Pro Opinion: Rickels, Beltran, Sherman & Stamann

Questions on fantasy fights, great grapplers and Thai training for four top MMA pros…


The questions:

1. Who would have won a Pride lightweight Grand Prix in 2007?

2. Who’s the best wrestler you’ve seen for MMA?

3. How much better would you be competing at your natural weight?

4. Have you ever trained Muay Thai in Thailand?

5. What’s the last great film you watched?


David Rickels
Bellator 170lb scrapper

Q: Who would have won a Pride lightweight Grand Prix in 2007?

A: I have to go with Gilbert Melendez. I think he has more tools in the belt than the other guys. Although (Takanori) Gomi throwing fireballs could have wound up champion by KO every round.

Q: Who’s the best wrestler you’ve seen for MMA?

A: Easy. There’s no question it’s Ben Askren. That dude makes great fighters look incompetent in wrestling.

Q: How much better would you be competing at your natural weight?

A: I moved up from 155 to 170 and I’ve never felt better. The weight cut, mentally and physically, can destroy you. It’s hit or miss how much it actually helps you.

Q: Have you ever trained Muay Thai in Thailand?

A: No, but I’ve really wanted to go train Muay Thai with Dan Hooker. “Hard work is easy work. Easy work is hard work!”

Q: What’s the last great film you watched?

A: The last great film I watched was Big Trouble in Little China. “It’s all in the reflexes!”


Joey Beltran
Middleweight Bellator banger

Q: Who would have won a Pride lightweight Grand Prix in 2007?

A: From the list of possible fighters in the tournament I would say that Matt Hughes takes it.

Q: Who’s the best wrestler you’ve seen for MMA?

A: Hands down it’s Ben Askren.

Q: How much better would you be competing at your natural weight?

A: I have won at the highest levels at middle, light heavy and heavyweight. I would say I perform best as a small heavyweight, right at 230lb.

Q: Have you ever trained Muay Thai in Thailand?

A: I have never been to Thailand but it’s definitely on the bucket list.

Q: What’s the last great film you watched?

A: The last great movie I watched in a theater was Star Wars: Rogue One.


Chase Sherman
‘Vanilla Gorilla’ UFC heavyweight

Q: Who would have won a Pride lightweight Grand Prix in 2007?

A: The name that stood out to me the most was Matt Hughes.

Q: Who’s the best wrestler you’ve seen for MMA?

A: Khabib (Nurmagomedov), I would say. His ground and pound is really good.

Q: How much better would you be competing at your natural weight?

A: I just fight at my normal weight. I’ve always been trying to put weight on. I played football growing up and I had to make sure I was as big as I could be.

Q: Have you ever trained Muay Thai in Thailand?

A: A couple of my teammates have, and I’ve always wanted to go to Phuket and train with those guys and be around the beautiful beaches. One day I’ll go.

Q: What’s the last great film you watched?

A: I don’t recommend Transformers. That’s not very good. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 was really good. Bleed for This, that boxing movie, was pretty good.


Cody Stamann
Hot new UFC prospect

Q: Who would have won a Pride lightweight Grand Prix in 2007?

A: Probably Matt Hughes. He was killing everybody in that era. I was a big fan of him when I was young.

Q: Who’s the best wrestler you’ve seen for MMA?

A: Dominick Cruz. He’s so underrated. TJ Dillashaw had never been taken down in MMA and Dominick took him down three times.

Q: How much better would you be competing at your natural weight?

A: I hate cutting weight. I think everybody does. Fighting another ’35lb’er at ’45 was really nice. I wish we could all adopt the not-cutting-weight concept.

Q: Have you ever trained Muay Thai in Thailand?

A: I’ve never been, but I’ve heard a lot of people talk about how awesome it is and how cheap it is to live and train. That’s definitely a bucket-list trip.

Q: What’s the last great film you watched?

A: I went and watched Wonder Woman and that was surprisingly good. The Accountant has got to be in the top five movies I’ve ever seen.


*** This feature originally appeared in the October 2017 issue of Fighters Only ***

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