Pre Fight with UFC 277 Anthony Lionheart Smith, Julianna Pena and Drakkar Klose with Sweet Science Danny Hilton

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UFC 277 JULY 30, 2022 AMERICAN AIRLINES CENTER, DALLAS, TEXAS, Anthony Smith 36-16-0 vs Magomed Ankalaev 16-1-0

Sweet Science Boxing Present “Nothing is Sweeter” Special Attraction Danny Hilton also on card Jordan Martinez, Ferando Martinez, Antonio Brown, Victor Ruiz, Prescott Valley AZ, Findlay Toyota Center

The following are quotes from Jay Pagliaro from MMA Fight Coverage in honor of our former show host and UFC Fighter Ryan Jimmo:

“Six years ago, this world, not just the MMA world, this world, suffered an insurmountable loss. I myself suffered a huge loss. This show and everybody affiliated has gone on, but it hasn’t been the same the world. You all knew he was a hell of a fighter. those of you who did listen to show knew Ryan Jimmo was a hell of a how personality, a hell of a host, that guy forgot more about MMA and most topics than any of us will ever know. Those of you that did follow the show behind and the scenes may not have known how was outside of all that.  Ryan Jimmo was one of the best human beings that you will ever meet. Ryan Jimmo was one of the best friends I’ve ever had.  Ryan Jimmo was one of the greatest human beings I’ve ever met. Ryan Jimmo would give the shirt off his back for any of his friends and any of his training partners and any of his family.  There’s not a day that goes by where my friend isn’t missed. And there’s not a day that goes by were he’s not thought about as fondly as he was when he was here. I said it on my Facebook post and I’ll say it here it’s a tragedy that it’s gone its a ******* travesty. But I promise, like I did in his wake, like I did the day he was taken from us, that he was stolen from us. As long as I have an ounce of breath in my soul, I will keep Ryan Jimmo’s name alive. Linda, Paul Roxy and everyone that loved Ryan as much as I do, they are all my thoughts.  Ryan, I love you always my brother. You were one of a kind and like I said you will always be the fabric of this show. You’ll always be fabric of my life and I will keep your name alive as long as I’m here. Love you brother.”

Julianna Pena is the current UFC Women Bantamweight Champion and a current coach on The Ultimate Fighter which airs on ESPN+ The Venezuelan Vixen will defend her title at UFC 277 July 30 2022. We also checked in with Drakkar Klose who will be fighting Diego Ferreira at the same event.

The following are quotes from Julianna from her interview with MMA Fight Coverage. Her answers are written but to hear or see the entire interview use the appropriate links for our Youtube, Soundcloud, Spotify and Amazon Music accounts.

“We’re going to see a bigger, better, faster, stronger, version of Amanda Nunes than the world has ever seen before. I absolutely take her with 100% seriousness and I know that she’s going to be coming for me and I’m going to be coming for her.  So, it’s going to be a clash of the Titans on July 30th.

“There is a massive target on my back but that was the position that I had been gunning for. That’s the position that I’ve been wanting and that’s, you know the position that is my job to keep. You know once you get to the top of the mountain, it’s my job to kick everybody off of it. And make sure that no one is able to climb it, so there’s, of course. a gigantic target on my back.  The target that I asked for so now I just have to put the smile on and realize that I am not being forced to do this. No one’s putting a gun up to my head. This is something that is my life’s work.  This is a pleasure for me and I get the opportunity to do this. There’re so many people that would love an opportunity to be in this situation and so for me it’s a blessing and not only is it a blessing but I take it at 110% seriousness.

You said that I was the hunter before and now I’m the hunted. But I look at it the other way and I would say that I am actually the hunter. Still, I have that challenger mindset and I’m the champion and I’m going to stay the champion. The way to do that is to continue to keep that humbleness about me, to make sure that I’m doing anything and everything possible to make sure that my hand it’s raised. That means taking Amanda at 110% seriousness at all times because she is very dangerous.

It is my job is to make sure that I’m meeting these media demands. But at the end of the day the fight is the most important thing. I wake up every day getting the opportunity to train three times a day, six days a week. When you put in that much work and when you put in that much time, there’s nothing really left to fear. I’m just ready for them to say go, you know, because I know how hard I’ve been working. I know what I’ve done to get to this point and you know it’s very much something that is in my capabilities to grasp and to take and to cement my legacy and to just go out there and solidify my name.

 I thought that, that was going to get the respect, the first time, but these MMA fans are never happy. It’s never enough. You know, everyone thinks it was a fluke. Everyone thinks that it was just: Oh, the sky was you know more bluer that day and Juliana fell from the sky and she beat Amanda but that’s because you know, XYZ for this, and Amanda and you know that’s OK. That’s why we’re doing it again.  That’s why I asked for this fight. That’s why I’m having this round two to prove to everybody that it wasn’t just a fluke. That it wasn’t something that just you know happened to just fall on that day, and she tripped on a banana peel. This is something that I’ve been calling for, for five years. This is something that I said was going to happen. I said what I was going to do five years ago. I said what I was going to do before the fight and then I did everything that I said I was going to do.  So, this is just my chance once again to hush the naysayers up. To solidify my name and to go out there and say hey you know Amanda’s era was then and it was great and I respect what she’s done for the sport and I absolutely respect her as an athlete. But right now, it’s my era. Right now, it’s my time: it’s the Pena power time! And I’m just trying to focus on that and making sure that I get my hand raised. I’m willing to go out there and do everything that I have to do to make sure that that happen.”

You need to keep your eyes on these guys because this is the next generation of up-and-coming fighters. I took that very seriously and when you finally see who’s in the finale you guys are going to see some standout people that will be in the UFC for years to come. They’re kind of like a little gift to the UFC world as far as the next up and coming fighters goes. It’s really exciting to see. It’s a nice to see, you know, that I got to work with these guys, in in terms of their careers being respectively new, and opening their eyes to the UFC and the lights and everything like that. It was just overall fun to get the opportunity to coach them and kind of bring them along to what they’re going to expect in the UFC.  I can’t wait for you guys for the finale and I think you guys are going to be really excited. ” 

The following are quotes from Drakkar Klose:

“I really think this is a good match-up. The only chance he has, he’s going to want to try to get me to the ground.  This is probably the first time, like where a lot of interviews, a lot of these fighters, they lie about how they really are. But you know, this is the first time, I’ve really studied. I’m trying like I was when I was 16 years old again. Trying to get back to the roots of things and what got me here. And that’s made me happy and it’s definitely going to showcase the 30t;h .

He’s slow on his feet. I don’t think he has anything really for me. Not anything you haven’t seen. Nothing.  Not to sound cocky but he’s too slow. I mean he has all those fights: he doesn’t take people down; he gets taken down.  He gasses out every fight. I like to push the pace. Hopefully he’s out there running, you know, trying to keep his cardio. I just don’t think he’s ready for me. I think I’m going to give him his walking papers.

I don’t like losing. I really haven’t lost too much in my life. In high school I was, what, 205 and 15, you know 15 losses in four years.  And most of those where you know my freshman year. But you know what I mean, I’ve always been a winner and always find a way to win. I really don’t have a fight style. You know I just go in there and fight.  Let’s see who’s going to walk out with their hand raised.

 I’m not trying to get hit so I rather dictate when I’m going to get hit.  I’m not going to sit there and stand in your range and let you do your things to me.  I’m just going to push the pace and try to do what I have to.

I remember growing up my mom would always tell me, that was going to, I was, something special.  That’s the reason I fight. Because she said if you do something you don’t quit. So I can’t quit it until I’m done. Until I can’t do it anymore, you don’t quit.”

Speaking on his Gym The MMA Lab, his coach, and beginning of his career, “I put all my faith in Crouch. To be honest he would tell me when I would fight, you know what I mean, like he pretty much managed my career.  At the beginning, if he didn’t think it was a good match-up he wouldn’t tell me, but he just wouldn’t accept the fight.  You know like there was years where I would just train all year and not get flights. It made me better and when you listen to the right ones, that had your best interest in mind, Crouch has never steered me in the wrong direction.  Even with all that stupid stuff that went on with Fight Ready and all. He was right. He told me everything that what was going to happen and I didn’t listen.  I had to be a man, and you know, let him know that he was right and apologize. That’s one of those things that, I’m just glad that you know, it happened sooner not later. Say it never happened? I might not be in the UFC anymore. I’m happy again. I’m back with my team.  We’re pushing each other. The vibe in the gym is so great right now, we’re just going to keep racking up these wins and we’re going to be, still be, the best MMA team for the next 10 years come.”

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