The following is provided courtesy of UFC.com:
We’re down in this competition so far, and in looking back at the shows each week, I definitely try to learn from my mistakes. When I’m saying stuff, a lot of times it just comes out of my mouth, but now that I can sit back and watch myself be a cornerman, I can say ‘well, maybe I should have said more of this or that.’ So I’m trying to be better, but in the heat of the fight, when I’m yelling at Dan Barrera like I did this week, I was mad, and I think that comes across in the tone of my voice.
Dan was up this week to fight Ben Saunders, and I rolled with Dan after he was getting out of hand a bit in practice. I just needed him to calm down because he’s gonna get somebody hurt, and it could be him or somebody with a fight coming up. A lot of it was just play though, because I got along with Dan real well. But some of it was, hey, you need to relax. You see what I’m doing to you? This is kinda what you’re doing to other people. I just wanted to put him in the other guy’s shoes.
Dan also got an emergency call from his wife this week, and this life can be tough for husbands and wives. How does my wife deal with me being gone for long stretches of time? She’s probably pretty happy to start off. My phrase is ‘she’s happy to see me walk out the door, and she’s got a smile on her face when I walk back in the door.’ And while I’d like to think I could relate to what Dan had to go through, I’ve never had a phone call like that. But Dan was always showing his love for his wife and he was very concerned when he got that phone call, so he was trying comfort her as much as he could and reassure her that everything was gonna be all right. And he was right – everything turned out all right.
I’ve been asked if all the outside the Octagon things that have happened to our team have really affected our performances, and I think we had a few things that happened, but I’m sure Team Serra had some unfortunate things come upon them at the same time. I’m still super happy with the guys I picked; I wouldn’t trade any of my guys for any of Serra’s guys, to be honest. In the practice room, we always just click as a team. So some things have happened, but that’s life, and at no point was I feeling sorry for myself and thinking that I got dealt a bad hand.
As for this week’s fight, I had it a draw. With that knockdown, I thought Dan won the first round, and then Ben clearly won the second round. My first criteria in judging is always damage. Who has created the most amount of damage, and I thought that with the knockdown, Dan had put the most damage on Ben. I thought that was the deciding factor in that first round.
After that knockdown, I got on Dan to finish the fight. I knew Dan could hear what I was saying, but before that fight he was 1-0 in his mixed martial arts career, so that inexperience is a big factor. He’s out there and he’s thinking about what he needs to do and what he wants to do, and just to clarify, the reason I wanted Dan to back up and make Ben come back on his feet is because Dan knocked him down and obviously had him dazed, and the longer Ben got to lay on his back, the more he was able to recoup and get his mind back with him. I wanted Dan to hurry up, get Ben back on his feet, and try to knock him down again.
As I said earlier, Ben clearly won the second round, and at the end of the round, I took some scissors with me and I was cutting the tape off the bottom of Dan’s feet because he was slipping around and I think that had something to do with the way he was fighting because he couldn’t do anything without slipping. But not one part of my body ever realized that this fight could be over. I was amazed. Even Matt Serra had Dan winning the first round and that’s the opposing coach. When the opposing coach says that my guy won the round, it was just bad. It was bad for Dan Barrera and it was bad for the sport because people want to see the right call, and that didn’t happen.
So now we’re down 5 to 1, but it only takes one guy to win this whole thing and I’ve already got who I think is one of the best guys into the next round, and with Mac (Danzig) going in, I don’t think any of his (Serra’s) guys can beat him. And I have two of my best fighters left, so by no means am I hanging my head low and conceding defeat here. He’s won a battle, but with two fights left and me fighting Serra in December, I can easily win the war.