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UFC 218 video: Michigan state wrestling champ Drakkar Klose looks to stay unbeaten in Detroit

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Undefeated UFC 218 lightweight Drakkar Klose spoke with Bloody Elbow about returning to his Michigan roots, training down at The MMA Lab in Arizona, and how he got the name Drakkar.

Undefeated UFC lightweight Drakkar Klose is looking to remain unbeaten, as he is prepared to compete in his home state of Michigan, against the 6-1 David Teymur, this Saturday night at UFC 218. Klose was last seen inside of the Octagon picking up a split decision victory over a hyped up Marc Diakiese, and now looks to take out another surging 155’er in Teymur.

Klose’s opposition has won 2 of his UFC bouts by knockout, and then more recently picked up a tough unanimous decision win over Lando Vannata. Training at The MMA Lab in Arizona, Klose has been sharpening his tools with the likes of Ben Henderson, Scott Holtzman, and Keoni Diggs to name a few, and now heads back to Michigan where he won a state title in wrestling and was a two-time finalist.

Before waging war with Teymur, Klose caught up with Bloody Elbow to discuss his feud/fight with Diakiese, the Michigan wrestling community having his back, and why his calf kicks are so effective.

Saturday’s UFC 218 main card will air live on Pay-Per-View at 10:00 P.M. ET with the prelims starting at 8:00 P.M. ET on FX. The Exclusive Fight Pass prelims will begin at 6:15 P.M. ET.

  • In your last outing, you earned a split decision victory over Marc Diakiese at the TUF 25 Finale back in July of this year. Were you surprised the decision was split?

“I thought it was a unanimous decision. I had him on his heels pretty much the whole time. He got a couple of half chokes in, but I thought I ran away with it. There were some things that I could have did better on, and hopefully this camp I’ll tighten that up and I can show it December 2nd in Detroit”

  • When Bruce Buffer announced you as the winner, you let out a scream in the direction of Diakiese. What was that all about?

“That whole week, even when the fight was announced, he got on Twitter and was talking stuff. It’s like, bro, we’re going to fight. You’re not scaring anyone. You haven’t fought anyone. I have the best team here in Arizona, at The MMA Lab. Everyday, I train with the best. I don’t know who he trains with. I think he has a lot of yes-men in his life.”

  • Did you ever squash the beef with Diakiese?

“It’s whatever. Like, if you don’t like, you don’t like me. I’m cool with anybody. I can go anywhere and make friends with anyone, but if you got a problem with me, I guess I got a problem with you. If he still wants to talk stuff, we can do it. I got the last laugh, so.”

  • You dropped Diakiese multiple times with a kick to the calf. What is it about those calf kicks that make them so effective?

“I don’t know. Those muscles in there. One good kick, it changes up the game. You can’t stand the same. You can’t push off of it. So, I think using any part of the body you can hit, changes the game.”

  • Are you ready to return to your roots to fight in front of your home state of Michigan?

“I’m excited, man. Michigan made me the person I am. Michigan molded me, but Phoenix polished me. I’m glad I’m going back. I get to represent my home state. I hope it’s a sellout crowd, so the UFC knows that Michigan is a marketable state and come back.

  • Are you expecting a bunch of friends and family to come out and watch you compete?

“Yep, yep. The whole wrestling community. I grew up wrestling there. I was state champion and a 2x finalist, so I’m pretty sure the whole wrestling community’s behind me and they’re going to show up and support me.”

  • Your UFC 218 opponent, David Teymur, is known for his striking; how do you think his style matches up to yours?

“I think he hits and runs, you know. Hopefully he stands and wants to fight. I’m not going to sit there and chase him all night. I’ll stand in the middle of the cage if I have to, and just wait there for him.”

  • We’ve seen you throw your hands out wide when your opponents weren’t engaging; is that your signature taunt?

“I’m not even taunting them. I’m like, ‘yo man, let’s fight. C’mon, this is entertainment, man. The more people watching, the more we get paid, eventually, as long as we keep winning. People don’t want to see boring fights; they want to see action.”

  • Who are some of the guys you’re training with down at The MMA Lab?

“Benson Henderson, Keoni Diggs, Bobby Moffett. Pretty much the whole team. We all do rounds together. It’s not like we pick and choose who we got; we all go together.”

  • Is Scott Holtzman still out there in Arizona?

“Yes he is. He had some rounds today. He’s fighting the following week after me, so he got some rounds in today.”

  • “Hot Sauce” Holtzman legit loves hot sauce, and even pulled a sponsorship deal because of it.

“We’re actually rooming together right now, and all of his hot sauce bottles are all over the house. So, it is true, he loves hot sauce.”

  • Have you tried any of it? Can you vouch for it?

“I have; I have, but I’m cutting all of the sodium out, so I’m staying away from it right now.”

  • Getting back to UFC 218, do you have a prediction for your fight with Teymur?

“Yeah, of course. Me getting my hand raised… All I know is I’m going to be 9-0-1 when it’s all done.”

  • This is going to be your 3rd fight of 2017; are you happy with your frequency inside of the Octagon?

“I’m happy about it. Before I got into the UFC, I was averaging maybe 1-2 fights a year. It was hard for me to find fights. Now, I’m getting 3, hopefully next year I can get 4, 4 or more. What’s the point of training if you can’t fight? If you’re not hurt, you might as well be fighting.”

  • Your name, Drakkar, is pretty unique. Does it have a specific meaning?

“I’m named after a cologne, so I guess my mom used to like that.”

Watch Drakkar Klose throw down with David Teymur at UFC 218 on December 2, 2017. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for all of your UFC event coverage including interviews, play-by-play, highlights, and more!


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