| Fist-ta-Cuff Radio recently invited UFC Bantamweight number one contender, Eddie Wineland, in to talk all the recent unfortunate events involving his fight at UFC 161. With Wineland’s scheduled title fight with Renan Barao at this week’s UFC 161 event being scrapped due to injury to the Interim Champ, Wineland had a lot to discuss with our boys Denny and Anton. Aside from his title shot being put on hold and, sadly, in question, Wineland happily discussed parts of his life outside of fighting, the proverbial ‘blessing in disguise’ with his fight being cancelled, and how training changes now that he’s not fighting. Here are some of the highlights from Wineland’s interview with Fist-ta-Cuff Radio:
Wineland first spoke about his spirits and his reaction to losing his title shot with Renan Barao at UFC 161:
“I can complain, but I’m not going to. It’s just, you know, I’m enjoying life right now. Just kind of going with the flow of things and, uh, kinda took a step back and I’m enjoying life now as oppose to beating my face into the mat every night.”
And because the fight was cancelled so close to the actual fight-date Wineland spoke about how great of shape he was in and how close he felt he was to being able to defeat Barao if Renan wouldn’t have suffered the foot injury:
“I mean, coming into this camp, I was already ten weeks deep when I heard that, uh, Renan got hurt. You know what I mean? Shot to the heart. I mean, we reached a platform that we had never reached before. I know everybody always says, ‘this is the best shape I’ve ever been in, best training camp,’ but it literally, we reached a point that we had never been to before. And uh, you know, things were, everything was clicking, everything was going.
He then talked about what he did when he heard Baroa was hurt, what he did following the news that he was officially pulled from the UFC 161 card, and how frustrating and heartbreaking it was to lose a title shot that was so close within reach:
On the first thing he did after hearing the news that Renan might be hurt:
“I kept training and I think it was on Tuesday, last Tuesday I got the word that the fight was cancelled so the first thing I did was order a deep dish pizza.”
After first hearing the news and letting it sink in, what he did the next day of training:
“I was told to keep training as if I was fighting. They weren’t sure what was going to happen. I think they were waiting on some MRIs from his ankle. Again, there’s multiple factors and I just did what I was told. I hadn’t heard nothing so I assumed I was still fighting so I kept training and uh, you know like I said, on Tuesday they gave me the word that nothing’s going to happen.”
On how devastating it was knowing that he wasn’t getting his title shot and on top of that knowing that he may not get the fight even after Barao comes back healthy:
“At first it’s heartbreaking, you know? It’s a culmination of ten years of fighting; I’ve been fighting since I was 18 and I’m 28 now. You know, they tell you, ‘hey, we’re going to let you fight for the world title for the top organization in the world,’ and two weeks out they tell me, ‘hey, you can’t fight.’ It sucks. It sucks a lot. Your dream is right there within reach and then it gets pulled away.”
On his approach toward what’s next in his fight career:
“There are all kinds of factors here and hopefully it plays out in my favor but if it doesn’t then I just have to roll with the punches and take it was it comes.”
“I always want the top guys, but like you said, you get into title fights and you get into that caliber of fights…that kind of fight, to me, is worth waiting for.”
“You know, accidents happen. When you’re training to fight another man the only way to get better at fighting is to fight, and when you fight you get hurt. You know? So it is what it is. I understand that Renan got hurt and all I can do is wish him a speedy recovery so that we can get down soon.”
Wineland is a top-five bantamweight in the world and has fought only top competition since his assimilation into the UFC in 2011. He is rightfully in line to fight for the belt and waiting may be his best option. For now, Wineland is enjoying his life away from fighting as he is a firefighter and avid pit-bull advocate.
Stay glued to BJPenn.com for the second installment of Wineland’s interview and to listen to the interview in its entirety on BJPenn.com’s Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio click here.
-Jake ChastainDominick Cruz, eddie wineland, Exclusive, Exclusive Interviews, FIST-ta-CUFF Radio, Jake Chastain, mma, MMA NEWS, renan barao, UFC 161, ufc bantamweights, ufc news