Saturday, March 17, 2007

David Heath Is Not Intimidated By Machida

Another man’s injury is another’s man’s gain. When Forrest Griffin withdrew from his UFC 70 bout with Ryoto “Lyoto” Machida on April 21st, 2007, the UFC called undefeated light- heavyweight David Heath to see if he was up for the challenge. Already training for a fight in late May, Heath jumped at the opportunity and will be facing his biggest challenge to date. But don’t tell that to Heath, who is not intimidated by Machida at all. Here is what Heath told ADCC News about being the late replacement.

ADCC: Your last fight was in December of 2006 against Victor Valimaki at UFC’s Ultimate Fight Night 8. Most fans did not see that fight since it was not on the main broadcast. Can you describe the fight to us in which you were victorious by split decision? DAVID: First off the fact that it was a split decision was ridiculous and I’m told that Cecil Peoples [one of the UFC Judges] admitted he made a mistake on his card. The fight itself was exactly what I needed to get my sparring confidence in the ring. After so many hand problems and so much training geared toward grappling it was a relief to finally have a guy that would stand with me and I was as comfortable and poised as I thought I could be. The third round was pretty lackluster but I knew I had the first two in the bag and I honestly didn’t have the confidence in my cardio to make it the barn burner I would have liked to. But with my position with the UFC, winning was more important than finishing that particular one. As much as I hate going to the cards it was the smart thing to do.

ADCC: You just recently got the call to compete at UFC 70: Nation Collide on April 21, 2007 from England. Were you already in training mode when you got the call and is this enough time to face someone like Lyoto Machida? DAVID: I was expecting to fight on May 26th and had just started training for that. So although the timing of this isn’t ideal I wasn’t exactly sitting on the couch with a bag of chips when the phone rang. I would like more time but I will make this work. I’m happy for the opportunity so no matter what happens you wont hear any excuses from me.

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