Our weekly interview round-up has you covered coming off UFC 280! It’s a crazy week for combat sports. Kicking off the weekend is Bellator Milan, before Taylor vs. Carabajal live from Wembley. Then it’s back to the Apex for UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Allen, before Paul vs. Silva rounds out our weekend in Arizona. First, lets wet your appetite with an interview from Bellator Milan’s main event.
Adam Piccolotti Talks Difference Training For 5 Rounds, Scoring In MMA, And Path Into Grand Prix
Adam Piccolotti is on the verge of a ranking in Bellator’s lightweight division. He would surely have it, were it not for two extremely controversial split-decision losses in his last four. The two controversial decisions came against Benson Henderson and Sidney Outlaw, so it’s safe to say that Piccolotti isn’t fighting cans.
He’s also been extremely unlucky with injuries and was forced to sit out all of 2020. However, despite his recent misfortune, Piccolotti believes this weekend may hold the key to him getting back into the rankings, and maybe next year’s lightweight Grand Prix.
“I haven’t heard anything about it… but look, the two losses I’ve dropped in the last six, or whatever fights… It’s more judging B.S. More of the same, right? Benson couldn’t have been more clear. Sidney I hurt way more than he hurt me, man. It was crazy. So, regardless, yeah, I believe I should be in that tournament. I believe I should still be top ten. Getting booted for inactivity and then not put back on after beating a 50-fight veteran who’s fought all these guys? Right? That’s neither here nor there, it’s not something we can control, but that’s absolutely where my mind is. Getting a big victorious, dominant win [this weekend] and securing my spot [in the lightweight Grand Prix].”
Piccolotti Talks 5-Round Camp.
However, before he secures his spot in the tournament, Piccolotti has to get through former Road FC Lightweight Champion Mansour Barnaoui. Note that Barnaoui’s four losses are to Kevin Lee, Islam Makhachev, Ivan Buchinger, and Mateusz Gamrot. He’s been a pro since 2011, and is on a seven-fight winning streak, so do not underestimate him. Not only does he have a dangerous opponent, but it’s also Piccolotti’s first five-round fight. When asked on the differences, Piccolotti tells us:
“It’s exactly that. You’re fighting for a longer amount of time, right? So the conditioning has to be there, the strength for the long distance has to be there. You need to be able to grapple for 15 minutes and still stand up and pop off some strikes, right? The physical conditioning and preparation was a lot different this time.
“It’s not to say that you put your foot on the break when you’re doing three round fights, I trained as hard as I could even then. Now that it’s five, it’s making the extra rounds in every session count. And making those rounds add up, add up, add up. On top of the physicality of it, it’s preparing mentally for a five-round fight. It’s a little different strategy, it’s a little different game… there’s five chances for the guy to stand back up to restart the round.”
Brady Hiestand Talks TUF Injury, Ricky Turcios Fight And Upcoming Return
Next on our weekly interview round-up is Brady Hiestand. 5-1 as a pro going into the TUF house, Hiestand was a standout prospect who resonated with audiences. Much like many TUF Alums, Hiestand’s time in the house wasn’t without difficulty.
“I actually just had ACL surgery the month after the Ricky fight. I fought the whole Ultimate Fighter without my ACL. And so after the show, I thought it would be a good time to get it fixed… I was cleared about seven to seven-and-a-half months ago to train, but not full. It’s kind of a weird injury because you have to figure it out as you go and build off of it. I think at around nine months is when they fully cleared me, but I was training all the way back at five months, just taking it at my own pace.”
Hiestand Talks TUF Finale
Hiestand got all the way to the TUF finale, but lost a controversial split-decision against Ricky Turcois. However, given that this was on a busted ACL and how close the fight was, Hiestand says that he learned lots, and is looking forward to bringing it against Fernie Garcia in mid-November.
“It was such a big moment, and it was such a close fight that I just realized, taking away from the fight, that I gotta not let it be that close, and I can’t let it go to the judges. I think we saw on the fights [at UFC 280] that if you let it go to the judges, they’re only there to break your heart. And so you can’t let the judges make the decision, you gotta go out there and finish fights.”
After last week’s controversy, I’m sure there will be more fighters adopting the classic Kenny Florian “I finish fights” mindset. Now that the dust has settled, do you agree with the Yan vs. O’Malley decision?
That’s all for this weekly interview round-up, but be sure to follow our YouTube Channel to stay up to date on all the latest MMA News exclusive interviews!