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The Interview: George Sullivan

Here at ArtofMMA.com we pride ourselves on bringing you not only big name fighters but introducing you to the up and comers in the sport. This week we are dedicating fiver days of interviews to the Cage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC) as they prepare to put forth their biggest card to date, CFFC 24 on May 11th from the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. The Fighter Relations and Public Relations Dept of the CFFC (Devon Mathiesen and James O’Hagan) have been nice enough to let us interview basically the entire card of fighters and let you get a up close and personal look at these amazing fighter who are on the cusp of being Bellator and/or UFC superstars!

Now it is time for the MAIN EVENT OF THE EVENING and THE CHAMP IS HERE! We got the chance to sit down and talk with the man who is the face of this card and putting his Welterweight Title on the line, it is none other than George Sullivan!! He fights out of Pellegrino MMA and has held his CFFC strap since his vicious KO win over Greg Soto (4/12). Not only is he an amazing fighter but very approachable guy so make sure to head over to Twitter and follow him @Sullivanmma.

Hey George, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us, I know you are on your grind for this fight with Brandon Becker. You have been a pro since 2006, what got you in the game?

Sullivan: Man thanks for taking the time to talk to me that is pretty cool. I started out as a Thai boxer and my fights kept getting canceled or people didn’t want to fight so I had to evolve. I was training with a friend were training and some guys from the Rhino Fight Team, Frankie Edgar and Chris Loguir had made mention of me to try it out and I thought about it. I really got dove in head first, and I remember it like it was yesterday, I was arguing with my girl and a guy approached me and said (paraphrasing) “hey man you look like you got some anger and you’re a big dude you should try mma”. That right there told me maybe I should give that a try. I was only training two days a week boxing which let’s be honest is useless and I have such a strong passion for this I needed more. Now I have it.

Man, I will tell you what Frankie’s name keeps coming up this week. It is awesome that he, being as big as he has become still keeps close to his roots in NY and NYC. Now you fight out of Pellegrino’s gym and that doesn’t really get the attention it deserves. He is an amazing fighter and from what I hear coach as well, take a minute to talk to us about what it means to train there.

Sullivan: That place has the best coaching in the world hands down. We train to win everything there and it is pretty clear as Kurt hates the word “2” he can’t stand it. But the vibe in that gym is amazing and he really is an amazing coach and person, I love being there. He really changed my life and its funny cause we were “enemies” for years as I was always fighting his guys. I knew it was gonna be real the moment I started there and he stripped me or all rank and started me over at white belt and built me up from there!

WOW! That is something you don’t hear every day! Speaking of the word “wow” lets talk about your Greg Soto fight where you became the first person in his career to knock him out and what a knockout it was! Talk to us about that.

Sullivan: The moment I hit him I knew it, there is just that feeling when you land a KO punch like you don’t even feel it and that’s what I got when it landed. But I never got nervous for that fight I don’t have time for that shit. I wasn’t worried about his game plan as I want to push my plan upon them and I knew he wanted to wrestle so when he shot I was waiting. If you look at the video I tend to hesitate before going in for the kill, Coach teaches us that because we don’t want to fall into a trap. We go for the kill but we are smart.

Now you are in the main event in this EPIC CFFC 24 card, what does it mean to headline this card to you and being such a huge part of the CFFC?

Sullivan: I love this place (CFFC) bro! They take care of their fighters and really help them to the next step. I don’t think there is anything to say but that, they are amazing! As for being part of this card I am honored man. This card is stacked from top to bottom and I have some teammates (Derrick “DK” Kennington) on this card, it is going to be a special night and with a weekend with no UFC all eyes should be on us! That Shorty Rock fight will be amazing along with Delbrugge vs Kennington! This is gonna be epic bro!

Yeah, I have been really lucky to get to sit down with most of the fighters from this card and I am pumped to watch you al go to work. Now you defend your title vs Brandon Becker who is coming in undefeated. What are your thoughts about this fight?

Sullivan: I am excited for this fight to say the least. I know he has a solid wrestling background but I have brought in a lot of the top guys like Justin Haskins from the WEC and I have been working on my wrestling 4x a week. Myself and my coaches have seen some holes in his game we will look to exploit but I am not taking this fight lightly, I have trained so damn hard for this fight and I am not taking him lightly.

This will be 3rd title defense and you have some of the best striking I have seen at your weight class. What do you think it will take to get to the UFC or a top promotion like that?

Sullivan: Man I thought my finish of Julian Lane in my last fight was gonna do it. But right now the UFC doesn’t look to be taking anyone at these lower weights and they are in the process of cutting something crazy like 100 fighters so who knows. Kurt tells me all the time to just keep winning and my time will come, but I am now at the point in my career where I don’t think about it anymore. Being in the CFFC and a champion in this promotion means everything and defending this title is the most important thing to me.

That is awesome to hear man! Now speaking about the point in your career, looking back is there anything you would change? Also after this fight what do you think is next?

Sullivan: I don’t regret anything man it all happens for a reason! When I stop getting better and I lost the passion I will walk away from it, but I am far from that right now. My coaches have upped their game and mine to the point where I am at the top of my game now and everything feels great.

It’s time for the age old Fight Club Question, if you could fight anyone who would it be and why?

Sullivan: Old school Matt Hughes. I always thought I was better than him and he was like the most feared guy in the world back then. I would want the best Matt Hughes.

But I really want a rematch vs Elijah Harshbarger. He hit me like 2 times in 15 minutes. I walked into that fight sick and he laid there the whole time. He would have to get on a win streak for that to ever happen but I would give him the chance just so I can knock his fucking head off. He put me in the mindset that no one will ever f*cking lay on me again. But I fight who they tell me to fight but I would love that chance if he can get to my level.

There we go! What steps have you taken to stop that, wrestling and lay and pray has become a game plan for people vs strikers like you.

Sullivan: Man I train for it now, something crazy like 90% of guys I fight are wrestlers at this weight, don’t worry I am ready now! Kurt has me in the mindset of training not only what I am good at but what I suck at (laughing) because I always need to be better. I want to have the most knockout victories ever in MMA. I think I may be the hardest hitting Welterweight in the game and I want the biggest KO record, I can’t stand decisions.

Dude that’s amazing. Before we let you go are there any sponsors or people you would like to mention?

Sullivan: I would like to thank all my sponsors: Tenderbelly.com, Coffeebeandirect.com, bricknutrishop.com, Flotationlocations.com, integrativeweklnessgroup.com, noproblemplumbing.net, mattjenningsbootcamps.com, njfightshop.com, jerseyjump.com, ringtocage.com, estreetbagles.com, xsblast.com, knightsoftheoctagon.com, exquisite-bride.com, pellegrinomma.com. Thanks to you guys for taking the time to talk to me.

Yeah man anytime and best of luck on the 11th.

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