|Posted by Mark Figula on June 2, 2009 at 3:42 PM|
By Mark Figula, The Mouth of MMA Senior Editor
Sometimes it takes longer to talk about a fight than it does to have one. Actually, come to think of it, with all of us bloggers, reporters and forum hounds out there rattling our bone boxes, nowadays it always takes longer to talk about the fight. This time around, the brawl was only 37 seconds long but the real conflict happened after the fight when the victor in the ring, Drew McFedries spawned a fresh round of media hoopla with his somewhat confrontational commentary regarding his home training camp, Miletich Fighting Systems. McFedries was quick to thank Matt Hughes and other members of the H.I.T. Squad but said he was disappointed in the support he got from MFS.
Matt Hughes, for those who recall, left MFS and formed H.I.T. Squad at the outset of 2008. Original press bandied about stories of a conflict with Miletich but any interview with either party involved never really gave up the slightest display of animosity. (For more info on that story see: this MMA Mania article.)
I got a chance to speak to Drew and let him air out more of his thoughts today just awhile before his meeting with Pat Miletich in which they would hear one another out. Despite clearly having strong feelings and having plenty to say on the topic Drew remained reserved in the conversation. My feeling was he was honestly disappointed in some things and it had been eating away at him for some time.
Mark: It seems like there’s been a bit of a word of words between yourself and Pat Miletich since the post UFC 98 comments. Is there anything you can add or share with me regarding the whole situation?
Drew McFedries: When I made those comments I was just alluding to the fact that it was good to be in the atmosphere of the guys I had begun my training with. Me and Robbie Lawler went to high school together and back when I first came into MMA, Matt Hughes was one of the first guys I met. Before I even really knew Matt I would BS with him and kid about kicking his ass and things like that. I had no clue who he was yet and we would just joke around. Then when we got training together… It’s just the atmosphere that’s created around those types of guys.
With Matt Pena (boxing coach at HIT that came over when Matt Hughes left MFS) he has always been a guy that supported me so when I made the comment about Hughes, Lawler and Pena I was just speaking about how these guys kept me focused and made me more positive about this fight.
As far as my comments about MFS and saying I didn’t get support from them basically I was referring to how it’s been rough over the years to get people to corner me from MFS and come to my fights. Anyone around the sport knows – and it’s not a big secret – that there are big guys that get the draw… At MFS there was Tim Sylvia, Matt Hughes, Jens Pulver. We’ve had all these major guys fighting in big shows and I know it’s hard for guys to get to all the shows. But now these fighters aren’t with MFS anymore and I still am getting that same treatment. I don’t quite understand that and I guess that’s something we’re going to talk about.
I made the comment and now it seems they are going to decide whether or not they want me back in the gym. I think that’s rather harsh and anyone who knows my situation, I believe would think it through the same way I did. I will say though, my training with MFS… my training with Pat Miletich… my training with my teammates there… Ben Rothwell -- Ben is one of the people that is most upset about the comment -- Even training with him, it’s positive work. It goes hand in hand. He helps me train for fights… I help him train for fights. We just happen to be in the same gym.
I guess again, what it comes down to is I just feel this lack of support and what I mean by that is at the shows. As far as getting corners it becomes too complicated. Certain guys can’t go for certain reasons. I understand, if I had a fight coming up I wouldn’t want to spend a week somewhere else cornering and missing training. There were guys who worked with me extensively though. Ryan McGivern is another guy I went to high school with. I didn’t mean anything… I don’t feel like I bashed anyone. I just felt like I was speaking the truth. I feel it was sad that those guys weren’t there to experience that win with me.
We train together, we sweat together, we bleed together and it sucked for me that they couldn’t be there for that win. It kind of puts the win in the toilet for me because that’s why I do it… I do it for the camaraderie, I do it for the brotherhood and I do it for the competition. For those guys not to be there, it just sucks. I know people have other things going on in their lives, as do I. I think when I made that comment it was more geared toward the fact that I did have positives. The positives where Matt Hughes, Robbie Lawler and those guys that put me in a positive mindset to move forward to win this fight.
Saying I didn’t have support had nothing to do with the training. It’s the right training with great guys and between my ambition and the quality of people at MFS, it’s the right package to me. If it doesn’t work out there I think it will be a great loss because for me and them. I feel I bring something to the table at the gym too. I just hope we can iron things out and I’ll be back in the gym doing my thing again.
Mark: Cornering issues aside, you put up one heck of an ass-whooping there. Do you know what’s next in the UFC for you?
Drew McFedries: No I really don’t. I don’t focus on any opponents or worry about who is next. That’s something my manager works out with the UFC. They give me an idea of an opponent. They’ll say, “What do you think of this guy?” It doesn’t matter to me. He’s a guy who throws kicks and punches and he tries to take me down. Honestly I don’t think there is anyone willing to really stand and trade with me… especially after this show. After this performance, I think I lived up to my name.
Hopefully in the future I can put a good combination of performances together and that’s where I have to give credit to Pat Miletich and Ryan McGivern for working with me so extensively on my wrestling. I wanted so bad to go into the cage and take Xavier down just to show I could do it. It just so happens “The Massacre” clicked in and it was over.
Mark: It was a big win for you not just for the performance but when considering the high turnover of late in the UFC. Where you worried about being dropped from the UFC roster after a pair of losses?
Drew McFedries: Oh I totally was. There was a lot of pressure there. But if you really look at what went on with me again. When I fought Mike Massenzio, that match for me was kind of up in the air because again, I have these issues of who is going to be in my corner. You would think when you get a match and its three months out that everyone wants to go to a UFC. It doesn’t always work out like that. So I guess when I get to a match I’m not always in the right mindset. I didn’t fight that fight with a whole lot of heart. I think I came out swinging and I wanted to do what I normally do but he took me down and he finished me. I think I could have fought that more but we live and learn. I made a mistake and I took that loss.
Then I took Thales Leites on thirteen days notice. I cut twenty six pounds in twelve days. For a middleweight, twenty six pounds is pretty extreme. That’s just the start of it though. Even so, I came out, took two swings at the guy and almost knocked him out but he ends up finishing the match.
So I had two losses there by submission but those aren’t two guys who were ever going to be willing to stand and box with me.
Mark: Is the wrestling the main element you are trying to add to your game now or is there something else?
Drew McFedries: I’m working on a lot of wrestling as far as defense and countering takedowns so I can counter the takedown and lead to a position where I have more control. Also working on getting back to my feet quickly and things like that. I’m not looking to be some wrestling magician or some jiu jitsu king. I think everybody knows my strategy and it’s no big secret what’s going to go down when you see me fight.
I would just like to show that I am an MMA guy. I am well rounded. It’s just the fact that I think the rest of my game is 100% and I just think my boxing is 150%. That’s the only way I can put it.
Mark "The Ezequiel" Figula is the biggest wuss to ever enter a cage... the most spindly chickenass dude to ever tap out at NAGA... the boy who was told that the pen is mightier than the sword... and thus he writes. Check out his home page of scribblings at www.markfigula.com.