Which was the main focus on your preparation? In which area did you focus the most?
I felt like my weakness was striking, and so I always tell everybody that if you work on your weaknesses and make them your strength, you don’t have any weakness. So, I work on my striking a lot. My striking actually has gone to the point where I’m very good now. I know I can get a powerful punch and I know I have a lot of power in my strike, so I’m gonna use that, definitely in my fights to come and I’m definitely gonna need my Wrestling and all the other things about my game.
In your last fight Demian Maia fit some good punches on you. Can we expect you avoiding the striking game with Leben and working for the takedowns the entire fight, or do you think you’re ready to strike?
You know, I’m ready wherever the fight goes against Chris Leben. I’m a wrestler, so I’m gonna try to take him down, and I think he knows that, but at the same time I’m confident with my striking as well. So, I’ve proven myself to be a good mixed martial artist and you gonna see a mixed martial artist in there, no matter if it’s on the feet or on the ground, you gonna see good aspects of both on my feet or on the ground. Yeah, I’m being more of a complete fighter now.
You train with Wanderlei Silva, Leben’s last opponent. Is that a different feeling coming into this fight after what he did to Wanderlei?
It’s always a pleasure to train with Wanderlei. He’s a legend in the sport and he’ll always be. I like to pick his trainings and set a strategy coming into this fight with Chris Leben. I’m actually gonna train with him tomorrow and we’re talking about that too. So yeah, I don’t think it’s a different feeling, I guess it’s something in my advantage to fight him. I’m excited about that.
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