by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
Last year was a big year for Trevor Prangley. He returned to the UFC after nearly a year away and looked impressive in his two bouts against Travis Lutter in a win and Jeremy Horn in a controversial loss. Now it appears as if Prangley will be making his first appearance for the company in their California debut in April at Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim as he is in negotiations to face Chael Sonnen in a rematch of their 2003 fight.
“I think it was a good year,” commented Prangley of his past year. “I had two fights in the UFC and in my opinion I won both of them, but regardless of that it doesn’t really matter, I still had good performances in them. I was happy with the year and I’m hoping to have a better year this year.”
While many were impressed with his performances against Lutter and Horn, Trevor refuses to be content and still feels there is room for improvement in his game. “I performed better I think in my Horn fight than I did in my fight against Travis as far as all-around. I’m making steps every time I fight and that’s all I can ask for is to improve each fight. A couple fights down the road I should be where I want to be.”
Prangley added, “My hands weren’t good in the stand-up against Travis and I just wasn’t really happy with some of my performance in that one. As far as my Jiu-Jitsu and staying out submissions I was happy with that, but as far as doing my ground ‘n pound, there were a couple times where I should have absolutely finished the fight and not let it go the distance.”
Next up for Trevor is a possible match against Team Quest’s Chael Sonnen. According to Prangley, there’s nothing concrete yet, but it’s coming very close. “As far as I know it’s pretty much a done deal. I haven’t signed anything and I don’t know if Chael has, but it’s looking like when it gets to this stage, six or seven weeks out, it looks like a done deal.”
Prangley and Sonnen are very familiar with each other, having fought once as amateurs and once as pros. Trevor feels that not only has he grown as a fighter, but also so has Chael, leading to what could be a very different match the third time around.
“I believe Chael’s come a long way since we fought last,” said Prangley. “When I fought him last he was mainly a wrestler, and after watching his fight with Babalu (Renato Sobral, UFC 55), he’s a lot more well-rounded, he’s a great athlete. It’s going to be a tougher fight than it was for me the last time for sure. I’m looking to be in a war and he’s going to want that win back which I took from him.”
Trevor further commented, “It’s going to be a tougher fight all around. The one thing people are going to see is, Chael’s going to cancel out my wrestling, and truth be told he’s a better wrestler than I am, so it’s going to be an interesting fight.”
When it comes to goals for 2006, Prangley feels that the kind of fights he wants this year will be the ones that bring him back into title contention. “This year I want to get where I’m going to get a title fight or at least get the right to get a title fight in my next fight. I think if I would have won the Horn fight I would have been one fight away from a title shot. It knocked me down a couple notches taking that loss and I want to be back where I think I deserve to be.”
Not only is Trevor busy getting his fighting career back to where he wants it, he’s also a promoter and is currently finalizing his promotion’s upcoming show in March. “The promotion is called Pride & Fury, Josh Thomson is going to be headlining it, he’s my Lightweight Champion, so he’s going to be defending his title (against Noah Thomas.) It’s a Pro-Am show so it’s going to be half and half, it gives our guys up here at the Lion’s Den to do their thing and get in there and get some experience.”
Prangley added, “It’s going to be held on the 23rd of March at the Coeur D’Alene Casino in Worley, Idaho, about 40 miles from Spokane, Washington. People need to go through Tickets West, the number is 1-800-325-SEAT (7328). We’re trying to land Mike Van Arsdale also, so if we get those two on the show it’s going to be a great show.”
Trevor explains, not only does he enjoy promoting, it’s also an essential part of providing him with the security to continue fighting. “Promoting is a lot easier, I’ll tell you that much, you don’t have to train for it [laughs]. I enjoy the fighting, I enjoy being out there with the crowd and testing and challenging myself. Promoting is just something I have to do to supplement my income so that I can train. I don’t people realize how expensive it is to train and be a professional athlete, so I have to do the promotion on the side to supplement my income.”
Prangley closed out the conversation by wanting to thank his sponsors and fans for their continued support and to tell them what they can expect from him in 2006. “I’d like to thank my sponsors, Sprawl mainly who’ve stuck with me from my first fight and Cobb 28 for my last fight. To the fans I just want to say thanks for their support after the Jeremy Horn fight.”
Trevor concluded, “I’ll definitely be on my top performance for this Chael fight; they can expect an exciting fight. It’s going to be a totally different fight, the last two guys being Jiu-Jitsu guys who are comfortable on their back full-time, so this time the fans are going to see how well-rounded I am this fight and will enjoy it.”