Interview with Ian 'The Machine' Freeman
UFC Champ : Ian Freeman Interview By SFUK USA correspondant Big Pun, who spoke to Ian the day before his fight at UFC 26, more UFC reports from BP soon.
BP: You have earned the title of The Iron Ambassador in the United Kingdom. Tell us how this came about.
Ian: Basically on the internet. You got a lot of guys saying they are gonna do this and that, but nothing ever came of it. I put my actions into my words. I started to get a mixed martial arts federation together called Total Martial Arts, TMA. We started to support mixed martial arts in Britain. Not to help the pocket of ourselves, as most promoters do, but we're doing it to promote the sport and promote the fighters. People realized that it wasn' t just a gimmick and I was true to my word so they nicknamed me the Iron Ambassador .
BP: Tell us a little about the state of mixed martial arts in Europe.
Ian: We are so far behind the rest of the world. The government in Europe doesn' t like it. Doesn' t like it one bit. There are some loopholes in the law which allow it to happen. You have what are called councils which decide whether or not a sport goes ahead or not. Some towns and city councils allow it, but most do not. So you start with the red tape. I don' t think they will ban it. I think it would be impossible to ban it. They would have to ban every other contact sport in Britain. So they wrap it up in red tape so that it does not go ahead.
BP: Is it governed by a boxing commission?
Ian:There is no official commission. That' s what Total Martial Arts is trying to do. Get in there. In touch with BMA, British Medical Association. Basically saying that we will be the forefront of the sport. Total Martial Arts will be the governing body.
BP: So what has your training been like lately?
Ian:Very, very hard. The past couple weeks I have cried blood, sweat and tears, definitely. We train twice a day. Cardiovascular in the morning, then wrestling/fighting at night. It's been really hard.
BP: About how long do you train in an average day?
Ian: Probably about an hour in the morning doing the weights and anywhere from two to three hours in the evening fighting. ItŐs been intense. I' m not talking about going to the gym and fighting for ten minutes then resting for five. I' m talking about solid fighting nonstop. Different opponents every five minutes.
BP: Aside from this fight, do you have anything else coming up soon?
Ian: Hopefully my manager Phyllis Lee has some plans for me. Maybe going to Japan, I have no problems with that. Back in England, there is a submission tournament coming up in September. Everyone looks at me as a striker. So I want to go to the tourney and beat the crap out of everyone to prove I am a grappler as well as a striker. Apart from that, I' m not quite sure.
BP: Whom would you like to fight?
Ian: Anyone. It doesn't matter. If you put them in the ring with me I will fight them. The day I am afraid to get in there with someone is the day I retire.
BP: So I understand you were already here in the states on vacation when you received a call from the UFC saying "We need you".
Ian: Not really on vacation, I was here training.
BP: With Gary Meyers?
Ian: With Gary Meyers and Jason Godsey. Mostly with Jason Godsey. Jason' s really helped me a lot. I was here, Phyllis gave me a call asking me if I wanted to fight. Like I said, I would never turn down a fight.
BP: Have you had enough time to prepare?
Ian:It would be nice to get a phone call ten to twelve weeks before a fight so I can prepare for my opponent, but I am always ready.
BP: So do you know a lot about your opponent, Nate Schroeder?
Ian: Nope. Nothing, but no one gets into the UFC for being easy. All it takes is one punch to lose a fight. One snapped ankle to lose a fight. Believe you em I know. A fight is never easy. Any man that says it is, is a liar.
BP: So are you back to full health now?
Ian: Yeah. 110% and I'm ready to go.
BP: You have a court hearing coming up, tell us about that.
Ian: It' s what you call common assault. It's not a punch, not even a slap. If you walk up and just touch someone it's common assault. A fight broke out, I pushed a guy out of the way so he wouldn't be hurt and the police arrested me. It's just blown way out of proportion. Ian Freeman, Ultimate fighter you know. It's not a prisonable offense, the most I can get is a fine. Common assault is just a touch. If I were to put my hand on you it is common assault. I'm going to go back to England, they will slap my wrists, tell me not to do it again and that will be the end of it. It is all just blown way out of proportion that's all.
BP: Thanks for your time and good luck tomorrow.
Ian: You're welcome.
SFUK 13 June 2000
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