Middleeasy.com: Tell us about The White Anderson Silva (TWAS). How did you start getting called that?
Brian Ebersole: The White Anderson Silva is a recently signed UFC fighter, who's antics and ridiculousness have a slight resemblance to the UFC middleweight champion. A bit of shaking, jazz, elusiveness, and aloofness caused people to make the comparison -- I presume. TWAS humbly accepts the reference, and will aim to keep his UFC record as untainted as that of the champion to whom he's compared.
The internet forums were the birthplace of TWAS. And the term has been widely used, as of late. There will be a tee shirt, soon released on www.australianfightdistributors.com.au and www.ebersolemma.com, paying homage to both the Arrow of Destiny, and the thoughts/words of TWAS.
ME: Do you frequent MMA message boards and what not? It seems like you are pretty in tune with MMA jokes, like the Diego Sanchez 'Yes' thing.
BE: I do. MMA.tv was the first one, and it was a great help in finding fight opportunities when I was younger. I like to get on and read the news, and every now and again I'll jump onto a thread and have a conversation. I used to get a bit worked up and respond as if I were in a conversation in a bar or living room. But I've worked to remain a bit more tempered, as I don't want to stir too much shit. And if I really want to get my opinion across, to make a difference in something, the forums aren't the optimal avenue.
But I like to hear what fans have to say, as they humor me and i hope to humor them.
ME:Why did it take you so long to get to the UFC?
BE:I lost fights when I was young, that could have been listed as amateur. They were listed as pro. So my numbers were never that great. I was 12-6 at one stage, and nobody noticed that I went 9-1 to come to 21-7 at one stage. I did not apply for season one of The Ultimate Fighter, which is where four of my teammates were noticed (Fitch, Swick, Koscheck, Southworth) -- though Fitch was pulled from the show last minute. I left AKA as these guys left for that show, so I was not able to ride their coattails into the UFC. Instead, I fought Cung Le in San Shou and then fought on Strikeforce's first MMA card.
Past that, moving to Australia did not exactly put me on the UFC's radar. Had I beaten Lombard, I'd have earned a contract with a major organization for 2009. But I didn't, and I had to start all over and wait for a big fight. The Newton fight was the next big fight, for me. And even then, the UFC wasn't going to sign me based on that win. As luck would have it, I got onto UFC 127 and I'll look to finish my career on the UFC's roster.
ME: You have 63 fights and you've never been KOd. Ever been KOd in training?
ME: So your confidence in your chin is why you shave the arrow into your chest?
BE: Humor is why I shave the arrow. I know I can be hit and dropped like any human. Not having had it happen, probably helps the joke go over a bit better. But I do it for laughs.
ME: How many weight classes have you fought in?
BE: 155, 170, 185, 205, 220, 265, Open weight.
A fight is a fight. And I didn't have much of a choice, when I was starting out. Promoters were scumbags, and made the matches based on what they needed that day. Not what was fair or right. So showing up with one opponent in mind, and being given another, was common.
I'm glad for the experiences, as it's allowed me a wide range of experimental knowledge and data. Both with opponents and with myself (gaining/losing weight). Always a middleweight, the drop to welterweight was merely a matter of training full-time. Dropping to lightweight was an experiment that went alright, and one that I hoped could get me into the UFC --- as I'd beat those little guys up.