Note: I’m transfering this interview from audio to writing at a net kiosk, so reload every few minutes or come back in a little while.
Joe Reilly: Hey, this is Joe Reilly from www.wrestling101.com, a UK based site, I’m here at the Mandalay Bay Events Center with top English fighter at 185 lbs, Mark Weir. He’s over here in the US, as he’s been training with Chuck Liddell and the pit. So, how are you doing and how’s your trip been?
Mark Weir: It’s been good, I’ve been over here training with Chuck Liddell and the pit. Obviously he’s helping me progress, so I hope I do.
JR: Right. Well, what’s your plans overall for your immediate future in MMA?
MW: Well, I’m in a good position, as I’m a UFC veteran and I’ve fought some tough guys. So, I’m looking to fight as much as I can in the US. That’s why I came over here to train with Chuck Liddell, as he’s obviously a good striker, who’s great at defending the takedown and at getting back up from the ground, which I felt I needed to become a more efficient fighter. So, I got that link up with him and I’m using it and so far it’s working out well for me.
JR: So, really, you’re trying to use the skills that has made Chuck so successful and that is that he’s a great defensive wrestler, who’s great at defending the takedown and staying off his back to stay on the feet, which is obviously your strenght.
MW: Abosolutely, I mean, Chuck trains with a lot of great wrestlers that specialise particularly in wrestling. So, we’ve been doing drills with them holding me down and pinning me, while I have to practice escaping and getting up off my back. So, it’s all well being in England where everybody trains mixed, but coming over here where guys work specifically on wrestling is really benefitting me, as we don’t have many wrestlers back home that have been training since high schooll like over here, as you know, it’s mainly football and cricket and things like that going on back home.
JR: Yeah, I’m from Ireland, so we’re practically neighbours, we specialise in the same types of sports, so I know how that is. Speaking of Chuck though. He’s been working out with the wrestlers at Cal Polly University in California, as they happen to be in season at the moment, so did you get to train with them at all?
MW: Well, Chuck mainly worked with them and I came along to watch sometimes and would join in at different times, but I was working on my cardio a lot with Chuck, while he was getting ready for his fight. We also worked a lot of standing.
JR: Right, I understand. Also, something I’d like to ask you, which is the topic of the week and that is, how do you realistically think Chuck will do against Tito?
MW: I’m not sure what Tito’s gonna do, but he won’t stand with him, as it would be stupid of him. I think Tito will try and out muscle him and try and take him down, but I think Chuck has a psychological edge over Tito, he’s faster and stronger than ever before. I was even weary of trying to close the distance with him on the feet in training and I think he’s got better wrestling than people say, but he just doesn’t use it as much as he could, but obviously his main strenght is his kickboxing.
JR: Yeah, I see what you mean. Also, I was talking to Jorge Rivera the other day and he expressed interest in fighting you and talked about possibly fighting you in the UK soon. What’s your opinion on that or have you heard anything more on that yourself?
MW: No, but he is a world class fighter and I love to fight the best guys out there and obviously I don’t expect to lose, but he is a world class guy and fighting someone like him would be very beneficial for my career and it would obviously make me train harder, which would challenge myself.
JR: Right, sorry Mark, I don’t wanna hold you here too long, but one thing I gotta ask you, as it’s the topic of the hour and that’s what your take on the Tim Sylvia situation?
MW: Well, as the sports progressed, more and more things have come along like this, as people are coming up with more and more ways to beat the system, even back in England, but hopefully we can find a way to hold this back. I mean, I care about my health and I wouldn’t take anything like that because of obvious side effects. Anyone else that does is defeating the purpose and that’s fitness, you won’t stay healthy doing that.
JR: Right, a similar thing has gone on in pro wrestling, people dying very young of heart attacks and strokes, look at Davey Boy Smith from England, as a prime example of that, but your a busy man Mark and thanks for taking the time to speak with me and I look forward to seeing you fight again in the future.
MW: Thank you for all your time.