Abel Trujillo talks Jamie Varner, changing opponents, and nerves going into a fight

December 13, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; UFC lightweight fighter Abel Trujillo participates in the official weigh-in for UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC’s Super Bowl card is absolutely stacked from top to bottom. The UFC 169 main event is the Bantamweight title fight between Renan Barao and late replacement, Urijah Faber. The co-main event is the Featherweight title bout between Jose Aldo and Ricardo Lamas. Other than the gargantuan title fights, the UFC has put together an exciting card for MMA fans.

One enticing matchup is the Lightweight battle between rising prospect, Abel Trujillo, and the savvy veteran, Jamie Varner. This fight will serve as the opener for the pay per view portion of the card and is sure to bring fireworks. Varner, the late replacement for Bobby Green, is looking to rebound from a loss to Gleison Tibau. Trujillo is looking to make a name off Varner and get his second straight UFC victory.

I recently sat down with Trujillo to discuss UFC 169, Jamie Varner, late replacement fights, and much more.

His excitement going into UFC 169

I am feeling good. I am having a great camp, and my team is doing great with a nice winning streak. I won my last fight so there is a lot of momentum going into this fight. This is my first time on the main card, so I am excited. Not just that, but is also my first time fighting on PPV. It is a great opportunity and I am ready for it.

Changing opponents from Bobby Green to Jamie Varner

Honestly they have two different styles. Bobby Green is more of a striker and a fancy guy. I feel like Jamie is going to try to wrestle me. I train stand up and wrestling though so I am not worried. I don’t really train specifically for one guy, I just do me. I adjust in the fight, and whatever my coaches tell me to do that is what I will do.

Expecting the unexpected in the fight game

The fight game is crazy. I was kind of expecting him to pull out because you never know what is going to happen. In my debut I ended up fighting a guy on one day’s notice. That was a crazy experience and since then I always expect something crazy to happen. It wasn’t really a shock to me when he pulled out.

Fighting a veteran like Jamie Varner

It really excites me. I used to watch him when I was just starting my career and getting into fighting. He was the man then. He was at the top and the WEC champion. It feels good to fight somebody like that. You respect that person, but now they are going to respect you.

Preparing his takedown defense

I have been working a lot with my wrestling coach, Kenny Monday, who is an Olympic champion. After the Khabib fight we did a lot of adjustments and it won’t happen again. My grappling is on point right now.

Watching film

I really don’t watch a lot of film. I may watch it once or twice just to see if they have bad habits or what not. I really don’t like to over analyze though. I feel like I may be looking at it too much. I would rather leave it in my coaches’ hands.

His gameplan against Jamie Varner

I want to break him mentally and physically. I want to overwhelm him because I don’t think he likes that. He tries to go out there to dominate and be the alpha male in the fight, but it is going to be different in this fight. Honestly, I really don’t have a gameplan. I just go with the flow and whatever he gives me I will take. Could be a combination of takedowns or picking him apart on the outside.

Having to rematch Roger Bowling when the first fight seemed legal

It was frustrating for sure. I knew the knee was legal because I threw it. It was just a bad camera angle that made it look illegal. It was just frustrating because that one opponent took up 6 months of my life. It feels nice to move on and fight someone else.

Nerves going into a fight

I think everybody has a little nerves, but I probably have a little less than others. I am pretty confident when I go out there. I already established that I am going to win the fight. I already saw it happen. I already imagined it 100 times. I already feel like I am going to win the fight. When I head out there I just try and be as comfortable, relaxed, and mean as possible.

With a win over Varner, who would you like next?

I don’t really have a specific person I want to fight. I want to fight anybody that can me closer to the belt. I think the win over Jamie will help me get a big name or top 10 guy since he has a big name in the sport.

Topics: Abel Trujillo, Bobby Green, Jamie Varner, Jose Aldo, Renan Barao, Ricardo Lamas, UFC, UFC 169, Urijah Faber

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