PRE FIGHT INTERVIEW: UFC 72 FIGHTER TOM MURPHY Denis Martins: You are away of fighting scene since UFC 58. What happened ? Tom Murphy: Actually nothing has happened. I won my last fight convincingly but I was not personally pleased with my performance in UFC 58. After studying the fight it was back to the basics. The UFC has asked me to fight twice since then but I was moving through an important growth phase in my MMA maturation. I am a student of the game and I only fight when I know I am ready. DM: Are you keeping yourself peeled over the UFC? Do you think that the event changed since UFC 58? TM: I never miss the greatest show on earth! I honestly believe that every individual fight changes the UFC forever, the best fighters are learning from every fight that takes place and I like to include myself in the group. DM: How did you see the entrances of Heath Herring, Mirko Cro Cop and Rodrigo Nogueira to UFC? TM: I believe that the world is now seeing that fighting is dynamic and unpredictable. These 3 men, and many others, have helped to create our great sport and it really is a pleasure seeing them in the UFC. DM: Do you think UFC is more competitive now than when you fought (mainly in the heavyweights division)? TM: I think the UFC has added some great talent to the pool, but everyday fighters are getting tougher, smarter and better. DM: Did you watch Gonzaga x Cro Cop? How did you see that and did you expect the Brazilian winning? TM: I believed, like most, that if Gonzaga could bring Cro Cop to the ground that he would control the fight. However, like everyone else, I would have never predicted the outcome. DM: We had the return of Randy Couture and he captured the heavyweight belt. His next title defense is against Gonzaga. What do you pick? Do you think he can handle the younger and motivated Gonzaga? TM: All I will say it that I will never count “Captain America” out again. For sure the deal of all fighters is the UFC belt. DM: Do you think you can dedicate yourself to this in 2007-08’s season? TM: Honestly I am only looking at this upcoming fight, that’s the only way I know how to do business. DM: You’re facing undefeated fighter Jake O’Brien at the next UFC. What do you know from him and since when are you training? TM: I have a lot of respect for O’Brien, he has proven himself a strong competitor and a smart fighter and this is the only kind of opponent I really want to fight. DM: He is known such as a good wrestler, do you think your key to the victory is to keep this fight on the feet? TM: Well I have been know as a pretty good wrestler myself. I hate to think myopically or one-dimensionally, the key to victory is to fight hard and smart. DM: How are your trainings going and with who are you training? TM: My training is going great. Of course, I am training my ground game with Julio Fernandez (one of Carlson’s Black Belts), but have also been working with Firas Zahabi at Tri-Star in Montreal. I have worked with a ton of stand-up coaches in my career but Firas has few equals, he is truly amazing and one of the toughest guys I have ever met. DM: I know you had an association with Carlson Gracie Team; and since Carlson passed on, a lot of fighters didn’t have too much identity with the team. I mean, Stephan Bonnar and Miguel Torres, plus Mike O’Donnel don’t train together. Do you think is there a chance to become of you all train and represent Carlson Team? TM: Let me put it this way, every time I hit the ground I represent Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. I never want to sound arrogant, but if this fight goes to the ground on June 16th Carlson’s Jiu-Jitsu will shine bright. DM: Thanks for your time, would you like to leave a message? TM: Only that it has really been a pleasure working with so many terrific athletes and gentlemen in this great sport.