Earlier this week MMANews.com was able to catch up with middleweight fighter Joe “El Dirte” Doerksen (41-12-0) before he boarded a plane to head to Ireland to help corner Jeremy Horn for his UFC 93 bout against Rousimar Palhares.
Doerksen, who last fought in November at the sixth installment of Sengoku, picked up the win via TKO in the third round over Izuru Takeucki. He has won his last two fights after losing three in a row to top notch opponents in the UFC and WEC. “El dirte” has been fighting since 1999 and is a vet of the UFC and WEC and has been in the ring and cage with some of the world’s top competition.
Not sure where he may fight next, Doerksen has a feeling it could be for Sengoku and as he talks about in this interview, would love the chance to get back to Japan and fight for the organization.
Doerksen also talks about numerous other topics including his training, his plans for 2009, and his plans to have a good time in Ireland
Chris Howie with MMANews.com: Thanks for speaking with me today Joe, How are things?
Joe Doerksen: Pretty good. How are you?
MMANews.com: Not to bad dude. What is new with you? Any fights planned or coming up?
Joe Doerksen: Nothing yet but I'm going to talk to my manager this week and see what's happening. I could be ready as early as late February, but I think it may be March before I get one.
MMANews.com: Any idea with which organization?
Joe Doerksen: I still have two fights with Sengoku on my contract, but I'm only exclusive with them in Asia, so I can fight in other shows in North America. It all just depends on timing and money.
MMANews.com: How are you feeling health wise? Any nagging injuries?
Joe Doerksen: Nothing real bad. I strained a muscle in my back the other day while wrestling but it's already feeling a lot better. By this time next week I'll probably be back at it a one hundred per cent. Massage therapy is a wonderful thing. It loosens things right up.
MMANews.com: Where you training at these days?
Joe Doerksen: I am living in Winnipeg but I am in Utah at the moment training with Jeremy Horn. I've been here two weeks. I am leaving for Ireland tomorrow (Monday). I'll probably visit Duke Roufus in February for a week or two, and then maybe back here again for a few weeks. Not really planning it out completely but that's what I'm thinking about right now. It all depends on when I fight next, I guess.
MMANews.com: Are you cornering Horn at UFC 93 this weekend?
Joe Doerksen: Yeah, he also has Matt Pena out here as well who is his boxing coach. I've been playing the role of punching bag for Horn's training. (*Note* Pena coached alongside Matt Hughes during Hughes second run as a coach of The Ultimate Fighter season 6.)
MMANews.com: How's the punching bag treatment working out for you?
Joe Doerksen: I'm a little banged up but it's a great way to kick start my training. I did nothing but drink all through December so it's nice to get away from that for a bit and get back to work.
MMANews.com: Is there anyone out there you are looking to fight?
Joe Doerksen: Anyone and everyone. I won my first Sengoku fight, against the King of Pancrase, so I'm thinking possibly a big fight for them soon. But who knows… I have no idea how they choose match ups. I'll do whatever. It would not be surprised me if I was given a title shot, or a complete can. You can never tell what they'll ask me to do.
MMANews.com: What are your thoughts on fighting in Japan?
Joe Doerksen: Well I have fought once in DEEP before almost two years ago but I love fighting in Japan. Fighting in Sengoku has been the single greatest experience of my career. It was so cool. I felt like the happiest little kid in the world.
MMANews.com: [laughs] Why was that?
Joe Doerksen: Just standing up there for the opening ceremony. So many people, so far from home. It all just felt so different. It was like when I used to watch Pride on TV, but I was the dude standing up there. It was the best feeling ever. I really enjoyed the experience
MMANews.com: So it is likely you'll fight for them next?
Joe Doerksen: Possibly. I don't know anything for sure right now.
MMANews.com: Do you have anything else planned that you would like to mention?
Joe Doerksen: Not really. I'm just going to go home after Ireland and get back to training. Just going to wait and see what's up in the next month or two. I'd expect I'll fight in March or April, but until I talk to Monte (Cox), I won't really know. Not too worried, though. I'm sure something will be happening soon. I just want to make sure I'm ready when it does.
MMANews.com: Alright man. Thanks. I'll talk to you soon and have fun in Ireland which is probably not the country you want to be going to if you wanted to stop drinking beer. [laughs]
Joe Doerksen: Oh, I'm going to go ahead and enjoy myself when I'm there. Not to worry. [laughs]