Posted 3/20/07 3:54:00PM
Just wanted to share the interviews that I have been doing lately, hopefully you all enjoy them. Thanks to MMAPlayground for a nice place to share them all with you guys.
Pete "Drago" Sell
Thanks for talking with us Pete.
When did you start training with Serra Jiu-Jitsu? Had you trained in any other arts previously?
PS: I started training with them around October 1999. I trained in tae-
kwon-do as a teenager then these whitebelts came in from Renzo
Gracie's academy in Manhattan to test their art against ours. They
took us down and submitted us left and right. I was immediately
hooked with the jiu-jitsu. I got wind that Renzo was opening an
academy in Long Island. It was ran by Matt Serra, Nick Serra, and
Hodrigo Gracie. The rest is history.
Who are the guys that you normally train with when you are getting
ready for a fight?
PS: I normally train with all the guys down at Serra-Jitsu. I work with
some college wrestlers and get my sparring on with boxers and muay
What are some of your daily routines when getting ready for a fight?
PS: I train twice a day sometimes three. Switching all the time between
training jiu-jitsu, stand-up, wrestling, cardio, and plyometrics. I
train everyday until I feel like i'm run down and I need a rest.
Before the UFC, where did you mostly fight, and how did the scene
differ from the bright lights of the UFC?
PS: I mostly fought in the Ring Of Combat. I'm actually the three time
champion there. All of the events mostly took place in Jersey. It
is a good show but the UFC is the big one and it took a fight in
there to get totally used to it. I really didn't let the hype of it
affect me too much.
I have read that you took the UFC 51 fight at the last minute. How
much notice did you have before fighting Phil Baroni?
PS: I took the fight on three weeks notice.
Your site says it all: you believe that you were brought in to lose
to him (Baroni). How does it feel to be part of one of the greatest upsets in UFC history?
PS: Man I do not ever think there could be a greater feeling than that.
I felt like alot of fans wanted to see me win that fight but I did
not think the UFC was expecting me to win. There was a lot of things
going on there too. It was my first fight in the UFC which was a
jump from the small show. I was a last minute replacement for the
fight right before the main event. There was alot of pressure. My
trainers Matt, Nick Serra, and Ray Longo all that I could win so I
put my full trust in them and ran with it. It was a great feeling.
How sweet was it to beat someone that liked to talk so much?
PS: Felt so good because I hate bullies.
Did that win change anything for you at the time?
PS: Yea I went from a local guy to being known around the world. I
remember coming back from the event center to my hotel room took me
like 45 minutes because all of the pictures and autographs. I could
not believe it.
What did you think of the Ultimate Fighter experience? Would you do
PS: While I was going through it there was more ups than downs. I would
definitely do it again. I'm actually taping TUF 6 right now as an assistant coach.
You were also involved in one of the craziest finishes to a fight
ever against Scott Smith. Have you watched this fight since, and what are your thoughts on it?
PS: That fight was an awesome experience. I wish I would have been the
victor but i don't feel like I lost. We were both kayo'd and I got
up first. Looking in hindsight I wish I didn't get so excited that I
hurt him and run in carelessly. But, everything is always very
clear in hindsight so i accept what happened and just learn from it.
Would you like to fight Smith again if the situation arose?
PS: Does a bear sh*t in the woods?
Who would you consider your toughest opponent to date?
PS: My toughest opponent is hard to say maybe Travis Lutter.
You train with Luke Cummo quite a bit, right? What are your
thoughts on him?
PS: I do. He is weird, quiet, and a good guy. He is a tough fighter
and has awesome thai-boxing.
You are coming off a decision loss to Thales Leites. Did you know
anything about him going in, and what do you think of your performance?
PS: I knew he was suppose to be the new best thing on the ground. I
stuffed a lot of his takedowns but he succeeded with some of them
which won him the fight. I felt I was waiting too much and had
trouble getting into my rhythm. My whole career I really partied a
lot and fooled around too much. I always trained real hard for the
fights but in between I didn't take it seriously. This last fight
for me was a big wake up call. I'm a lot more focused now because of
At the same show, your close friend Matt Serra "shocked the world"
by beating Georges St. Pierre soundly. Did you know that Matt was going to come out the most prepared of his career?
PS: I told Matt even before they were going to fight the first time when
GSP got hurt that I had a really good feeling about it. This fight had upset written all over it. Matt had nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Matty boy shocked the world!
Most importantly... How crazy was that after-party?!
PS: Not as crazy as people think. I had my own after fight party that
we had a good time at but the clubs close early in Houston. Matt did
not get out of the press conference til late so he ended up in his
room eating pizza with the boys.
What's next for Drago? Who are you fighting next?
PS: Right now i'm concentrating on helping the guys on TUF 6 get ready
for there fights. After the taping is over i'm looking to get a fight August or September. As for who I will have to talk to my managers about that.
Thanks a lot for your time. I really enjoy watching you fight.
PS: Thanks a lot! I always appreciate all of my fans.
Great guy in my opinion. Thanks a lot Pete. Hope you all enjoyed it.
Posted 1/16/07 5:32:00PM
Good interview. You asked some solid questions.
KEEP THEM COMING!!!!
Posted 6/21/07 11:51:00AM
Posted 3/20/07 3:54:00PM
Thanks guys... I will be posting a couple more throughout the weekend.
Posted 3/20/07 3:54:00PM
man, gotta bump this for the evening crew.
Posted 1/15/07 9:10:00PM
Thanks for sharing, nice interview