It is always an honor to sit down and have a conversation with someone who was involved in the sport of MMA way back in its dark ages. Robert Emerson is one of those men. With wins over Manny Gamburyan, Phillipe Nover, and Keita Nakamura, Emerson has been around the block. Fighting since 2002, Robert is showing no signs of slowing down. Recently, SciFighting.com had the opportunity to talk to him about his career, his recent drama with Ian McCall, The Ultimate Fighter, and upcoming title fight predictions.
You recently pulled out of Bellator 97, when do you plan to fight next
Im actually fighting Mike Richman November 2nd.
Do you have a gameplan?
I know he’s a left handed guy. He’s more speed and accuracy more than anything. I know he trains in Michigan, and I fought a guy out of his camp before. I’m just going to go out there and fight my fight. I know I’ve got heavy hands, I’m going to use my legs and takedown defense to land them.That will be the fight.
UFC top-three flyweight and old friend of yours Ian McCall claims that you slept with his wife – is this true?
That girl has been bad news since the beginning. All of our friends know that. I guess he thought something happened with us years back, and I guess he didn’t like me for a couple years already. Now this most recent case it was just wrong place, wrong time for me. I went [to her house] to hangout with her friend, obviously she was there but her friend left, and after her friend left, Ian came over so it looked worst. I tried apologizing and explaining, but I shouldn’t have even been there in the first place. But still, my bad, I should’t have been there. It just sucks that I’m getting a rep for it now.
Speaking of Ian, you and he used to run around doing bad things, earning a thug reputation. Do you have anything to say to the kids who look up to you for that image?
We just had a lot of energy, and we were all passionate about fighting. We just didn’t have a direction to put it in. MMA was just starting to come around, and Chris Brennan had his gym, which was like the first cool place to train at. Then Marco Ruas had his place. If we had gyms back in the day, we would have been training full-time back then. The kids running around causing problems are just going to learn lessons the hard way, you know? Vandalizing, beating up kids, this and that. That’s nothing that I condone in the first place. I’ve never jumped anybody, I’ve never hit anybody with a bottle or object. It’s happened to me on multiple occasions and I’ve always believed in a fair fight. That’s bullshit, and those kids are going to have to learn the facts of life the hard way.
You were on The Ultimate Fighter season 5. How fairly do you believe fighters are represented on that show?
There is some truth to everything. You either become a smaller version of how you are, or a bigger version of how you are. As long as you’re honest with your mouth, and wear your heart on your sleeves, people can pretty much pick up and read who you are. A lot of guys get on to that show and have egos, thats a turn off to a lot of people. I’ve always been very humble in life, and unfortunately there’s a lot of guys who hold themselves high on a pedestal and think they’re badass. It’s the silent killers you have to worry about. Good-hearted, soft-spoken guys are the guys you gotta worry about, because the guys who have a loud mouth and act like idiots are really putting it on for the show.
You are currently fighting for Bellator. Is your ultimate goal to end up back with the UFC?
We’ll see what happens. This is a one-fight deal with Bellator and there’s negotiations to sign a contract with them. We’ll see what happens after the fight, and what offers are on the table for me. I’ve got another six or seven years left in this sport, and I still feel like I haven’t even peaked yet. I don’t have that one performance that I’m really proud of, you know? So I’m just looking for that one performance. I feel like my best fights lay ahead of me, and I’m on the downhill in my career. I’ve been fighting for 12 years now, and I’m going to put every fucking thing I have into this. I want to leave everything I have in this sport before I walk away from it. I don’t want to live with any regrets, thinking I should have done this or that fight.
Who you got: Jon Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson?
I think Jones is more well rounded. I think Gustafsson has good footwork, good movement, great Muay Thai, but I think Jon jones is a more intelligent fighter with more weapons. I see him coming out on top in that one.
How about GSP vs Johny Hendricks
St-Pierre is just an intelligent fighter. Hendricks has a big left hand, and good wrestling. GSP just has way more weapons, he’s more well rounded, fights intelligently and he just has the experience.
Anderson Weidman II? Who wins it?
I thought Anderson was doing good in that fight when he was fighting. Showboating and entertaining is what got him knocked out. Hats off to Weidman for pulling it off, but I still think Anderson is the best fighter on the planet. When Anderson was fighting in that fight he was winning, he got caught showboating with his hands down. Anderson.