Check out transcribed highlights from the interview above, including his "legit beef" with "The Undertaker," his beard (or lack there of), his take on being "coach" on this season of "The Ultimate Fighter" and much more.
Winter time is over and (the beard) had to go. I been growing the beard the last few winters because of hunting season and fishing and so, yeah, winter is just about over -- I'm hoping! One last snowstorm, though, but no, we just had to take it off. I don't think (the beard will be coming back), no, that thing took me like four months, maybe, to grow but no. I appreciate people enjoying the beard, though.
Well, I was... I just actually watched the fight a week ago. I wasn't sure how to approach it and I think it boils down to... last year, I had a lot going on in my life. I fought divirticulitis, made my comeback, fought Shane Carwin and then fought Cain Velasquez. As I watched the fight, I could see that there was probably, he just, I just wasn't able to overcome Cain's, you know... I really don't know what happened. He beat my ass, that's what happened, if I put it that way. But it's one of those things, I don't like to lose and you dust yourself off and get back on the horse and here I am. It's been able to work out, I don't know how it worked, I'm fighting the guy that if I would have beat Cain... I'm fighting Junior dos Santos, I'm doing the Ultimate Fighter; somehow I was able to land on my feet throughout this, and I suffered a loss but I"m learning a lot from it. I made some changes in my training camp and you got to just evaluate things and hopefully these things are going to make a difference.
You know, I think of how I can fix things. It's water under the bridge but it's one of those things where I've got to be able to go back and look at it and analyze it and as I analyzed the fight myself with my coaching staff, I didn't do so bad. I rushed the fight. I put pressure on it, was totally different, I rushed things, changed the gameplan a little bit on the fly, was trading punches with him and I got hit with a punch that I couldn't recover from. It's one of those things -- that's fighting. It's a matter of inches, especially when you're dealing with heavyweights with guys in there swinging little gloves around, somebody's gonna go down.
It really never crossed my mind (to leave). What people really don't understand is that last year I had a lot of things that happened in one year, from being sick to being on my death bed, having another child, fighting two title fights; I was completely exhausted. I needed to take some time out to get away from the spotlight and now I'm able to come back, I feel very refreshed and I'm... no, it never really crossed... I had to go back and analyze what I really wanted out of life. It's not just fighting, it's, 'do I want to go out and risk getting really injured? Why did the fight go the way it did' and all these things, you know? There's a lot on the line, you know? It's not just a title, I'm not fighting to be the champion, you know, there's a lot of other things on the line that you put in store. There's a lot of hard work and I fight for my family and I fight because I love it. There was a lot of speculation, I think, I have no idea. Probably because I just go dark, even when I win, I go dark. If I lose I go dark, I just need to get out of the light and get back and get grounded again because my training camps are, to me, very long and strenuous and the fight, the spotlight takes a lot out of me, and so I need to go back and get grounded and crawl back into my cave. So there's probably... I can see where there was a lot of speculation, especially with the stuff from the Undertaker. It's amazing how I don't even have to go and tell anything and just close the door and people will talk about me for months to come and it's a good thing.
You know, I was a bit delirious (when I walked by Undertaker). Obviously, Cain put me on a street that I didn't know the name of and so I was looking for my way home. I went out the Octagon, I had heard that Mark, The Undertaker, was gonna be there and... once again, I enjoyed working with Mark in the ring but me and him... there was some things said, we have a mutual friend and that kind of pissed me off.
(When he asked me if I want to do it), it's one of those thing where we've got a mutual friend and I overheard some things that he said about me and then I had a rebuttal to it and he must have, our friend must of relayed the message to him and he wasn't too happy. I don't know what he wants to do. Maybe he wanted to try to fight, I don't know if he was there to fight or what or if he was there to get some attention or what, I don't know.
The professional wrestling isn't ... these guys were a part of my life years ago and I think they see me having success outside of their universe that they can't do. There isn't one other pro wrestler that can do and make the change like I did. So I think there's some animosity there from the professional wrestling aspect of things. Because I can always go back and be a pro wrestler, they can't come and be an Ultimate Fighter. So it's one of those things where, I don't know (if they're jealous) and I really don't care. For me, like I said, I was on a street that I didn't know the name of that night and I was walking out and I happened to see him standing there and the last conversation I had with Mark was a year prior to that and I heard that he had said some things about my life and I wasn't happy with it so I had a rebuttal to it so... part of me wasn't even conscious, you know, when I walked out of the Octagon. Mark, if he ... Mark ain't got a shot in hell, even if he wanted to make the transition against me, I'm up for it. But I'm with a company now that I'm with. I don't even know where it came from. I was walking out, he was standing there, I was on a street that I didn't know the name of and so that's what happened.
It is a legit (beef), I got a problem with him. I have not (talked to him since), I don't need to. I'm focused right now, I don't want to get caught up in any of this other stuff. I'm a coach on The Ultimate Fighter, I want my title back, I gotta beat Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez. My hands are full right now and that's all I"m focused on right now.
(When Dana called my initial reaction to coaching The Ultimate Fighter was) no. I didn't want to. I'm comfortable where I'm at. I didn't want to go to Las Vegas for six weeks. (He had to do) quite a bit (of convincing). I am (happy I did it). I am, now. I think, for me, I'm a guy, I don't like to be out of my comfort zone and this was good for me to get out of my comfort zone. I discovered some things that I needed to discover in Las Vegas. I was able to... when you start coaching and teaching the things that you've acquired and forgot about, you know I've been wrestling now for 25 years, so I was able to sit back and not be under any pressure and watch my coaching staff teach and allow myself to teach things to these guys that wanted to learn things and I was able to learn things. So it was refreshing. It was outside of my environment. We're in an environment where... I found myself being in their shoes too because here I am, a former champion and they've got the same thing in mind -- they want to be an Ultimate Fighter. Well, I am an Ultimate Fighter but I want to be a champion again. So I found that I can put myself in there shoes a little bit and we need to break it down and get back to the basics and learn how to just win fights. So it was a good thing.
I don't have any beef against Junior other than the mere fact that he's in my way to get a title shot. I didn't have much interaction with him, there was a few things, but I got to discover that, you know... I got a read on a guy that deep down in my heart and soul and in my mind that I know I can beat. So it was a confidence thing, for me to be around a guy like that and everyday and I didn't feel threatened by him whatsoever. So it was a good thing and I was able to carry that over into my training and into the fight.
I will not be (at WrestleMania this weekend). Someday, if there was the opportunity for me to get back in the squared circle again under the right circumstances, but my home is the Octagon right now. That's where I feel that's my home. If someday the right opponent and the right circumstances came about, I would never say never but it won't be April 3. Like I said, I've had a busy life and it was a fun process (writing my book). Paul is a good friend of mine and we had fun. There was some comfortable moments and some uncomfortable moments in the book. It'll be good, it's action packed and full of lots of stories.
It is because you chose to get on the mat that makes you the winner. Think about how many people are not on that mat right now. - Luis Sucuri Togno