UFC Veteran, US Sambo Champion, and former ADCC Champion Dean Lister has accomplished many great feats in his career since his arrival in 1996. Although not fully credited, Dean Lister is one of the most influential figures in the sport of grappling and is well know for his polished technical game and leg locks for an individual his size. Now at the age of 35 after a two year absence from the spotlight, Competing next at the 2011 ADCC, The Boogeyman is back and hopes to obtain more success in both the grappling and MMA circuit.
Last time we heard from you was during you last fight in 2009. Why the long lay-off ?
Dean: I have had several serious injuries related to my complete bicep tendon tear I needed surgery for in the past.
How has the road to recovery been for you?
Dean: Road to recovery has been fine and although not easy it is something that every fighter has to pass in my opinion.
You have a lot of great experiences over the years, how these experiences contributed to your overall growth as a fighter?
Dean: experiences are everything, they make you who you are as a fighter and as a person, more importantly what you learn and take away, I have definitely learned so much.
You have been a big influence in the grappling community, how do you think your influence has contributed to the growth of bjj over the years?
Dean: I think everyone in the sport contributes to the community, me specifically I have been doing things a certain way before it was even recognized by most, for instance I won ADCC 2003 absolute division against a very tough opponent named "Cacareco" in a position that wasn’t ever recognized, now its call "50/50"makes me smile cause I’ve been winning from this position since mid 90s.
Today you find yourself teach at Victory MMA out in San Diego. How has that been going and how are you helping your students to grow in the sport?
Dean: I have my own specific style to teach, nothing less and nothing more. Those who connect with my way of teaching I am the best to train them and my students I want to keep healthy and strong.
In addition to your students you have also helped a lot of MMA fighters over the years. Is there a different approach you take when helping train MMA fighters?
Dean:different rules of course but everyone specifically has their own challenges and own ways of fighting so I have to change specifically to each person depending on their limitations and talents.
When you look back at your journey through MMA and grappling what has been the greatest lesson you acquired?
Dean: That you can learn something from anyone; from black belt to white belt, important to keep an open mind.
With all thatyou have accomplished do you have any more goals you would like to accomplish?
Dean: Winning ADCC was my biggest dream and I’d like to do it one more time, but I would also like to return to the cage and make big waves as well.
Is there any chance we may see you back in the cage or even on the grappling mat again?
Dean: I will be in ADCC September in the UK, it will be a very tough division and tournament, after i will come back to fighting.
Finally do you have any shout outs or anything you would like to say to your fans?
Dean: shout out to all my friends and training partners at victory MMA in San Diego, CA of course and my friends from Triumph United for everything as well.