— Rob Emerson put up a hell of a fight against a tough opponent. You can't fault him for that. On last night's episode of The Ultimate Fighter, in what UFC President Dana White called one of the best TUF fights ever, Emerson submitted in the second round to Nate Diaz. A member of Team Penn, Rob was considered the toughest opponent on his respective team, and in return was called to face the toughest opponent on the other team, the formidable Nate Diaz. Rob took some time earlier today to speak with us about his time on the show and what he's got going on in his future.
Below, you will find both the the written transcript as well as the full mp3 audio of the interview.
BuddyTV: Last night you told us the story about how you got started in MMA, but can you tell us a little bit about how your career in MMA led you to getting cast on The Ultimate Fighter?
Rob: I guess I was recommended by a couple different people; different promoters of different shows that at the time was sponsoring me. Just got off the phone and got in touch with the right people and just being recommended by a couple different people I guess they just liked what they heard. A few I talked to on the phone, I guess they just liked my personality and stuff too. I don't know, it worked out for me.
When you initially entered the house with all the fighters, what were your first impressions? Was there anybody that impressed you right away?
No. I actually didn't hear about any of the other fighters. The only other guy I knew about was Nate. All the other guys I didn't really hear about. I knew about Andy just because he comes from California too and he's one of the local fighters down there. But all the rest of the guys I'd actually never even heard of before.
When the fight was ready to be announced on last night's show, did you know that you were going to be picked? Did you have any sort of idea?
Yeah, yeah I had a feeling pretty much. Well, I knew if Nate if was doing the pick that he was going to pick me. I was planning on picking him too. So, I mean, it was nothing that surprised me. I expected it the whole time.
The general feel the viewers got from last night's show is that it was the best fighter from each team fighting. Was that kind of the vibe going on the in the house?
Yeah, that's the way, that's the way it felt to me and I think some of the other guys in the house. I know the guys on my team; no one really wanted to fight Nate. I think Gray was the only other guy down to fight him and then all the feedback and everything I'd been getting from them, no one wanted to fight me on their team. Nate was the only guy down to fight. So, yeah, it was kind of like these two guys no one wanted to fight fought each other.
I guess that's the way it has to go, but is it a little frustrating being what you consider to be the best fighter on your team that you don't get to fight past episode 3?
Yeah, it was frustrating, but I mean there's a lot of stuff that happens in the season. I mean, you see guys coming back. There's so much stuff that happens there's no need to stop watching the show. I mean, you never know what's going to happen.
What was your confidence level going into the fight? I mean, you obviously knew that Nate was a good fighter. Did you feel you had a pretty good chance to take him down?
Yeah, I had a great feeling going into the fight. I just respected him too much. That's the one thing I walked away from after the fight was over; I respected his game too much. I didn't give myself enough credit. I didn't lay enough out on the line out there. I didn't really land any clean shots. I didn't really get to show everybody my power, my skills and the stuff I'm good at. I was being too worried about the takedown and jujitsu and stuff because I knew he was a good jujitsu guy so I gave him way to much respect for that. I should have just fought the fight and not cared about anything and worked a lot more on the clinch through knees and elbows inside the clinch instead of being worried about being taken down. So I don't know, I was a little bit disappointed about my performance. I didn't really do as well as I thought I could have done. I don't know, you know, I don't know.
A loss is a loss. But, do you take any consolation from someone like Dana White congratulating both of you and telling you it was maybe the best fight ever on Ultimate Fighter?
Yeah, it feels good saying that from Dana. I mean the guy only really gives credit where it's due. As far as being the best fight ever, I mean, I don't know. There really wasn't that much blood or anybody getting banged up too much. I don't know, I've seen a lot more bloodier, messier, more exciting fights I think. There was a lot of action, I guess. There was a lot of action but nothing too damaging you know. A lot of takedown defense and a lot of submission moves, a lot of submission escapes. I think the only punches exchanged were like on the ground when he was on top me. So I've seen a lot more exciting fights but as far as intensity level I guess that's what he was trying to say was you know, pretty good high paced fight.
Can you talk a little bit about what you have coming up in the future in terms of fighting?
Yeah, I mean, I'm hoping just to be with the UFC the next couple years. They've got a lot of exciting stuff coming up; they're signing a bunch of new guys. So I'm just looking forward to fighting for the UFC. I mean I fought over in Japan last year and other places. I mean I want to fight here in the United States now and now I'm getting the chance and I'm totally happy. I'm just looking forward to fighting here for the fans and everything.
(Interview Conducted by Oscar Dahl)
(Photo courtesy of theultimatefighter.tv)
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Original article at http://www.buddytv.com/articles/ufc/exclusive_interview_rob_emerso-5915.aspx