Robert Drysdale started off his professional MMA career on the right foot this Saturday, when he submitted Bas Huveneers with an arm triangle in just 1:12 min at Armageddon Fighting Championship in Canada. Now the black belt has a new mission, to sharpen up Frank Mir’s ground game to face Rodrigo Minotauro at UFC 119. Robert spoke to GRACIEMAG.com in the following interview:
Was fighting professionally tougher than it was in your amateur MMA appearance?
I found it even easier. Truth is, I felt more at home than ever before. I was really calm, much more than in my amateur fight. It was against a much more experienced opponent, with 11 fights on his record, but that didn’t throw me off at all. I was really confident, happy and raring to fight. When I stepped in there, I felt happy to be there. It was real great, man. It was perfect, everything went as I hoped it would.
I feel Frank is the favorite against Minotauro” Robert Drysdale
How is your future in MMA coming along? Do you have to fight in the AFC till the end of your contract?
They’ll hold another event in November, but my contract with them is only exclusive in Canada. If something comes up in some promotion in another country, I can fight there. If something comes up in Dream, Strikeforce or Bellator, for example, I can fight. It’s a question of writing up the contract properly.
How does Jiu-Jitsu fit into your life?
I practice Jiu-Jitsu every day and I feel a big mistake some folks make in MMA is to abandon their base. I see a lot of that here: The guy’s a wrestler and when he goes on to do MMA all he wants to do is train boxing. If you stop your base sport, you fall behind. You may not lose your technique, but your timing changes a lot. You have to hone your strength, and mine is Jiu-Jitsu.
But will you still appear in any competitions?
I can no longer compete for free. I’m 28, have trained my whole life and I can’t be an amateur anymore, I have my priorities. I do think about competing in the ADCC, where you’re paid. I’m at my peak now, not 15 years from now. What will I do after that? I was dying to compete at this year’s Jiu-Jitsu World Championship, but I have to train too much, I don’t have time. Furthermore, I want to take on new challenges. I’ve already done a lot of Jiu-Jitsu and it’s using that background that I now want to reach new heights in MMA. That’s my priority now.
How is Frank Mir’s preparation for his fight with Minotauro going?
Mir is always training. He never stops. He knows Minotauro really wanted this rematch, but he’s well prepared for it. We respect Minotauro a lot for all he’s done for the sport and for the way he fights in the ring, but I have the utmost confidence in Frank, wherever the fight plays out. If he gets the takedown, he’s not going anywhere with Mir, and I feel he won’t want to fight Frank standing. We’re ready, training and we pretty much have a strategy in place. Now it’s all about ironing out the kinks. It’ll be a great fight. Frank respects him, has great admiration for him, but we want to win. We’re taking it very seriously and I feel Frank is the favorite.