With only a few weeks remaining in his training camp, seasoned veteran Aaron Riley sat down with Mike Olenski of FiveKnuckles.com to discuss his training, his opponent, and other various MMA topics. Boasting over a decade of MMA experience, Riley is the most seasoned veteran on the UFC 135 card, with fights dating back to 1997.
FiveKnuckles.com: You're fighting Tony Ferguson here in a few weeks, how's your training going?
Aaron Riley: Everything is good ya know. We've got some of the best coaches and the best teammates in the game (Jackson's MMA) so everything is going awesome. We've got a lot of guys preparing for their fights, so we've got a room full of the best guys. It is bringing out the best in me, that is for sure.
FK: Any specific game planning for Tony Ferguson, the wrestler from The Ultimate Fighter?
AR: You know Greg (Jackson) and Wink ( Mike Winkeljohn) have been crafting a game plan over the course of the camp, we've been watching the tapes and we are going to try and capitalize on the mistakes he makes when he is out there throwing down.
FK: At what point did you make the switch to the Jackson's MMA camp, and since the move can you talk about how much better your game has gotten with Jackson's?
AR: I made the move in 2008. Greg and coach Wink have been bringing a lot out of me, as well as all the training partners. It's kind of hard to put into words, he (Greg) has definitely brought me to a higher level. He has me doing a bit more with movement, not being limited with my game. Trying to get me to be more open minded, to look at things that maybe I use to do in the past, to look at things that are working, and things I haven't thought of using before. He really has me open to all types of possibilities with my training. It has really been great, and he (Greg) has really been beneficial as well as coach Winkeljohn.
FK: You've been around the game a lot longer than Tony Ferguson, since we were both teenagers. You already avenged the horrible stoppage loss to Shane Nelson at UFC 96, if there was one other rematch you could have, dating all the way back to the beginning of your career, whether they are relevant now or not, who would it be?
AR: (Chucking) Gee, you know, it would be kinda nice, as far as old school stuff, it would be nice to get a W over Yves Edwards. We fought twice, once under Pancreas rules, and once under MMA rules. He got the nod both times, they were close back on forth fights. Jeff Oswald made a documentary about it called Showdown where he chronicles both fights and the lead up to them. That would be a win I would like to get back from the old school stuff.
Then some of the newer fights, you know there were a few. The (Ross) Pearson fight, would be one I'd like to get back. I feel like I didn't give my best performance, I wasn't as sharp as I could have been. I am not taking anything from Ross' win because he was really on that night, and did well. He is an awesome competitor, and a tough guy... and of course the Spencer Fisher fight. I never really got going there because I got...