Karlos Vemola: ‘I’m After Some Big Names!’

AddictedMMA found themselves face-to-face with the man sometimes known as ‘The Terminator’, and took the opportunity to ask him the important questions surrounding his fight with Stephan Bonnar that has seen Bonnar recently pull-out and be replaced with Ronny Markes.

The six time Czech Republic National Wrestling Champion who trains out of London Shootfighters also discussed his move to the UFC, his new weight-class, and the future of the UK heavyweight scene:

OK Karlos thanks for taking 5 minutes with us…there a lot rumours going around that Stephan Bonnar is afraid of you?

I don’t think he’s afraid of me. I mean…

He’s a professional fighter. He fights with anybody, he had a fight with Jon Jones and loads of top guys, so…I wouldn’t like to think he’s afraid of me.

What I would say…he knows fighting someone like me he’s got to be 100 per cent.

So its not that he’s scared to fight me but he wants to be ready, he doesn’t want to take a chance because he knows he would have had some fight…!

I mean he’s not in the shape he used to be in back in the day. You know what I mean? And I’m coming up! I’m 100 per cent, I’m in the best shape ever, so, he’s injured now but I’m sure if he comes in 100 per cent he will take the fight.

We fight for the UFC, we fight in front of millions of people and we want to put the best show on that we can so we don’t want to come to the 50 or 60 per cent. We all want to come in 100 per cent and put on the best show!

There was a rumour going around that Rich Franklin turned down a fight with you. Is that true? Was there an offer on the table?

I don’t think it was offered to Rich Franklin directly, I think it was my coach asking UFC to get this fight because it would be the right fight for me, I mean in the moment and style wise and all of that. Because I’m after some big names, obviously I want to get on the top and to get on the top I have to beat some of these names.

Rich Franklin was one I had in mind because style wise he would suit me, he doesn’t mind being taken down, and when I take someone down I can beat them up.

How do you feel you would do if you were matched-up against Jon Jones right now? Do you think he would be in trouble with you?

I would like to think so. I think anyone would be in trouble with me. I would love to get up the top there. Jon Jones was lucky, he got his chance very early and very young so fair play to him, he’s the youngest champ in UFC history. Everyone is eager for this chance, everyone wants to fight for the title, but everyone has to deserve it so that’s why I need a fight like Stephan Bonnar or someone like that to prove I’m good enough to get the chance.

Many people regarded you as the best heavyweight fighting in the UK before you went on to bigger things…who do you think filled the void you left? Who is the man now?

Who is the man now? It’s up and down now in the heavyweights. I like Ben Smith, he lost a couple of fights but now he’s coming back. We’ve got Mark Potter coming up. There’s Oli Thompson who I’ve trained with before, I’ve trained with Mark Potter I’ve trained with all of them. Mark has great hands.

You’re a light-heavyweight now, does the cut affect you?

No the cut doesn’t affect me, it’s not a brutal cut. I was a small heavyweight anyway. The only difference is in England the heavyweight division come in big, slow and heavy and I was too fast for them, too strong for them! It suited me over here. In America it was a different story. All them guys are cutting down to 265lbs, obviously they’re too heavy for me. The guy I had in my first fight at heavyweight in the UFC, the guy wasn’t better than me, wasn’t more technical than me…he was heavier than me. Light-heavyweight suits me a lot better, especially over there.

If I would ever come back to England I would probably fight in both…heavy, light-heavy, I would take any of these fights, it wouldn’t matter to me, but in the UFC I’m not big enough to fight heavyweight.

So your style is very fan-friendly, hyper aggressive, hyper athletic, you go in there to finish fights. Is that how you are going to continue to fight?

Of course I will because it’s part of the sport, I’m doing it for the fans. I want my style to be always exciting. I’m gonna be always going for the finish. It’s not just for me, I’m never gonna be playing the game, using tactics to beat them on points. We only get paid once so it doesn’t matter whether I’m there 15 minutes or 2 minutes.

And one last thing, what are you addicted to?

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