Interview with UFC and Full Contact Legend Guy Mezger Interviewed by Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com - May 2008
THE RESUME FOR GUY MEZGER:
Turned pro at the young age of 20 in Full Contact Karate. He opened up his first martial art training gym.
1991-92 Full Contact Karate World Champ
Started to compete in kickboxing and boxing in 1993
Won US kickboxing title in 1993
Won world kickboxing title in 1995 (retired from kickboxing later that year after successfully defending my 1st title defense to focus on MMA)
Joined Ken Shamrock's Lion's den fight team in 1994
Fought in my first NHB (later to become MMA) fight in 1994 UFC 4
Won world freestyle fighting title in 1996
Won UFC 13 Lightweight tournament title in 1997 (only 2 weight classes back then; heavy and light)
Won King of Pancrase title in 1998
Had a total of 145 pro fights which include; boxing, kickboxing, full contact karate, and mma/nhb
Retired from fighting in 2005
Became president of Mark Cuban's HDNet fights in 2007
WHAT A RESUME! Without any further ado, let's interview the one and only fighting legend machine himself, Guy Mezger!
CRITICAL BENCH: This is Ben Tatar from Critical Bench and today I am here with Guy Mezger. What a resume you have. Guy, we saw you make your debut at UFC 4 in 1994. Tell us about your fight background before you went pro!
I wrestled in high school and college. I turned pro at age 20 in full contact karate and later moved into boxing and kickboxing. I, also trained and competed in Judo.
CRITICAL BENCH: Tell us about your fighting philosophy!
My fighting philosophy may seem a bit cliche-ish, but I saw a saying once that kind of sums it up, "respect all and fear none"
CRITICAL BENCH: So far in a fight, what has been your most powerful and funniest moment?
Are you wanting two separate fights or are you looking for a time when I was both funny and powerful? I mean aren't I always both?
CRITICAL BENCH: hahaha! You can look at it that way! Have there been any moments in your fighting career that have really changed you? What moment has changed you the most?
After fighting in UFC 4 I was never worried about a fight ever again. The whole no rules thing freaked me out a bit. Even though I have had tougher fights before and after that one, it whole idea of competing like that was empowering after all was said and done. It is really much tougher than a street fight, because you usually don't fight trained fighters in street fights plus in a street fight just happens you don't have a month to think about it and get freaked out.
CRITICAL BENCH: Overall would you say you are mostly a good man or an evil man?
Good or evil is a bit on the extreme side isn't it? Rarely are things black and white as good and evil.
I am definitely a live and let live person.
CRITICAL BENCH: I like it. Good to keep it balanced, A lot of people would like to be more hardcore and gutsy like you. What is your advice for the sissies of the world and how to make fearful people brave?
Circumstances makes people brave or cowardly. We are all capable of being both. That is what is the ultimate question to one self.
When the question arises, am you going to set up or buckle. Being fighter does not make you automatically brave, some people are not smart enough to be scared. I don't remember who said this but it pretty much says in all. "Courage is not the absence of fear that is stupidity. Courage is being scared and acting anyway" That is a paraphrase, don't remember the quote entirely, but you get the idea
CRITICAL BENCH: I agree! Well, said! Tell us about some of the things you have done in fighting that you are proud of?
Always fought with respect for my opponent regardless if I like them or not
Never laid down once, fought anyone who they put in front of me.
CRITICAL BENCH: What are the best and worst things about being a fighter?
Best: girls love fighters and you get to live like a rock star
Worst: some of the girls who love fighters and as you get older living like a rock star is not that cool anymore
CRITICAL BENCH: How much do you bench press?
Have not done a bench press in almost 10 years. I will do a few set of dumbbell presses and I use the 100's or 105's.
CRITICAL BENCH: What is the best advice you were ever told and what was the worst?
Best - If you are going to lie about something (which I am not advocating by the way) never say it twice. you never get the story straight the second time.
Best - one friend of mine told me to ask my wife (who was not my wife at the time) out on a date. Getting her to marry me is by far my greatest accomplishment.
Worst - that drinking Mescal tequila won't give you a hangover. It will last for days, just so you know.
CRITICAL BENCH: Hahaha, thanks! What injuries have you had to experience before and what adversities have you had to overcome? How did you make it through them and what is your advice for anyone going through a physical or emotional traumatic event right now?
Way too many injuries to count them all. Fortunately I heal with a freak so I have never been sidelined for too long. As for giving advice; I am probably not really qualified to answer that. I would say that all things (for the most part) are temporary, so stay focused and keep going.
CRITICAL BENCH: Definitely, you're wise and experienced. What are your five favorite weapons when it comes to fighting?
My brain - got to be smart to be successful in fighting
My left leg kick
My ability to counter takedowns (thanks to all the years wrestling)
My straight right punch
My training partners. Without them none of your weapons will be sharp.
CRITICAL BENCH: How do you see the future of MMA?
Sky is the limit
CRITICAL BENCH: If you could fight at wrestlemania and challenge 3 people, in a full contact fight who would you choose and why?
Don't know enough about pro wrestling to answer that one.
CRITICAL BENCH: Hahaha! A better question would then be, why not have the wrestlers come to the Octagon and fight you! People will then see that the Octagon is the land of the real superstars! What do you like doing away from fighting?
Teaching at my gym and spending time with friends and family
CRITICAL BENCH: What does your family think about you fighting?
My family has always been on my side in anything that I wanted to do. They didn't always understand it, but are always supportive.
CRITICAL BENCH: What is your advice for someone who would like to be a fighter?
Go for your dreams, but understand that fighting is only part of your life and you can't do it forever. Enjoy it, but know when to call it quits.
CRITICAL BENCH: How do you want people to remember you as an athlete and as a person?
As an athlete: tough competitor, one of the best, never backed down
As a person: honorable, good husband, father and friend.
CRITICAL BENCH: Now that you are retired how is life away from fighting now? What have you been up to?
I have been busy on the development of my gym and I have been working with HDNet as president of a division of that company, HDNet fights.
CRITICAL BENCH: That's awesome. What parts of fighting do you miss and dont you miss?
I miss the discipline of the training and the competition. don't miss getting hit in the head
CRITICAL BENCH: What was it like fighting and training with Ken Shamrock?
he is good man and friend. It was a great opportunity and experience.
CRITICAL BENCH: Tell us about some of the great fighters that you have met in the game and what it means to you?
for the most part all the guys that I have dealt with on the fighter side has been a great experience. Some guys better than others.
CRITICAL BENCH: Tell us about your experience winning the UFC Light Weight Title!!!
I enjoyed winning that one less for myself as much as for all my training partners and friends. There was a lot of sacrifice to earn that win. (For some reason I knew I was going to win. I never really doubted it for a minute, even after I broke my hand on my 1st opponent's head.) Everyone was so happy for that win for me. It felt good mostly for them.
CRITICAL BENCH: What was it like winning the kick boxing Title in 1993? And in 95?
Winning the title was a goal of mine since I was a kid. After I won it it was a bit anti-climatic because my head and heart was really into NHB/MMA
CRITICAL BENCH: It's great that you can be a champion in UFC as well as kick boxing! What makes Guy Mezger different from everyone else?
I do not know; I do great Deniro impressions.
CRITICAL BENCH: What was it like winning the world kickboxing title in 1995 (retired from kickboxing King of Pancrase title in 1998
King of Pancrase title was my most important title at least to myself.
CRITICAL BENCH: Finally, what was it like becoming president of Mark Cuban's HDNet fights in 2007?
It was been a real pleasure to be able to shape MMA for the future. I have always worked hard for the development of the sport and now I can make a real difference.
CRITICAL BENCH: Guy it has been great talking to you today. In closing is there anyone who you would like to thank?
The list of people (from fans to training partners to my wife) is way too long. I would like to just thank all who have made my life such an incredible one.