You are on one of the hottest streaks in the middleweight division. How is your confidence level these days after winning five in a row in the UFC.
Pretty good actually. I recently changed gyms and switched everything around. Things are going really good.
You recently had an interesting Twitter post regarding a potential matchup with Vitor Belfort saying that you would gladly fight him, just not in Brazil. It got a lot of support. Were you surprised?
You know what? I get it. He’s a big name, and he gets to choose where he gets to fight, but that doesn’t mean people are going to want to fight him there. When Chael Sonnen was recently talking about fighting him, he said he would take the fight, but not in Brazil. Chael said he wanted the fight to be in Las Vegas. I don’t see why we should always have to go to Brazil if we want to fight him.
Let’s talk about knockouts. You have racked up some impressive highlights during your time in the cage. What does it feel like to land that homerun punch?
It feels great, although it is very hard to land it now at the level I’m fighting at. I’ve reached the top 10, but all the guys in the UFC are at a high level, and it’s very hard to finish someone in the UFC. You just have to be really prepared, and when you do get it, the feeling is incredible.
What’s your favorite KO?
It would be my last fight against Tim Boetsch. I took the fight, and nobody gave me a chance. I think I proved a lot of people wrong with my last victory. When I finished Boetsch, I couldn’t describe the feeling. It was something amazing.
Is there anyone in particular that you’d love to plant that haymaker on?
I would like to face Michael Bisping one day. I’m hoping after my fight against Francis Carmont that everything lines up where we can fight. If Bisping gets past Munoz, I would love to meet him in the cage next.
You have one of the most commonly misspelled and mispronounced names in MMA. Is it something that gets under your skin or have you gotten used to it by now?
You know what [laughing], you get used to it, and I’m used to it by now.
If you weren’t throwing hands for a living, what would you be doing for a career?
I would probably be in law enforcement or maybe a firefighter. The Army would also be a possibility.
With the string of recent success, your profile in the sport is certainly growing. How do you unwind outside of the cage?
When I’m not in the gym, I’m normally home on the couch and watching television. I walk my dog and lead a pretty boring life. I don’t go out partying. I don’t drink and do what a lot of other fighters do. I don’t even go out after my fights [laughing].
What’s on your DVR?
I normally watch movies. I like comedies and funny shows on—nothing in particular though.
A win over Carmont would make it six in a row. Do you believe a victory at UFC 165 puts you in line for a title shot?
I think a victory against Carmont will line me up for a fight with Bisping. That’s what I think.
You really seem to want this Bisping fight, eh?
That’s what I want. I want to fight Bisping. I don’t have anything against the guy, I just think we match up very well. It will be an exciting fight, and I’m going to beat him. I really want that fight, and I really want to prove myself. Bisping has been around forever, and he’s fought everybody. He manages to win and puts on really exciting fights. I want to be part of that. I want him to give me a shot.