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The Ultimate Fighter season 30 contestant Bobby Maximus poses for a portrait ahead of the filming of TUF. (Photo by Mike Roach/ Zuffa LLC)
The Ultimate Fighter

MEET HEAVYWEIGHT BOBBY MAXIMUS | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: TEAM PEÑA VS TEAM NUNES

Watch Maximus And The Rest Of The Season 30 Hopefuls Weekly On ESPN+

Record: 5-4

Birthplace: Ontario, Canada

Fighting out of: Salt Lake City

Age: 43

Stat: One win by submission

Welcome to the UFC Apex, and congratulations on making it onto the 30th season of The Ultimate Fighter! How does it feel to be here?

Feels amazing. You know. I’m able to live a dream. There are millions and millions of people all over the world that would kill to be in this spot. So, I’m absolutely loving it.

You’re making history by being the oldest person to compete on The Ultimate Fighter. You’re also the oldest one on this season. Can you take us through the decision in coming back? Was this a now or never type of thing?

You know it’s funny how society looks at age. Age is a number. You want to look at some people? Tom Brady just had an MVP season. I think he should be MVP, a lot of other people do too. Lebron James, he’s old, he’s the best player in the NBA. Aaron Rogers killed it this year. There are all kinds of examples of people doing incredible things. If we want to talk about mixed marital arts, Andrei Arlovski, he’s 5-6 in the UFC right now. Glover (Teixeira) just won the light heavyweight title of the world. So, here I am.

You competed on the second season of The Ultimate Fighter, and the sport has changed drastically since then. When you look at how much it’s evolved, what’s your opinion about how the sport is now?

When I look at the sport, because it really is the love of my life, one of the things that I’ve witnessed is it evolving from fighting to an actual bonafide professional sport. You know before, it was a couple of guys throwing punches at each other. Now in every aspect of the world, the UFC belongs with the NFL, NBA, the MLB. So, it’s great to see the evolution on that front.

RECAP TUF 30: Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4

How would you describe your fighting style? How has it changed since the last time you fought?

It’s changed a little bit. Two things have happened. One, I got a ground game now. If you look at the two fights I lost in the UFC, I lost by submission. I went and earned my black belt from two of the best professors on the planet, Carlos Santos, Suyan Queiroz. There’s not a better black belt on the planet of earth you can get. Now, the second thing is, I always thought back in the day that I had to fight at 205 (pounds). I was a wrestler, I needed to cut weight, and so we just always cut. But if you look at my size, I’m a 245-pound person, I fight better, I perform better, I’m more athletic when I’m full self. So, you’re going to see a lot of action. You’re going to see a bully. You’re going to see someone that’s going to go straight at their opponent. 

What do you think will be the biggest challenge you give your opponents this season? Will it be the ground game or maybe the experience?

Yeah, it’s the experience of the ground game and the strength. Let’s face it, this game is more than just technical skill with standup, technical skill with the ground, you need to be an athlete and I’m a big, strong, powerful athlete in every sense of the word.

Is there a coach that you feel your style will fit better with?

No, I’ve thought a lot about this, and either of these women, I’d be proud to learn from. To elaborate a little bit, on the one hand, you got Julianna (Peña) who arguably pulled off the greatest MMA upset of all time. If anybody can teach me about winning, it’s her. On the other hand, you have Amanda (Nunes). Amanda, people say she’s the greatest woman fighter of all time, you don’t need to quantify it or qualify it with that statement. She’s one of the greatest fighters of all time. If you want to talk about G.S.P., Khabib (Nurmagomedov), you want to talk about Anderson (Silva), you got to put Amanda’s name in there. She’s done things in the sport no other athlete has ever done. So, either one. Whoever wants to work with me. I think I have a lot to learn from both of these people.

MORE TUF: Claire Guthrie | Brogan Walker | Jordan Heiderman | Kathryn Paprocki | Eduardo Perez | Juliana Miller | Chandler Cole

What do you think it’s going to be like living in this house, compared to the first time you did this, especially since you’re a little bit older now?  Do you think that’s going to play a role in dealing with the younger personalities at all times 24/7 for 30 days?

I actually don’t think that matters at all. The change that I’ve made in my mindset, when I look back at season two, I had the opportunity to spend a lot of quality time with Rashad (Evans), with Keith (Jardine), Joe Stevenson. There’s a lot of really good people in that house, Rich Franklin (also). I didn’t appreciate it for what it was. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that you become who you hang around, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. To get put in a house with amazing coaches and all these other fighters who by the way are the top up and comers in the world right now. What an incredible experience. So, I’m going to savor it. I’m going to look forward to training with people. To be honest with you, I’m not even focused on the outcome, I’m focused on the process and just soaking this in. 

MEET HEAVYWEIGHT BOBBY MAXIMUS | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: TEAM PEÑA VS TEAM NUNES
MEET HEAVYWEIGHT BOBBY MAXIMUS | THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER: TEAM PEÑA VS TEAM NUNES
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Do you think time away from the sport is what you needed? Was this the right moment instead of maybe back then? Do you think timing is everything?

Yeah, absolutely. When I was younger, I wasn’t in a good headspace. I was way to self-conscious. I was worried about what other people said about me. What other people thought about me. I was really immature now that I look back on it. I’ve spent a lot of years training, working with the best people on the planet, just really developing that mindset. Mindset is what it comes down to. You see it in the sport all the time.

Catch Up On All Things The Ultimate Fighter

Did you talk to Mike at all before leaving for the tournament? Or any other veteran of the sport?

You know, the first person I called was Mark Hominick. People forget, I used to train with Shawn Tompkins, Mark Hominick, (and) Sammy Stout. Mark and Sammy are two of the greatest strikers in UFC history. So, the minute I found out I was coming back on here, Mark is the first call I made.

Why do you think that you’ll be the one to win the 30th season of The Ultimate Fighter?

Because my headspace. You know, a lot of fighters here, they’re here because they need it, and I was in that space. I don’t need this. I have a career, I have money. I have success. I’m doing this because I really really want to.