“I’m one of those guys who is well versed in every area, so where ever the fight goes I’m ready.”
Interview by: Lance Edwards
Brian Lightfoot, is by no means a walk in the park for any fighter facing him. An analytical and strategic fighter, Brian is another of Rogue fight crew’s fighters. We caught up with Brian and talked with him about how he got started, his much talkeda bout fight with Artenas Young and his upcoming IXFA title fight with Ike Villanueva.
TCD.net: You’re 2 and 2 as a pro, but you haven’t been shying away from tough competition.
Brian: No, I think people best know me for my fight with Artenas Young.
TCD.net: That’s right, what can you tell us about that fight?
Brian: Artenas is a great counter puncher, he’s one of the best in Houston, and no-one can take him lightly. The fight, I’m sure, wasn’t one of the most exciting for the fans. I had a pre-determined strategy, I couldn’t afford to rush things, so I had to slow things down, if you chase Artenas he’s right in his element and something nasty’s going to happen <laughs>. I know he says it was luck but that doesn’t bother me. I have a lot of respect for Artenas.
TCD.net: So how did you get started?
Brian: I was having to go overseas a bunch as an aircraft mechanic. I got a job for Continental, and at the time I was a big guy. I weighed 250lbs. I wanted to get in better shape; I was on a strict diet for 3-4 months and got to 205lbs. I’d like to make it to 185, but basically I wanted to get in better shape.
Brian: I don’t fight with emotion or anger, that’s how you make mistakes. My process is to fight smart and get out with as little damage as possible.
TCD.net: How did you develop that fighting style?
Brian: Well really from basketball. I was a basketball player, and my coach always taught us to pick our plays, and analyze what was going on. I learned to do that and it’s something I carried over.
TCD.net: So who do you train with?
Brian: Rogue fight crew, I train here with Chad Cook and the other guys, we’re all really close, we really are a team and we’re a tight group. I train at Dracs as well (Gracie Barra). Draculino is an awesome teacher, and what’s more he’s such a nice guy, he’s a true martial artist, not just great at what he does but also a great man.
TCD.net: How did you end up there?
Brian: After I left Bushi Ban, I went over to Gracie Barra Texas. That’s when I met Taylor and he introduced me to Rogue. Rogue is kind of like my supplement. That’s where I get my MMA side of sparring. Not saying Drac doesn’t know what he’s talking about because he does.
TCD.net: Talk about how it felt to have to miss a chance to fight at Bellator because of your rib injury.
Brian: When I got the opportunity it was great. Chad passed it on to me and said, “I told Saul you’re doing it.”
I trained really hard. Rick Bigger had wrestled the guy I was going to face in high school so we kind of new what to expect. I was working a lot of takedown defence too. He reminded me a lot of Chad Cook, so I was like, man this is going to be great, I get to fight Chad! [laughs]
Maybe I was over training, but we where doing some stand up sparring with take downs and Rick had me against the wall. He did an inside trip and got me down. When he went into side control he put his knees real close to my side. In Jui-jitsu you’re taught to turn into them that way you can protect yourself better and work more sweeps and submissions from that angle. Well when I turned into him, my knees didn’t get underneath him, they were still on the outside of his body, so when I went to turn I guess my rib just caught there. I heard the pop pop pop and I was just exhaling and couldn’t catch my breath. That’s when I knew something was kind of wrong.
TCD.net: Ya think! So how long ago was that.
Brian: I think it was like end of August because I had to miss the first IXFA as well.
TCD.net: How did it feel to have to miss that opportunity to fight at Bellator because of a freak injury?
Brian: Man, I hated it. I talked to a bunch of people that have been with me throughout the fight game that assured me that that wasn’t my only shot. This was a guy who I looked up to for a long time, he was a mentor of mine. He said if he thought this was my only chance that he’d tell me to screw it and go take the fight.
So I was like OK, well maybe something else will come around; but if that turns out to be my only chance, I’m going to slap that guy in the face. [laughs]
TCD.net: How tough is it to train for a fight with all the temptations of Thanksgiving mixed in?
Brian: For me it’s kind of cool. I’m one of the only 205’ers around that doesn’t really cut, so I get to eat.
Brian: I’m not one to do that. I have too much other stuff going on in my life outside of training. Being a father is a full time job. Being a husband is a full time job in itself. My wife is a nurse so she works 12 hours shifts, so it’s tough for me because I have to go get the kids from daycare. On top of that I go to school online to get my degree.
TCD.net: Damn man, you must be exhausted trying to fit all this in.
Brian: Oh yeah, I am! But I still get my training in. I train with top level guys like Chad Cook, Taylor Hebert and Rick Bigger, all my training partners over at Rogue. Then of course I work with Draculino.
TCD.net: How do you prepare for a fighter like Ike? I mean, he’s extremely aggressive, so you know he’s going to come forward and throw lots of punches.
Brian: Well, I’m extremely long, so you know, people can come forward all day long. I have good countering ability and I plan to use that and negate his aggressiveness. I noticed he was getting angry or upset when he was fighting Artenas and Artenas would catch him when he was coming in. He’d get upset and put Artenas against the cage. If he puts me against the cage, I’ll make him pay for that.
TCD.net: Do you have preference where this fight takes place?
Brian: I’m one of those guys who is well versed in every area, so where ever the fight goes I’m ready. All I know is I’m not going to sit there and exchange with the guy like that guy did at Puro Combate. He’s known for his power.
TCD.net: You have a prediction for the fight?
Brian: Either submission or decision.
TCD.net: So what’s up next for you after this?
Brian: Where ever it takes me. I want to do it as far as I can go. I’ve always felt that I’m extremely gifted and talented in this sport. Certain people may not see that but other do, like Draculino and others who have a lot of experience. I’ve never really had an easy fight. I learn from my loses and I’m not going to make any excuses for my losses because everybody has an excuse for their losses. That’s not the way I see it, my excuse is I was the one who messed it up. So where ever this takes me I’m willing to go, weather it’s up to the top or to Disney land.
TCD.net: We wish you well.