UFC heavyweight Maurice Greene caught up with MyMMANews following his win over Gian Villante at UFC on ESPN 12.
Maurice Greene knew his job was on the line heading into his fight against Gian Villante at UFC on ESPN 12. For the first time in his career, Greene was on a two-fight losing streak and if he did not win this one, it could have very well been the end of his time with the promotion.
Ultimately, Greene was able to save his job on Saturday night, but it did not come without facing some adversity. After being dropped early in the third round by Villante, Greene recovered, sunk in an arm-triangle choke from the bottom and forced Villante to tap with just over a minute left in the fight.
The win meant so much to Greene, who was visibly overcome by emotion during his post-fight interview with UFC color commentator Jon Anik. He was happy to get back in the win column and extend his time with the UFC for a little while longer.
Now, back at home with his family, Greene took some time to speak with MyMMANews about the fight and what will come next for the “Crotchet Boss”.
“I’m just hurting right now,” said Greene. “The shins hurt. My body hurts. Normal post-fight feeling. I feel great though [because] I came out with the W. You can’t be upset with that.”
It has been only a few days since the fight happened, but Greene has already watched it more than once to properly assess his performance and pick out areas of improvement, so he knows what to work on before he makes his return.
“I’ve watched the fight about three or four times now. I can be a bit more active,” said Greene. “You know I go back and watch it and kind of critique myself. You can always do better, you know? I could have not let him hit me as much. There are a million things in that fight that I could do better at. I am happy that we made it to three rounds because I have something to critique. I’m sure my coaches are going to have some critiques for me as well.”
Those coaches Greene speaks about are none other than Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn, the duo that runs one of the most well-known gyms in mixed martial arts, JacksonWink MMA. It has been less than a month since Greene began training with them, but he has seen slight improvements in his overall game during that short period of time.
The work they have put in together was enough for Greene to relocate to Albuquerque to join the team and he is excited to see what kind of fighter he will develop into under the tutelage of both Jackson and Winkeljohn.
“So far, it’s only minor things like tweaks to my stance and other things here and there,” said Greene. “I try to really embrace that and try to bring that out of me. It worked out for me. The way that they strike is different too, so it’s been good.
“I want to give them some time to get used to me so we can do good things together.”
As Greene prepares to have a full training camp over at JacksonWink MMA, he is also preparing the timetable for when fight fans may see him again. The move to Albuquerque is still in progress and adjustments as far as his family needs to be made, so he is targeting sometime in Fall.
“Probably sometime in August,” said Greene. “Late August. I would like to see, but it could even be in late September because my son is going to start school around that time and we gotta get settled. Maybe sometime in September is better.”
When Greene returns, he will need an opponent, but there is a name out there ready and willing to take him on. Tanner Boser, a fellow heavyweight who actually competed on the same night as Greene, earned a stunning first-round knockout victory over Philipe Lins and immediately called out Greene for a fight.
The call-out may have come as quite a surprise to some, but for Greene, it is all a part of the game. He can appreciate the way Boser approached the fight, so he looks forward to meeting him in the cage soon.
“The fight came together organically,” said Greene. “He called me out and I said alright. We’re not gonna do it at the Island, though. I don’t mind the call out. I like it because that means I’m on someone’s brain. I do the same thing. I call my shots when I can. Right now, I’m trying to string some wins together, so I usually don’t say no too much.”