A veteran of 31 professional fights, lightweight Bobby Green next appears on October 7 at UFC 216 in a fight against Lando Vannata, having stepped in to replace original opponent Abel Trujillo. Green, 30, is on the hunt for a victory. He has lost his three previous fights – to Edson Barboza, Dustin Poirier and Rashid Magomedov – and knows the time is now to reverse his fortunes and get back in the win column in Las Vegas.
Before his make-or-break fight against Vannata, the pride of San Bernardino, California, answered the wide-ranging questions of Fighters Only contributor Tony Reid…
Q: What is the one thing nobody knows about you?
Bobby Green: The best thing is that I’m the Muhammad Ali, the Bruce Lee and the Manny Pacquiao of the new day in combat sports. That is the best thing they don’t know about me. When they figure it out, it’s going to be on!
Q: What is your favorite memory from your first fight?
BG: I fought Neal Abrams. He was one of the instructors for ‘Big’ John McCarthy. We had one of those wars, one of those fights where we went toe-to-toe and just teed off on each other’s face. Bow, bow, bow, and then I picked him up and slammed him and he would get back up and then pow, pow, pow, and I picked him up and slammed him again. I got him finally (TKO) but it was a crazy fight.
Q: What is the best moment in your career so far?
BG: I haven’t had my best moment yet, but so far I would say it’s that I am finally getting my respect. Nobody knew who I was. I was a huge underdog to Josh Thomson. People now know I am a threat. I proved I could go in there with a top five guy in the world. I think now, after that win, I am starting to get my respect and that is the best feeling. This is going to be the greatest moment for me.
Q: Why is MMA superior to other sports?
BG: We have a respect thing for the most part. Josh was a good sport. He said some stuff afterwards, like he thought he won the fight, which blows me away, but overall everyone has a genuine respect for each other in the sport.
Q: What feels better – a knockout or submission victory?
BG: I think a knockout feels better. It’s like “I’m the man! I’m the man!” Everybody thinks they are the man when they knock someone out in a fight.
Q: Who is the best opponent you have faced in your career so far?
BG: All of my opponents are great in different ways. There are certain things they all do and have that make them great. Dom O’Grady in King of the Cage was my first title fight I had go five rounds and I realized that I have the cardio to go all five rounds. JZ (Gesias Cavalcante) taught me that I can fight with the big boys. And fighting Josh Thomson I realized I can wrestle with these guys. I only wrestled three years in high school. I wrestled sophomore, junior and senior year. How am I wrestling with these guys?
Q: How do you get pumped before a fight?
BG: I only needed Burt Watson to get me fired up! He did his “It’s rollin’” thing and that really got me fired up.
Q: What job(s) did you have before becoming a fighter?
BG: I worked in a refrigeration place, like in shipping and receiving. It was cold but I could go in there and eat all kinds of junk food, so that was good.
Q: What cartoon character do you resemble?
BG: I don’t really get anything like that, but I do get called and compared to Rampage a lot.
Q: Which three people, past or present, would you invite to dinner?
BG: Adam Sandler, Muhammad Ali and Bruce Lee. Actually, let me change that. Get Adam Sandler out and put Albert Einstein in there instead. Jim Carey and Adam Sandler are my two favorite actor/comedians, though.
Q: Who is the best trash-talker in MMA?
BG: Chael Sonnen, hands down. But he’s really not a trash-talker. It is trash sometimes but he’s joking and most people realize that. I hate the phrase “trash-talk”. If you are just name-calling, that’s more trash talk. But if you have a point or have hard facts to back up what you are saying and you make an intelligent point, that’s not trash talk.
Q: What is your guilty pleasure?
BG: I love peanut butter cream of wheat. That is my guilty pleasure. I put cookies in it. I put bananas in it.