"Chael is good for MMA because he puts butts in the seats; whether you love him, you hate him or you want to see him get his head smashed, he's good for MMA. You know what? These guys, whether it's boxing or MMA, they do a lot and they sacrifice a lot of their health, and people don't realize the things they have to go through, so you know what? He came up with a marketing ploy to help him out. He's a smart guy. People don't realize this is Chael's second go around in the UFC. They don't even remember the first time he was there," stated world-class trainer Ron Frazier, who shared his thoughts on Anderson Silva's recent victory over Chael Soon, Tito Ortiz's departure from the sport, Forrest Griffin's victory, and much more. Check it out!
PC: Anderson Silva proved once again on Saturday night why he has been such a long-running champion. What did you think of his emotions before the fight though, because he was very out of character?
RF: His pre-fight emotions actually made me a little worrisome. I thought he was a little too angry. He fights at such a measured and controlled pace, I thought, man, if he comes out and and goes crazy and tries to knock him out early, he's giving Chael what he wants because Chael would just go underneath him and take him down. And he took him down anyway, but he stayed so calm and controlled, and obviously they expected to be taken down and they did a lot of things to help cover that up.
PC: When you see such a dynamic striker like Anderson Silva have a deficiency like his wrestling abilities, do you think that's something he could improve in or is it too late, and do his other skillsets outweigh that one deficiency?
RF: I think it's something he can work on, but Chael is a very good wrestler. Obviously he was a guy who might be able to give him some problems; a guy who was going to get in his face and push him and make it a grinding out fight. Even Dan Henderson had some success taking him down, but he makes his adjustments and his grappling is just good enough to keep it where he wants it and that's striking, and when it gets there, no one is better.
PC: I understand what Chael has been doing and he's been doing it well. Is Chael good for MMA?
RF: Yeah, Chael is good for MMA because he puts butts in the seats; whether you love him, you hate him or you want to see him get his head smashed, he's good for MMA. You know what? These guys, whether it's boxing or MMA, they do a lot and they sacrifice a lot of their health, and people don't realize the things they have to go through, so you know what? He came up with a marketing ploy to help him out. He's a smart guy. People don't realize this is Chael's second go around in the UFC. They don't even remember the first time he was there. Four years ago, nobody knew his name and now everybody either wants to see him get beat or beat somebody, so he did a very good job of marketing himself and I don't see how it's bad for the sport to make more people want to watch the sport.
PC: I agree 100%. I have heard people say pro wrestling personas have no place in MMA, but the structure of the two are the same, and at the end of the day, it's all sports entertainment; one is just real and the other is real, but has rehearsed endings.
RF: A lot of the people who have had success have done that. Tito did it, obviously Chael is doing it now, and Melvin Guillard's personality is to talk a little trash, and you gotta go out there and back it up. Muhammad Ali was the king of doing this and he did it very early in his career, and Floyd Mayweather is doing it. So if you're Mr. Nice Guy, you can sell a lot of tickets. Oscar De La Hoya did it, but the guys who have been the bad guys and wore the black hat has sold even more tickets than just about anybody because everybody comes to see them because most people want to see them get beat. That's just part of the business and there is a business aspect to these sports, and these people should be able to take care of their families when they are done in their sport.
PC: You have worked with Forrest Griffin in the past. I heard all types of stories leading up to this one that he had been getting beat up a little bit in the gym and possibly even stopped a few times. He definitely doesn't look like he has much longer in the sport, nor does he sound like it. What did you think of his performance and could we be seeing the last of Forrest Griffin?
RF: He's been doing this a long time too. I think he started in 2001, somewhere in there, and we're heading into 2013. He's been in some wars. How much longer he wants to do it, I don't know, but you know Forrest has always had injuries in the gym; that's nothing new. Those things have been happening since I've known him, and I've known him since 2005, but the style that Tito has, him and Forrest just match up so well together that if they fought 100 times and there would be 300 rounds, you wouldn't be able to clearly determine a winner. That's just how their styles are and they will always match up that way.
PC: Since that was Tito Ortiz's last fight, how will you remember him?
RF: He's a pioneer. He's a first. He is the longest reigning light heavyweight champion. He paved the way for the rest of these guys to be able to make a living out of this. Being in the UFC Hall of Fame is well-deserved for him. He is another one, love him or hate him, he put butts in the seats and he did what he had to do to take care of his family and to take care of his career, and you gotta respect that.
PC: We have the PEDs in boxing and TRT replacement in MMA. How do we fix this and can it be fixed?
RF: I mean, obviously they are going to have to go to random blood testing when they are not fighting and kind of see what goes on. I think if you are in the top 10 or top 15 in either sport, MMA or boxing, the commission or some outside agency needs to come in and take a look at what's going on. I'm not surprised by it because there is money on the line. As long as there is money involved in sports, you're going to have performance enhancing drugs. There is no way around it. And I'm not necessarily for or against it. I mean, people gotta do what they gotta do to make a living. It's easy when you're on the outside. It's easy to be a fan and go, "I would never do that," but when you're in the midst of it and it's your livelihood and your livelihood is on the line, it's hard to resist sometimes. I'm not gonna make judgments on these guys because I've been an athlete. I understand what these guys go through. Sometimes it's more of these guys getting hurt and they are trying to get back to not pull out of a fight. So I don't think it's always guys who are trying to cheat. I think sometimes it's a case of I tore a hamstring and if I do this, I can get back in 6 weeks.
PC: Yeah, I mean, like you said, I don't condone it, but to a degree, it's tough for these guys fighting once or twice a year to pull out of fights.
RF: A lot of these guys go into fights hurt. Not just injured, they go in there when they shouldn't be fighting and they can't pull out of a fight to cost themselves a fight. And when you cost yourself a fight, you cost yourself money, so I understand the dilemma that they find themselves in, but the only real way to clean it up is to have random testing and then get some of these strength and conditioning coaches I mean, should Victor Conte be involved in boxing? Could he go to football or basketball or any other sports or entities?
PC: Teddy Atlas said pretty much what you just said, and Conte's response on Twitter to someone was that in Teddy's past, he did time on Riker's Island for armed robbery or something like that. But that doesn't directly affect athletes. Teddy doing time for armed robbery has no bearings on an athlete today.
RF: And he served his time and he can come out and be in the sport because armed robbery doesn't directly affect what he does in the boxing arena, but what he did directly affects athletes and what they are doing. And then, coincidentally, his fighter tests positive. You have a guy that ran BALCO, and we know that whole story, and then he wants to turn the other cheek and say he's looking to clean up the sport, but then the guy he's working with tests positive? Is that a coincidence? And then he says he has no knowledge of that come on. We only know the guys getting caught, but there are more guys out there cheating; believe me! If they didn't have a disgruntled track coach, BALCO would have never been discovered.
PC: The investigation from the Bradley/Pacquiao decision was put to rest. I never felt one was necessary because they never change these things. Boxing can move forward now and hopefully get past this.
RF: It was irrelevant. The thing is this; you have to have common sense when you look at it. Who did this benefit that Tim Bradley won this controversy decision? It didn't benefit him. He's getting the blame for it. Now no one wants to see the rematch and the first one wasn't promoted greatly anyways. It didn't benefit Bob Arum. It didn't benefit Manny Pacquiao. Who is gonna come in there and tell these judges, "Hey, vote for Timothy Bradley." Were they incompetent? Probably! But some of that was Manny's fault of deciding to take 2 minutes of every round off before he did something. Unfortunately, bad judging is a part of boxing and it happens in MMA too. The broadcasters have their favorite fighters and they have guys who they favor and they broadcast the fight accordingly, and the people who listen to them and trust them get caught up in that momentum. People who listen to Harold Lederman and respect what he says hear that this was 11 round to 1 or 10 rounds to 2 and they buy into that. But when you turn the sound down and you actually look at what happens, you see it didn't happen that way.
PC: As always, its great catching up with you and getting your thoughts. Is there anything you want to say in closing?
RF: I just always appreciate FightHype and always enjoy being on and thanks for the support.
[WRITER'S NOTE: Be sure to keep Ron Frazier in your prayers as he was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis', a disease which causes his body to produce antibodies that attract receptors in his nerves which freeze his movements and makes him really weak. I am confident Ron will beat this thing and be back to 100% health in no time. The FightHype family is pulling for you.]