This is a weekly interview round-up that is not to be missed! This week, the crew sits down with UFC lightweight contender, Mateusz Gamrot, and two of the PFL‘s biggest recent signings Marlon Moraes and Shane Burgos!
Mateusz Gamrot Talks Camp At ATT, Volkanovski Skipping The Line, And UFC 280 Main Event Prediction.
Ever since losing a controversial split decision against Guram Kutateladze in his UFC debut, Mateusz Gamrot has been on fire. Before coming to the UFC, Gamrot was the simultaneous 145 and 155lb Champion at KSW.
He most recently displayed an extremely well-rounded game in his Fight Night main event against Arman Tsarukyan. Gamrot told James that he’s completed his entire camp for UFC 280 at American Top Team.
“I [arrived] seven weeks ago, and I did full camp at American Top Team… I am so happy that I can train with [Dustin Poirier], every single training is very hard for me. But fight against Dariush is another checkpoint for me because my gas tank is ready for five rounds. This time it’s only going to be three rounds, so I can [put the pressure on] first moment of the round.”
Dariush’s claims of being told by the UFC that he was the backup for UFC 280’s main event have created a lot of discussion surrounding who is next in line. Will it be Alexander Volkanovski, who also claims he is the back-up? When asked if the winner of him and Dariush gets a shot next, Gamrot said:
“Yes, for sure, but first I need to win, get the win in October. When I win, I get the callout for the future champion… [but] sometimes the UFC is too much politics… Alexander Volkanovski is the champion at featherweight and he can go up. But we’ll see what happens… He has a lot of challengers at featherweight.”
Gamrot also weighed in on the UFC 280 main event and believes that it will provide a definitive answer as to who is the best 155er on the planet.
Marlon Moraes Talks Return From Retirement, Move To PFL, And Aljamain Sterling Vs. T.J. Dillashaw.
Former WSOF Champion and UFC title challenger, Marlon Moraes sits down with Curtis this week. Moraes talked his decision to return to MMA in the PFL, the differences in their format, and weighed in on a rematch with current UFC bantamweight champion, Aljamain Sterling. Asked about what exactly about the PFL coaxed him from retirement and the move to featherweight, he told Curtis:
“Something new, a new division, break the odds. Fight for someone I care [about]. I care about Ray [Cooper], I care about the PFL. And man, new life, new goals. I’m excited to do that again… [Featherweight] is much more enjoyable. I know some of those guys have the reach, but I’ve got the speed, and I’ve got more weapons. I can match anyone in this division and put on a show. That’s all that matters for me. Getting there, have a good night, fight well, and be a tough fight when you want.”
Appearing on the PFL’s championship card on November 25th, Moraes knows that this is the last one-off fight he’ll have for a while, thanks to the PFL’s season format. Anthony Pettis famously struggled with the transition to the season format, but Moraes seems excited at the prospect.
“It’s great, especially for me… I think it’s an advantage for me… It’s a great life experience being in a tournament like that… I’m a big fan of the show, I’m a big fan of Ray and what they’re doing for the sport. I can’t wait to see these guys performing on November 25th, who’s going to be champion and who I’m going to be chasing next year.”
Moraes closed out the interview with a confident prediction for UFC 280’s co-main event between former opponent Aljamain Sterling and T.J. Dillashaw.
Shane Burgos Details Path To PFL, Predicts UFC 280 Main-Event, and Issues Response To Dana White.
A few months on from his UFC release and PFL signing, Shane Burgos reflects on his path to the PFL. He reminds Curtis that he established a relationship with the PFL brass last time he tested free agency. He says that this time, a different mental perspective led him to sign with the promotion.
“Last time I did the free agency thing, they were really interested in me then. But that was when I identified as a UFC fighter, now I’m 31 years old, I identify as a prize fighter now, man. That’s what I am, that’s my job. I’m not a UFC fighter, I’m a prize fighter.”
Burgos’ signing with the PFL came a shock to many, especially given the caliber of his recent opponents in the UFC. After winning his first three fights in the promotion, Burgos went 5-3, losing to only Calvin Kattar, Josh Emmett, and Edson Barboza. Following his signing with the PFL, Dana White told media that mistakes had been made regarding Burgos’ place in the promotion. Burgos had this message for Dana:
“[They’re] flattering. Not only did he give me praise for the type of fighter I am, but he gave me praise for the type of person I am. He said I was a really good person too, so that meant a lot to me. He didn’t have to say anything about me at all, he could have said whatever he wanted to say, to make himself look good. But he said the truth, and what he felt, and that’s flattering, and I deeply appreciate that.”
Closing out the interview, Burgos gives his predictions for not only UFC 280’s main event, but also for who he believes he’ll be chasing in next year’s PFL tournament.
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