After a disappointing debut in Strikeforce, Danillo Villefort's momentum was completely derailed.
On top of suffering a tough decision loss to unheralded Nate James, he also was suffering some serious nagging injuries which required long-term recovery.
So instead of diving back into training, he took the back seat, helping his younger brother Yuri make his way to Ultimate Fighting Championship and fulfill his dream there.
While he wasn't training or fighting, he took a job working at Jaco Hybrid Training Center, a company owned by his manager Glenn Robinson.
Now fully recovered, Villefort made his World Series of Fighting debut earlier this year, earning a close split decision over Kris McCray to earn a berth in the WSOF middleweight championship tournament. He'll be battling Dave Branch in the semifinals tomorrow night (Sept. 14, 2013) in the co-main event of WSOF 5 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Villefort spoke to MMAmania.com about his brother's performance in UFC, his hunger for finishing fights, and the benefits of going back to training full time in this exclusive interview.
Check it out:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I hate to start on a sour note, but your brother Yuri just fought at UFC Fight Night 28 in Brazil and he came up just short with a split decision loss. What did you think of the fight?
Danillo Villefort: He didn't perform very well. He can do way better than that, we all know this. Some days you have a bad or a good performance and it is what it is. We just have to go back to training, keep working hard and get better. When I first saw the fight on Fox, I thought he won the first and second rounds, but it was really close. We've got to finish fights. He tried, but he couldn't. The other guy was better that night.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Does that push you a bit harder heading into this David Branch fight, the feeling that you have to finish him?
Danillo Villefort: I always go to finish, bro. I always go for the TKO or submission. Sometimes it doesn't happen and with my brother, that doesn't affect me. Sometimes you have to be selfish and focus on your own thing. Things happen around you and you have to focus and keep going. I'm ready, three hundred percent ready for this fight. David Branch is a tough guy. I respect him. He comes from a great gym but I come from the Blackzilians and we are killers here. That's what I'm going to try to do, go out and knock him out and finish the fight. We'll see what he brings to the table.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You had a solid debut with World Series of Fighting and looked strong. What did you make of your last fight against Kris McCray?
Danillo Villefort: It was good, but I work for Jaco and at that time I was working full-time. I was only training at night. I couldn't do jiu-jitsu, I couldn't do wrestling. I was just sparring. I didn't prepare. That was the first time I fought in a long time and I had nothing but respect for my opponent, but the fight was not what I expected. I think the results of this fight will be much more different. I'm way more prepared for this fight.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): So for this fight, are you getting more time to train and do all the little things to get yourself in fight shape?
Danillo Villefort: Yeah, man. Thank god I have the best boss in the world. Glenn Robinson is my manager and my boss at Jaco. He saw I was training really hard and I'm doing everything I can to get better and now I'm only working three times a week, part time. Now I have way more time to train and rest which makes a huge difference in your training camp.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Do you feel better now that you're training a lot more instead of just sparring?
Danillo Villefort: Oh yeah. Oh yeah, man. I wish this fight was tonight.
You can follow Danillo on Twitter @IndioMMA.