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· On The Spot ~ Matt Veach

· Article author: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Posted on 09/30 at 05:37 AM

MMA Spot recently caught up with Matt Hughes protege and H.I.T. Squad standout, Matt Veach, who will be taking on British prospect Kenneth Rosfort-Nees at “Cage Warriors 38: Young Guns.” He is best known for his time in the UFC, specifically for dominating Frankie Edgar in the first round of their clash at “The Ultimate Finale 10.” Although he eventually fell short against the future champion, Veach showed tremendous potential. He is hoping that a win over the British lightweight is his ticket back to the big shows. We asked Veach (13-2) about the current state of MMA, the anti-wrestler mentality being espoused by many fighters now, his comparisons to Matt Hughes, and more.


Jesse Denis: Your opponent at Cage Warriors 38 is the up-and-coming Kenneth Rosfort-Nees. What do you know about him as a fighter?

Matt Veach: I’ve watch a bit of tape on him, he’s a good striker. You can tell he’s hungry and has the same goals as me. It won’t be an easy fight.

Denis: Cage Warriors is one of the larger promotions in Europe, how did you get connected with them? Where would a win in this promotion put you?
Veach: I got hooked up with Cage Warriors promotion through my manager; this fight was set before my last fight was done. Fighting in one of the larger promotions, the UFC would probably see it. A win in a larger promotion against a good guy equals a better win than winning in a smaller one.

Denis: How has the training camp gone for this fight?
Veach: The camp has gone really well. Since my last loss in the UFC, I’ve been training non-stop. I only took a week off from the gym after my last loss and did strength and conditioning in that time. I went right back into camp after that.

Denis: Fighting over in England, some fighters in the past have said that the transition of time zones was a little much to deal with, and takes a toll on them before their fights. Do you have any plans to avoid this?
Veach: I’m leaving to England five days before, I think I’ll be fine. I sleep all hours of the night, I had a new baby boy, so I sleep all sorts of odd hours.

Denis: You mentioned your last fight in the UFC, talk about the “UFC Veteran” label. Do you feel it serves to help your career, or impede it?
Veach: The label doesn’t help me or hurt me, it doesn’t bother me. If anything it could help me because people get psyched for me, it can hurt me because people might want to beat me up more.

Denis: Speaking of labels, you are often referred to as “the lightweight Matt Hughes.” Do you feel that this is an honor or that you’re in his shadow?
Veach: It’s cool, I am my own person, and that’s what I want to be known as—but Matt is so accomplished that it’s hard to take badly. There are similarities. We’re both Midwest wrestlers, wrestled for the same college, same build, same kind of wrestling. I want to be known for more than just being like Matt though.

Denis: Being a wrestler, what’s your take on all the talk about wrestlers in the sport recently—people saying that you wrestlers don’t fight to win, but instead lay on people and play it safe, etc?
Veach: It’s kinda bull crap. I go out to win and I’ll throw hands. I threw with Edgar and he was one of the best boxers in the division. The guys who say that are the ones who get taken down and beat a lot. If you can stop me, then box me. If I do take you down, I do damage. If I take you down, get up, or submit me. I don’t want to be tagged as anything.

Denis: It’s somewhat evident that you don’t want to be tagged as anything, a lot of times you go out and work on your hands, knowing that your wrestling is there. Can you talk about how you use fights to improve?
Veach: I want to be able to do it all. I want to be like a GSP, comfortable anywhere. I wasn’t as comfortable in the beginning, on the feet, but now I am. I know what I’m doing. If they stop my takedowns, I’ll use my hands to set up more takedowns.

Denis: Seeing where the men you lost to in the UFC are now, do you see yourself back with the organization or in a major organization again soon after having won your last two?
Veach: It’s definitely a goal. If I don’t get in the UFC, I’ll be in something bigger. These wins are all steps to get back in the UFC.

Denis: Speaking of the UFC, and having gone through it yourself, talk about the ongoing releasing of fighters. It’s been in the news a lot lately.

Veach: It’s a cutthroat business. If you lose two, unless you have a name or a bunch of wins before, you’ll get cut. It’s a job. I gotta win fights, I have a family to support.

Denis: Fighting as a lightweight, you are in MMA’s deepest division. What are your thoughts on the division?
Veach: The lightweight division is the deepest division in MMA. I think natural men walk around at 165-175 pounds. We’re small enough to scramble and big enough that we have power. There’s been talk of me going to 170, but I think lightweight is where I belong. I have a long reach. I think I’d be strong enough at 170, but not long enough.

Denis: Is there anyone, in particular, you would like to face?
Veach: I really don’t see anybody that I have my eyes on. I’ll fight anyone they put me against, but of course I do want to avenge my losses.

Denis: We’ve been seeing steroids in the news a lot recently, since Chael Sonnen tested positive. Do you think it is an issue in the sport?

Veach: I’ve been hearing a lot about steroids and HGH. A lot of guys are on HGH, but they don’t test for it. You have guys using stuff like that—it’s just not fair. People do twice as much work and recover twice as fast. I’ve had people tell me I gotta try it, but in the long run I want to do it the natural way. It can come back and bite you in the ass. I’m not sure if there are side effects to HGH, but I don’t know if I want to believe that there aren’t.

Denis: Finally Matt, is there anyone you would like to thank before the fight?

Veach: I’d like to thank my fans and the people that do follow me. I wouldn’t have this sport without them. Also my sponsors, Face The Pain and Dale’s Harley Davidson.

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