Exclusive: Travis Browne predicts a stand up war, Urijah predicts a win for Dillashaw
We’re just hours away from one of the most anticipated bantamweight fights in recent memory. TJ Dillashaw defends the UFC Bantamweight title against the former champion, Dominick Cruz, while Travis Browne takes on Matt Mitrione in the co – main event.
Before the fight, we caught up with Travis, as well as Urijah Faber – a man who has a long history with both the champion, TJ Dillashaw and the number one contender, Dominick Cruz. Here’s a quick recap of our interview with Travis Browne and Faber leading up to the Fight Night.
Travis, firstly, can we get your thoughts on your previous fight with Andrei, and how your training camp has gone for the upcoming fight?
The last fight with Andrei was a really tough one. Unfortunately, I came out on the wrong side of that, but I learned a lot – what mistakes I made and all that, and so for the last 7 – 8 months or so, I’ve just been working on filling the holes in my game, and getting better at what I was strong at.
In your fight against Mitrione, it is arguably two of the best athletes in the UFC heavyweight division. What are your thoughts on Mitrione as an opponent and him calling for this fight?
He asked for the fight back in June, and it was announced that it would happen after December. He’s a good athlete; he’s a big guy, he’s over 6’5” and over 260 (pounds). He’s a big guy, and once we go in there, we’ll try to finish the fight.
Also, you brought in Justin McCully as your training partner for the camp. Can you tell us what inputs Justin has provided so far?
He (Justin) has a lot of experience with coaching, and he talked to me about all the things that go in the fight. He has a big body, and his understanding of the sport; that itself helped me a lot.
Your stay at Glendale fight club has borne mixed results. In the wake of the recent criticism coming the way of Edmund Taverdyan's way following Ronda' s defeat, what is your take on the camp there?
I’m still there (at GFC). I love the camp, and I love what Edmund has to teach. I’m happy with the coach.
If you had to bet your money on where the fight would take place, do you think it'll be more of a stand-up war? If yes, where do you think you've the advantage over Matt?
I think so. I don’t think he has any desire to take me down, I’m still going expose the chink (in his game). I don’t that that’s his game plan, but you never know. This is an MMA fight, and that’s what makes it so exciting. I do think it’s going to be a stand-up fight, and I think I have more power than Matt. So, I don’t think he’ll try to take me to the ground.
The contender has been shifting hands in the division, and with Andrei’s recent loss, what are your thoughts on the division and your chase for the title?
I think after that fight (between Andrei and Stipe), it is an open door. I think if you come out there and knock one of the top guys out, you’re the next contender. So, I feel good, and I think it’s my turn to get a run with the belt.
The heavyweight title is on the line next month in a rematch. Do you think we'll see Cainreclaiming the championship from Werdum?
Well, Werdum has been proving a lot of people wrong these days. But I think I’m going to stick with my last choice. If Cain comes around, with the right game plan and with the proper camp, I think he will be able to reclaim the title.
But, as I said, Werdum has been proving a lot of people wrong these days.
Finally, do you have any message for your fans in India and what we can expect from your upcoming fight?
I appreciate the support, and tune in this Sunday (Monday morning), because I’ll give a performance that is worth not missing.
Talking about the bantamweight fight, Urijah was quick to point out that he thought TJ would still do enough to edge past Dominick Cruz in their encounter, and win their fight. “TJ has a good chin. As I previously said, I think he’ll come out with the victory”, Faber told us in an exclusive interview.
Catch UFC Fight Night 81 – Dillashaw – Cruz on Monday at 8:30 AM IST, live and exclusive on Sony SIX HD, as the UFC Bantamweight title is up for grabs. Also, Travis and Matt Mitrione battle it out in a heavyweight clash for the ages.