Friday, February 16, 2007

Fighting Irish

When he stepped into the octagon in January against internationally renowned fighter Heath Herring, Jake O'Brien -- 22-year-old Jake O'Brien -- was a huge underdog.

At the time, Herring had almost three times as many pro wins (26) as O'Brien had fights (nine); Herring had experience fighting top-level PRIDE fighters like Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueria and a pre-UFC Mirko Cro Cop. O'Brien, meanwhile, had never before faced a top 10 heavyweight.

The fight was hyped as Herring's coming-out-party in UFC, with little thought given to the possibility that the 22-year-old former Purdue wrestler could win. But minute-by-minute, O'Brien grew more confident, controlling the action, taking Herring down at will and scoring a unanimous decision victory.

Now undefeated at 10-0 overall (3-0 UFC), O'Brien is suddenly a fighter to watch in the UFC. recently had a chance to talk to the young fighter about his big win, Herring's complaints about the fight, his future, and more.

Q: Now that your victory against Heath Herring has sunk in, how do you feel?
A: I've gotten to the level where I wanted to be a lot faster than expected. I didn't expect to be where I'm at this young, so that's kind of shocking. Beaten a guy like Heath Herring at this stage is surprising to me, but in a good way. It's going perfect.

Q: At what point during that fight did you start to feel that you were in control?
A: Probably the second or third time I took him down. From how easy it was to take him down, I knew I could dictate to where I wanted to keep the fight. And he wasn't posing any danger off his back, so I knew once I put him on the ground that I had the fight.

(Read More)

No comments: