Former UFC and Ultimate Fighter winner Efrain Escudero (16-3) will be looking for a win as he takes on one of Florida’s top ranked lightweights, Mike “The Wolverine” Rio (6-0), Saturday night at the Championship Fighting Alliance.
Miami’s Mike Rio is flying high after a 51 second TKO victory this past February, but he will face his toughest opponent in Escudero. A win would put either man one step closer to a fight in the UFC.
I had a chance to speak with “Effy” this week about his thoughts on this fight and his future as a fighter.
Q: Your last fight did not go as planned with Fabricio Camoes, what happened?
A There are a few times I look at the fight and I notice I see that I did not let go in the first round. In the second round I had a really bad eye poke that the ref didn’t stop the fight for a little bit. It was a learning experience; it wasn’t a setback it could have gone either way.
Q: So the eye poke was a real issue for you in that second round then?
A. In the second round I went to the ground and I was just kind of holding him there because I couldn’t really see out of my right eye, he poked my left eye but I couldn’t really open up my right eye neither. It was a really bad eye poke my eye was blood red for a couple of months after the fight.
Q: Your next opponent “The Wolverine” has an impressive wrestling background much like you, so what’s the game plan? Will it be a classic grappler against grappler?
A (laughs) Well I don’t like to give my game plan away. I was fighting against people that were better than me at some point and I will always come back to wrestling. He has a phenomenal wrestling career and he has been a great athlete, but stepping into the Octagon ya know, you just have to neutralize it. You have to take him to places he does not want to be, surprise him with things he doesn’t want to be surprised with. It’s definitely going to be an exciting fight.
Q: Reports from his Rio’s camp say he’s really hungry for the win and you are coming off a loss, does that put any extra pressure on you?
A. Ya know, Susan the person is always going to be there it’s just really another fight it’s me and him in the Octagon… it’s 15 minutes of non stop fighting and I’m putting all the pressure aside. I love this …we love this… it’s a sport. But trying to get a stepping stone out of me is going to be really hard.
Q: Speaking of stepping stones that brings me to my favorite part of the interview as I would like to step into a question that is burning in the hearts of all female fans at this very moment…boxers or briefs?
Q. Are you blushing?
A. Nope… (He laughs again)
Q If you could come back as a super hero and have any secret power what would you have?
A: Oh gees let me think on that. I think I would be invisible.
Q: By the way do you have a secret talent?
A: That’s a good question, no not really I think I just am what I am and people know me.
And if you know MMA you can expect it to be a kick ass fireworks filled event Saturday night. You can watch it on FIGHT ZONE TV starting at 8 ET.
My thanks to “Effy” for his time. If you miss him this weekend look for him September 10th, as he goes “across the pond” for the British Association Mixed Martial Art’s event from Birmingham, England, where he’ll square off against Tim Radcliffe. I’ll be there too and will bring you all the highlights.