UFC fighter Efrain Escudero, lightweight winner of TUF 8, will soon face Dan Lauzon at UFC 114. Having been undefeated before his recent loss to Evan Dunham, Escudero is looking forward to reclaiming his reputation as being a fight finisher.
Escudero was kind enough to take a few minutes to answer some questions before his upcoming bout.
Brandon Hinchman (Bleacher Report): Hi Efrain, thanks for your time. How did you get your start in MMA?
Efrain Escudero: It began with wrestling. I've wrestled all my life, and I wrestled in community college and then I started MMA.
Brandon Hinchman (Bleacher Report): What's the biggest difference between fighting for the UFC and other organizations?
Efrain Escudero: The biggest difference is the competition. You're facing some of the toughest guys in the world.
Brandon Hinchman (Bleacher Report): Being that you were undefeated before your last fight, have you prepared differently for your upcoming match against Dan Lauzon?
Efrain Escudero: Trust me, yeah. I'm kinda glad I got that first loss out of the way. It makes you train even harder, and I'm coming back for even more this time.
Brandon Hinchman (Bleacher Report): Being undefeated is a big weight to carry around. Do you find that now you feel more relaxed after having lost once?
Efrain Escudero: Yeah, you trick yourself a lot when you're undefeated. You say, "Oh, there's no pressure. I'm just going to go out there and fight a fight, nothing more to it."
But you know, that fear is always in the back of your head. You're thinking, "I don't want to get my first loss."
Brandon Hinchman (Bleacher Report): In your upcoming match against Dan Lauzon, do you think it will stay standing, or will the fight go to the ground?
Efrain Escudero: You know, I'm comfortable anywhere. I've been training with a lot of tough guys who put me in tough positions. So I'm definitely ready.
Brandon Hinchman (Bleacher Report): What is the most important thing to focus on in training?
Efrain Escudero: I'd say cardio. I can't be the best at everything, but I'll make sure I'm the best conditioned that night.
Brandon Hinchman (Bleacher Report): How much did training on Team Nogueira help you with MMA?
Efrain Escudero: It helped a lot. I got to see how a world class fighter trains, and I learned a lot.
Brandon Hinchman (Bleacher Report): If you had to choose to fight Clay Guida, Kenny Florian, Diego Sanchez, BJ Penn or Frankie Edgar, who would you face and why?
Efrain Escudero: If I had to choose out of all of them..... I wouldn't want to pick any one of them in particular.
Those guys hold up the ladder, you know, and I'm ready to fight who they give me. I want to fight the best, and those guys are the best.
Brandon Hinchman (Bleacher Report): How much longer do you think it'll be before you get a shot at the title?
Efrain Escudero: It might take a year or longer, but I'm definitely aiming for it. I've been fighting for a while, and if I keep getting better and better, then I'll deserve a title shot one day.
Brandon Hinchman (Bleacher Report): Thanks for your time, Efrain. Good luck in your next match.
Efrain Escudero: Sounds good. Thank you man.