From Kakutogi Tsushin No. 276
May 8, 2001
Translated by Yoko Kondo
Q: At first Ken Shamrock was supposed to fight with
Vovchanchyn, but an acute pain ran into his both arms on March 7. He had
to pull out the fight for the medical reason. When did Ken pick you to
take his place?
Telligman: Maybe it was on Thursday (March 15). There
are many good fighters in Lions Den, but I think he picked me as his
substitute in view on my boxing technique. According to betting in
America, odds seemed that I would lose the fight 800 to 1(laughing).
People who bet on me might have made a lot of money.
Q: Frankly speaking, what was the cause of your
Telligman: Difference in technique of punching
brought me the victory. His punches were so heavy, just like a train
crashing into me.
Q: Didn't you feel any anxiety about the fight that
was decided so suddenly? [without enough time to prepare properly]
Telligman: I had a mixed feeling, like one that a
chance has come, or nervous, or excited. But I wanted to prove my power
by defeating Vovchanchyn. In fact, I have been training only boxing for
the last six month, but not ground work at all. I got injured my left
leg one year ago, and did it the same place again one month ago.
Q: So you had some disadvantages, didn't you?
Telligman: But except for that, my condition was
pretty good. I've never been happy with my condition at fights so far.
For example, I had a cold at a fight with a strong opponent. It made me
feel that I was cursed or something. But this time, my condition was so
good differently from usual, so I was expecting that something bad was
going to happen here too. Anyway, I finally got over the bad jinx
Q: Why have you focused on boxing training?
Telligman: I started boxing training for NHB six
months ago. But in the process of the training with fighters who had
done sparring with Evander Holyfield or Mike Tyson, my technique was
improved, and a promoter asked me to fight as a boxer. I decided to try
it. I am going to make my debut on March 30 in Texas under the group
named "Top Ranking" broadcasted in ESPN, and the next one will
be on April 13 in Kansas City. I'm going to fight in eight or ten boxing
matches this year. And one year, I want to be on a high enough level to
fight with Tyson or Holyfield. When I fight in a boxing match, I'm going
to wear the pants for NHB, not the boxing pants.
Q: When Tito Ortiz brought a bouquet to you in the
ring before the fight, you didn't get it smoothly. So I thought Lions
Den still didn't like Tito.
Telligman: No, nothing like that. I just didn't
notice him because I didn't expect him to do it, and I concentrated on
the fight. I like Tito.
Q: By the way, I heard that in America you gave
yourself a nickname "Trauma".
Telligman: I got my right lung and muscles crushed in
a traffic accident when I was one and half years old. But now there is
no problem at all.
Q: Your left lung was built up strongly to compensate
for a loss of the right lung?
Telligman: Of course! I am not good at bench press,
but there is no problem with muscles in my right arm. And punches are
delivered by using the shoulder, so no problem. Every fighter has
strengths and weaknesses. I am taking it as one of them, so nothing
concerns me. To be sure, it might be difficult for me to be a model
(laughing). When I stand up naked in front of the mirror, I feel I don't
look good. I was always told, "you can't do it" because
of my handicap, but I have been doing it anyway, confident that I can do
it. Everybody is different, big guys, small guys, fat guys skinny guys.
It happens that I have no right lung. But I am doing my best positively.
Q: When did you start
Telligman: From six years old. No, it was just a
fight. (smiling bitterly) I did Karate from eight to 13 years old, and
did boxing from 13 to 15 years old. I learned jiu-jitsu a little bit and
I played in a full-contact Karate contest when I was in a high school.
When I watched a video of NHB in Brazil in l992, I wondered if I could
do it. I played in small contests of NHB from 1992 to 1995. It was
1995 when I started training with Guy [Mezger].
Q: Are you going to give priority to pro-boxing
fights from now on?
Telligman: Fortunately, I could meet a good promoter,
so I want to focus on boxing aiming at the major title within one and
half years. Moreover I made a contract already. But if there is a
chance, I will participate in fights in MMA like this time.
Q: Many members of the Lions Den are rough so it
looks like a violent gang group. But it is a happy team usually with a
lot of jokes, isn't it?
Telligman: Even in Dallas, we always go on a spree,
so people wonder if we are really strong. Sometimes they pick a
fight with us. In that case..... we do it (laughing)
2001, Yoko Kondo, all rights reserved.