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Vladimir Matyushenko Speaks on His UFC on Fox 6 Fight with Ryan Bader

January 24, 2013 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris

MMAjunkie spoke with UFC light heavyweight and former title contender Vladimir Matyushenk who faces Ryan Bader on the FX prelims for UFC on Fox 6 this weekend. Here are some highlights:

Regarding his recent injury: “I was injured before I was supposed to fight last year with Matt Hamill. I pulled my calf muscle, but thank God it was just the muscle. I was thinking it was like a torn Achilles tendon, but the recovery was good. I just had to rehab the muscle. Tendons would have been surgery.”

Matyushenk on the benefits of his time off and being able to recover: “If you’re a young fighter, up-and-coming, you need a lot of sparring just to learn and get into it and find your style and stuff like that. When you’re an already established fighter, you definitely can modify it to minimize injuries and stuff like that, especially when big fights are on the line. You don’t want to get hurt for nothing. You definitely have to be careful with what you’re doing and train smarter, not harder. That’s the transition I’ve been almost forced into. There are a lot of modifications you can make. I don’t want to give out my secrets, but you can actually set your training to be more intense but without the danger of heavy sparring.”

Matyushenko’s thoughts on potential cage rust since he’s lost a calendar year: “It’s non-stop, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There’s no off-season like in other sports. It’s all year round. I don’t thing cage rust is something that applies anymore. Right now, I think the time off doesn’t matter. I think before I would have had a hard time, but now I’ve adjusted. Even if I’m not fighting, I’m coaching or cornering. As a cornerman, it’s sometimes even harder than being a fighter because you can’t really change anything. But I think it’s good mental training for fighters as they get older to prepare for a fight. Mentally, it’s pretty much the same thing.”

Matyushenko’s thoughts on facing Ryan Bader: “I think it’s a good matchup for me. I think he has been working on his striking. We’re both wrestlers, and I’m also working on my striking. I think last time, I had a hard time with Gustafsson because of his reach advantage. Ryan Bader is much more like my size and my reach, so I think it’s going to be a great match and a great fight.”

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Jeffrey Harris
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