Edwin Dewees Talks about coming to HDNet Fights
By Justin Bolduc
PDG: On December 15 you’ll be facing Frank Trigg. What are your thoughts on him and what are you doing to prepare for the fight?
Edwin: Frank is obviously a tough fighter and a good wrestler – he’s pretty seasoned. I’m actually training in Reno with the Lion’s Den, training with a lot of really tough guys. Three times a day for the past four weeks all I’ve been doing is training so I’m definitely going to be ready.
PDG: Who have you been training with?
Edwin: Ken Shamrock, Vernon White, Pat Healy, John Gunderson, Ash Bowman – all the Lion’s Den guys.
PDG: You’re known for your grappling ability; how do you feel your jiu-jitsu matches up with Frank’s wrestling?
Edwin: Obviously his wrestling is better than mine, but if he takes me down I really don’t care. His best weapon is to put me in my best attack mode, you know what I mean? So it really doesn’t bother me that much.
PDG: It has been over a year since you last fought; is that going to be a factor going into this bout?
Edwin: Not really, I’ve had almost fifty fights. I’ve also had a couple fights scheduled this year that just kind of fell through so I have been training. It’s not like I’ve been sitting around, so I don’t think it’s going to phase me at all.
PDG: On the business end of things, how do you feel HDNet has done so far leading into their second event?
Edwin: They’ve been great. Everything with me has been very professional. Everything I was told would be done was done. So far so good, they have taken very good care of me and I am very pleased.
PDG: What is training typically like for you in the last three or four weeks leading into a fight?
Edwin: Usually I get to the gym a little early and I do about forty-five minutes or an hour of cardio. Then in the morning if it is boxing we’ll spar typically five five-minute rounds – after a warm-up obviously, with a fresh guy every round. A fresh guy isn’t a bum either – its guys like Vernon White. Then we do bag drills, ground-and-pound on the bag, go home and eat and rest, come back [to the gym] and do more cardio. Then we do some MMA training where you’re man in the middle – I think the other day we did twenty-eight rounds with four of us. Also the other day they had me in the middle and they started a fresh guy on my back every thirty seconds and we did I think thirty-five rounds of that. We also have a strength and conditioning coach I’m working with every other day. He has worked with the ASU football team.
PDG: That sounds pretty crazy.
Edwin: Yeah its nuts. It’s awesome [laughs].
PDG: Can you walk us through what happens on the day of a fight, from when you wake up in the morning until you step into the ring that night?
Edwin: The day of the fight I try to make it as normal of a day as possible and just try to relax. The only thing I do differently is just try to stretch out a lot throughout the day. I just like to be surrounded by my friends and my family and be in a comfortable position until I fight – so I like the day as normal as possible.
I take it pretty easy all day until just a little while before the fight when I hit mitts and do a little grappling – just kind of blow my lungs out, maybe do some sprints real quick to get my lungs prepared and then I am good to go.
PDG: As for weight cutting, is it something you especially dread and struggle with or is it pretty easy for you?
Edwin: It’s not that hard. I kind of have it down to a science now. Being out here and training this hard I’m actually four pounds ahead of schedule from where I usually am at this time so this weight cut in particular should be quite easy for me.
PDG: As far as your career goes, you have been fighting for a while and have fought a lot. When and how did you get into mixed martial arts?
Edwin: I started when I was seventeen. I just went to a local show in Phoenix and I thought the guys were kind of subpar, if you will [laughs]. So I just signed up and I did well and just took it from there.
PDG: With almost fifty fights under your belt how are you feeling; is it starting to wear on you or are you holding up well?
Edwin: I still feel good. With my style I don’t really stand in the pocket a lot and take a lot of hard blows to the head. On the ground if I am on my back I am tying people up and not taking a lot of shots. So I’m doing pretty well and I haven’t taken too many beatings thankfully. But I’m holding up well and I’m in a lot better shape than a lot of people who have only been fighting for a year.
PDG: Looking back, how do you feel about doing The Ultimate Fighter reality show?
Edwin: It was a good experience, I enjoyed it and made a lot of really good friends – everyone that was on the show has become a friend and I still talk to them. Also it boosted my marketability and got my pay raised – so that was priceless for me.
PDG: What was the experience specifically like for you?
Edwin: It wasn’t that big of a deal. It wasn’t fun all the time, but it was something to just accelerate the dream that I have that much more. There were only sixteen guys in the entire world that were there, so there was no way I could possibly look at it bad, it was a great opportunity and I was very happy to be there every minute of the day.
PDG: How difficult was it for everyone to come together and train without their usual habits and with new ideas, and was it hard for you to break out of your shell and try something new?
Edwin: I didn’t want to do anything I normally do. I wanted to learn from everyone else and see what they all do – and I think we all did that, taking bits and pieces from one another. We tried to make the best practices and the best workouts to make ourselves better. You have all these guys with experience and the coaches giving input and you can take the best [ideas] and use them for yourself and just grow that much more.
PDG: You are about to fight under the HDNet Fights banner, but you’ve also fought in the UFC. Would you like to return to the UFC or are you just looking for whatever comes up? Also, are you looking to stick with someone for the long haul?
Edwin: You know, I don’t know what I am going to do to tell you the truth. I am going to go wherever there is a good offer but I wouldn’t mind staying with HD or signing with someone. I’m the kind of person that likes to stay with someone for a while. I don’t like to change my sponsors a lot and I like to kind of create a family of people around me and stick with them. But the UFC is still the pinnacle of the sport, no matter what anyone says, and it’s always an honor to fight there and I’d like to fight there again – probably not anytime soon. I’d just like to keep traveling around fighting big names like Trigg and just come back prepared.
PDG: As far as grappling goes what have you been up to and do you do any competitions with that or are you just sticking with mixed martial arts?
Edwin: I’ve been teaching a lot of jiu-jitsu – I love to teach. We’re actually opening a Lion’s Den in Scottsdale, Arizona and I’m going to be an instructor there. I love jiu-jitsu and teaching, and even if I’m not training for a fight it’s something I’ll do every single day for hours. That’s something I always do, not only as a hobby but to help me with my job in fighting.
PDG: Some big names from Brazilian jiu-jitsu competition have been coming into mixed martial arts – like “Jacare” has been fighting, Marcello Garcia recently made his debut, and Roger Gracie is coming over… what do you think of their moves into the sport and how do you think they will transition?
Edwin: It depends if they just stick to their ways of just doing jiu-jitsu and think that jiu-jitsu is the only answer – cause it’s not… don’t get me wrong, jiu-jitsu is what I do and I love it and I think it’s the best martial art, but you can’t just do jiu-jitsu, that’s not what it’s about. You need to get hit in practice, you need to get punched, you need to have stand-up… I think a lot of the really good jiu-jitsu guys just try to stick to their guns and it just backfires on them because they haven’t really broadened their horizons and they just want their jiu-jitsu to get them to the next level, which it won’t.
PDG: Let’s focus on the state of mixed martial arts for a second. This year we’ve had PRIDE go under, EliteXC spring up and make a name for itself, Strikeforce is getting bigger, then you have another newcomer in HDNet Fights… what do you see happening with MMA in 2008?
Edwin: I see all of these things coming as being good for the fighters. I think it will be a fighter’s year. Pay is going to increase and bonuses – I know the UFC is giving bonuses for knockouts and submissions and stuff, and with all the new competitions it’s just going to raise the bar and the people that are going to benefit from it are the people that deserve it – the fighters. I just think it’ll be great.
PDG: Wrapping things up, is there anything else you’d like to say?
Edwin: I just want to thank the Lion’s Den right now because they’ve helped me out and got me in the best shape I’ve ever been in, and the toughest I’ve ever been too.