Strikeforce Challengers Open Workout Quotes and Pics

Thursday, January 6, 2011

By FCF Staff

Strikeforce held an open workout at Nashville Mixed Martial Arts yesterday, in anticipation of the promotion’s Challengers card this Friday, which will be hosted by the city’s Nashville Municipal Auditorium.

Some of the competitors on hand were undefeated welterweight Tyron Woodley (7-0), who will face noted striker Tarec “Sponge” Saffiedine (10-2) in the main event, heavyweight prospect Daniel Cormier (6-0), who will fight veteran Devin Cole (18-8-1), and rising light-heavyweight Ovince St. Preux (9-4), who will take on “Abongo’’ Humphrey (7-2).(Pictured: Woodley)

Here is some of what the fighters had to say about Friday's card, which will be broadcast on Showtime.


(On what he knows about his opponent) "He's well known for being a great kickboxer so my job is to neutralize what he does best while I do what I do best to get the victory.  He baits guys in well and defends takedowns well so I need to set up my takedowns well with strikes. If I don't get the takedown, I can't get frustrated.  I have to come back up swinging.

"A lot of guys he's fought, he's defended the takedown once and his opponents haven't tried a second or third takedown on him.  The guys that have, have taken him down.  So, my plan is not to expect to pop him one time with a good penetration shot and get him off his feet, but to continue to work and grind.  That's what we do best."

(On whether or not staying undefeated is on his mind)
"I don't even worry about that.  Every fight is the most important.  The fights that come after this, will come after, but winning this fight in dominant fashion is key.  I don't worry about staying undefeated.  I worry about winning this fight."

(On his best memories from wrestling)
 "Camaraderie with the team.  The family atmosphere. Holding each other up and keeping each other going.  It's a lot tougher than MMA -- not having full control of your training, the seven-month season, competing 50 times a year.  It was a lot for me.  (In MMA), you have more control over your training.  I can take a day off if I feel sore and come back the next day.  The other training we do -- boxing and Muay Thai - is fun."


(On his opponent)
 "I know that he's a wrestler and a strong guy with a lot of experience.  It's going to be my toughest fight to date, for sure.  I think I've prepared well and trained hard so I feel confident."

(On whether or not he feels pressure to remain undefeated)
 "I don't feel pressure to stay undefeated.  I've handled pressure at the highest level in wrestling.  I accept the responsibility that comes with all the wins.  Expectation is part of it so you deal with it."

(On whether or not he thinks Olympians will continue to cross over to MMA)
"For younger athletes, I think the lure of MMA is going to take them away before they get to the Olympics.  Guys that want to chase the money or NCAA champions -- guys who had the potential to be in the Olympics.  A few of them will cut their careers short in order to pursue a career where they can make money."

St. Preux

 (On working with his new trainer)
 "Since I've been with Nate "The Great" Hoffmeister, I've gotten stronger, faster. I'm doing things in the gym that I can't believe and that I had never been able to do before."

(On his opponent)
"He's a short, stocky guy so I'll have some problems getting under him.  I know that he punches and kicks a lot and he's got good stand up.  He's fought some pretty tough guys like Mike Kyle and Brett Rogers.  It's one of those things where I'm just happy to be here and I'm going to put on a good show.’’

(On why he thinks MMA has sustained increased popularity)
"It’s like with football -- people like seeing hits -- or boxing where people like seeing knockouts.  In MMA, you never know what's going to happen.  Someone can be winning a fight and, the next thing you know, they get knocked out with a punch, a headkick, or ground and pound.  People like seeing that."