Salisbury, North Carolina's Rodney Wallace (9-1) has his second UFC bout in a mere 16 days. MMA For Real recently caught up with him to see how things are going with the man known locally as "Sho Nuff The Master".
Rich Wyatt: My first question is the most important. What is Zuffa doing leaving you off of their first card back in Charlotte, man?
Rodney Wallace: (Laughs) It just happened like that by chance. I didn't know at the time that they would be doing this event in North Carolina and I had already asked Joe about getting on this New Jersey show for March 27th. So, I was already booked when the event in Charlotte was announced. I would have loved to fight in Charlotte.
Rich Wyatt: In December you had your first fight in the UFC. It was a competitive match against veteran Brian Stann. What did you learn from that experience?
Rodney Wallace: I learned a lot. As fighters, we all want to entertain the fans. To me, I think it was a situation where I was going out there and trying to impress and push forward a little more than I would have normally instead of just trying to get the "W". I should've concentrated more on putting him in situations where he's uncomfortable. To be honest, though, having that first UFC fight behind me is a little pressure off of me and I don't feel like I need to go out there and press too much. I can do my own thing.
Rich Wyatt: Your next opponent, Jared Hamman, is 11-2 with nine KO's and two submissions. H's never been past the second round in either victory or defeat, so he's a guy that doesn't like to waste much time in the cage. How do you think that you match up with Jared?
Rodney Wallace: I love it when a guy comes forward like that. People love to see excitement. It's a good matchup for me. I don't like to fight guys that sit back and wait too much. Something big will happen early in this fight.
Rich Wyatt: How has training camp gone? What are some of the things that you have focused on?
Rodney Wallace: Training is going well. I really didn't concentrate on anything different this time. I just try to focus on being balanced and not change up what I'm doing whether I'm fighting a black belt, a champion wrestler or whoever.
Rich Wyatt: Which of your coaches will be going up to New Jersey with you for this fight?
Rodney Wallace: I'm bringing a few guys from Charlotte: Hallie Hair, my chief instructor, and my boxing coach, Phil. I'll also bring Scott Zeman, one of my training partners.
Rich Wyatt: How did your opportunity with the UFC first come about?
Rodney Wallace: My manager got in contact with Joe Silva. Joe had already heard a little about me and was interested so we were able to make a deal.
Rich Wyatt: Is there any fighter out there, in particular, that you'd like to fight someday?
Rodney Wallace: There are lots of guys in my weight class that I'd like to fight. Honestly, though, I don't want to point to anybody in particular. I want to fuck everybody up. (Laughs)
Rich Wyatt: Equal opportunity, huh?
Rodney Wallace: Yeah. I don't want to make anybody feel special.