"Yeah, of course there is pressure. My fight with Terry was a tough fight, so yeah, there is pressure. I can't lose this fight. I just gotta go in there and do what I do and do the best that I can. My opponent is a really tough guy. I'm going to put up a good fight...I don't think he's going to rush at me. I think the best option for him is to try to take me to the ground and work from there. I'm expecting to stand with him though, so I'm prepared for everything in this fight," stated Strikeforce middleweight Tarec Saffiedine as he talked about his upcoming clash with Nate Moore this Friday night at the STRIKEFORCE Challengers event in Portland, Oregon. Check out what else he had to say!
PC: How are you doing man?
TS: So far so good. I'm ready for the fight.
PC: How was your camp for this fight?
TS: It went really well. I train with some great wrestlers because I know my opponent has a wrestling background. I train with some very good guys. Other than that, everything is good conditioning-wise. Besides the extra wrestling, I pretty much did the same thing. I feel good.
PC: You're coming off of an impressive decision win over James Terry in your Strikeforce debut. Is there any pressure on you to duplicate that performance?
TS: Yeah, of course there is pressure. My fight with Terry was a tough fight, so yeah, there is pressure. I can't lose this fight. I just gotta go in there and do what I do and do the best that I can. My opponent is a really tough guy. I'm going to put up a good fight.
PC: You were born in Belgium. What is the biggest difference from training over there to moving to the States and joining Team Quest?
TS: The main difference between Europe and the US, especially at Team Quest, is the wrestling. I never trained wrestling before. I've only been training it for 2 years and it's a huge difference between training in Europe and training here...sorry for my English. I come from a stand-up background and to add the wrestling to my game is a huge step for me and I feel good. I'm at the best place to learn it. I'm really happy where I am right now.
PC: It's strange to see a guy come from a karate background and have most of his wins come via submission. How did you get into training Jiu Jitsu?
TS: Most of my karate training was stand-up, but we also trained Judo throws and ground game too. I'm not new to the ground game. I've been studying grappling and Jiu Jitsu for awhile now, but it's not the same level as the US. Most of my wins came by submission because they just came to me during fights. I have fought a lot of stand-up fights before, man, and I have knocked guys out and knocked guys down, so that can happen.
PC: Nate Moore is a tough guy with well-rounded skills. What type of fight are you expecting from Nate and how much have you been able to watch him?
TS: I really don't know. I couldn't find any footage of him. I don't think he's going to rush at me. I think the best option for him is to try to take me to the ground and work from there. I'm expecting to stand with him though, so I'm prepared for everything in this fight.
PC: Showtime is a huge platform. What is it like to have the opportunity to showcase your talents on such a huge stage Friday night?
TS: I still can't believe I won my last fight against Terry. That was so big for me. Coming from Europe and being on such a stage like Strikeforce and Showtime is really big. It's a lot of pressure too, but I really enjoy it.
PC: What can the fans expect, not only on Friday night, but every time Tarec Saffiedine steps inside of the cage?
TS: I'm always trying to put on a MMA fight. I'm not just a stand-up fighter trying to avoid the ground and stuff takedowns; sometimes I can and sometimes I can't. I always try to put on a great stand-up show and if it goes to the ground, showcase some new things that I'm learning there as well. I'm always trying to put on a great show for the fans and the people in Belgium as well.
PC: I appreciate your time. I was very impressed in your first Strikeforce fight. Good luck. Is there anything you want to say in closing?
TS: I just want to thank my fiancé. She is always supporting me in my career. I want to thank my sponsor, Clinch Gear, and of course my teammates at Team Quest and thank you for the interview. This is my first interview on a cell phone, so it's kind of weird (laughing), so I hope it turns out okay.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrLouis1ana ]