MMANews.com's own Chris Howie recently caught up with UFC newcomer in the Lightweight division, Marcus “Maximus” Aurelio to discuss his upcoming debut against Clay Guida among many other subjects. Below is a complete transcript of the interview.
MARCUS AURELIO INTERVIEW (July 26, 2007)
Chris Howie of MMANews.com: This is Chris Howie with MMANews.com and today I am speaking with the newest addition to the UFC lightweight division, Marcus “Maximus” Aurelio. How are you today Marcus?
Marcus Aurelio: I'm doing good man. I'm just getting ready for my training session.
MMANews.com: How is training going for your upcoming fight with Clay Guida?
Marcus Aurelio: Training is going good man. I'm training hard every day. I have two training sessions everyday. I've been doing a lot of cardio and training a lot of jiu-jitsu, muay thai, and wrestling.
MMANews.com: Do you know much about your opponent?
Marcus Aurelio: Yeah, he's a tough guy. I've been watching his fights. He's a good wrestler, whoops ass, and he never stops. It'll be a good fight. I'm in good shape and I'll have some good technique to show him.
MMANews.com: Are you excited to be coming to the UFC?
Marcus Aurelio: Man, I'm so excited, you know? It's my first time in the UFC, I've been there while taking my friends there to fight but this time I'm going to be there to fight myself.
MMANews.com: How do you feel you match up with Guida?
Marcus Aurelio: I'm feeling great. My body is healthy and my conditioning is great. I have four more weeks before the fight but I could fight right now. I'm feeling good. It is going to be a really good fight between me and Guida.
MMANews.com: When did you make the decision to come to the UFC?
Marcus Aurelio: After Pride went down, me and my boss Dan Lambert started negotiations with the guys from the UFC and tried to make a deal. We closed the deal completely around four or five days ago.
MMANews.com: Who are some other fighters that you would like to fight in the UFC?
Marcus Aurelio: There is a lot of tough guys there. They have Sean Sherk who is a great fighter and they have B.J. Penn. I don't even have to talk about B.J. man, he's a showman and he's my friend. They also have Joe Stevenson. I'd love the chance to fight anyone of those guys.
MMANews.com: Do you feel you will be champion some day soon?
Marcus Aurelio: Yeah man, that is why I'm here. I do my best and I'm here for the belt.
MMANews.com: What were your thoughts on Sean Sherk and Hermes Franca testing positive for steroids?
Marcus Aurelio: Man, I don't know. I find it hard to talk about that. Maybe they did or maybe they didn't. If they did I guess they have their excuses for it.
Marcus Aurelio debuts in UFC against Clay Guida on August 25 …
MMANews.com: Would you be interested in having a rubber match with Takanori Gomi some day?
Marcus Aurelio: I tried so hard to get that match man. After the second fight I asked and they told me, “No, it'll be no good. It won't be good for the show.” I really would love to get the match with Gomi in the UFC.
MMANews.com: When you beat Gomi in the first match, what were your thoughts on it not being for the title considering he was champion?
Marcus Aurelio: I was sad man. I beat the number one guy in a fight and they told me “No, it wasn't for the belt.” “Why?”, was the question I had. They thought I was the underdog and they thought that Gomi was suppose to knock me out quickly. Then I choked him out and they had nothing to say to me. They should have given me the belt.
MMANews.com: What do you think happened in the second fight?
Marcus Aurelio: I've watched that fight many times and I couldn't see how I lost the fight. I didn't really lose it. It was close. When the fight was over one of the big guys in Pride came to me and told me that I should be champion but that fight wasn't enough to give me the belt.
MMANews.com: Who are your training partners at ATT (American Top Team)?
Marcus Aurelio: All the ATT guys: Denis Kang, Din Thomas, Thiago Alves, Rafael Dias, Jorge Santiago. Everybody man, everybody is here.
MMANews.com: Seems like you guys have a pretty solid team down there.
Marcus Aurelio: I'm so happy with this team. We have it all here, we have a lot of tough guys here. Everyday I'm getting my ass kicked and it's just making me better and better.
MMANews.com: You mentioned B.J. Penn, what are your thoughts on fighting him if he stays at 155 lbs?
Marcus Aurelio: I like B.J. and he likes me – we always talk, but if we have to fight we are going to fight. I know this. It would be awesome though, for me fighting B.J. would make me so happy. When I started MMA, B.J. was getting a shot at the belt and now I'm coming to the UFC and B.J. is still fighting for titles. It would be an honor to fight with B.J. Penn.
MMANews.com: How long before you see yourself getting a title shot in the UFC?
Marcus Aurelio: Well I have a four fight deal with the UFC, so hopefully if I win the first three I can get a shot on the fourth. Maybe then.
MMANews.com: How do you feel you rank in the UFC lightweight divsion?
Marcus Aurelio: I know I could put a lot of guys in trouble. I have a big heart, good skills, and strength to go forward with. I'm going to do whatever I need to do to be on the top.
MMANews.com: Ok Marcus, is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
Marcus Aurelio: I want to say thanks to everybody that follows my career. I promise on August 25th I will do my best and I will show a great fight. I promise.
MMANews.com: Is there anyone you would like to thank?
Marcus Aurelio: I want to thank all of my teammates and all of my coaches. I'd like to thank my boss and my good friend Dan Lambert. Without him I wouldn't be here today and would probably be in a different place.
MMANews.com: Ok Marcus, I'd really like to thank you for taking the time out of your day to speak with me and I would like to wish you luck in your fight with Clay Guida.
Marcus Aurelio: Thank you man I appreciate it. You have a good day.
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