MMA-in-ASIA: How is your condition?
Bieke: My conditioning is much better this time as I have had longer time to prepare for my opponent. I took only a week off after my last fight and have been training in Xian and also did some wrestling in Astana in Kazakhstan. I feel that I am more at my peak with the longer training time.
MMA-in-ASIA: What were your feelings after your UFC debut fight?
Bieke: My first fight was a big learning experience for me. I took the fight with very short notice and it was during Chinese New Years thus I had only about 20 days of training thus during the fight many results that turned out to be not what I had anticipated. I was very disappointed that I lost and realized that the excitement of being in the UFC and wanting to fight immediately overshadowed my training and preparation time that I needed to be at my peak.
MMA-in-ASIA: So were the Octagon jitters real?
Bieke: I am not sure if its the jitters, I just want to fight and being in the UFC sure has its own experience, when I am in the Octogon my mind is just on beating my opponent.
MMA-in-ASIA: What have you changed in training for this fight?
Bieke: For the upcoming fight, I have been training in Xian thus the food regimen, conditioning and cardio is what I am used to. I have also been working on my ground game, and striking, just the usual training that I do.
MMA-in-ASIA: Who have been your main sparring partners?
Bieke: Wang Guan, Aotegen Bateer, and also Ardak Nazarov.
MMA-in-ASIA: Do you think Issa’s grappling presents a problem?
Bieke: Issa is a top BJJ champion so anyone getting into his grips will have a problem. I am confident what he has for me I will be able to escape or counter.
MMA-in-ASIA: What is your game plan to deal with him, or how will you fight?
Bieke: Issa has a good ground game but I have seen him get tapped by blue belts. I will have to think about that when I step into the cage to see what Leandro’s game plan is. I think he will want to take it to the ground ASAP. I will probably be wanting to keep it standing or I might take it to the ground depending on how I feel his strength is.
MMA-in-ASIA: What’s Vegas like?
Bieke: Vegas is incredible, I have never seen so many lights flashing. The Mandalay Bay Hotel is big and busy, there are so many fans, I am surprised when I have people asking me for signature and they have photos of me printed. I have been cutting weight most of the time and preparing for the fight thus I have not been out to see much yet. I did go to the pool which is a beach pool with waves. Its incredible. There are people body surfing in the pool. There is even a pool where almost everyone is topless and in G- strings. I trained at the Syndicate Gym, it is very large, had a cage, a ring, I was so surprised because most commercial gyms in China are small. This place is large and had many students and coaches.
MMA-in-ASIA: Meet any fighters who have impressed you there?
Bieke: I have met a few of the TUF fighters because we are training in same room, however I do not know their names.
MMA-in-ASIA: Are you making contacts for future US training camps?
Bieke: I hope to at the Expo. Jaco sponsors me and my management team is in discussions for me to train with the Blackzilians.