Aaron Simpson and Mark Munoz did their best to put their friendship aside for three rounds last Saturday night, as they fought on the Spike TV-aired preliminary bout portion of UFC 123: Rampage vs. Machida.
After three hard-fought rounds, Munoz walked away with unanimous decision win. Speaking during an appearance on the Sherdog Radio Network’s Savage Dog Show, Simpson revealed how difficult it actually was for him to fight a friend.
“It was a hard deal for me,” Simpson said. “That week leading up to it was just a strange thing. I had weird thoughts. Even in the fight, I had weird thoughts of fighting Mark. I don’t know how to put it, but we put on a show and we knew we would. I just think in the back of my mind, I had a tough time with it. I don’t know how to describe it. I felt maybe a step behind or I wasn’t pulling the trigger on things.”
Though Simpson is now on a two-fight losing streak, he is likely not in much danger of being cut from the UFC, as he took the fight with Munoz at the behest of his employers–earning points with the UFC brass.
“It was just a weird thing having to go out there and actually hurt my friend,” Simpson said. “I think Mark was probably the same way. I don’t think he was too high on it either. We did it, and I don’t necessarily recommend it, but his corner even said before the fight, ‘You guys are going to be a lot closer because of this.’ I think we were pretty close before that, and maybe we will be closer, but it was still just a weird thing. We just did it, though. Our boss asked us, and we went for it. We don’t have any place to question something like that.”
Simpson’s UFC record stands at 3-2 now, with the defeats in his last two fights coming against Chris Leben and Munoz. He holds promotional wins over Tim McKenzie, Ed Herman and Tom Lawlor.