The second half of 2013 has been pretty tumultuous for defending champions. We've already seen two firmly established champions in Anderson Silva and Ben Henderson go down just in the past three months.
Eddie Wineland believes that big things like that always come in threes and he's going to be the cherry on top.
The inaugural WEC Bantamweight Champion enters his UFC 165 bout Saturday night (Sept. 21, 2013) against interim bantamweight titleholder Renan Barao as a heavy underdog, but that's not going to stop his firm belief in himself.
As he said in part one of his interview yesterday, the Indiana native feels he has the type of one-punch knockout power to complete change the dynamic of a fight.
In part two of today's exclusive interview taken from Wineland's appearance on The Verbal Submission, the upcoming title challenger talks having more exposure despite losing main event status, fighting angry and how he's like the bout against Barao to finish.
Check it out:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): 2013 has kind of been the year of new champions. We had Chris Weidman upset Anderson Silva and Anthony Pettis dethrone Benson Henderson. Does seeing these established champions getting knocked off give you an extra boost of confidence heading into Saturday night?
Eddie Wineland: A lot of people believe that things come in threes and like you said, you've got Weidman, Pettis and here's the third one. Absolutely. I believe it's my time and I think it's the year of upsets.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You were supposed to be the main event of UFC 161 against Barao but it was delayed due to an injury to the champ. Now, you're the co-main event underneath Jon Jones defending his light heavyweight title. Do you prefer coming in under the radar or do you like having the pressure and the big spotlight?
Eddie Wineland: As silly as it sounds, I'm going to get more press for this fight than if I were the main event of 161. Everybody wants to see Jon Jones fight. He's pound for pound considered the best fighter in the world right now. The pay-per-view buys are gonna be crazy. In order to watch Jon Jones, you're gonna have to watch me first and I think that's better coverage for me than being the UFC 161 main event.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Okay, this is a question from my co-host, Ben Thapa. He wants to know how the healthy addition of a Bengal cat to your two-dog house went.
Eddie Wineland: (laughs) You know, that one actually stems from Jon Jones. I woke up one morning at the firehouse and I saw something Jon Jones had posted on Twitter. It was like, "Hey, check out my African Serval" so I looked into getting an African Serval and that transitioned to looking for a Savannah and it ended up being a Bengal cat. Needless to say, by that night I had a Bengal cat. So first thing I did that night was take a picture of it and announce I had a Bengal cat in my living room.
I never really was a cat person and I'm still not all the way there. I love my two dogs more than the cat but the cat is really really cool. My fiance is always giving me crap about having big dogs. She always wanted a small dog and I refused to get a small dog because they remind me of a football and I'd much rather have a large cat than a small dog so that's that.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I saw you were working with Bellator champion Pat Curran in preparation for this fight. Is that something you've done often?
Eddie Wineland: He's out on Crystal Lake and it was the first time we trained together for this camp. We've actually worked together multiple times this camp as he's coming in to get a different look and I'm doing the same thing. He's a super nice guy. His boxing is on point, very straight, very technical. It really helps to see different looks from people you don't see every day. I think it helps tremendously.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You had a big mentality shift after the two tough losses to Faber and Benavidez and you transitioned to this big "refuse to lose" mentality where, even though you had a canyon gash on your forehead against Scott Jorgensen, you stepped forward and put him out anyways. Can you talk a bit about this shift in fight mentality?
Eddie Wineland: I've always had that mentality, not the extent I have it now, but it came down to that Jorgensen fight where I was thinking, "Hey, win this fight or you're gone!" We were pumping a lot of heavy metal at the gym and I don't know if you've seen that Saturday Night Live skit where they keep yelling "Scott Jorgensen" over and over but that was our montage for the whole training camp. We'd be in the middle of a training camp and yell "Oh Scott Jorgensen!!" It just got to the point where I was thinking, "You're not gonna beat me. I don't care what your wrestling background is, the only thing that's going to happen is I'm going to kick your ass. It was simple. It was straightforward and I'm mentally prepared and on point.
As funny as it sounds, most people make mental mistakes when they get pissed off but when I get pissed off, that's when I get on point. I get tagged in the gym a couple times and my coach will see me chew down on my mouthpiece and really get fired up. That's when I'm most on point. When I'm pissed off, I don't think anyone in the world can beat me.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Have you considered having your parents in your corner to tell you that you were adopted right before the ref starts the fight just to get you worked up?
Eddie Wineland: (laughs) You won't believe this but my mom already does that. All week before the fight she does that. Once we get to Toronto, she'll be texting me the whole time trying to get me riled up and fired up, "I read on the internet that you're nothing but a sissy." She does a really good job of riling me up.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You've been training for this fight nearly all year. When you picture victory against Renan Barao, what do you see?
Eddie Wineland: You know, we've been training for one fight since April. That's good for me, bad for him. Every training camp I have finished it on a whole new platform. We'll peak, then I'll come back down about half, then peak higher and come back down. Each time I've come back and peaked higher and higher and I've had two training camps for one fight. I'm way better off now than I would have been for the June fight. I see this fight being ugly, dirty, nasty and we'll both probably bleed. I see me gutting it out and I'm gonna put him out. He's punch me, I'm gonna punch him and he's not gonna like it. He's gonna try to take me down and realize he can't take me down and I'm gonna punch him in the face again and he's gonna fall down.
Eddie would like to thank everyone at New Breed, Jason at Applied Strength and Conditioning and his managers. You can follow him on Twitter @EddieWineland.