October 2020
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UFC Fight Night champions share their experience in Abu Dhabi

Brian Ortega

“When we arrived in Fight Island, it felt like Mortal Combat in the beginning. I saw the memes on Instagram where everyone’s like Dana White is that guy where he’s locking us up here on the island and making us fight. Besides the jokes and stuff, I think it’s great. For someone to take 5 weeks out of their life, the staff and everyone included, to be able to sacrifice their time, to come here and put on 5 events, it’s something great. In Vegas, it’s easy for them to move around there because it’s home for them. But to come here, and quarantine and isolate and test and everything. I feel like the whole thing that is happening here is amazing just so that the fans around the world can see us fight. I have nothing but the most respect and admiration for the team and for UFC and everything that they’re doing”.

“That’s the best for us, we focus on the fight, we focus on the training and getting the last preparations in. I know I still have some weight to cut but other than that I feel more at peace than usual. I feel like we do the media everything is chill and relax or it’s via like skype. Couple of interviews in person and it allows you to come right back up to your hotel room and chill and relax”.

“I feel like I was too active for my own good especially taking fight after fight after fight and also being ready in case some other fighters would not be able to make their fight. Like, ‘hey guys I’m right here, I want to stay ready for you guys’. I feel like I just never stopped training and for sure I just got tired of it and I finally after that I was officially tired of everything and then I just took some time off and had to heal obviously and recover from my surgeries and all that. I needed a mental break, not just a physical one. I needed a mental break and gather everything all my thoughts, all my process and really come up with a plan that’s going to make me the best me. That took some time and by the time we were ready, the pandemic hit and it made things a little bit difficult but we still got through it and it was a little longer than I expected but we’re here.”

“Some people train lightly but they can fight hard, and I feel like a lot of fighters will understand. Like Cowboy Cerrone, he takes a lot of fights all the time. So, I feel like maybe he is not relaxing his body as much and also making me realize maybe you don’t have to train hard, to kill every training session. Maybe the way I was going about it wasn’t the best way, my body wasn’t allowing itself to rest. Wasn’t allowing itself to grow, to sleep. So now, taking a little bit of time to relax. Your skills match your body, and your mind is something that I have recently learned. I am just learning a lot of things about myself and at this pace and this type of training I can keep this up for a while.

“People can expect a new version of me, someone who has more tools, someone who is going to try to do a couple more things and try to mix the game up a bit better than before and kind of just going forward and going into a war. If it goes to the ground, then choking you out. I’ve always had that style. I just go forward and train with you and then try to submit you. Now I’m trying to add more tools to the tool bag to bring here besides that”.

“I got my nickname T-City when I was young. Henner realized that I was this little rug rat, just triangle everybody so he named me Triangle City cause I triangled everyone. When I played bowling, the name was too long to fit in the screen, so we just put T-City and I kept it.”

Gillian Robertson

“So far my experience has been absolutely amazing. I’ve actually been out here for about a week and a half now, so I’ve had a chance to explore, do everything, look around And get a little acclimated to the weather, get used to it so I’ll be ready fight time.

“It’s a little bit out of this world. It’s a once in a lifetime experience to be able to do something like this and have an octagon on the beach. It’s just something you don’t see elsewhere. Abu Dhabi in general is just impressive to look at. It is very futuristic, the hotel, the architecture. It is a unique experience in general.

“Every fight for me is just a race. So I am just trying to get in and out as fast as possible, Take as little damage as possible I don’t get paid by the hour you know So I am trying to just finish it fast. Our game plan is not to go in there and fight, it’s to go in there and finish.”

“I don’t necessarily have any pre-fight rituals I feel like you just have to know you might get hurt. Going in there, you just have to expect the worst and if it doesn’t happen you have to be relieved but if it happens you have to just have to fight through it.

My Favorite movie is Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I feel like a big reason why is because it was what my grandfather and I used to watch when I was young, and I remember just quoting it all my childhood with him. It reminds me a lot of him.”

“I got my nickname “Savage” After my first amateur fight. My coach Dean Thomas he wrote a message to all my team saying ‘oh she’s as quiet as a mouse but when she walks into the cage she turns to an absolute savage’ and all my friends were like oh did you hear that, he called you a savage, so it just kind of stuck on after that”.

“I am not necessarily impressed by a lot of my fights. The only 2 fights that I have been proud of my performance that I went out there and I showed to the best of my ability what I could do at that time, the best of my capabilities, would be my fight against Sarah Frota where I feel like I just went out there and executed my game plan to the fullest”.

“I think I have a long away to get the title. But I’m still 25 years old and I’ve got a lot to climb. I am just looking to fight my way to the top. I am ranked 15 so anybody from 1 to 14 I want it.

“These last few years in general since we have entered the UFC we’re just growing and growing, just showing what women can do in the sport. We’re just as good as the guys. People keep asking about how I broke the submission record; but I’m trying to break the guys’ record. I don’t care about the girls’ record right now.”

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