"Hopefully, Mr. Joe Silva will give me the fight I want. I've fought twice in the UFC and both times, it was for the UFC and the guys they wanted me to fight. I hope this time they will give me the guy I want for a change and I will be happy," stated UFC light heavyweight Sokoudjou as he continues to stress his desire to face Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. Check out what else he had to say as he explains why a fight with Rua is important to him. Plus, Sokoudjou shares his thoughts on Anderson Silva and Brandon Vera fighting at light heavyweight and much more.
PC: You've been in Europe. How were the seminars?
TS: They went good. I was kind of surprised by the Europeans. I was on the subways and just in public and a lot of people recognized me and I was surprised by that. They had a lot of people show up for the seminar as well.
PC: How often do you try and do seminars?
TS: I try to put them on right after my fights when I take one or two weeks off. I like to travel and do seminars. I use my time off to make some extra cash and travel. I always dreamed about going to different places and continents and stuff and now I'm just kind of living out my dream. I'm doing what I want to do and making some extra money.
PC: Have you been back to Japan since the PRIDE days?
TS: No. I would love to go back, but no, I haven't. I was trying to go back to watch "Mayhem" fight, but I didn't have enough time; too much paperwork.
PC: Speaking of PRIDE, you said they should name a PPV "One More for Pride" and have you fight Shogun as the co-main event and Rampage-Silva 3 as the headliner.
TS: I would love for the UFC to do that.
PC: I see some people think that you only want to fight Shogun because he's coming off of injury. Could you explain how long you've been calling Shogun out?
TS: I've been calling him out ever since I fought my second fight in PRIDE. I've always wanted to fight him. He's been one of the top guys. He's one of those guys I would love to fight just because it would show me where I am as far as being a top athlete like him. He is the one that set the bar and lets you know how far you are from being where you want to be and that's with the elite. It is a challenge to myself to see how much work I need to do to be on that level.
PC: So in no way is this a form of disrespect or you thinking he's no good?
TS: No, no disrespect. I would just like to fight a guy I mean, he's the guy I go home and study. How could I be disrespectful when I say all of the time he's one of the top guys. I would go to a seminar Shogun was teaching. He had a seminar here in San Diego about 3 to 4 years ago and at the time, I was working. I didn't have enough money to put in, but I would've gone to that seminar to learn from him so why not learn from him during a fight? That's my thing. It's no disrespect; he's a great fighter. It's nothing I want more in my life than to fight him because he's a top light heavyweight.
PC: If he's available in September and they could make that fight for September, could you be ready?
TS: I just got back from Europe on Monday. I'll slowly get back into the gym. I've been lifting weights and working on my technique and just going step-by-step. As far as injuries or anything, I'm good and I'll be ready to go by September. I could lose a leg or thigh and would still be good to fight Shogun; I want that fight badly.
PC: Shogun has great ground game and you've been working diligently on yours. Do you think this will be a stand-up war though?
TS: You know, a fight is a fight! In a fight, I don't really know what I want to do. I have to listen to the guys that watch me train and decide what I want to do. Of course, if it was up to me, I would be on my feet trading with him. He's a top notch fighters and my dream coming up, I always wanted to be a Muay Thai fighter so whenever I have a chance to be a stand-up fighter, I take advantage of it.
PC: What would your prediction be for that fight?
TS: It would be a good fight (laughing). This is one of those fights where I will not wait. I will be anxious like a kid waiting to go to Six Flags. I will go right at him. When they say, "Bring it on," I would just let loose. I will not hesitate one bit.
PC: If they decide to give Shogun more of a tune-up type of fight, who would you like next?
TS: My next choice? You know what? I really haven't thought about it. He's the one I would love to fight right now. I don't know; that's a good question. You give me enough time and I'll fight anybody so I guess I don't care. I don't know. Shogun is the guy I would love to fight.
PC: July 19th, we get to see Anderson Silva and Brandon Vera debut in your weight class. Who do you think will have more success there?
TS: That's tough because Brandon Vera will have to deal with losing weight. I don't think he's ever done that before so that might make it interesting and then Silva, I heard he walks around heavy when he's not fighting so I don't know. Today, MMA is so crazy. I would have never thought Matt Hughes would have lost to that last guy he lost too. It's difficult to predict anything nowadays. I don't want to say anything to make me look stupid. Both of them are good fighters in there weight classes and it will be interesting to see how they do in my weight class.
PC: Who do you like in the Rampage-Forrest fight?
TS: I like them both and the outcome of this fight will be interesting to watch. Rampage has power and cardio and Forrest has no power and I don't want to say he doesn't have a chin, but he did get kind of beaten by Jardine. It will be interesting.
PC: Always good to talk with you Sokoudjou. I hope you get that Shogun fight. I think that would be fireworks. Is there anything you want to say in closing?
TS: Hopefully, Mr. Joe Silva will give me the fight I want. I've fought twice in the UFC and both times, it was for the UFC and the guys they wanted me to fight. I hope this time they will give me the guy I want for a change and I will be happy.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]