It’s been a long road for “The Ultimate Fighter” winner, Efrain Escudero. The past 14 months he has had to fight from promotion to promotion trying to earn his way back to the UFC following a controversial dismissal from the promotion that was punishment for both a loss and missing weight.
However, the past is the past, and the Arizona based fighter is happy to be back where he belongs and is ready to start proving he is one of the world’s best lightweight fighters.
His new journey now starts tomorrow against a very tough Jacob Volkmann at UFC 141.
In this interview with Efrain, we talked about what it’s like to finally be back in the UFC and how he is handling taking his return fight on just three-weeks-notice, amongst other topics of discussion.
He started out with saying…
“It feels really good to be back, it’s been a long road. I’m feeling great I’m in great spirits; I’m relaxed and ready to go.
I’m actually pretty good. It wasn’t that much of a short notice, I was already training for another fight and now that I’m fighting I’m excited.
It felt good getting on the plane getting to Vegas, it was a good feeling it felt like the first time getting here. It feels good to be back home. These 14 months have been one crazy journey but now I’m excited and I’m here to stay.”
On his opponent:
“I’m excited to fight him, everyone might call him boring because he goes out there and takes people down, holds them and does enough to get by but he knows how to win fights.
It’s going to be exciting between me and him because I’ve been suffering for these last fourteen months going from company to company, not going where was going to be my home and now I’m ready. Let’s go, meet me in the middle and let’s do this.
If he wants to go out there and make it a wrestling match let’s do this. Ya, I know he’s dropping down as a 170 pounder he’s a tough wrestler but at the end of the day it’s a fight and anything can happen and I’m ready.”
BJPENN.COM recently interviewed Volkmann about this fight and outside of not caring for Efrain’s personality, he also discredited his wrestling background, stating that he had the equivalent of a high school wrestling program under the JUCO league.
Efrain gave his thoughts on this comment:
“I wrestled at a D2 college too but let’s put it this way, Jon Jones wrestled at a Junior College too and he is one of the best in MMA.
If me and him where wrestling in singlet’s that may be a different story but this is a fight. You try grab me and I’m gonna punch you, I’m gonna kick you, I’m gonna knee you. You try to wrestle me you got chokes, it’s a fight. If he sits there and contemplates about who has the better wrestling let’s just see who can implement their game plan for real?”
Being fourteen months removed from the UFC audience a passionate Efrain stated that the fans can expect a new and improved version and he also dishes out a challenge directly to his UFC 141 opponent:
“Expect a new Efrain that has nothing to lose and everything to gain. I’ve been in the UFC and out of the UFC, I have nothing to lose, let’s fight.
I just want to go in there and fight, let’s throw down.
Volkmann if you’re listening to this and you think you’re gonna beat me by taking me down and holding me, best of luck to you but that’s not what we are doing, we are gonna fight and I am going to make you fight so let’s do this!”
If you normally skip the audio portion of these interviews, this is one that you should not pass up; Efrain gives his predictions for the UFC 141 main event and talks in more detail about his return to the UFC and his opponent.
His passion and excitement are really magnetizing in this interview and can be heard with every word he utters. Check it out by hitting play below.
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