UFC Welterweight Igor Araujo Reflects on MMA Career Before UFC Fight Night 37
Posted by Jeffrey Harris on 03.08.2014
Araujo talks about getting into the sport…
MMAjunkie recently interviewed UFC welterweight fighter Igor Araujo ahead of his UFC Fight Night 37 bout. Araujo faces Danny Mitchell on the prelims. Below are some highlights.
Araujo on how he got into the sport through Alistair Overeem: "I linked up with Alistair Overeem, who was in PRIDE getting ready to face (Mauricio) ‘Shogun' Rua."
Araujo on how he started getting fights in Europe: "When I arrived in Holland, a lot of what was promised to me didn't happen. I didn't have a home or any students. I ended up working as a bouncer and moving around a lot. Then once people realized there was a black belt in town, I started getting fight offers and I accepted them because I needed the money. I even took a fight on one day's notice. Around 2006 I become more adapted to my new environment, and I met my eventual wife. After that, I became truly dedicated to all facets of the sport of MMA. Things changed for the better after that."
Araujo on his experience on The Ultimate Fighter 16: "It was hard for me because I missed my wife and kids a lot. I beat a very tough opponent, Cortez Coleman, to get into the ‘TUF' house. But I suffered head injuries, concussions, in the process. I also didn't have very good weight cuts. Maybe it was my nutrition. Even after I left the ‘TUF' house, I was still depressed for a long time. My last fight in the house was a decision loss against the eventual champion, Colton Smith. Maybe if I was younger, it would have been different, but I was already 31 with a family at home. It took me 6 months to even don a gi again after that. During the show, on various occasions I'd get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night feeling sick, and then I'd fall back into bed. I didn't want to tell anyone. My roommates knew, but I asked them not to tell so I wouldn't get kicked out. Before I went home, I asked the doctor for an MRI, and he told me I should have had a six-week suspension after the first fight."
Araujo on his opponent Danny Mitchell: "I was actually supposed to face him in a local promotion a couple of years ago. His game is similar to mine. He's also a ground guy. He has good standup. His standup is better than mine, actually. I would never underestimate an opponent. He's a tough opponent, and he's fighting at home. Let's see how it goes. I saw some interviews in which he said he trained in Thailand, so maybe he'll want to stay on the feet. I'll be ready to be victorious, no matter where the fight goes. I think it will be a great fight."