New England’s Luke ‘Lil’ Hulk’ Caudillo is preparing for the biggest fight of his life at UFC 78 in New Jersey in a little over a week’s time. Caudillo faces former PRIDE lightweight challenger and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu expert Marcus Auerelio who, among others, holds a victory over one of the top lightweights in the world, Takanori Gomi.
MMAFrenzy.com contributor John Balfe caught up with Caudillo to find out his thoughts ahead of this fight.
John Balfe – You’re facing former PRIDE World Lightweight Championship contender Marcus Aurelio at UFC 78 on November 17th. How has your training for this fight been so far, and has it differed from previous training regimens?
Luke Caudillo – I’ve spent time training with a different camp in Albuquerque, Team Jackson’s. Training is going really well and I am very motivated to fight such a top level fighter in the UFC.
JB - Marcus Aurelio is famous for his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. How do you plan on neutralizing his skills and fighting on your terms?
LC – I plan on sticking to my game plan but if it does go to the ground, I’ll be ready for anything he has to offer me. This will be an exciting fight –on the feet or on the ground.
JB – Do you think that Aurelio is the one of the biggest tests of your MMA career so far?
LC – Yes.
JB - Aurelio is coming off three straight losses for the first time in his career and seemed somewhat gun shy in his last fight with Clay Guida. What were your thoughts on that fight, and did you see anything of Clay’s that you could adapt and put into your own game?
LC – It was a great fight and Clay is a really good fighter. Yes, I picked up a few things from that fight but I’m sure he’s changed his style for our fight.
JB – This is your second fight in the UFC. You lost a decision to Nate Mohr on your UFC debut. Some people say that, in terms of progression, losses are more useful than victories. What, if anything, did you learn about yourself in that fight?
LC – I do belong in the UFC and I am willing to take on anybody they set me up with. So, yes I did learn a lot from my loss and I will be ready come November 17th.
JB – 155 is a very tough division in the UFC. You have guys like Sherk, Penn, Stevenson and Florian ahead of you. What do you think a victory over a talented fighter like Marcus Aurelio would do for your career?
LC – Hopefully it will set me up with a top fighter in the 155 division but I must say that anyone in the UFC is going to be tough to face.
JB – Have you any words for your fans ahead of this fight?
LC – I plan on keeping this fight exciting and fast paced just like I always do.
JB – What is your prediction for the Evans v Bisping main event?
LC – Rashad.
JB - Have you any sponsors or websites you’d like to mention?
LC – I want to say thank you to my family, friends and team mates for all of their support. I’de also like to thank my sponsors; Tapout, Hard Nutrition, LA Boxing, T’s TKO, Kool Tattoo and CLA Technologies.