An Interview with Scroobius Pip.
by B Thornton- Harwood
Just over a week ago I had the pleasure of talking Scroobius Pip about all things MMA for part of a feature writing unit, you can read about the experience here.
When did you first take an interest in MMA?
Probably about 7-8 years ago, I was working in HMV and we had a lot of DVDs started coming in and I started buying them and having a look. It was when Tito, Chuck and Randy were all having their big fights, so I then became completely addicted and obsessed!
As MMA rises in popularity what do you think has triggered it, especially over here in the UK?
I think it’s gonna keep rising in the UK, it’s basically where the starting point of where the US were a few years back, with people realising gradually that it’s not just meatheads in a cage beating each other up, that it’s a sport and there are rules and a technique and there is an art to it. It is a legitimate sport.
Who do you think are the rising stars of the sport, or people to keep an eye on?
Tough one really, as they’re all falling at the wayside recently, I mean I really thought Ryan Bader was gonna be up there, I think he will, although everyone expected Jon Jones to walk through him I believe he had what it took to stop Jones, because he’s got a great wrestling base and very heavy hands.
Also the older George Sotiropoulos- his BJJ is just ridiculous.
What about from the UK?
I think, from a British point of view, Ross Pearson is a great and someone that can push through, I also think it’s good that he had a loss kind of early in her career, it can be tough for fighters to go undefeated for ages and not really experience that, and he’s looking strong.
Do you think the British fighters such as Ross Pearson, Andre Winner and Michael Bisping have the potential to be as big as the Americans and Brazilians?
Sadly what most of the British fighters will have as their main base is boxing or kickboxing just because it’s always been popular over here, but at the moment you need the stronger wrestling or BJJ base. Over here we don’t have a big history of wrestling in schools like they do in The States or BJJ like in Brazil obviously, but I think it’s a gradual thing and I think we will develop.
Saying that, Bisping has actually got a really good ground game and is a very solid wrestler and his ground and pound is great too, so he can dominate on the deck.
We’re at a time where you’re getting people training in MMA, it’s been around long enough now that it’s not necessarily just a boxer moving into Mixed Martial Arts but people starting training MMA, with all BJJ, wrestling and stand up combined, so there’s definitely tonnes of potential for the Brits.
Speaking of Bisping, what did you think of the knee incident to Rivera a couple of weeks back?
I thought he exposed himself to be a right dickhead to be perfectly honest!
I wasn’t impressed; I can understand his point when he said it was unintentional with a lot of people saying it was [intentional]. It’s that weird, where the line of culpability is for it? If you are that fired up he should have known what he was doing, but if you are that emotional it can be tough. I think it was more the spitting at him afterwards, continuing the verbal game that’s just shameful and he just seems to be his own worst enemy.
I thought after the Wanderlei fight and the interview in the ring he did I really thought he was really respectful and it was like “Yes! This is a turnaround for Bisping!” because he is a great fighter and he was humble, obviously having the big loss to Dan Henderson a while before that, but as soon as he got to the press conference he started going on about how Wanderlei would be celebrating in a gay bar tonight and I thought “Oh shut up Bisping, why did you have to go and ruin it?”
But he’s a tough character, and there are talks about him taking on Sonnen, in the UK maybe, as I’m a big fan of Sonnen and think he’s a great fighter.
What fights in the near future are you looking forward to?
There are loads! Jon Jones vs Rua, I just don’t know where to put my money there. I think Jones is great but slightly untested although that sounds stupid, he’s generally come out and always been able to do his thing, he’s never met anyone that can stop him a bit, and I’d quite like to see how he reacts when he does ‘cause he is quite inexperienced.
I want to see how Shogun does as well, it wasn’t until Shogun won the title that he really proved that he was up to his old standard, he’s had a few unconvincing wins, followed by his domination of Machida for the title, but he’s coming off an injury, so that’s a really difficult fight to call.
But there’s a lot of amazing fights out there at the moment, the next TUF with Junior Dos Santos vs Brock Lesnar, Edgar Maynard 3.
Outside of the UFC I’m really looking forward to Dailey vs Diaz, which should be a really good fight, because I love Diaz’s style. He’s so weird and bizarre and abrasive, he’ll land about 100 punches in a round but they won’t be hard, they’ll just wear you down then build up ‘til he knocks you out. But I feel like Paul Dailey can just knock anyone out now at any time, so it’s really interesting to see Diaz’s chin tested against Dailey. Also Diaz is amazing on the ground but I really think he’ll just stand toe to toe and bang with Dailey, he’s that cocky and weird and it’ll make a great fight.
I’m also looking forward to GSP vs Shields; I think it’ll be a great technical battle. And it might end up being booed by the commercial fans, Shields is one of the best, although his wrestling isn’t the same as Kos or the like- it’s more adapted to MMA.
What do you think of the idea of GSP vs Silva?
I really don’t know! GSP’s frame is not a Middleweight- he’s built for Welterweight. And he would have to give up the belt he’s won, give up his impressive unbeaten record to go up and fight someone bigger than him, and he’ll have to be the underdog going into that fight, and why should he have to do that?
GSP hasn’t got an ounce of fat on him, he’s the perfect Welterweight, I’d love to see it obviously, but it’s a massive ask of GSP, almost disrespectful to someone who’s done so well and dominated to say, “well that’s not good enough, we want to see you beat a bigger bloke, who’s dominated even more”.
Saying that, it’s tough as he’s cleaned out the rest of the division, so there’s a lot of argument for it, although personally I’d rather see Sonnen get another shot at the Middleweight title. Or if Jon Jones does well in Light Heavyweight then perhaps Silva who’s fought there before could move up in class.