Although he certainly gained the most notoriety for his TUF appearance, Gabe Ruediger has been a friend of OTM’s for years.OTM: We are here with Gabe Ruediger at the OnTheMat grand opening here in Huntington Beach Ca. So Gabe tell us what has been up, how’s training going?
Gabe: Phenomenal, right now I’m with team Quest, the room everyday is a challenge but its one that I like going to. I’m just training for my next fight which is going to be in October, just trying to stay active. Also we have so many guys on our team and that come in that train with us it’s been a phenomenal experience.
OTM: So you are no longer training with team Millennia, you have left their camp?
Gabe: Yes, I needed a little more coaching and more of a composite team. I still train with Millennia and they are still my good friends, I still go in there periodically but I needed a team to expand myself and take it to the next level. I have been in the game long enough, it was time for me to go with a team that set as a team and Millennia was more of a fight club.
OTM: Looking back at the ultimate Fighter show, would you say that it was a good experience for you? If you could go back would you do it again?
Gabe: If I could go back I would do it in a different way, I would focus on my fighting versus getting on TV. The experience itself was horrible; if you ask anyone that has been on the show they will say the exact same thing. Does it help you? Absolutely, I’m still recognized to this day. So as far business is concerned it was a good thing, obviously I would go back and do it differently though.
OTM: Now that the show is over is there anyone in particular that you would like to fight that was on the show or in the UFC?
GABE: Absolutely, there are a lot of guys I would like to fight. Mat Wiman, I would love to crush his face. Tyson Griffin looks very tough; I would love to fight Tyson for sure. Any of the ultimate Fighter alumni I would like to fight any of them. I kind of feel like, especially after the issues I had on the show, I would want to do that just to prove who I am but I would fight any tough guy and have no concerns about that. Now that I am not with the UFC there are still a ton of tuff lightweights in every organization, so there is plenty of talent. Excluding Mat Wiman because of the dislike with everyone else I would just like to test myself. Wiman is the one guy I can say without a doubt that I just want to smash his face because I don’t like him. Other then that I am a competitor and competitors just want to compete against the best right?
OTM: Looking back at the show and with all the talking on the weight cut, do you see yourself at 155 or 170lbs?
Gabe: 155lbs is my weight class, I just kind of faltered. The thing they didn’t show on the show is that I was also dealing with strep throat; I was on antibiotics when I was cutting weight. I shouldn’t have been cutting that much weight and that is something we have been working on in my camp. Weight management that ensures that I stay no more then 15lbs to above from what I need to cut weight. You know I used to cut 22lbs when I was 26 and it wasn’t an issue, I could cut it like nothing. As I have gotten older my metabolism is slowing down and the ability to cut that much weight hurts me in the long run. I just fought at 155lbs three weeks ago, so it’s obviously not an issue. My next scheduled fight is at 155lbs, that’s the weight class I feel more comfortable at and where I can make my mark.
OTM: Seeing you fight at 155lbs in the past in shows like Pangea Fights. Taking on and beating fighters such as Savant Young shows you can make the weight. Now from being on the show, how was it working with BJ Penn?
Gabe: It was awesome; I’ve known BJ for 12 years. We were both from the Ralph Gracie camp originally and BJ is my friend and on top of that he’s a great coach. I felt it was a good experience; I would have liked to work with BJ under a different circumstances. I’ve talked to a lot of people who were on the show from different seasons. People don’t understand what the show does to you, it changes your personality. Your there and its reality TV but it’s not reality. Reality is I can read a book; I can listen to music I can talk to my friends. On that show all I had was the other 15 guys and most of them I didn’t really like. You know you can’t call out; you can’t listen to music you cant even read a book. These type of things are the things you start to appreciate, I’ve talked to people that have been in jail and have been on the show. They said jail is considerably better because you get music and TV. People see the show and think that is how it is and this how these people are but its not, it’s not how anybody is. Weather they are making fun of my or Andy Wang or that Joe Scarola guy, I heard they are making fun of him now. People don’t have any concept of what we deal with on the show. We are all fighters and you can’t say who is game and who is not from a Reality show, its just Bull shit.
OTM: We are here at the OTM Huntington beach fight shop grand opening, what brings you here today?
Gabe: I’ve known Scotty for years he’s one of my close personal friends, On The Mat has been a sponsor of mine for as long as I can remember. I remember they were just an internet company and they would make videos like actual video cassettes, if anyone remembers those before DVD’s? Scotty and Gumby have been my close friends for a long time and I try to support them as much as I can, they have supported me. It’s incredible, I’m so happy for them. As the sport has expands its good to see good people expanding as well. I mean they have been in the grassroots starting in grappling. Again I’ve known and trained with Scotty for years, so it’s awesome to see my friends being successful with the shops. I mean you look it; there is a line to get in and that is just to shop and that is exactly what I want to see for my friend.
OTM: I am assuming that you saw UFC 76, tell us your opinion on it?
Gabe: Everyone is going to have an opinion on it. Like I have said on numerous occasions, this sport is any given day. Some days you are going to look lackluster and some days you are looking great. It could be that guy’s day and not your day, I don’t know man. Honestly I wish I would have done an underdog parley, I probably would have made a couple of grand. It’s difficult because people think that certain people are unbeatable and then they lose and it breaks the thought that they are great. In reality this sport there are so many variables and there are so many ways to lose and if you are off on one thing people don’t realize that is what it comes down to. Whether it could me a mental flop or you’re not physically prepared, whether you didn’t work on your ground game enough or your takedown defense enough. There are just so many different variables, and that is what makes it so exciting. It does kind of suck because it’s difficult to market a fighter as undefeated and he has never lost, but it still makes it exciting.
OTM: Thank you very much for your time, do you have anything to say to your fans out there?
Gabe: I just want to say keep watching, I appreciate the support to those that have been helping me. I’m very grateful and check out www.Gabegodzilla.com