Drysdale and one more submission: “Jiu-Jitsu will always be plan A”

Photo: Carlos Ozório

Our GMA in Las Vegas Robert Drysdale won his second professional MMA fight, again by submission, with a snug first-round armbar (watch it here). The bout took place last Saturday in Canada, and the black belt spoke with about the fight, his new projects, and much more.

What’s your take on your fight against Clay Davidson?

It was cool. Nowadays, I feel good in the ring. I feel at home, and I felt really well preparing for the fight. This time losing weight was harder, I suffered a bit, but on the day I was at full form and confident. My plan was to stand and trade a little longer, but we ended up grappling early on and I managed to use my Jiu-Jitsu. It was a cool experience, and – who knows? – maybe soon I’ll be in a bigger event.

Do you feel you’re already prepared to enter a big promotion like the UFC or Strikeforce?

I’m confident, and when I watch the UFC, I feel I can fight those guys. But I feel there’s no need to rush things. I feel a lot of guys feel in a hurry because of the money and I don’t think that’s cool. It never was the money that motivated me. In Jiu-Jitsu I competed at white belt, after a little while I competed at blue, and so on. I wasn’t in a hurry to get to black belt. It has to be the same in MMA; you can’t go skipping steps. I’m my own motivator, I try to be better tomorrow than I am today.

Só, to make it to the level you yearn for, what eles do you feel you need to work on?

Jiu-Jitsu’s my forte and I don’t feel it’s cool to set it aside to work only on my hands or takedowns. If you don’t practice what you’re best at you’ll become a worse fighter. But of course, I prioritize my standup and takedowns. Truth is, I train everything every day. I’m not one of those guys who thinks he knows everything there is to know on the ground, so I don’t forget about my Jiu-Jitsu. Even when I’m not competing, I like being a part of the evolution of the sport, because it’s what I love.

Now you count two submission wins. Do you plan to get some knockouts on your record, as well?

I train standup with a group of professional boxers, so I feel confident. But on the other hand, I feel it’s nonsense to want to become a striker over night. Of course, it could happen that the guy thwarts my ground game, but striking’s plan B. I have thirteen years of Jiu-Jitsu under my belt and two striking. So it’s as though I were a blue belt in the standup department, and it wouldn’t be smart for me to stand and bang in MMA right now. I have what it takes, but it would be a tactical mistake. I’d rather stick to the ground as plan A, and that’s not likely to change.

Any new projects?

I’ve got a really good team affiliated with me over in Manaus. Even Roberto “Pato” Fonseca, who just qualified for the World Pro, is there. I’m going to set up some fights for him and I want to set up a Jiu-Jitsu challenge between those guys and the fighters here in Vegas. That’s what I’m working on and it should be cool.

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