You’ve been fighting professionally since you were 16 years old. Did you have to get a permission slip from your parents for your first fight?
The promoter asked for one just in case, so I did get my parents to sign a form, but I don’t think the commission needed it.
You’re only 22 years old now and still growing. Do you foresee a move up to middleweight in your future?
Yeah, definitely, even higher. I want to experience all the weight classes if I can, even heavyweight. I want to have a long career—this is just the beginning.
I have a nutritionist, George Lockhart, who is the best. He makes the plan, and I follow it. I don’t even cut much water weight, maybe a pound. I walk around at about 200 pounds, so making welterweight takes some dedication—actually lots of dedication— but George understands how my body works. A week or two before the fight, I’ll bring in a chef to help prepare my meals and my post-weigh-in meals—good, clean, organic foods that get me prepared to fight my best.
Your home turf of Montreal is a great city. Where’s a cool place to hang out?
I may be the wrong person to ask—all I do is train [laughing]. But, St. Catherine’s Street is a cool place downtown for shopping and nightlife. But, I’m a fighter. I fight.
Do you remember the exact moment that you decided to become a fighter?
Yeah, it was after my first MMA class when I was 14 years old. My dad picked me up after practice and I told him. I knew instantly. I quit hockey and dedicated myself to MMA. It was one of the real high points in my life.
Let’s talk about a low point for a minute. What did you learn from your last second loss to Carlos Condit in 2010?
A ton, not only about my approach to fighting and training, but also my mindset during the fight. That loss flipped me upside down. It’s when I decided to move to Montreal and train with the pro camp at TriStar Gym. My technique has improved dramatically, as well as my mental approach to fighting. TriStar has made a world of difference.
Who are the next big names coming out of TriStar Gym that are going to make a splash on the big stage soon?
There’s a lot of talent up here who are not in the UFC yet. It’s a big list. Mike Ricci, Alex Garcia, and Nordine Taleb all play a huge role in my training. Those will be three of the next big names.
Speaking of names, who gave you the nickname ‘Ares?’
Myself. I staged it myself [laughing]. Ares is the Greek god of war, so I liked that mindset. Plus, it was better than ‘The Waterboy’ nickname that my friends used to call me.
Where did ‘The Waterboy’ come from?
I guess I had a lot of inner rage when I was 14 years old [laughing]. I was a nice kid, but when I’d get hit, I’d rage, and one of my friends started calling me that from the Adam Sandler movie as a joke. But it was always weird. My family thought it was strange, and fans were confused by it because it didn’t suit me, so I changed it when I reached my goal of getting to the UFC.
Did you make any goals for 2012?
Definitely. I want to stay healthy, get three fights, and win in impressive fashion. I want to dominate and show the world I’m ready for a title shot soon. I want to show the world that it’s my time.
And our time is up. Thanks, Rory. See you in cage.