Rob Emerson Interview

Rob Emerson was a competitor in the UFC’s Ultimate Fighter Show 5 on Spike TV. In episode 3 he was matched up and defeated by Nathan Diaz, the younger brother of UFC Welter weight Nick Diaz.Rob Emerson was a competitor in the UFC’s Ultimate Fighter Show 5 on Spike TV. In episode 3 he was matched up and defeated by Nathan Diaz, the younger brother of UFC Welter weight Nick Diaz.

Emerson has a black belt under Mixed Martial Arts legend Marco Ruas and has a current fighting record of 8-6. He’s well versed in striking and has an impeccable ability to defend take downs. Currently training in Irvine, California at No Limits under The Legendary Colin Oyama, and apart of the Team Oyama camp, Emerson has huge potential of becoming an amazing fighter. When not competing in the US, Emerson fights for Pancrase and is on the prowl to becoming the 15th King of Pancrase.

As one of the favorites among both his coach BJ Penn on TUF and UFC President Dana White, Emerson is well on his way to establishing a great career in both MMA and the UFC.

Marlene: Tell me about your experience on the show!

Rob: The show was cool it was fun! It was hard being trapped in a house with 16 guys, a lot of them you didn’t really like or get along with that well and just not having any source of entertainment; no TV no radio or internet and stuff like that, it fucked you up like after three days I started going crazy, like everyone started going nuts. But you just try to focus on the fights and what you were there for. But as an over all experience it was fun, I’d do it again in a heart beat and it was just awesome to be apart of something like that.

Marlene: Was there any fighter in particular you wanted to fight?

Rob: No, not really. I was pretty cool with everyone in the house. I obviously want to fight everyone in the house. One guy I think would be a god match up for me would be Brandon Melendez. He’s a tough south paw, a big 155 pounder and he likes to throw, so I think it would be a tough bloody, good fight.

Marlene: What was it like training with BJ Penn?

Rob: BJ was cool, out of both the coaches I wanted to be on BJ’s team more than anything else. If there was stuff I could learn I new it could be from BJ. The way the guy teaches, the way he talks about the sport is just crazy. It’s on a whole different level; the guy is like an animal. He like lives, eats, breathes fighting. Watching him teach and explain the sport was totally awesome. I‘ve never been explained or have been taught any other way like that from anyone else.

Marlene: What would you say you got the most out training with him and his team?

Rob: With BJ I learned a lot of like crazy Jiu-Jitsu moves and a lot of cool conditioning drills; drills that I’ve used every single day since I’ve gotten back and I’ll continue to use throughout my career and I share them with my team mates. I also learned a lot of cool submissions moves that I’ve never seen anywhere else. We had a blast out there with BJ!

Marlene: Tell me about your fight against Nathan Diaz.

Rob: Everyone I’ve talked to says it’s not me. They say it’s the worst performance I’ve ever fought obviously. They kept telling me that’s not how I fight, and it was different. I though I was in really good shape going out there. But the pace of the fight going into the first round was the hardest I’ve ever gone in any fight, so I had nothing left going into the second round. I was totally tired, if I had a little bit left I probably would have been able to defend the submissions and take downs more. I was tired so when he shot up for the take down I sort of let him walk me back up to the fence to put my back up against the cage and I was forced to use my muscles to pry him off , rather than circling away and circling my feet and just sprawling and stuff. This would have saved my energy and I could have used it in way better areas.

Marlene: Now that you’re going back the Drawing board, what are you working on and focusing on?

Rob: I knew exactly what I did wrong the second that fight was over with. It was the first time I had ever fought a tall guy, which for me are the hardest, especially a tall guy that is technically good. He’s also a south paw so that could have hindered me a little bit. The one thing I’ve been working on since I’ve gotten back is Jiu Jitsu, I’ve been putting myself on my back. We have a lot of great Brazilian fighters here, and they’re showing me crazy stuff that I can actually use in my MMA game.

Marlene: Where are your original training grounds?

Rob: I first started off with Marco Ruas (Vale Tudo), I was the first American to get a black belt from him, and it took me about three years. After a falling out with him I later trained with Mike Guymon for a while and then found my way here at No limits, and I’ve been here for three years. This is the best team, best place and obviously the best facility I’ve ever seen. The training out here, I love. It was hard training in Vegas because I missed training with my team and I missed going through the training routines that we have here. The sparring sessions we have here a very hard, people gather around to watch us spar. I have the best MMA coach, and just the unification we have here is so special. It feels like we’re a family.

Marlene: Have you ever done any submission grappling or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tournaments?

Rob: No, I should. I’ve only done one submission tournament, it was a super fight at the old No limits location and I won the match. I’d like to enter some more submission grappling tournaments and that’s the only thing I really need to work on. BJ told me I was very close to being one of the best he’s ever seen, so I’m just taking a little time off and working on what I need to work on which is mostly ground and soon I’ll be at a level where I can be able to dominate and hopefully win some titles.

Marlene: So you’re still interested in trying to get to the UFC?

Rob: Oh yeah, I’ll be fighting to get to the UFC for a while. I guess Dana White was really into me, he liked my fighting style. There’s more to see on the show as well. There’s always stuff that can happen, you see fighters come and go! I fought in Japan last year and I’ve been everywhere else but I want to fight for the USA fans. My dream was to make it to the UFC and my plan now is to stay here as long as possible.

Marlene: What’s next for you Rob?

Rob: Look to fighting and being on the Finale in late June in Vegas.

I have to make up for that fight with Diaz, I’ve never had people talk shit and say stuff to me and I’ve never wanted to put myself in this position. I realize now that all my partying and the lack of training and taking days off totally shows, and I’m done making those mistakes. I’m dedicating myself to my career one hundred percent. Put the hours in the gym and stop fucking around and partying on the weekend, I’m going get serious.

Marlene: Anything else you’d like to add for the OTM?

Rob: Shout out to my gym, No Limits and my team, Team Oyama, My coach and all the guys; All the guys that have been sponsoring me and helping me along the way. Look for an exciting year to come with me and the UFC and the whole lightweight division. There’s a lot of great fighters being added to that division in the UFC.

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Marlene Castaneda