For a fighter once dubbed "Fainting Phillipe" by UFC President Dana White during his stint on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season eight, Saturday night (November 26, 2011) will be an opportunity to turn over a new leaf.
"The Filipino Assassin" has shifted his training to a trio of world class gyms in the New York area, Renzo Gracie's gym for jiu-jitsu, Edge Wrestling for his offensive ground work and Church Street Boxing to refine his striking technique. He believes it will make all the difference.
Did we mention that he still works full time at a hospital?
Nover discussed getting rid of distractions in part one of his interview with MMAmania.com and in part two, he talks about his Bellator contract, still being the 'toughest nurse on the planet' and the effect that unrealistic expectations had on him.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Is this a fight that's a potential qualifier for a lightweight tournament, or are you just trying to get some wins for a televised promotion?
Phillipe Nover: I have a three fight deal with Bellator. We discussed the contract with the tournament and it didn't really fit what I wanted. This contract with Bellator, three fights separate deal, separate fights was something that I was more interested in. The Bellator tournament is great and maybe I would do that in the future but as of now, I'd rather fight now with a three fight deal and this was something that my manager was telling me about, it's more practical to fight one fight at a time and not be subject to the tournament right now.
Gerry Rodriguez: Efrain Escudero recently fought for Bellator. Was there ever any discussion to have a rematch with him inside the Bellator cage?
Phillipe Nover: That would be, (laughs) lemme tell you, when I saw on the internet that he got signed there, man, I respect Efrain completely. He's a really good kid and we have obviously a history together. He took my Ultimate Fighter finale from me and definitely I would love to fight him one day. I haven't spoken publicly about it but it's something in the future that's a possibility. I don't know if he'd agree to, if he would or if he wouldn't but that definitely would be something pretty cool where it would actually be a pretty epic fight, something legendary for me to get an opportunity and maybe the winner gets a UFC contract all over again.
That's something in the future that can happen. As of now, I'm eating my cake piece by piece. Actually, I'm not eating any cake right now because I'm cutting weight but little by little, that is definitely something in the future. I'd like avenging my losses, I'd love to fight the people I lost to before. I feel it would be totally different now especially in my wrestling game and my overall game is definitely improving and developing. I'd love to fight him again.
Gerry Rodriguez: Are you still the toughest nurse on the planet or is that pushed to the side while you focus on MMA?
Phillipe Nover: I am still the toughest nurse on the planet. I'm actually on my way to work right now. I do work 12 hour shifts at the hospital. I don't work the emergency department anymore. It was really tough balancing working in the ER and being on my feet running around like a maniac. It was super draining and adding that to your training. Now I work in a different department. I work in cardiac cath. It's a very controlled environment. We do have emergency situations but it's a lot easier on the body and on the mind.
It does take a lot more skill I think, we have to learn a lot more and I have to brush up on some schooling and stuff but I feel like I'm able to train full time and go to work full time working cardiac cath so it's a great nursing gig. I'm happy that I scored this job and my co-workers and my boss, they're all supportive so I'm very glad that they are supportive of my fight career. My boss actually came to one of my fights, my Muay Thai fight in New York and she's wonderful.
Gerry Rodriguez: When you were on the show, Dana said you reminded him of a young GSP, compared you to Anderson Silva, did that have any kind of impact on your psyche as far as how you approached training and the fight?
Phillipe Nover: I would say it had an impact. I was like blown away, it was huge. At the time, i was super blown away. I was like a nobody at the time and just to be thrown right into the spotlight, I didn't have any mental capacity to compare, to live up to that. It was huge and it definitely blew my head out of proportion. I wasn't gonna fit those shoes, man. It definitely kind of maybe messed me up a little in my head but as a fighter, anyone can say anything about you. You can say that he sucks, he's good. I've kind of learned how to roll with the punches. People can say whatever they want now and I'm just gonna go out there and be me.
I'm not the next Anderson Silva, I'm not the next Georges St. Pierre even though I do train with Georges when he's in the city but I'm not him. I have my own type of style and I like to take things from different people. I like to take different movements and styles and stuff but I'm not trying to be the next Georges. I'm not trying to be the next Anderson, I'm the next Phillipe Nover and that's what I'm gonna live up to. That's who I want to be. That's what you can expect on the 26th too.
Ben Thapa: It's interesting you mention the eclectic approach to who you pattern your game after. I think you train at three different places right now, is that right?
Phillipe Nover: Lemme tell you, sometimes I'm never home. I actually go straight from work, I go straight to training. I sleep at the gyms I train at. I've got the keys. Luckily at Edge, they have a washer and a drier and a lounge and I chill there two hours, I wake up, guys are on the mat, I work with them, I take privates. I'm living on the subway system. I mean this is my life and I love every second of it. It's tough, lemme tell you. It's not a normal life at all but I'm so driven right now, it's like I have an unbelievable fire under me right now that's pushing me forward and it's pretty crazy but I love every second of it. Every day I'm on the mat training and just learning new shit. This is where I want to be and I don't have anything draining me now.
I don't have to worry about my neck. I don't have to worry about some girl. It's just me and what I want to do and my dreams are in front of me. It's like so much focus and I love it. I don't care if I'm on the subway, sometimes I'm on the subway for four hours a day, just travelling from gym to gym and then I'm working 12 hours at the hospital. I know that all of this is gonna pay off, 100 percent. I can feel it. I can feel my game improving. I can feel my wrestling improving. My last fight against Jake Murphy, he was even better wrestler, if you look at his resume, his wrestling was way better than Efrain's. He was a Division I NCAA qualifier and I was able to take him down in the third round a couple times. For me to score that and when I fought Efrain I had no wrestling experience. It's just such an improvement now with my game and every place I'm training. I'm just so happy that this is happening. I don't care if I have to live like this for a few more years. I will continue living like this, working and training and living on the grind, man. This is what fighting is all about. This is what my life is about and the hard work will pay off. I know that for sure.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You've had this fight booked for quite a while now, how do you see yourself getting a victory on Saturday night?
Phillipe Nover: My victory is gonna come via probably knockout. I'm not technically gonna look for the knockout like I'm gonna be eager for it. I'm gonna take my time. I'm gonna be at EKG rhythm, just pacing myself and when I start picking him apart on the feet, when I stuff some of his takedowns or I decide to take him down, I'm either gonna ground and pound him or I'm gonna knock him out. Probably in the second or third round once I get a good bead on him. Strategically, I feel good going into the fight. The biggest obstacle right now is just getting this weight off. I've been a little heavier, a little stronger but it's gonna happen. I'm not gonna miss weight. I'm gonna finish him for sure.
Phillipe would like to thank his newest sponsor Underground Clown and Future Legends Team who have been really good to him. He'll be wearing some Future Legends gear when he enters the cage on the 26th and he's proud to wear it.
So what do you think, Maniacs?
Do you agree with Nover that he'll score a stoppage victory against Marcin Held on Saturday night? Will the ridiculous schedule he keeps come back and bite him?
To listen to the complete audio or our interview with Nover, click here.