Australian Penthouse interview: UFC fighter George Sotiropoulos, September 2010

My first story for Australian Penthouse: an interview with Australian UFC fighter George Sotiropoulos, which appeared in the September 2010 issue.

Excerpt below – all text copyright Australian Penthouse. Click the image for a closer look.

George Sotiropoulos interview by Andrew McMillen for Australian Penthouse, August 2010Caged Fury
Aussie fighter George Sotiropoulos is taking the UFC by storm

by Andrew McMillen

He grew up in Geelong, completed a Bachelor of Business and worked in finance before dedicating his life to the pursuit of elite mixed martial arts (MMA). Meet 33 year-old George Sotiropoulos: Australia’s strongest contender in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), the world’s largest and most prestigious MMA tournament. Undefeated in the UFC (6-0) as this issue goes to press, George’s overall fight record reflects an impressive 13-2.

MMA seems to be one of the purest forms of professional athletic endurance – it’s two guys in a cage using their training to try and take the other man down.

That is part of it. In a street fight, anything goes. People can utilise any object as a weapon; they can literally take a person’s life. MMA is a sport with technique. The only way you’re going to win is utilising real skills and technique, from boxing, taekwondo, muay thai, wrestling, judo, jiu jitsu and any other martial art style out there.

Skill is effective, not brutality: that’s the big misconception. MMA is a new sport which only been around for approximately 20 years. People are not fully informed about the facts, so that’s why they jump the gun. But that’s going to change; UFC is the fourth most viewed sport in the USA. Pay-per-view numbers are in the millions, and up to 20,000 punters attend events. It’s mainstream now.

What does your average week of training look like?

It’s a very gruelling and intense training schedule. I train three times a day from Monday to Friday, and I usually train once or twice on the weekends.

Is there any difference between training in a gym with your team and fighting in front of 20,000 people?

No; you train day in and day out for that moment. All scenarios, possibilities, techniques and strategies are covered in training. Then on fight day, the work has already been done. The training is harder than the fight.

Visit the Australian Penthouse website for the full interview. You can also read the unedited transcript of our conversation here.

UFC videos are pretty much impossible to find for free online, so I can’t show you footage of George in action. Instead, I’ve embedded an interview recorded after UFC 116, where George defeated Kirk Pellegrino.

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