With a tendency to do his talking in the ring, Liverpool lad Terry Etim has been something of a quiet assassin since joining the UFC in 2007. His first two fights were decision losses but once he clicked into gear he put together a four-fight winning run which included two Submission of the Night bonuses.
Among his fans is the UFC commentator Joe Rogan, who describes Etim as “a lightweight Anderson Silva” thanks to his movement and strong Muay Thai skills. But January 2012 was a setback for Etim as he suffered a KO loss to Edson Barboza via a kick which was declared the Knockout of the Year.
Injuries have also proved problematical; broken ribs and a broken shoulder have contrived to see two matches with Joe Lauzon scrapped and today, Saturday February 16, will be the first time since last January that we have seen Etim in action.
FO: Its a while since we have seen you; where have you been?
After [that loss in] Brazil I had to take a bit of time off after that fight and then I got back to training. I was supposed to fight Joe Lauzon and then I snapped my shoulder, which was a bad injury and obviously I couldn’t fight.
It pissed me off even more that the fight was going to be against Lauzon because he is someone I have really wanted to fight for a really long time. If the fight comes up again I will jump at the chance to fight him but obviously I couldn’t fight him with that type of injury. Now, February 16, its good to be back, good to be healthy.
FO: How do you mean ‘snapped’ your shoulder?
I completely snapped my shoulder, my ACJ (Acromio Clavicular Joint). I was in the gym and I went for a flying armbar and I missed and to be honest, the second that I landed I knew it was a bad injury. I had to go to the hospital for scans and they said ‘you better hope its not your ACJ’ and obviously, it was my ACJ. But now its all healed up and all ready to go.
FO: What was more painful, the physical injury or the embarrassment of missing a flying armbar in front of everyone?
Ha! Both. Mainly the injury. Having an injury and not being able to fight for so long. If that’s the only thing you know how to do and the only thing you want to do and then you are kept away from the gym because of injury, it proper cracks you up.
You are watching everybody fighting and everyone else getting on, other people training. Especially since [that fight with Barboza] the only thing you want to do is get back and redeem yourself and get back to winning ways but you cant do that without being able to fight. February 16 I have got a lot to prove, to the fans and to myself. I am gonna come back and show everyone what I am all about.
FO: Do you feel like there is some potential you still have to live up to?
Not even potential that I have to live up to. In my own head I fully believe in my own talent and my own potential. I am 100 per cent confident I can go very far in this sport and very far in this weight division. I’ve had a few setbacks but I think that’s part of the sport, that’s MMA. That’s behind me now and I have to look to the future. Lets take it from here.
FO: so today’s opponent, a Brazilian by the name of Renee Forte. He is new to the UFC; do you know much about him?
Renee Forte… I don’t know too much about him. I have seen a few of his fights but I’ve not really been looking too much into his fights, I have been working hard on my own game and I am ready for anyone. I think its going to be a bad night for him.
FO: And finally, clear this up for us. When you pulled out of the second fight with Lauzon one of our staff writers was talking to him in Boston and he voiced the opinion that maybe you just don’t want to fight him…
I would fight Joe Lauzon on the drop of a hat, let me tell you. If I get offered that fight I will fight him… any time, any place, any where. I will fight him in his own back yard [of Boston]. If Joe Silva wants to make that match let me know, and Joe Lauzon accepts, lets do it, its on.
Because its fell through twice. First time I broke my ribs and second time I snapped my shoulder. Two very serious injuries and for someone to be saying I don’t want to fight him - who does he think he is? I really want the fight so please, put it together and lets get it on.