Tyson “The Anti-Hero” Jeffries (7-5) won the M-1 Selection Americas middleweight tournament last year, and he will try to keep that momentum tonight on Showtime when he battles Russian striker Arthur Guseionov (7-2) at M-1 Challenge XXVI.
MMA announcer Jeff Gorman caught up with Jeffries to discuss the fight and his career.
Jeff Gorman: First question, why are you known as the“Anti-Hero?”
Tyson Jeffries: The nickname the Anti-Hero comes from my good friend Mike Dolce (the Dolce diet). While we were training I had an Anti-Hero skate boarding shirt and he said “that’s it…the Anti-Hero” and after a while the nickname stuck. Thinking about it, it makes sense; I’m going to be a hero in the sport but I’m going to do it my own way, not how the public perceives a hero. I’m going to accomplish my goals my own way and act like the skater/snowboarder laid-back person I am.
Jeff Gorman: You put yourself on the map in M-1 by winning the middleweight selection Americas tournament. How did that, especially the final win over Mike Guerin, show you what you could accomplish in the future? Tyson Jeffries: I believe that the M-1 tournament represented how I’m going to impact the sport with my grittiness and hard-working attitude; everyone wants to see a fighter who pulls out all the stops and fights to win while putting on a good show.
Jeff Gorman: Coming off your last fight with the middleweight champion Sultanakhmedov, you went to train in England and California; how did that training help you prepare for this fight? Tyson Jeffries: I decided to go to California and England to learn how a fighter trains for a fight and have a strict schedule of training. I wanted to improve my stand up and work hard at what I do best against other well-rounded kickboxers. I’ll never regret this, because it made me a better person and a fighter.
Jeff Gorman: Your opponent for this fight is a Russian striking specialist, but he has a couple of recent losses –do you anticipate that he’ll be swinging for the fences early? Tyson Jeffries: I expect the unexpected from this fight; its not very often you get to fight such a traditional style fighter. I’m expecting fireworks and a great night from this fight that people won’t soon forget.
Jeff Gorman: You have been known to have long hard-fought battles. Do you prefer to grind it out and test your opponent’s stamina, or is that just the way some of your fights have gone? Tyson Jeffries: The fights just go the way they go. I have no control on what happens. I just control what I do and if they are resilient, then I’m happy to have a tough fight. It’s just the way things go and I’m always happy to entertain the crowd.
Jeff Gorman: Thanks very much, Tyson. Would you like to say anything to say to your fans or plug something as we close this interview? Have a good fight.
Tyson Jeffries: I just want to thank every fan I get because without them, we couldn’t do this. Thanks to Muscle Pharm and MMA Elite, thanks Wolfslair, Team Quest and everyone who has helped me get to where I am today.
Jeff Gorman is the play-by-play voice of Moosin MMA on pay-per-view. Check out all of his writing and announcing, including a live blog and two more interviews for tonight's M-1 show on Showtime, at www.JeffDGorman.com