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  • join me right now is UFC lightweight, but Neil dare use what's going on.

  • But Neil Not much, man.

  • Just, uh, resting up, getting ready for the next week.

  • Almost there.

  • Almost fight time.

  • I recently saw a video of a brawl that broke out between you and some of your teammates during a sparring session at King's.

  • Ever made.

  • Tell me about how important that is during a grueling fight camp.

  • Um, and it's nice to goof off, man.

  • Sometimes you need toe.

  • You need to just joke around and relax, but well, basically, it was for Bree.

  • Show man.

  • He's a big kid.

  • Any time he's around, we, uh, we all turn into kids.

  • He kick Calvin or something.

  • I don't remember.

  • Now, look a broad like that.

  • So I ended up hitting him because, you know, I was Callie was my partner.

  • At that moment.

  • He was sparring with Marv inventory.

  • I was born with Calvin and assumes I kicked them.

  • They looked at each other, and then they looked at me, and then they came by and us not look.

  • All right, let's do it.

  • Fun tires move.

  • Fun times.

  • Um, the last time we saw you in competition was against Tiago Boys is USC Denver.

  • You got the dominant win.

  • But afterwards, you seem like you were really satisfied.

  • Tell me about your thoughts on the performance.

  • All right, if the fight if you don't finish the fight, it's definitely I'm gonna be satisfied with the performance.

  • But, uh, I was grateful that it was dominant.

  • You know, I was able to dominate every aspect, uh, that, uh, that fight, but would have been better to have a finished.

  • There were some little details I missed.

  • I didn't capitalize on and I wasn't able to finish the rear naked choke a couple of other submission.

  • So I like to give back and fix those Before that victory, you went through a two year period of lingering injuries and unfortunate events.

  • During that time, what pushed you to stay confident and move forward?

  • You know, fighting is the dream.

  • And, ah, there's that period was really tough.

  • There was even times were I was thinking about retiring, especially after the one of the price was like 40 seconds.

  • And, you know, if my chin can't can't hold up, there's no point in fighting.

  • You could be the best fighter in the world.

  • But if you're not there, you can't.

  • Can't really do this.

  • And, um uh, but I spent a lot of having my scripture.

  • I prayed a lot.

  • And during that time, um, and I just felt like God was saying, No, you still need to be here.

  • You know, I'm not You're not down with this area of your life.

  • So I went back out there and I tried it again.

  • And on top of that, I got a lot of the injuries out of the way, which has been really, really helpful.

  • After that fight, you visited the troops overseas.

  • You got attacked by dogs.

  • I saw that you worked with the bomb squad.

  • How was that experience?

  • I mean, that's gotta be one of the best experiences I've ever had to go out there and, you know, one training with them.

  • I was I was pretty much ready for that.

  • That's what I thought.

  • All I was gonna be doing is going out there training with them and just keeping them company.

  • But it ended up being so much more.

  • I got to visit all the troops and what they do.

  • Uh, how they do it.

  • That kind of walk me through everything and just the hospitality.

  • It was really special for me.

  • Uh, I get another chance to do that.

  • I would definitely jump on it.

  • I now your next fight coming up his versus Drew Dover at UFC Wichita.

  • The guy has some momentum that he has built over the last couple years.

  • Were your thoughts on this matchup?

  • I think Drew's real Ah, he's a real tough test.

  • You know, Uh, I've seen him fight.

  • He's even fought my teammates.

  • Ah, I'm not the guy.

  • He's a good fighter.

  • He's a good fighter all around.

  • And, uh, if I If I don't bring my a game, uh, I'm not gonna be able to win this fight.

  • This game is about inches right, and you possess a two inch reach advantage over Dover.

  • How vital is that against another southpaw?

  • To be honest, I didn't realize I had a two inch reach advantage, but it's gonna come in handy.

  • The thing that Dover is, he's, um he's really, really good in the pocket.

  • He's got some good takedowns, I and, uh, controlling the distance like every fight.

  • But I think in this by my more important trolling distance is just gonna be, um is gonna be key to the victory You and Kelvin Gastelum or in camp concurrently.

  • How helpful was it having himto work with every day before he left to Australia?

  • Callen was awesome.

  • Toa have you You gotta understand.

  • Calvin is South Paul.

  • He's a similar height.

  • Similar, uh, reach and just, uh, kind of have a similar body type and then power wise.

  • I think Calvin is just It's just the beast of a man.

  • So it was great to getting to work with them for this.

  • I think it was really useful.

  • I'm grateful for that.

  • Definitely, definitely good to have killed it in the camp.

  • Last few fight camps have been unpredictable, unpredictable, with pullouts.

  • Has that affected your approach leading up to this fight on March 9th?

  • Uh, it kind of started to ah, in general and how I approach bites.

  • You know, I haven't had the same opponent from the beginning to the end.

  • So for in the last, like, three flights, I think so.

  • What I've tried to do is just focus on me and what I can fix with my game and where I'm I'm, uh, what I'm missing in my game and and what I could fill in with the details.

  • And that's really what it's been.

  • My wrestling I can sharpen in here or my jujitsu.

  • It's lacking here.

  • Whatever Aiken make better.

  • That's what I focus on.

  • What do you see as the intangibles against rude over?

  • Ah, tricky question, Uh, going into that, it's almost going to pour into the game plan, if that makes sense.

  • But, uh, I'm just gonna stick with the distance.

  • Controlling the distance is really good aqui of this, right?

  • I know you headed out to Denver three weeks out.

  • Are there any plans of getting out to Wichita earlier than usual?

  • I looked at the elevation there.

  • I believe it's like 1000 feet.

  • I don't think I'm gonna need to go out there early.

  • I'll probably just go out seven days.

  • Normally, it's like five days before the fight.

  • But I'll just go seven days just just kind of settle in and get used to the place.

  • Your teammate.

  • We mentioned him earlier.

  • Kevin Gastelum.

  • He went all the way out to Australia for USC to 34.

  • It must have been very disappointing for the team, Of course, for himself.

  • And you never got the fight for a title.

  • What did you think of that situation and him carry around the belt at the event, man, what a bummer.

  • I mean, I can't imagine being in his position, you know, doing all the work he did.

  • I remember when I spoke to him.

  • When he got back, the first thing he mentioned was man, I did so many sprints.

  • I woke up so early, I did so many sprints.

  • And I could feel for him because right now I'm going through that every this morning.

  • You know, I woke up at six.

  • Yeah.

  • Got a bad.

  • Get ready.

  • Drink some coffee.

  • Okay, let's go do sprints.

  • Nobody.

  • Nobody does that for fun.

  • I don't I've never met anyone who wakes up in the morning and best friends.

  • And then you got to go to re arresting practice.

  • You gotta go this practice.

  • So I know how hard is camp was and not having the bonus of fighting at the end of that camp.

  • To show all this progress, I it must have been very difficult.

  • I can't say I've been in his situation, but I But I know it must have been very, very difficult.

  • And as far as him carrying around the bulb, You know, uh, I don't blame him.

  • Well, look at Whitaker.

  • Know I like whatever.

  • I think he's a great fighter, but he doesn't seem like he's.

  • Ah, very consistent.

  • I think you fight like, once a year.

  • And what that being said, I think Kelvin Kelly really felt like he deserved that bad day, especially.

  • He's like, Hey, man, I worked so hard for this.

  • I'm gonna put this on and and I went along with it.

  • And at that point, uh, no one's gonna tell him.

  • Different is track work the worst part of fight, Kev?

  • Gotta be, man, I I'm I'm not a natural runner.

  • I'm I suck at running for one, and then everybody's like, all every one of my coaches, my conditioning persons like you got to get out there.

  • You gotta do run.

  • You gotta sprint.

  • You gotta do this.

  • So that's gonna be I'm trying to think if I don't conditioning in general, you know, I'm one of those guys.

  • If you put me on a mat you put, You know, you have me do minutes for I'll do that for days.

  • I enjoy grappling.

  • I enjoyed hitting man's I enjoy spine.

  • I don't enjoy working out for you if you tell me.

  • Hey, you got to do 100 pull ups today and blah, blah, blah and so on and so on.

  • And I don't really have too much motivation to do that unless I do have a fight.

  • Unless I am looking that group.

  • Besides that, I mean, once I'm retired, I always told my conditioning coach, man, I might never see you.

  • And so we gotta figure something out.

  • One last thing before I let you go, I was always wondering, you know what are on the fighters playlist?