We caught up with light heavyweight contender Ilir Latifi ahead of his bout with Corey Anderson at UFC 232. Latifi talked about mixing up his training methods and his friendship with Alexander Gustafsson.
UFC: Your last fight was impressive, and then you had an injury. How do you carry momentum from your fight at the beginning of the year all the way to your upcoming bout?
IL: The last fight was a great experience, but you move on. Train and develop, and now is a new fight, so it’s a new focus.
UFC: Speaking of your training, you’ve posted a few interesting workout videos. What does switching up your training do for you during your camp?
IL: Well, for me, the workouts you do have to be practical in what you do in the fight, but the workouts must be fun too. You have to have variety and change environments, so I like to do a lot of outdoors training and all kinds of outdoor training, so it’s nice.
UFC: Bringing that training into the gym, you’ve developed as a fighter like you said. What makes you a tough matchup and how have you evolved?
IL: I’m always trying to evolve my game of fighting and understanding the game, and I think that’s an important factor in the fight game — to find new weapons and new ways to fight. That’s basically what I put my time on.
UFC: Obviously you’re good friends with Alexander Gustafsson, how much are you paying attention to his fight while you prepare for yours?
IL: I’m focused on my fight. I have my routines that I have to do, but of course, we’re a team, and we came here as a team and had a camp together, so of course you pay attention to what’s happening around, but still you have to be focused on your own game.
UFC: Should things go well for both of you, have you talked about what would happen because you guys are in the same division, or is that a bridge you’ll cross when you get there?
IL: We have this discussion a lot, and we have a plan for what we’ll do, so if that’s going to be the circumstances, then we’ll solve that. It’s no worries.
Zac Pacleb is a writer and producer for UFC.com. You can follow him on Twitter @ZacPacleb.