Huckaba vs. Sefo

On September 14th, the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) 5 goes down at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City with a heavyweight main event featuring heavy hitters as former UFC champ Andrei Arlovski (19-10) faces Mike Kyle (20-9-1). The World we will be watching on the NBC Sports Network, but no one will be watching more intently than WSOF’s Dave “Bad Man” Huckaba (21-5).

MMA DIRT’s Darren Barcomb caught up with the 39 year old Huckaba, who is coming off of a 2nd round TKO of the Promotion’s President and Kick Boxing legend Ray Sefo back at WSOF 4 in August. With his next WSOF matchup yet to be determined, Huckaba weighed in on his bout with Sefo and who he’d like to face in his next outing.

Barcomb: First of all I’d like to congratulate you on your big WSOF 4 victory over Ray Sefo. Looking at that fight, I noticed that you were pretty nimble. You looked real good and were moving real well, not giving him a steady target. Is that something you focused on a lot for that fight; your cardio?

Huckaba: Yea, that was the biggest thing me and my trainers worked on. We also wanted to work on the clinch a little bit more and on his leg kicks. We knew that the longer the fight would go, the better it’d be for me.

Barcomb: How difficult was it to keep walking through those brutal leg kicks?

Huckaba: During the fight you don’t feel it at all. Don’t get me wrong, after the fight you feel it for a week. They hurt. For a week after the fight my leg hurt. During the fight I shrugged everything off so I could do what I do. I have a pretty high pain tolerance and I’m not one that easily gives up.

Barcomb: Finally he had that big miss with that high kick and you came in there with like 25 unanswered punches with a flurry right out of Rocky and the Ref called it. How’d you feel right then and there? The fight was over and you were standing right there on NBC TV, what was going through your mind?

Huckaba: I can’t even explain it. I think it was one of the biggest moments of my career. To go in there and submit Ray Sefo would have been nothing, everybody would have expected that. To beat him at what he’s physically best at, for me that was a major, major confidence builder. The feeling was absolutely unexplainable. Ray is phenomenal, a legend in the sport. His stand-up is great, not good, but great. For me to out strike him, and his kicks were definitely vicious, I can’t even explain the feeling.

Barcomb: Watching it, I thought you guys had the fight of the night. It was the most interesting fight for me to watch, you out actioned the main event and it was a heavyweight fight that looked like a middleweight fight with the movement and action. Looking past that though, do you know what the WSOF has planned for you next?

Huckaba: I do not. I’m hoping I can get the winner out of Kyle vs. Arlovski. Those are some big names. Both dudes are stand up bangers and both have great hands. I’m really hoping to get the winner out of that fight. I know that (Rolles) Gracie is fighting tomorrow too but to be honest, he’s be a great name to have but stylistic wise, that’s not what the fans want. I don’t mean it in a disrespectful manner but nobody that I know likes to see grappling matches. They want to see good take-down defense and may want to see a little ground and pound, but they don’t want to see a Jiu-Jitsu tournament. If that was the case they’d go watch that. They watch MMA because it’s the aspect of sprawl and brawl. All my fans and all of the people around me, they are like major Chuck Liddell fans. Sprawl and brawl people who want exciting fights. I don’t mean to sound arrogant, or disrespectful to the sport, but nobody wants to see the 15-20 minutes of grappling.

Barcomb: I agree. Particularly in the heavyweight division, people want to see the big bangers, and that’s what Arlovski and Kyle are. You have any quick predictions between those two for tomorrow, or are you just going to be watching?

Huckaba: I’m going to be watching. I know that Ray’s got plans for me. All in all, I’m just living the dream without the millions. My families healthy, I’m in the spot where I took a little break, about three weeks off, just to hang with my family. This is the longest break I’ve ever taken, but I needed some family time. My kids doing football right now and I just wanted to kick back and enjoy not training. I actually just started back this week. Any of these names are good guys to fight. Whatever Ray plans out for me, I’ll go out there and give it 100%. I want to give the fans what they want and I want people to call me back. I just want people to know who I am.

Barcomb: Well, people know you after beating Sefo on the NBC Sports Network. With the WSOF starting to put together title matches, it’d be good to see you in the mix.

Huckaba: Yea after the quotes from Arlovski and Kyle this week a lot of people have been talking about me fighting the winner on Facebook. Kyle is a small heavyweight, but he has fast and heavy hands. With Arlovski, the name speaks for itself. Everybody knows who he is, the ex-UFC champion.

Barcomb: Yea, style wise, you match up with both those guys perfectly. I think either one would make an interesting fight for the fans. I try to hype the fights I’d like to see. Take like GSP in the UFC; you kind of always know the outcome. He out-wrestles someone for 5 rounds and there’s no real surprises. I like a fight that ends standing….we’ll with one guy standing at least….with some excitement.

Huckaba: St. Pierre used to be one of my favorite fighters. I loved watching him fight, but the last few years it was always the same thing. A triple punch combination and a takedown. I don’t think he’s finished a fight in years. I think everything with him now goes to a decision. Personally, in my career, I’ve had two decisions. One I lost, and one I won. In 26 fights I have always tried to finish fights.

Barcomb: How long do you expect to keep doing this? You started relatively late in age as a professional so your pretty fresh. How long do you think you can go?

Huckaba: My trainers say I’m super young. I learn something new every fight. Trainers tell me that I’m a Home Depot. I ask what they mean and they say that each fight I go down a different isle of parts. We’ve seen your knees; we've seen your elbows, your leg kicks. I’ve yet to put everything together in one fight. I’m going to fight as long as my body lets me. My wife loves it, and my kids love it. I started when I was 31, and I like to think that I’m a young fighter. I know that going into a fight at 40 years old they’ll say boy your old, but I haven’t taken a lot of hits in my career. I’ve been hit hard one time in 26 fights. I move really well for a heavyweight. I move pretty fast and I’m light on my feet.

Thanks to Dave Huckaba for the time for this interview and be sure to catch Arlovski vs. Kyle at WSOF 5 on September 14th on the NBC Sports Network. If you want to see Huckaba face the winner, chime in below.

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