Your persona might come off a bit as contrived to help bring attention. Where does it come from?
"I've always believed in answering questions honestly. There's a part of fighting I greatly believe in: it's called respect. I don't manufacture conflict. I'm not saying things to sell a fight. My job is to show up in short pants and a mouthpiece and punch the other guy in the face."
What does this fight — winning this belt — mean to you?
"It's a tremendous byproduct of years of hard work. I've never been invited to a party. Never had a drop of alcohol or a smoke. I was always at wrestling competitions on Saturdays. I never had friends. I had tunnel vision."
You put off the vibe of being the smartest guy in the room. Do you believe you are?
"I'm a published author ("The Voice of Reason: A VIP Pass to Enlightenment") and I left office the only way someone like me can: in handcuffs and disgrace. To call me anything but the smartest guy in the room, you better have Rhodes Scholars in there, and their letters have better been published."
What did you make of Silva's comments about you — calling you a criminal and discussing his violent intentions for you in the octagon on fight night?
"If you want to make it a morality play, I'll do it. In fact, I'll speak to him about it Saturday night while running my fist up his prissy little self for 25 minutes to see where he's at on that. I kind of expected it. You idiot, Anderson, we signed up for a fistfight. I've been looking for this fight for two years, so that kind of stuff doesn't work with me. Him talking like that? He's singing my song."
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