Written by Stephanie Pittman
Tuesday, 23 June 2009 13:45
Our featured interview today on the Lockdown is between UFC fighter Matt Veach, and our own Stephanie Pittman. Read about Matt's background in the sport, his outlook on his future in the UFC, the controversy surrounding the stoppage of his first fight, and his future in the UFC's most stacked division, after the jump!
Stephanie Pittman: First off Matt, I want to say thanks for taking the time to do this interview. I'd like to kick it off by asking you a little bit about your training with the H.I.T Squad. How did you get involved with training there and what is it like to train with former champions like Matt Hughes and Robbie Lawler? Were you nervous at first?
Matt Veach: "When Matt [Hughes] was preparing for his last fight with GSP he was training in Hillsboro and needed training partners, so I ended up being one of them. It was cool to work with Robbie and Matt, I wasnít nervous at all. It was good to be around people that have been through it all."
SP: Is the H.I.T Squad where you want to stay at? Would you be interested in training at any other camps? If so, which ones?
MV: "Yeah the H.I.T squad is my home, but I would visit other camps just to get a different perspective.Three gyms that come to mind are Jeremy Hornís, Greg Jacksonís, and Randy Coutureís."
SP: Tell me a little bit about your wrestling background. I read that you used to have a serious back injury. Is that a nagging injury or is it an issue of the past?
MV: "I started wrestling in the sixth grade, and competed for 12 years. I was a high school state placer, junior college all American, and a division one NCAA qualifier. I herniated a disc right out of college, it doesnít bother me anymore though."
SP: Your first UFC opponent was Matt Grice and there was some controversy over the stoppage. Did you think it was a fair stoppage?
MV: "I guess you could argue that is was maybe stopped early, but I think I could of finished him in the next 30 seconds, either way."
SP: Are you getting recognized as a UFC fighter now?
MV: "Yeah, some people do recognize me, here and there."
SP: So I read that youíre a full time fighter, but if you weren't, what do you think you would be doing?
MV: "Manual labour."
SP: Most of your wins are by submission. Which is your favorite finishing technique?
SP: Any heroes?
SP: If any, what music do you listen to when youíre getting pumped for a fight?
MV: "Rap music."
SP: How do you feel you compare to the elite in your division?
MV: "With the right training I can beat anyone."
SP: Is there any fighter that you would compare yourself to?
MV: "I don't like to compare myself to other fighters."
SP: How do you feel your wrestling matches to other D-1 wrestlers in your division like Edgar and Maynard?
MV: "Iím just as good as anybody in my division at wrestling."
SP: Well at UFC 102 youíre going to be fighting Evan Dunham, another undefeated fighter like yourself. How are you preparing for this fight? What area are you working on the most? And does having an undefeated record put any additional pressure on you?
MV: "Right at the moment Iím doing a lot of running and lifting. I start my training camp nine weeks out. I will work on everything equally. I feel no added pressure whatsoever."
SP: I want to share a quote I read by Dunham. "I think my overall game is better than his, as far as my striking and my jiu-jitsu on the ground. I feel both those aspects of my game are better than his, and my wrestlingís not too shabby either, so I think itís a great match-up for me.Ē
What is your response to that? What areas do you think you are better at than him?
MV: "If I train right, I'll beat him at everything."
SP: Well Matt that concludes this interview. Everyone over at fightlockdown.com would like to thank you for your time and wishes you luck on your upcoming fight.