ritch. I've been doing a lot of sparring with Gooch and a couple other guys at The Lab. Joe Riggs is there. Henderson's there. So there are some real good guys and some real good coaches to learn from. I'm just doing a lot of strength training, getting strong again, and getting ready to fight.

JB: Erik Paulson’s always seemed like a fascinating guy. Do you have any Erik Paulson stories?

EP: One time I was rolling with him, and he's so phenomenal, like an encyclopedia of MMA and the ground game, he probably tapped me out like fifteen times in a minute. And I'm 6' 5", 300 pounds, and I'm strong. He'll act like he's going for an armbar and then he'll get a wristlock. I wish I could know an eighth of what he knows. I'd be the world champion right now. He's a phenomenal guy. I love him. He's a great dude.

JB: What's next for you in your fighting career and who are some of the fighters out there that you'd like to be matched up with?

EP: Right now I'm kind of fielding offers. Bellator hopefully will let me fight since they have that heavyweight four-man tournament coming up. I'm not in it. I wanted to be in it, but hopefully they'll let me be an alternate or something. Hopefully I'll get an offer that works well and is worth the risk. Hopefully I'll get out there and fight soon.