by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
It’s been a rollercoaster year for middleweight contender Trevor Prangley. After starting off 2006 with a loss against Chael Sonnen at UFC Fight Night 4 in April, Trevor was released from the company and his future seemed in doubt.
But always a resilient one, Prangley has rebounded, winning two fights in a row and finding perhaps a new lease on life with the Strikeforce and Bodog promotions, the later which he will return to compete for again this Saturday in Canada.
Shortly before heading north from his training grounds at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California, Trevor went one-on-one with MMAWeekly to discuss the fight, his year and his future championship aspirations.
MMAWeekly: First off Trevor, you’re returning to Bodog this weekend after having a thrilling debut for the company on their television show against Kyacey Uscola. Now that the show has premiered, what are your thoughts on it?
Trevor Prangley: I think the television show was good. I really had a great time down there [in Costa Rica]. Bodog was great and treated us better than we’d been treated by any other show honestly. The fight went well too. Anyone’s that watched it knows it was pretty much a crowd pleaser and everybody was excited about the fight, including myself.
MMAWeekly: The fight was a bloody back and forth battle with you coming out on top in the end with an arm-triangle choke. Is that the kind of hard-fought fight that showcases all your skills that you want to be known for by the fans?
Trevor Prangley: Yeah…that’s what I’ve wanted to do my whole career, it’s just things have held me back. There I really had nothing to lose and went out and I just let it all hang out and that’s how I intend to fight from now on.
MMAWeekly: Originally that fight/episode was to be an alternate fight, but Bodog was so impressed it ended up becoming the main event/season finale. It’s got to feel good knowing they liked it so much they moved it up into that position.
Trevor Prangley: It’s very satisfying. It’s almost more satisfying knowing than knowing that you’ve won. Every fighter out there wants to be the best on a show, wants to be fight of the night, and I think I pulled it off over there…so yeah I’m very happy about that.
MMAWeekly: All right, let’s get to this weekend’s fight in Canada on December 2nd. You’ve got quite the tough challenge ahead, tell us about it.
Trevor Prangley: I’m going to fight against Andrei Semenov. I’ve fought him before so I know just how tough he is. He’s a tough little guy, so I’m expecting a real hard fight. He’s had 27 fights in his career and has only been finished once I think, so I think it’s going to be a really tough, long and grueling fight. I’m ready for it, I’ve trained hard – I’m in the best condition in my life – so I’m ready to go.
MMAWeekly: It seems like every time we see you, you are getting one of the toughest fights of the night on almost every card you’re on.
Trevor Prangley: They are giving me tough competition. It was supposed to be Amar Suloev before that, which I think is a little tougher, but something happened with him, an injury or something and then they gave me Semenov. Yeah I think they are relying on me to be a good fight on the night. The matchmaker is the same one that match-made my first fight with Semenov and that was a good fight for whoever saw it.
Most people enjoyed that [first] fight, so the matchmaker’s relying on that to be on the top end of the America versus Russia card. It’s right before the superfights, so I think he’s hoping that if the superfights don’t do so well that this fight will help out.
MMAWeekly: It seems like the promotion is behind you and is banking on you to become one of their signature fighters.
Trevor Prangley: Yeah and that’s also good. You’ve got the top competition to be there, and that’s what I’m willing to do. I’d been in the UFC four times against top competition before, so that’s nothing new to me. Everybody likes to have an easy pay day here and there, but if you want to get to the top it’s not going to happen anymore.
MMAWeekly: You’ve really turned your year around after having kind of a rough start. How are you feeling about the way you’re closing out 2006?
Trevor Prangley: I’m feeling great finishing out this year. I’ve finally did what I’ve always planned to do, which is to fight every six weeks or so and I think it’s upped my game a lot, it’s training a lot. I do train away from home, so when I’m not fighting I’m at home and if I have three or four months between a fight I don’t have the same quality of training up in Idaho where I live.
Being down in California for so long and having so many fights in a row has really just upped my game. I feel like twice the fighter I was when people saw me in the UFC…really, honestly, especially since my last performance [there] I’ve really picked it up.
MMAWeekly: Speaking of your last UFC performance against Chael Sonnen, he’s on this same card with you. Are you rooting for him or are you hoping he stumbles a little this weekend after he beat you in April?
Trevor Prangley: I want him to win. I like Chael; I’ve got no hard feelings against him. I beat him fair and square, he beat me fair and square, that’s the way it goes in the sport – you fight a guy enough times, he’s gonna beat you [laughs]. I hope he wins, he’s a decent guy, he talks a little here and there, but he’s just trying to hype the fight, so I don’t take that stuff personally.
MMAWeekly: Should all go well this well this weekend, where are you hoping to see yourself in the coming months of the new year?
Trevor Prangley: In the next few months I hoping Bodog opens a title shot at middleweight and I can win the title there. I think I’m deserving of a title in a major organization, and I think Bodog – they’re just starting out – but they’re definitely going all the way. So I think that’s where I’d like to be, a title holder in a large organization…either Bodog or Strikeforce, but I believe it’s going to be Bodog.
MMAWeekly: I know that Bodog is putting together a big show in Russia next year. Would you like to fight on that card perhaps against the fighter you were originally supposed to fight this weekend, Amar Suloev?
Trevor Prangley: Yeah…maybe…I want to be the best and to do that you have to fight the best, so yeah I’d fight Amar Suloev. I’d prefer it’d not to be in Russia [laughs], but if it is, it is. They come out here to fight, so it’d only be fair if we went out there to fight them.
MMAWeekly: It doesn’t matter where, just as long as you get the top competition right?
Trevor Prangley: That’s right. I want people to look at my record and say, “Hey this guy’s got a great winning record.” You look at some fighters and say, “This guy’s got a great record, but he’s fought nobody,” so I want people to look me and say, “Hey this guy’s got a great record, he’s suffered a few losses, but man, he fought everybody.”
MMAWeekly: Let’s talk about your Pride & Fury show that you promote in Idaho, how did the last show go in November?
Trevor Prangley: Not very well, I had a problem with a commission. It’s just a new commission took over in Idaho and we had been working with the old one for five years and never had a hassle, but we had a lot of problems with this one.
We postponed the show because it wasn’t just going to come together, we had a bad feeling about what they were going to do, so we just postponed it so we can get a lot of stuff sorted out with them. We’re trying to work with them obviously, but as most promoters know once you get a new commission or commissioner they want to put their stamp on everything I guess.
MMAWeekly: Problems aside, you’re still going to continue to promote shows right?
Trevor Prangley: Absolutely yes, a little setback like that’s not going to kill us, that’s for sure. We’ve got a lot of fans and a lot of guys who want to fight, so I feel obligated to keep it going for a long time.
MMAWeekly: Thanks for your time Trevor, we greatly appreciate it. Is there anything you’d like to say as we head out?
Trevor Prangley: I’d like to thank Toe 2 Toe for sponsoring me, Warrior Fight Wear, Throwdown, In Ring, and I want to thank the fans. I went to PRIDE with Phil Baroni and went to this last UFC and I didn’t realize that so many people still knew who I was [laughs]. You know I’ve been around so long and so it was really great, I really want to thank them for just being there and the support I’ve had from them has been awesome. Its nice knowing that there’s still a lot of people out there that want to see me fight, so thanks guys.
If they liked the Bodog fight [against Kyacey Uscola], which they can watch at BodogFight.com, if they liked that one, this one is going to be way better, so they better watch it. It’s going to be knock-down, drag-out…I know I’m going to win the fight but my goal is to finish it. Like I said, Semenov has only been finished once in his fights, and I want to be number two.