Guy Mezger Interview
Guy Mezger striking 'The Diet Butcher' in Pride
21 July 2001
Guy Mezger, once regarded as a boring fighter, now regarded as one of, if not the most exciting fighter in MMA. He's interviewed for SFUK by 'Sham' - Antony Finnegan. Photos courtesy of the brilliant Susumu
Guy dropped his passive style and adopted a new, more fan orientated exciting game-plan. A game-plan that has seen him KO Alexander Otsuka twice and Egan Inoue, and seen him be KO'd by Vanderlei Silva and Chuck Lidell.
Here Guy speaks up about his future plans, and works...
Sham : Can you give us a brief description of where you grew up?
Guy Mezger : I was born in Houston and raised in and about Dallas. I presently live in the heart of Dallas.
Sham : I know you have a wrestling background that stems from high school, what level of wrestling did you reach?
Guy Mezger : In high school, I won the state championships and was an alternate on the school boys national team (16 and under). I went to college on a scholarship but between being very young and stupid and injuries, I soon lost that.
Sham : I know growing up you did many different martial arts, what were they?
Guy Mezger : Besides wrestling, I did Texas style old school karate (old school chung do kwan) and boxing.
Sham : I know you used to actively compete in kickboxing, how far did your accomplishments in kickboxing reach?
Guy Mezger : I was competing in kickboxing and had a record of 20-2 (19 koās) and I held the US heavyweight title and could not get a title shot for the world title. I actually fought and won the WKC world title in June of 95 and defended the title successfully once before retiring from kickboxing to pursue Pancrase and MMA full time (more money in MMA and Pancrase than kickboxing)
Sham : How did you get started in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) ?
Guy Mezger : The UFC was just starting out and they wanted a kickboxer to fight a jujitsu fighter. They asked me and I had been training in Judo for a while and I thought what the hell, I knew how to hit, wrestle, and I understood submissions. I figured why not. I met and became friends with Ken (Shamrock) and went out to train for UFC IV with him.
Sham : You had a rematch with Tito Ortiz in UFC 19. Two weeks prior to the fight you were suffering from the flu, did the flu affect your performance?
Guy Mezger : I think that it did, but it was my fault for not using my brain and pulling out of the fight. I still thought I could win.
Sham : You have had a very long and successful career in a lot of different contact sports, you have been a kickboxing champion, a King of Pancrase, a UFC champion, and you hold many wins in Pride, what is your complete martial arts record?
Guy Mezger : Between kickboxing, boxing, full-contact karate, Pancrase, WFFF, UFC, WPC, and Pride I have a 142 fights (119 W, 17L,6 D)
Sham : There are rumored to have been many works in Pancrase around the time you were competing there, did you ever perform a work in Pancrase?
Guy Mezger : First of all; no I never was asked or performed any works and, second of all, there was not very many works. Maybe 4 or 5 total and most of them were before I was fighting for them. I hate when people say that there was so many works in Pancrase, they truly do not know what they are talking about.
Sham : Works are constantly putting a blemish on the MMA name, what is your stance on works in MMA?
Guy Mezger : My stance about work? Well, I won't "work" a MMA fight, period. But it happens and it does not really make a difference, because when ever money is involved in something then there is all room for corruption. That is just the way it goes, you can get upset but it wonāt change anything. The alternative is for the small amount of "worked" fights there are a greater number of fantastic real fights and that is what people should concentrate on.
Sham : Has Pride ever approached you about doing a work?
Guy Mezger : No, pride had never asked me to work a match.
Sham : You had nearly 30 fights in Pancrase, who for you is the greatest Pancrase fighter ever?
Guy Mezger : Funaki, hands done the smartest and most skilled fighter in Pancrase next Ken Shamrock.
Sham : I know you recently had a pro-boxing match, you won by KO, was that your first pro-boxing fight?
Guy Mezger : I have had 10 other boxing matches (10-0 7koās), but that was the first one in about 7 years. The Texas Boxing Commission would not recognize fights held in states with out a commission. My fights were in Oklahoma way before a boxing commission was set up there.
Sham : I believe you are 32 now, can you see the light at the end of the road, in which you can see yourself hanging up your boots?
Guy Mezger : Oh yeah, but I don't like to talk about it because I love what I do and hate to think about retiring.
Sham : Once you retire what are your career plans?
Guy Mezger : I own several MA schools and fitness gyms. I enjoy teaching the kids program and I will concentrate on that along with other business opportunities.
Sham : Many people have accused you and the Lions Den of being obnoxious and arrogant, do you have a response to these claims?
Guy Mezger : Well, there is a bit of cockiness to the fight game, I think some people misunderstand confidence with arrogance. The Den guys are greatest bunch of guys, very personable and down to earth.
Sham : You train at the Lions Den, perhaps the most successful team in MMA history, how much do you think the Lions Den did to change your career?
Guy Mezger : Training at the Den and more importantly with my crew and Ken has made all the difference in my success.
Sham : The Lions Den was famed for their great ground skills, now they are starting to be more recognized in their efficiency in striking. Is the Lions Den perhaps neglecting their ground skills?
Guy Mezger : No, we spend time working the ground at least 3 times a week.
Sham : The Lions Den tryout is known to be quite brutal. Any fighter planning to fight for the Lions Den has to pass the tryout test, many who have done it say it is the hardest thing they have ever done, just how hard is it?
Guy Mezger : Well, I canāt speak for everyone but my tryout really sucked, it was very hard. I am a black belt in a old school style of training and the black belt tests are extremely hard, it was like doing that all over again and yes it sucked really bad. I was stiff for 3 days afterward.
Sham : You recently lost to Chuck Liddell, prior to that fight you were coming off 3 successive KO victories. Many people believed a victory over Chuck was the stepping stone to you gaining a rubber match with Tito Ortiz, just how hard a defeat to Chuck was that for you?
Guy Mezger : Well, I truly hate to lose. I really was looking forward to getting a shot a Tito. Chuck is the better fighter in my opinion. Titoās very tough but I said it before and I will say it again: "I would be more worried about Chuck than Tito"
Sham : You were once known as a passive fighter, now you are regarded as one of the most exciting fighters in MMA today. What prompted you to change your style?
Guy Mezger : After I recovered from the kidney problem that I had I said that if I fought again then I would let it all hang out. No regrets about how I did in a fight.
Sham : I noticed you seemed gassed against Chuck at around the 7 minute mark. Do you think that prevented you in anyway from finishing him off when you knocked him down?
Guy Mezger : Chuck is a tough guy and he recovered from the shots he took better than I did.
Sham : Who hits harder, Chuck or Silva?
Guy Mezger : About the same.
Sham :The UFC is on the verge being sanctioned in Las Vegas, is an ambition of yours to fight for the UFC in Vegas?
Guy Mezger : I love the idea of fighting in Vegas for UFC or Pride.
Sham :Do you have any idea when you are fighting next, and against whom?
Guy Mezger : Should be in Sept. and I have no idea who it is yet.
Sham : Ken Shamrock's MMA promotion, 'Mega Fights' makes it debut on August 10th, any chance you may fight in that?
Guy Mezger : No, I am there to coach.
Sham : Ken is taking on John Marsh, how do you think that fight will go?
Guy Mezger : I think John is very tough, but Ken will have too many weapons for him.
Sham : You train in the Lions Den out of Texas, who are the main guys you train with down there?
Guy Mezger : I mainly train with Alex and Tra and a new bunch of young guns.
Sham : Do you go to San Diego when preparing for a fight to train with Ken and some others?
Guy Mezger : I usually go there near the end of my training to clear my head and put the finishing touches on my training.
Sham : You are the key man when it comes to getting MMA sanctioned in Texas, how are things coming along?
Guy Mezger : We have been working with the boxing commissioner on ways to get this going in Texas. He is a cool guy really trying to help us out.
Sham : Believe it or not, some people on the UG have expressed concern for you're health as you have suffered two brutal KO's, is your health fine?
Guy Mezger : I appreciate everyone's concern, but I am doing great and ready to get back.
Mezger v Vanderlei
Sham : You had an epic battle with Vanderlei Silva at Pride 10, in the fight he threw an intentional headbutt, did that have any baring on the end result?
Guy Mezger : I am not going to cry foul, it is the fight game and things like that happen get use to it. It is no win situation when it comes to answering that question, if I said it did then I would be making excuses. I would just like a rematch.
v Alexander Otsuka
Sham : There has been much debate about Pride's new rules, mainly being able to knee an opponent to the head on all 4's, and being allowed to kick an opponent in the head when he is on the ground, what are is you're view on the new rules?
Guy Mezger : The new rules work best for my style of fighting, but I am a sportsman and prefer the old rules.
Sham : You fought Sakuraba in the Pride Grand Prix, opening round. The fight was only scheduled to be 1, 15 minute round. Yet at the end of the first round Pride attempted to add another round, do you believe they tried to rob you?
Guy Mezger : Rob me, no. Shitting themselves because they were expecting me to lose and when I did not, it was going to screw up the Royce/Sak match, which is a bigger sell in Japan. I think the match maker and high ups were not on the same page.
Sham : Are you glad you followed Ken's advice and left the ring, rather than fighting in the second round?
Guy Mezger : It is not up to me to judge what is right and wrong in that situation, Ken was my cornerman and you do as you are told. It is the same if I was cornering Ken.
Sham : If you were to rematch Chuck, would you fight the same way, basically bang with him on the feet?
Guy Mezger : Yes, with the exception that I would try to get my big head out of the way.
Sham : Pound for pound, who do you believe are the top fighters in the world at the moment?
Guy Mezger : Too many good one to really narrow it down.
Sham : Finally, would you be interested in coming over to London and conducting a seminar?
Guy Mezger : I would love to come over and do a seminar, but I don't have any immediate plans to or any offers to.
Thanks to both Guy Mezger & Sham from the SFUK.net Staff
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