Ian 'The Machine' Freeman - a different fighter now
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SFUK: Hi Ian, when we last spoke you were feeling homesick at your first UFC, and now you been to the opposite side of the world, what an amazing few months!
Ian Freeman : Yeah I know! I was feeling terrible, but you know what, I reckon I could beat Scott Adams now. If you've seen the fight, you'll know I even had him in a leglock, he had to grab my gloves to get out of it.....I underestimated just how tired I would be from travelling. I mean I only got back 4 days ago and I'm so weak from it. But it's all experience heh? It set me on my way alright.
SFUK: Let's start from you training in the states prior to Pancrase, how did it go?
Ian Freeman: Right, as you know for the UFC 26 I went over to train with Jason Godsey - the guy is just unbelievable on the ground. I'm mean I've trained with some of the best, Mauricio Gomes, Renzo Gracie, John Machado, these guys are great grapplers, great submission guys, but Jason Godsey he just flows over your body like water and there's nothing you can do about it. He's really, really good. He's got respect from most of the top fighters in the world. He hasn't got a fantastic record in the No Holds Barred but Pancrase, he's done very well because he's more of a grappler than a striker. He pushed me to the limit.
I wanted to go back and train with him, but unfortunately he was in New Zealand. So I found out that Chris Lytle was fighting in a Pancrase tournament, so I sent an email to Chris to see if I could train with him. He said no problem, he was more than welcome to have me. I'd trained with Chris the last time I was over there so he knew me, I knew him, we got on well together.
Basically, we had train slightly different for the fact there was no elbows at all and no knees on the floor. Apart from that it was down to the grindstone and we trained hard.
SFUK: What kind of training was that ?
Ian Freeman: I thought when I went over there I'd be learning submissions, but it was more wrestling and ground n pound. When I fought Travis Fulton, I stayed in his guard and I pounded him from the guard. Now I wouldn't do that, because I've been shown how to break the guard, how to dominate from side control, how to dominate from the north & south position, and when and how to strike elbows, knees, how to keep someone down on their side. Whereas before I was not bothered whether I passed someone's guard or not coz I'd hit them anyway. Then when someone's was in my guard, as you noticed from the Travis fight - I justed tried to keep them in there, and let them stay there and I just landed the odd punch. Now I would move, constantly move. I would even try to get back up to dominate him, you know.
SFUK: So, you'd say you're a different fighter now?
Ian Freeman: Yeah, I'm constantly on the go, I'm moving, I'm going for opening. I mean before I went over to train with Jason Godsey I'd never used elbows before, I'd never used knees on the ground and I'd never ever passed the guard. In UFC 26, I passed the guard, I dominated side control and I finished him off with ease. And that was all in the space of five weeks training with Jason.
SFUK: Is that because you're a quick learner or is it that easy to pick up those skills?
Ian Freeman: My last Sensei, the guy that taught us Ju Jitsu, said he'd had some quick learners in his time but he'd never had anyone pick up things as quickly as me. Then when I went over to train with Jason Godsey he thought, right, it will take two weeks to learn this move, it will take two weeks to learn this takedown, but it only took two sessions. And he couldn't BELIEVE IT. He actually rang my manager Phyllis Lee and said "This guy is a star in the making, I've never seen anyone pick up moves so quickly" . Jason's the type of person that speaks his mind too, so that was a complement from him.
I'm thinking of going over there and training with him for the UFC 27. Because he basically only showed me the tip of the iceberg. What I really want to do is learn some submissions as well, but when I got over there the first time, I was only over there a week, then I had the proposed fight with Mark Tulius. You basically can't learn any submissions in the short space of time. So he just basically showed me how to dominate, what do do when someone's in my guard, what to do when when I'm in the guard, what's the best time to strike, use my knees.......he said constantly move....don't give your opponent chance to settle......don't give your opponent the chance to strike....just keep working and working.
SFUK: Yeah I've been told you have unbelievable stamina for a guy your size.
Ian Freeman: UFC 26, when I went in for the first round, I was a little bit too slow on myself. I thought, don't make any mistakes, go in, feel your opponent first. Don't mess it up. I knew if I got beat in that it would be a long time before I got invited back. So by the time I basically stopped playing around with Nate ( Lol SFUK), because he didn't do anything to me, the bell when for the end of round one. I thought "Jesus, five minutes gone already! ". I was fresh as a daisy, so I thought "all right, second round I've gotta come out and finish him off". Which I did in less than two minutes.
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