Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The MMA Craze Exclusive: "Bad" Brad Blackburn Interview

Courtesy of www.themmacraze.com

Today I had a chance to spend a few minutes catching up with Brad Blackburn who is about to make his UFC debut vs. James Giboo at Fight Night on July 19th. Most recently Blackburn had been fighting for the IFL and was scheduled to fight Jay Hieron for the Welterweight Title prior to the cancellation of the August event. He has compiled a 12-9-1 professional record and fought the likes of Roger Huerta, Jay Hieron, Delson Heleno and Rory Markham.

THEMMACRAZE.COM: Where have you been training in preparation for your upcoming bout?

BLACKBURN: I've been back and forth between three gyms, Victory Athletics with Dennis Hallman, West Coast Fitness with Reese Andy who will also be on the card and Ivan Salaverry's gym in Seattle.

THEMMACRAZE.COM: With the IFL cancelling it's upcoming show in August and it's financial struggles, was getting into the UFC a goal of yours or did it just work out that way?

BLACKBURN: Really it just worked out that way. They had called me before about a fight on the card in London, but I couldn't go because I didn't have a passport. I was supposed to be fighting Jay Hieron for the belt in August and I was disappointed to miss out on it, but then the UFC called again. It's the biggest show out there, so it was definitely a goal though.

THEMMACRAZE.COM: What do you know about your opponent James Giboo with this fight being on such short notice?

BLACKBURN: Well, based on fighting guys with a week's notice early in my career, this isn't really short notice. There isn't really much available on him, he's won his last 5 or 6 fights. the guys he fought weren't that good, but he beat them pretty fast so he could be good. I think he's right handed and he mostly wins by submission so I assume he's mostly a ground fighter.

THEMMACRAZE.COM: How is your training coming along with only a few weeks to prepare?

BLACKBURN: I was half way ready when the fight was signed because I had been preparing for the IFL show, so I'm in great shape and ready to go right now.

THEMMACRAZE.COM: Can you give us a run down of a typical day of training for you?

BLACKBURN: In the morning I do strength and conditioning work and in the evenings I will do my fight training. Mostly kickboxing, wrestling and jiu jitsu. Lately I've been more focused on my ground game because I try to adjust my training based upon my opponent.

THEMMACRAZE.COM: Any predictions for the fight?

BLACKBURN: Of course it's not a secret I'm going to try to knock him out, but no matter what it's going to be an exciting fight. I'll have to feel him out for the first minute or so to see how he's going to react since I don't know too much about him.

THEMMACRAZE.COM: You have faced some high level competition in Roger Huerta, Jay Hieron & Delson Heleno. Based upon how you have performed, how would you say you stack up against the best in the welterweight division?

BLACKBURN: I'm game to fight anyone in the division, if you go back through my record, all of my losses were from conditioning. When I fought Roger Huerta I was working two jobs. If a fight went past the first round, I didn't win. Now I'm training full time and well rounded and I feel I can beat any of these guys.

THEMMACRAZE.COM: What goals do you have for your career? Stay in the UFC and win the Welterweight title?

BLACKBURN: Of course becoming the UFC Welterweight Champ would be a goal. Also to be paid well for what I love to do and being recognized as one of the best out there.

THEMMACRAZE.COM: Any thoughts on the IFL's future or final comments you would like to make?

BLACKBURN: Well, I'm signed with the UFC for 18 months so I won't be able to be a part of whatever the IFL ends up doing. I'm just excited to be healthy and ready to fight. Before the Heleno fight I didn't wrestle for seven months because of shoulder problems. Now I'm 100% for this fight, training is going great and I'm excited to get in there.



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