MMA Time – Interview 13 : Tom Duquesnoy (English subtitles)

Toni : Hello everyone,
thanks for joining us on a new episode of MMA Time.
We have the chance to be with Tom Duquesnoy. Hello Tom. Tom : Hey everyone,
it’s a pleasure to join today. Toni : We’re very happy to have you,
because as we said to you before, we had the chance to talk to Brandon Gibson,
your striking coach. For people to know it’s hands and feet at
Jackson-Wink gym in Albuquerque. Tom : Yes. Toni : We talked about you and he said to us he thinks the world of you.
And he talked about how you met, when you were visiting all the gyms in the
States. So first we wanted to go back to that with
you. Tom : Yes so what happened is that first of
all, I’m from Pas-de-Calais,
I moved, I moved to Paris at 18 after graduation.
To try to succeed in MMA. And the next step for me was, once I had acquired an
international level, to evolve with the very best,
and it seemed more suitable on the West Coast in the US. So from there I travelled for 2 months and visited all the gyms,
I did 1 month in Vegas, where I visited the main gyms,
I went to LA at Black House, and I finished up in Albuquerque with Jackson-Wink.
And I had a crush, even though all the other gyms were great. But I had a crush for Albuquerque and from then we put in place an intelligent
collaboration, and that’s when I met Brandon. Souheïb : Ah OK,
but how did you fall in love? Was it sport-wise or human-wise?
What decided you for Jackson-Wink? Tom : Because of my professional goals,
which are to compete at the highest level, with the sparring and a good mentality in
the gym, and coaches who can can can teach me the best
technique. It was this gym. Souheïb : And what about them, when they
saw a little Frenchy coming in with a bag pack,
and landing at Jackson-Wink, a gym with world champs,
and best in the sport. How were you receveid ?
How did they welcome you ? Tom : An American welcome,
really super nice doesn’t matter who who you are, how you are, if you have talent, it will show there.
First sparring with gloves on, you have to show who you are. And from there I remember, my second lesson on tuesday,
I landed on sunday. First sparring on monday,
second sparring on tuesday, Jon Jones was there telling me “really great,
we could do a video together”, and he puts a video on Instagram,
and likes start accumulating from God knows where. And it catches well, the very same evening, Jon Jones tells me to go out with them,
and because of the fact that i’m soft spoken and calm, and that I’m there to work, and that my talent is recognized there,
I rapidly became integrated. I’m settled. Toni : No language barrier at first? Not
too complicated to come from France and move to New Mexico? Not too different? Tom : Different? Yes.
But I’m bilingual, so it’s OK. But it’s true that Albuquerque is special. For a preparation, it’s ideal,
because you’re at 4,955 ft, there’s nothing to do.
So we’re focused on training. In that sens, it’s great.
But like you said about the environment, it’s true we’re in the middle of nowhere,
it’s truly the desert, in altitude, a bit of a pain. Souheïb : What about your training before MMA? Did you have a specific formation? In which
sport? Toni : I was trained in sambo but I came to MMA very quickly. at the age of 14-15 and I was waiting for my 18th birthday to compete, the age when you can fight
in the cage. So while I was waiting for that, I needed to polish my game.
I touched a bit of everything, boxing, muay thai, wrestling, Brazilian jiu jitsu,
I used to do competitions just to have this approach of fighting. So by the age of 18 I would be ready. Souheïb : By the way, once you’re there in Albuquerque with Jackson-Wink, how does it go for you, a classical training? How long do you work with each coach?
How long do you work with the BJJ coach? How long do you work with Brandon?
How long with the wrestling coach? How’s your training? Tom : There’s sort of a common core on monday,
tuesday, wednesday, thursday and friday. With sessions in wrestling and 3 sparrings.
In the afernoon, each and everyone does what he wants.
The one who must do strenght and conditioning, the one who needs to box,
the one who needs to work on his wrestling because his next opponent is a good wrestler.
It depends, everyone does what he wants in the afternoon. For myself, on monday and tuseday, sparring. After I do whether wrestling, ground or grappling with my BJJ coach, without the
jacket. And then on thursday and friday, more of the same. Sparring in the morning and wrestling
and ground in the afternoon. In the evening I’m more focusing on my body.
I do yoga, or sauna, or hot bath and cold bath, cryotherapy.
I’m more relaxed in the evening and I do a lot of technique too. That’s when I go and see Brandon Gibson.
There’s a good judo coach also, who was in the American olympic team. Souheïb : St. Leger, right? Tom : Harry St. Leger. So I do my thing. What’s great about is, is that it’s all inch-perfect, for you, for ypur performace, for your next fight.
So it’s fitting for you. really what suits you.
And you can develop it there, that’s what great. Toni : Is there a teammate with whom you like
to spar particularly? Or do you like to change so you can see a lot of styles. Tom : I spar with everyone
depending on the upcoming fight and my preparation, I try to spar with guys who can help me get ready for an opponent. And I try to find what I need.
My last opponent had good left hooks and a good jab. So I choose sparring partners with the same stature as my opponent
and I tell them what to do. So no specific sparring partner.
But there are good sparring, especially now. When I left Albuquerque, I’m coming back soon
and I’m gonna see them, but BJ Penn, Cub Swanson, Diego Sánchez in the same gym.
I saw Diego Brandão who came back Toni : It’s a phenomenal gym.
You have Benavidez who came for his fight recently. This gym is incredible. Tom : Yeah, there was Paige van Zant’s boyfriend too. Toni : Yeah, Cody Garbrandt. Tom : He was there too, he’s super good.
There was Lance Palmer too, who was champion with the World Series of Fighting, who’s a beast in wrestling.
The guys in Team Alpha Male start to transit in Albuquerque. Toni : This is what I wanted to talk to you
about. We did undersand that they liked
you. Because we talked to you about Brandon, about your character.
And yourself, you felt great there. But did you feel, when you landed at Jackson’s, that
it was already that complete in terms of trainers, fighters,
and that the level was really amazing there. Plus they’re great tacticians, you can see that if you look at the gameplans.
Unfortunately it went bad for Holly. But until the 5th round she was
controlling the fight. Souheïb : She was ahead in the scoring. Toni : She was ahead in the scoring.
So did that attract you too or was it only like you said the atmosphere in general? Tom : There were 3 things.
The reputation of course, because we already knew Greg Jackson, the great tactician,
very intelligent. I loved the style he gave to Jon Jones, Cowboy,
Condit. So I said to myself “I need to go there”.
And the guy looks so humble, so I need to go there, he looks so nice.
And then when you take informations, you look at the websie, you see that a lot of smaller weight classes fighters who are really great, who are
signing in the UFC or coming from it. To me it’s a real pleasure there.
From there on, magic happened from the very first week, even though I wasn’t the biggest
name, I’m still not in the UFC and they were already
in investing on me and spending time with me/ And they weren’t even sure I was coming back, that’s what I liked. And this is why I’m there. Souheïb : Before getting into details about your career plan
and what you want to do in the future, who’s your head coach? Is there somebody specific? Is there a coach dedicating himself
to your career? Tom : I need to choose a coach myself really.
I have super talented guys with me. You could say my head coach is my coach from Paris, Bourama Traoré,
Man of Shadow Somebody who was there from the very beginning
and who’s a master in technique. He’s the one who accompanies me in my fights. And whenever I need an advice in a particular field, I need to reach a specific guy. I’m going back to Albuquerque for 6 weeks.
I wanna focus completely on my game there. I’ll check with Greg, coach Wink and Brandon to see what I need and we’re gonna go from there. Toni : What is great about MMA, for people
to understand, is that the fighter really needs to be intelligent. You are the one assessing where you
need to work today, evaluating your strengths and weaknesses.
And you create your own training menu and you seek people and you’re the one analyzing yourself. Tom : That’s it. I have a small circle.
I have my father, my coach, my relatives. They tell me what they see.
We discuss the fights, we do video sessions.
From there, we look for working themes long term. And when I go back to the States and that’s the most
difficult thing, I need to take what I need from the training in Albuquerque, because there are many great things to learn there. And still maintain these working themes
I need, because if I forget everything i needed to correct from my last fight,
it doesn’t mean anything and that’s what’s difficult. And that’s why I like it there because you
can choose what you wanna do and what you need.
But still getting the benefits from my work there. Toni : Just a question about your life there. We saw during the press conference Unstoppable,
I don’t know if you could catch it, Alistair Overeem and Andrei Arlovski who are gonna fight
each other and who actually work in your gym. Could you bon with people there? Do you live alone there or
did your family accompany you. Do you have a life with the team at Jackson-Wink with other fighters?
Is there a strong bond between you? Or just like Overeem and Arlovski said, we work together, we spar togtether from time to time, but there’s no problem facing each other. Tom : It depends. They’re not the best friends in the world.
And they dodge each other during sparring sessions.
It reminds me a bit of Rashad Evans and Jon Jones when they fought.
They were never really friends before fighting each other. It’s good for business, so let’s do it. It’s the American mentality. Now it’s true they’re not BFF.
But to answer your question, I have friends there.
I live there. They invested in a in a new gym which was
a former FBI building. 3 million dollars.
Coach Wink invested on it. Upstairs there are 4 dormitories, 3 flats,
I have one of the 3. And then you have single rooms too.
You have everything there. You eat, you live, you
dream MMA. Toni : It’s an MMA institute. Souheïb : We saw one of your interviews where you
talked about dietetics, nutrition, and that’s part of your fighting life, of your professional
life. It’s really professionalized. Tom : I think that I’ve had a long tem vision.
Not like many bulk up or eat badly, and benefit myself for just 5-10 years in MMA.
I try, like Condit, to think about health, even if I have to be lighter on fighting days.
But to be balanced, so that I have a life after MMA. Not bulk up so much that I damaged my capital. I want to have a bearable life after my career. Toni : And talking about Carlos Condit,
we know he uses Mike Dolce for his nutrition on his training camps.
Did the Dolce method inspire you or other methods in general to learn? Because it’s truly meticulous, its almost
science. When we see how you must measure calories,
nutritional intake, etc. How did you build this aspect? Tom : They have a very professional take on this;
I do too. I listen to my body.
If someone gives you a scientific method, it can work for you but not for your friend.
I do a lot of research myself I try to develop it with it a small group of vegan
people I know, who eat very well, with a sport and performance vision. I am close to these people and I learn a lot from them. Souheïb : Are you ready to try new things? You
talked earlier about cryotherapy. You talked about baths and stuff.
Does somebody like Carlos Condit, who works with Erwan Le Corre, inspire you? Are you willing to try that kind of thing?
Can it provide you something? Toni : For people to know, Erwan Le Corre is a movement coach. Souheïb : Yes, sorry. Erwan Le Corre is Carlos Condit’s movement coach. Tom : Mobility and movement are really exploding
with Condit and McGregor. Souheïb : McGregor and Ido Portal, absolutely yes. Tom : I do some of it too.
I already did that in wrestling. It was kind of similar.
Like dancing moves. Loosen up on the ground. Quadrupedic exercises in wrestling.
I already used these things, but I didn’t synthetize them in that way. But Condit and McGregor are showing us the way. I’ve added that to my training. I’ve been working on this for 6 months now. I really like it, it’s a good transition. Toni : I wanna ask you a question, because it seems really
fun. We had the hance to interview Erwan Le Corre and
to talk about his work with Condit. We understand his expert eye and what he’s able to bring
to a fighter. and on the contrary
I was listening to a podcast ‘The Fighter & The Kid’, with Brendan Schaub, the former UFC fighter who screams against movement coaches, saying “you have no diploma, you’re nobody today”. And a fighter like McGregor saying “unfortunately for you, you lost. Work your wrestling, on your BJJ.
And once you’re a hundred percent on everything, you can do movement”.
But don’t do it while you still have weaknesses in your game.
Do you think it can really help a fighter, movement, fluidity, variations
or do you think like Brendan Schaub that you have to solidify all the basics and then incorporate
it? Tom : Brendan Schaub is right.
It shouldn’t become a sport per se. When I do it, it’s warm up, for 15-20 minutes.
And then we go at it! Its true its not a sport per se.
It’s not to the expense of anything else. McGregor lost a bit beacause of it.
Conor was doing steady rings and movement the week of the fight. Whereas you shouldn’t do isometry that week and to tire yourself up muscularly.
You can do it for warm up, but afterwards. You have the big
basics: wrestling, boxing, MMA, sparring. Do all of the above and then you can do movement.
Or you can incorporate it but in a lighter way. It cannot become an hour and a half session at the expense of your MMA training. Souheïb : Absolutely. We’re gonna talk in this second part of your
career per se. Nowadays you’re in BAMMA.
You’re the featherweight world champ and you’re gonna fight May, 14th for the bantamweight title.
And you might hold two belts. We wish you will. Tom : Thanks. Souheïb : What can you tell us about your
career until now and what you wanna do afterwards? After this 2nd world title? Tom : My career
was built in the most intelligent fashion, with a
long term vision. Like we said earlier about dietetics. Step by step,
I started with the UFC as my goal, yes. But very slowly, step by step,
with the respect of the body. Taking opponents with the same level but not too
good, not too strong. So it’s really what I wanna build.
I still have 2 fights with BAMMA after this one. I’ll see if I leave for the UFC or if I fight in BAMMA for a few fights more.
But my goal is the UFC belt and this is why I’m not in the UFC yet
Because once you’re in the UFC, you have to be able to fight top 5 guys.
Nowadays I’m twice better than last year, and I already was twice better than 2 years ago and I’ll be twice better in 1 year. And if you’re as good in mathematics as I am, you’ll see where I’ll be. You have to take your time. And once I’m ready I’ll go to the UFC Toni : It’s fascinating what you say, because
now you’re 23, you’re really mature, calm and collected. I hope I wont betray a secret or say anything stupid. But we talked to Luke Thomas, the famous journalist,
who told us that you refused the UFC already, to give yourself time to
grow and not burn yourself. And build your career plan in BAMMA and take your own path. Tom : I postponed my UFC career. I wouldn’t say I refused the UFC. I already met with Sean Shelby, we know each other.
Brandon Gibson knows him. We live in the same world.
So we already talked, we’ve been exchanging curtesy emails for 2 years now. “So when are you coming with us?”, he says. “I have to fight for the title, I wanna bring
my best on the table, I wanna me my best self, at the peak of my abilities
once I arrive in the ufc”. He says “OK OK, not too long.
Take your time and good luck for the title fight. I wish you the best.
And once you’re free of your contract we’ll bring you in”.
It’s been two years now. But it’s really because
I wanna have the most illustrious career in the UFC, this is why I postpone the due date. Souheïb : It’s super intelligent. But do you see
yourself fighting in featherweight, bantamweight, or both? Tom : First in bantamweight.
But according to age and musculature and the kilos I’ll take, which is inevitable, From there maybeI might go up a division.
Anyway, bantamweight, I can do for a
few years more. Under bantamweight, I can’t do it, it’s too much. Featherweight why not, I dream of
a title unification between the two divisions. Toni : Ideally for us French and for you and your career, let’s say that
you would arrive at 25- 26 in the UFC if everything goes as planned, the time for you to
conquer the title bantamweight title in BAMMA, and maybe to defend your featherweight belt one last time before going to the UFC. But the bantamweight
& featherweight divisions in the UFC are filled with a lot of
youg and talented fighters, like Brian Ortega, Yair Rodríguez who are very talented,
there’s Dominick Cruz and TJ Dillashaw obviously. When you think about going in to the UFC, do you feel psychologically ready to fight a top 5, as soon as you get in there in two years, a big name, because we can notice than you have a tipycal French boxing
career plan: first
the right fights at the right moment, Do you think when you’ll arrive in the UFC, it will
be the right time to take on a big name? Tom : Before answering, there’s an amercian saying: when you are ready to go pro, become an amateur,
when you are ready to go to the UFC, become a pro, and when you’re ready for a UFC title shot, you become a UFC fighter. You have to be a step ahead, it’s a bit what McGregor did, arriving
there at 24, 25 years old, and it was not too late. Souheïb : Double world champ, maybe like you. Tom : Yes, at the end, it works. So you have to take it slow. Toni : I think it is really intelligent
as a career plan. How many people lost their chance
or spot sadly, we know that the UFC can cut you at anytime, if you’re not
a showman. I agree with you, I’m absolutely on board with what you’re saying. I was asking: do you think you can go directly from BAMMA to fighting a
top five guy in the UFC in the bantamweight or featherweight division ? Or do you want to take the time
to grow in the UFC as well ? Tom : Once I’m in the UFC,
I wanna be ready to take on these top five guys, but of course there will be three, four or five preliminary
fights before taking on the top five and it’ll be faster if I knock people out. And then I’ll face Dominick Cruz, but the UFC will not
make me face directly big names, and those preliminary fights I want them also. Souheïb : Given your personality, I have a question comparing yourself to Conor McGregor, are you the type to sell yourself,
tp talk trash? We know English isn’t your mother tongue, so it might be a bite harder
for you. Are you more the placid type, calm, cerebral,
and youre gona let your talent speak for you? Tom : I think it’s not in me to talk trash, it’s not my personality, I’m not like that in my day by day life. Especially because MMA is such a hard sport. We’re always working, we’re like factory workers, everyday you have to work and work.
You cannot be arrogant when you do that all day long. When you speak to your coaches, you have to talk
to them with respect, it is peaceful, that’s an exchange, this the sport, the travellings
and starting to talk trash, it isn’t me. Souheïb : That’s maybe why it might take more time, because McGregor, through his trashtalking, has
had a career like a meteorite. Because he’s a great trashtalker and maybe
that helped him win one year or two, regardless his talent, which is great. Tom : You have the trashtalker, and you have the silent guy who doesn’t sell, and
between those two exemples, there is a place If even though you’re not a trash talker, you have enough personality not to be tasteless. I do feel that I have qualities, I already have a double market, the European
market, where I am well known in France, in Ireland and in England, so they can put me on a European card. And I am developed on the
West Coast, where I am known in Albuquerque, and I’m starting to plant my seed in the whole West Coast. And then the fact of being French, the accent, the van Damme references, it sells too. Toni : To give an exemple, maybe it’s not representative
of the population in general because he’s a specialized journalist, but Luke Thomas, who is well known in the States, when we asked him about how to groom a young fighter in order to help him progress
from bottom to top, and when we gave him exemples, we talked about you , and he immediately
said that you are exceptional, so you don’t necessarily have to talk trash in order to promote yourself. Tom : First of all, it starts in the cage, and then it’s up to you to show your personality in the interviews. Souheïb : I just wanted
to go back on your last fight against Damien Rooney. It was very impressive, it lasted two
minutes, barely. Did you know this fighter well? How did you prepare? Because you arrived with fury, he did’nt stand
a chance. In the clinch, and in every aspect, you were dominant. And you finished with a beautiful KO. So how did you prepare this fight against Damien Rooney? Tom : Like I said earlier, I sparred with people taller than me, with southpaws and with orthodox fighters because my opponent changed stances frequently as he came from muay thai. I sparred with partners who were good with knees, jab, hooks,
I preprared for a war. To compare with the bout before the last which was tough,
I had three months where i was injured because I broked my hand, then three
months of prepraration, it was six months of preparation where something clicked for
me mentally and I could really push the pace. Souheïb : Yes we felt that you were at the top
of your game. Tom : I really worked on weight transfer, weight transitions,
in order to damage when I hit. I used to be a stylist who touched people without dropping them. I really worked with coach Wink in Albuquerque on weight transfer, in order to drop people when I touch them. I’m very happy with my last fight, because it showed that we are on the right
tracks. Toni : When we watched your fight with Souheïb,
we said to ourselves when you were in the clinch, against the cage and you elbowed your opponent,
we saw Jon Jones because Jon Jones greatest strength is to be intelligent enough to vary strikes in any given situation, shoulder, elbow, anything. We could see you not being blocked,
not looking for the head friction or pressure on your opponent’s head. You were attacking
efficiently, and we told ourselves that it might be from the benefice of training in the States. Tom : Yes totally. Jon Jones was introduced to elbows by Greg Jackson, and I was introduced to elbows by Greg Jackson. We share the same basics, the same technics,
But Jon being taller, he can also use an elbow jab, by closing distance with it, a thing I can’t
do because I am shorter than my opponents usually. But he teached me, in terms of elbows, what he teached him, it’s
funny you noticed. Toni : A question, because we saw your fight against Makwan Amirkhani, you were really young, you were 19
at the time, it is your only loss, but ironically, you were good in that fight,
even on the ground, and we know for a fact, witnessing Makwan’s last fight at UFC, he is very
good on the ground, a good grappler. Is it someone you’d like to face again in the future, once you’re in the UFC, with a few more years of experience saying
that is something on my résumé that I want to rectify, or you don’t care and you overcome
this loss and you will take any fighters that the UFC gives you ? Tom : No I’m not bitter,I overcame that loss, because if you don’t, you can’t go forward, if you are blocked in ego mania,
but I would’nt mind facing him again if he is on
my path and there is a financial interest, it would be one stone two birds for me, I would be able to avenge the only red case that I have on Sherdog. Souheïb : You didn’t even tap in this fight. Tom : No, I didn’t tap. Toni : Yes you did what Holly Holm did against
Miesha Tate. Souheïb : It’s a Jackson-Wink special not to tap! Toni : You die in the octogon. Tom : That’s it. You don’t tap at Jackson-Wink. Toni : You have a huge mental strength in
fact, because when we saw the both submissions it was impressive. The referee had
to stop you. Tom : You make a choice. He got me. Fuck it! Never mind. I don’t want to tap. Souheïb : We wanted to talk to you about something else, we wanted your take as a pro and an expert on what happened last week in UFC 196. You’re bit like Conor McGregor, you can change division, from 145 to 135, what’s your general view on what McGregor did, which he failed,
but on this idea that weight classes are not relevant anymore, that what matters is the personality,
the qualities of the athlete, of the fighter, and don’t matter about the rest. Give me anybody, any fighter, anytime, even a
short notice, or a three months planned fight. It does not matter, I take it and i try my
best, what do you think in general about that and about UFC 196 in general? Tom : He made a mistake, he misjudged the division change. A division change against Rafael dos Anjos, it takes 6 months to prepare, in order to build muscle naturally and to feel good in that new weight. I’m in the middle of changing divisions in bantamweight it is smaller, faster, but less
powerful. So in featherweight, or if you go up to lightweight the guys. The hits are not the same. The guys can take punishment, and so forth. It’s extremely difficult. But he did it with 2 weight classes, he underestimadted Díaz, yeah Díaz is good, but he only had two weeks of prapation
and he thought that it would be alright He was in a state of mind of doing rings, be muscular and preparing for a bodybuilding competition more than he was preparing for MMA. And this was a huge physiological mistake and a huge career mistake. On the fight itself, McGregor’s strength comes from the fact that he’s bigger and taller than his opponents, but Nate Díaz was taller and bigger than him. Souheïb : With a bigger reach too. Tom : And that’s a division where they can take more punishment, because there’s a difference of two weight classes. So he made an error of judgement. Souheïb : And what about his gameplan? What did you think about it? Tom : I think even himself was surprised to be gassed out in the second round. He thought he could finish him. He saw himself too strong and powerful for Díaz. Especially on two weeks notice. So huge mistake from him. Souheïb : So yes, a strategic mistake. Globally, we agree
with you Toni : We didn’t see his usual strengths, movement, footwork, and everything. He forgot to strike the legs and the body of his opponent. Souheïb : He was very lucid, he said usually a
punch against Aldo is enough, one or two punches against Mendes are enough, the same
for Dustin Poirier and all the fighters he faced before, but against Nate Díaz, 10 punches are not enough. And
in this fight he kept coming, and coming, and charging. So we agree with what you said on your analyze. Toni : We are going to start the usual Q&A. Souheïb : A small quiz to know about your personality. Tom : Yes. Souheïb : Ready? So I have a good one, what is your
favorite combat movie? Tom : Kickboxer. Toni : We know that you’re a van Damme fan.
Souheïb : We saw the splits you did at the end of your last fight. Tom : Yes it comes from there unconsciously. Toni : Out of curiosity, did you hurt yourself doing it? Because when you stood up, I had the feeling that you were grimacing. Tom : As a matter of fact, I have a friend who told me the same thing, “you hurt yourself, huh?”. Tom : I didn’t hurt myself at all, I’m usually very calm, but there’s a 10 seconds span when you knock your opponent out, the last 6 months pour out, and I let my emotions out, I do the splits. And then I look at my father, and I calm down. Souheïb : Yeah, you come down to earth. Toni : Yes because we saw you grimacing as
if you were angry like you injured yourself or something. Tom : Not at all, I’m not injured, I’m back at training, everything
is alright, next time I’m thinking about doing the same thing, something acrobatic if I win. But no injuries at all. Souheïb : Perfect, let’s touch wood.
Toni : Yes, let’s touch wood. Sou : Kickboxer, great movie by the way.
We recommand it for those who did not watch it. Really great movie. Toni : Which fight would you dream to see in the UFC if you could organize it? Tom : Let’s stay in the division, Frankie Edgar against McGregor. Souheïb : Who do you see winning? Tom : Frankie Edgar. Toni : Is it because of what happened or because you
have doubts on Conor’s ground game? Or did you always feel that Edgar would dominate Conor? Tom : There’s thesis and antithesis, Edgar
with his power, his cardio and his speed, he’s got everything to counter McGregor’s game. Souheïb : You can defend that point, but people used to say that also before the Mendes fight, even though we’ll never know what might’ve happened, because Mendes took the fight on short notice, but that’s what people said about that fight already. And what about your dream fight, your dream opponent? Let’s picture yourself headlining UFC 215, Tom Duquesnoy vs.? Tom : I’m focused on the top fights,
so if Cruz is the champ at that time or Dillashaw, I will take him. I’ll be ready to win that fight. Souheïb : So it’s the belt you want, not a
particular opponent? Tom : I’m all business. Toni : When you were youug, was there a fighter
that inspired you, and you said ok I wanna be like him, I want to do this job, and
he’s great at what he does? Tom : I had Fedor in Pride, he inspired
me, we come from the same sport: sambo. And his humility, his efficiency, and the fact that he was
an alien at the same time. So yes he inspired me. There are lots of others I love,
the technique of Anderson, the invincibility of Jon Jones. There is a lot of bits of each fighter. Strategics, technique, style, I love McGregor, Aldo’s efficiency. A lot of
small things. But nobody in particular really inspired me. Toni : Today is there anyone that you really like as a fighter? And when he performs, you tell yourself I
don’t want to miss his fight. Tom : Not so much. I follow the UFC, I am a fan above all things, but no. I take a look at McGregor’s path, it is interesting because he sells well. And you ask yourself where he can go, but as he lost, the UFC might look for an other star to know if they can make a splash. Souheïb : Yeah you talked about some historical names, the greatest in the sport: Anderson Silva, Fedor, Jon Jones,
Georges St. Pierre, who is the best of all times for you? Tom : If you look at the record and the facts, it’s Jon Jones. because he never lost, except his disqualification. He won against everyone, he cleaned the division, nobody else did it, they all lost at least once, he’s the only one who never lost. Sou : That’s what Toni always says, that Jon Jones is the greatest of all time. Toni : Yes clearly, efficient, intelligent, you cannot do more. Souheïb : I was gonna ask you about that, so it’s perfect you said that, Jones vs. Cormier 2, who do you got? Tom : Jones. Jon Jones. I don’t see how Cormier could beat him. Toni : I thought that there might be a
chance, the slightest chance, but really a little chance, if
Cormier used the confidence he got from his title, but watching the press conference
“Unstoppable”, he is doing the same mistakes all over again, just like in the first fight
when he fought Jon for the first time, because he
is angry, filled with rage, eaten by raw emotions, it
can only be worse. Because for the past eight months, we Jon on Instagram, on fire, lifting weights and everything. Souheïb : We don’t give Cormier a chance. Toni : Cruz vs. Faber? Tom : Cruz lost the first time and won the second, and he won’t get trapped again with a guillotine, so I see Cruz winning with a decision. Souheïb : Just like Faber said, only one KO for Cruz in his last 9 fights, so probably a decision, yeah. A division you couldn’t fight in, Mighty Mouse vs. Cejudo? Tom : Who I got? Souheïb : Yes, who do you got in that flyweight bout, at 125. Tom : Mighty Mouse. Sou : Even with the background and pedigree in wrestling
of Cejudo ? An olympic champion in wrestling. Tom : Yes because Mighty Mouse’s wrestling is even better than Cejudo’s, even though Cejudo was olympic champion. Because he adapted to MMA. About Cejudo, I don’t know his cardio will be for a five round fight and the experience of Mighty Mouse, Cejudo only has 3, 4, 5 fights in the UFC.
Mighty Mouse at the decision or even a surprise quick finish, because Mighty Mouse is a dog, with the cardio and everything he might
be able to choke him early or to knock him out. Toni : Last fight but we don’t want to
cause you any trouble, it’s about your teammates Overeem and Arlovski. We said to oursleves
it could be interesting, because you can watch them train all day, no contest? Souheïb : A draw? Tom : Overeem vs. Arlovski? I think Overeem will win, even though Arlovski is my buddy, but I think that Overeem will win, I just
hope it’s gonna be a good fight. Souheïb : A last thing about RC Lens (the football club), we know that you were born there. Are they gonna be promoted to Ligue 1 this year? Tom : I don’t know, really. I didn’t even know they were in Ligue 2. Souheïb : So you’re not a football fan? You must be the only one in whole of Lens. Tom : I don’t live in Lens anymore, unfortunately. Souheïb : Tom, thank you very much, it was great. It was a pleasure, thanks for accepting the interview. Tom : My pleasure, and nice to meet you! Toni : It was really nice. We wish you the best for May, 14th. We hope you’re gonna hold the 2 belts in BAMMA, and that you’re gonna join the UFC as soon as possible. And maybe one day be world champ in the UFC, because it’s time it happens in France. Souheïb : And be the reason for this sport to be finally accepted here. We wish it. Toni : Thanks for your kindness and your time. We wish you the best, and see you soon. Tom : Thanks for the support and see you later guys. Toni & Souheïb : Ciao, see you later.

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