EXCLUSIVE | Soa "The Hulk" Palelei wants the opportunity to redeem himself in the UFC | MMA News
By: Chris Taylor
For those of you who don’t already know, Soa “The Hulk” Palelei is a heavyweight mixed martial artist who has fought for both the UFC and Pride, he holds a career record of 17-3. The native of Perth, Australia is currently riding a 7 fight win streak and is looking to make a return to the octagon! Soa was good enough to speak with me about his last fight and his future plans:
Chris: Hey Soa thanks for taking the time to do this. My first question is regarding your last fight which took place May 18th at CFC 21, against Bob Sapp. You made quick work of “The Beast”, getting the TKO victory in 12 seconds. Obviously you must be satisfied with your performance?
Soa: I’m definitely satisfied with my performance this fight was a long time coming. I was due to fight Bob Sapp when I first came back in the Impact FC show but it didn’t go ahead instead I had another opponent, so I was looking forward to finally meeting Bob in the cage. I came out with a win and couldn’t ask for more.
Chris: After fighting him, what is your opinion… Should Bob Sapp retire from MMA? He has lost 8 fights in a row, all coming via stoppage within the first round.
Soa: I’m not the one to answer this question, I have a lot of respect for all the fighters that are out there grindin and I’ll leave it at that.
Chris: You are 9-1 in your last 10 bouts with your only blemish coming at the hands of Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix winner Daniel Cormier. What’s next for “The Hulk”? Do you have another fight lined up?
Soa: I’m currently in talks to fight in India possibly in 6 weeks, we’re still discussing the logistics of it so we will wait and see but I’m keeping busy with other stuff, “The Hulk” never sleeps.
Chris: You fought in the UFC previously at UFC 79: Nemisis, how much has your game developed in the 5 years since then?
Soa: 100% I’m faster, stronger and fitter. That wasn’t “The Hulk”, what you have seen in the last fights is the real “Hulk”. I’m a much better fighter physically and mentally which is something I was lacking then. But you live and learn.
Chris: Are you ready to make a return to the octagon now? In your opinion, what else must you do in order to get the call from Dana White?
Soa: I’m so ready, it’s really up to Dana White. I’ve won my last 7 fights, 6 of them in the first round. I’m a 3-time world champ and I can assure Dana White if I was to get the chance to go back into the UFC’s “Prestigious Octagon” I would not disapoint.
Chris: Is there any UFC heavyweight in particular that you would like to fight?
Soa: I get asked this question all the time, I have such high respect for all the fighters, I would fight whom ever was put in front of me.
Chris: Do you still train with the “Super Samoan” Mark Hunt? What are your thoughts on his recent success?
Soa: We both have been extremely busy but we do some sparring sessions when possible. Mark is a force to be reckoned with and I personally believe you should be watching out for him, he could be the next heavyweight champ!
Chris: I am curious as to how you got your nickname “The Hulk”, obviously your physique fits the profile. But was the name given to you from anyone in particular or for any reason other than just your size?
Soa: My manager Peter Nicholas actually gave me the name, he said to me you’re like the Incredible Hulk and so “The Hulk” I became. I do train hard to keep my body looking the way it does and the name suited me very well.
Chris: Well thanks again for taking the time to do this Soa. Hopefully we will be seeing “The Hulk” smash some opponents inside the octagon very soon. Any last words from you for your fans, sponsors or perhaps Dana White?
Soa: I’d like to thank my sponsors MackBoots, Rapid Loss, Everything MMA, Southern XFit, Limousine Excursions, Nude By Nature, GobSmacked Mouth Guards. My fans, without them this wouldn’t be possible, thank you for your consistent support! And to Dana White, “The Hulk” would like an opportunity to redeem himself and show you that every man deserves a second chance.
If your a Soa “The Hulk” fan, be sure to follow Soa on twitter @soathehulk and use the hashtag #HulkforUFC to show your support. He is definitely one of the funniest and most interactive fighters on twitter today.