Welcome to the 2nd in a series of exclusive MMA Forum Interviews with Profesional MMA fighters from around the world. Our very own El Bresko, Met up with Bellator's Anthony Leone
for a quick chat. Here's the scoop:
What is your toughest fight ever?
out of the fights I have won, it would be Tateki Matzuda, I was fighting for the XCFL title, it was the first time i made it down to BW and it was a 5 round fight, the first two rounds I really beat him up, but he's this tough Japanese guy who just wouldn't stop, he wouldn't quit and he came back really strong in the 3rd and 4th round, it was so close entering the 5th. It was a great fight.
Is there any fighter who's style you try to emulate?
I like to take bits and pieces out of many fighter's games. There is a lot of fighters that I try to emulate, like whoever has the best GnP, standup, movement, range. Out of everybody that is a champion I like to take the best part of their games to turn myself into the complete package.
From a fan's perspective, who is your favourite fighter?
Anderson Silva is definitely one of them, I'm a huge fan of BJ Penn, Jon Jones because you never really know what is going to happen or what he's going to throw, Jose Aldo, i'm a huge fan of Jose Aldo.
You went and trained with BJ in Hawaii, what was that experience like for you?
That was amazing, it was my starting point in MMA, I had zero fights, I was a white belt, I didn't really know anything. It was awesome, I learnt so much training with him. He is a great fighter to learn from.
What is your stance on TRT?
A lot of the guys that are on TRT are a lot older than me, I'm only 25, the majority of them are in their mid to late 30s. Training all of those years is gruelling and it takes a lot out of you, I know that when i'm at the end of my training sessions I am so tired and sore, so I don't know what the older guys go through before they make the decision to take TRT.
What do you think is the best base for an MMA fighter and why?
Wrestling, I think, it's hard to get the motivation to wrestle because it's such a difficult and gruelling sport, but it gives you the ability to choose where the fight takes place so for that reason it is the best base for a fighter.
What are the best and worst things about being a high level pro MMA fighter?
The worst is that you don't get to fight as often as when you are just starting out, you can't just always take fights on short notice, your manager can't call you and be like "oh do you want to fight next weekend?", It was always really exciting when that happened but as you get to a higher level it doesn't happen as much.
The best thing about being an MMA fighter is reaching your goals, we all come into this sport because we want to be the best, and to do that we have to fight the best guys in the world, it's exactly what I want to do.
How old were you when you began MMA?
I was 20 when I flew out to Hawaii and I had my first pro fight at 21.
If you were to give a young kid, just starting out in MMA one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don't worry about anybody else, don't worry about other fighters and how fast they make it to the big shows, just keep on training as hard as you can and focusing on yourself, If this is what you want to do, then go at it 100% and don't let anybody stop you.
Is there any room for fear in the mind of a professional fighter?
Everytime I get in the cage I am scared, every fighter feels fear but you have to learn to channel that emotion into a positive force for you and once you are able to do that things will be a lot better.
What are your Thoughts on WMMA?
It's cool, man. If women want to fight then that's awesome to me. I don't watch a lot of WMMA but I have seen a lot of Ronda Rousey, she's finished all her fights, she's aggressive, mean and I am kind of scared of her. She's my favourite probably.
What is your Fondest fight memory?
Probably the first UFC that I ever saw, me and my brother Andrew were watching and it was Matt Hughes V Royce Gracie. that was the first UFC I saw,
I thought "oh shit, this is crazy", it was an awesome fight.
Is there anybody at BW that you wouldn't want to fight?
I've already fought the guy who's supposed to be the best in the world, so no, whoever wants to fight.. I can't wait.
What is the Worst part about prepping for a fight?
The weight cutting, weigh cutting sucks, I don't like to diet either.
What weight do you walk around at?
160lbs, I did the JiuJitsu worlds at 74kg and I only just made weight, it was hard for me to get that heavy.
What is your Pre fight meal?
It takes me like 3 hours before I can even eat anything after the weight cut but I like to eat spaghetti, i'm Italian, I love spaghetti. I want chicken, I want steak, but the first thing I eat after the cut is ice cream.
If you could fight any person Alive or dead, who would it be?
Abraham Lincoln, man, he wrestled, he's huge. Let's do it.
With your last two victories coming via close split decision, do you feel the pressure to win your next fight in more convincing fashion?
Yeah of course, I want to finish every fight
What can the fans expect to see from Anthony Leone in 2013?
Bellator 135lb Tournament Season 9, i'll be competing in that.
Is there anybody you'd like to thank or give a shout out to?
A big shoutout to Grips, Bombsquad and PTT.
A massive thanks to Anthony for taking the time to speak to MMAF and we wish him all the very best for the upcoming Bellator Tournament.