Friday, December 2, 2022 Weekly Interview Round-Up (10/2-10/8/22)

Even in UFC bye-weeks, we have you covered with our weekly interview round-up!

This week, Curtis and James catch up with Steve Garcia, Jamie Pickett and TUF alum, Chandler Cole.

TUF Alum Chandler Cole

Curtis sits down with Chandler Cole ahead of his return to action against Anthony Horn at Showcase MMA 28 later this month. He heads back to Showcase MMA to defend his heavyweight title against Anthony Horn. However, you may know him from his brief stint in the PFL, or in the TUF 30 house.

Cole shares what he learned during his bout with Jordan Heiderman that saw him eliminated from the competition. You might recall that Cole dislocated his elbow during the bout and reset it himself during the round.

“We don’t live off our wins and losses… I grew so much in that fight. My wrestling got limited and took away because of my elbow… so I got up and ran around, that’s what I was making sure of… It really forced me to showcase my standup, and I’ve never done that… It made me really grow as a MIXED-martial artist, instead of just a wrestler.”

Steve Garcia Talks Chase Hooper, Cutting To 145lbs, Contract Hopes

James catches up with Steve Garcia ahead of his October 29th bout against MMATwitter heartthrob, Chase Hooper. On Hooper, Garcia had nothing but respect:

“He’s developing the striking. You can’t sleep on that… The one thing I’ll credit, he has a good 1-2. His kicks will kind of come from different angles… But, more-or-less, it’s a striker vs. grappler match-up. Obviously you have to be ready for the grappling, do everything you can possibly do… He will just grapple and grapple and grapple… This kid, in my personal opinion, he’s going to be really, really good. He’s already good. He’s 22. Can you imagine him at 30?”

Garcia is also very pleased to be moving back down to 145, noting he has fought as low as 135. Garcia believes that 145 is where he is most healthy, having had problems at 135, and feeling too small for 155 in his most recent bouts.

“Featherweight right now is where I’m at… I had to go to 155, just medically, so now we’re coming back down… 145 is where I plan to be at. It’s where my body frame will benefit me the most… My last fight I fought at lightweight. I weighed in at 155 and I couldn’t put any weight on. I went into that fight at 160, while my opponent was probably 175, 180.”

Garcia tells us that this is the last fight on his current UFC contract, and that he plans to be a “dominating force” when he fights Hooper, with the hopes of putting himself in a good negotiating position when it comes to negotiate a new contract.

Jamie Pickett Talks Bo Nickal Matchup

Jamie Pickett was named as the debut opponent for highly touted prospect Bo Nickal, just a few days after Nickal won his contract on DWCS. A Contender Series alum himself, Jamie Pickett tells James that he didn’t even know who he was when he accepted the bout.

“I didn’t know who Bo Nickal was. I saw his face a few times when they were talking about him on Contender Series, but I didn’t know his name. But he came with a lot of hype, which I guess is well deserved, ’cause he was a Division I champion wrestler…”

However, despite the hype surrounding Nickal, Pickett doesn’t believe he is a sacrificial lamb for Nickal’s first UFC bout. In fact, he even believes he’ll finish Nickal by submission.

“I think, he stands up, it should be more my pace on the feet. But if he gets me down, which he probably will… I think I’ll sub him… I know how crazy that sounds, but I think I’ll sub him.”

The line opened with Nickal around -2000, with Pickett by sub around +4000, given the lack of submissions on his record.

Want to suggest a correction, provide feedback, or join the MMA News staff? Contact the editor at [email protected]!