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TRAINING: I have been in training a long time for this fight, as I returned from my fight with Francis Carmont and had to sort out a few minor health issues and then I was back in the gym. I have had some great sparring - a typical day basically covers conditioning work, sparring and working on the technical side of my game - I have had sparring partners who have tried to impersonate Leben - I feel fit and ready
Thoughts on opponent, Chris Leben? I am so excited by this fight - I cannot wait to share the cage with a fighter like Leben, someone who comes to fight and has a lot of respect in the MMA world. I have the utmost respect for what he has achieved in the UFC and how he fights. I want to repay Joe Silva's faith in giving me such a fight by making it an exciting fight for the fans and also putting myself in the frame in the middleweight division.
When and why did you start training for fighting? 2007 – I enjoy the competition.
What ranks and titles have you held? CFC World and European Heavyweight Champion
Do you have any heroes? Fedor Emelianenko
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It has always been my dream and ambition to compete at the highest level and to showcase my skills. I believe that fighting for the UFC is the ultimate, and to fight in the USA before the great people of America fills me with great emotion and excitement. I hope to prove I am good enough for the UFC and to eventually become one of their main fighters. I am very grateful for the opportunity.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? No
What was your job before you started fighting? Door supervisor
Specific accomplishments in pro competition? Six-time Czech Republic national wrestling champion
Favorite grappling technique: Rear naked choke
Favorite Striking technique: Overhand right