Robert Drysdale: 'Until I'm Ready, I Won't Be Making the Jump to the UFC'
Robert Drysdale has been around the art of jiu-jitsu for as long as he can remember.
However, it wasn't until two years ago that Drysdale first took the ring to kick off his mixed martial arts career.
Drysdale was declared victorious in that fight, winning in just 1:12 via arm-triangle choke. He went on to win his next two in similar fashion.
Now at the age of 30, Drysdale recently signed with the Legacy Fighting Championship in hopes of continuing his success in the world of MMA.
Drysdale recently sat down with Bleacher Report's Garrett Derr to discuss his hard but rewarding journey to LFC.
Garrett Derr: You've been around martial arts for a long, long time, and you're just now getting into fighting competitively. Do you think you've waited too long or feel age will be an issue with the remaining part of your journey?
Robert Drysdale: I've been doing martial arts and competing and training three times a day for 10 years now. I've gotten to see the sport really change over the years, especially jiu-jitsu. My pure jiu-jitsu skills may be hurt a little, but nothing too significant.
I may not be a step ahead like I used to be, but I definitely still have with it takes to compete at the highest level. It might have caught up to me a little bit since the sport has changed a lot and I have aged a little. But, my stand-up and hands have gotten a lot better since, so it's give and take.
GD: Now we know you're set to take on Isaac Villanueva on May 11. What can you tell us about your opponent?
RD: Villanueva is a really good fighter. I don't know a ton about him but I do know that he's very experienced and has fought a lot more guys than I have. I'm taking this fight very, very serious and I'm excited about it."
I got plenty of time to prepare, but so does he. I'm looking forward to the challenge and he'll be my toughest opponent to date. But at the end of the day, it's just another step up the ladder. I'm training for this fight just as much as I do any other fight. I train every fight like it's a title shot. I just need to make sure I win every fight.
GD: A win would be you're fourth straight in as many fights, so what's really the next step if you're able to get by Villanueva? Is the UFC a possibility?
RD: You know, that's a great question but I think it's a mutual agreement that I need more experience. If I got called today I would say no to be completely honest with you. I need two, three, maybe even four more fights before I'm ready to even discuss it. I want to make sure that I win every one of those bouts as well before I start talking to them.
You don't get too many chances at the UFC. I don't want to be there just to be there. I want to become a champ, so I don't want to get in there just for the heck of it. I don't want to tell people that I know that I was in the UFC and just sort of was an average career. I want to be ready when I get in there, and I'm not right now. I'm not on the level of the guys in my division right now. So, until I'm ready, I won't be making the jump to the UFC.
GD: Behind every fighter is a normal human being. So when you're not fighting, what's life like?
RD: I'm a boring person, man. I just had a baby girl and she's 10 months old. I never thought I would enjoy playing with the baby so much. I spend so much time with her and I love it. I'm a nerd too since I really like to read. I'll read a book every week sometimes. I can go in phases, though, but generally I'm reading two to three books at a time.
I also play video games. I stay away from the addicting ones though. I can't get hooked, so I only play an hour or so at a time. I'm also intrigued by soccer because I grew up in Brazil. I hate to watch it but love to play it. I also love mountain biking, but for the most part I enjoy just staying home and spending time with my family
GD: Every great fighter has that one person that's really been by their side since day one. So who has this person been in your life?
RD: That position is not even a challenge. My mother. My mom was a world-class swimmer and is just a great person in general. When I was 18, jiu-jitsu was something I wanted to be doing forever. Everyone around me told me to get a job and that I couldn't be karate kid my whole life. I was told to go get a suit and a job.
I was having too much fun and had no expectations. I loved life too much to care about what was happening down the road. This whole time my mom was the only person who supported me. I lived with my mom until I was 26 because I was broke until then. She always told me to stick to it and that she was going to help me. I love her very much and I'm thankful to have her in my life.
For additional information, follow Garrett Derr on Twitter.
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