Tony Reid – You went into UFC Fight Night 68 in New Orleans as the favorite over Justin Edwards but it probably wasn’t going your way before that last second fight finishing guillotine. In what became a signature victory, what was going through your mind as the fight was winding down?
Joe Proctor – “I thought I was doing pretty well in the fight. I knew it had to be close on the scorecards. I was picking my shots and I thought I was really putting everything together. Justin Edwards is tough, man. He just kept coming. I hit him with so many right hands and I was thinking ‘Dude, why won’t you just go down?’ Towards the end of the fight, the end of the last round, I heard the ten second warning go off and I knew I needed to go for broke. I pulled off that guillotine and he went out.”
Tony Reid – With two seconds left in the fight you pull of the submission and put Edwards to sleep. Were you aware of all the factors, that there were only a few seconds left, that he did indeed go unconscious?
Joe Proctor – “I definitely felt him go limp and I actually got a little nervous. I felt it was super tight and I felt him gasping for air. I knew I had to go for something at the end. I pulled guard and made some tiny adjustments. I’m glad he went out because he probably wouldn’t tap either.”
Tony Reid – The guillotine became your finishing move, in a sense. How did that become your go to move and how about we create a good pro wrestling style nickname for it? How about the Proctortine?
Joe Proctor – “We should do the Proctortine. That would be legit. It kind of came naturally. The guillotine was always my move. I went out on the Ultimate Fighter with Faber and all those guys (Alpha Male) and I learned a lot of different styles and ways to finish with the guillotine. All those guys are studs with the guillotine over there. I just kept working on it, kept going with it, working different styles and ways to finish with it and it became my move.”
Tony Reid – You have said in past fights the game plan gets thrown out the window once you get in there and start face punching. This fight you made a conscious effort to stick to the game plan. Where there moments where you were actively trying to stick to the script or did you want to throw caution to the wind and just hit him?
Joe Proctor – “I always get caught doing that. I will get tagged with a good shot and everything goes out the window because I just want to exchange and hit him better than he got me. This fight was a little different. We just wanted to do everything right. I made a conscious decision to stay calm and work everything I have. I worked on all my kicks. I threw spinning back kicks and everything in that fight. I was throwing stuff in that fight that I never threw in a fight before, I just wanted to put it all out there.”
Tony Reid – Your grandfather passed away just a few short weeks before the fight. You had been travelling back and forth from gym to hospital for some time. Right as the fight ended after the finish you had a big smile a look of elation on your face. What were you thinking in that moment?
Joe Proctor – “At that moment I knew my grandfather would be so proud. He would be watching and cheering me on. When he was sick in the hospital that’s all he wanted. He told me I needed to train, that I had a fight coming up. I wanted to be by his side. He kept telling me I need to go train, that I needed to punch through this kid. That I needed to win the fight and that I needed to keep my job. I’m just glad I could get the win for him.”
Tony Reid – You work closely with Joe Lauzon. He has done so much in the sport. He is ‘Mr. Bonus’. The gym, the atmosphere, what is that experience like?
Joe Proctor – “It’s unbelievable. I can’t thank Joe enough for what he has done for me. He is always pushing me. He is always helping me out inside and outside the gym. I don’t even look like him as a training partner anymore. It is more like a brotherhood. He is my big brother. Just training with him is unbelievable. He is always learning new things. He is always teaching me new things. Just to have us being in the same gym going back and forth is great. It’s such good training. A lot of other camp fly guys in from around the world but we get such good sparring and technical grappling being in the gym with each other.
“Honestly, you can come in and open the gym doors on Tuesday. That’s our team training. It’s basically sparring. Its ground and pound rounds. A lot of times people want to be careful but we are such pricks to each other, we throw elbows, not to cut each other but we do the most dickhead things to each other. It’s unbelievable.”