CFFC 62 has taken shape and it is a MONSTER of a card including 2 title bouts. One title bout seeing Sean Santella take on Matt Lozano and the other pits Jared Gordon defending his featherweight title against “The King of Pancrase”, TUF Season 12 and CFFC vet, Andy Main. Today we got the chance to sit down with Main (11-2) as he prepares to step in the CFFC cage and take that title. Before we get right into it, make sure to get over to Twitter and IG and follow Andy @Andy_Main, but now it’s time to get to know the man behind the gloves.
Thanks a lot for taking time out of your very busy schedule man it really means a lot. Let’s start at the beginning, take us back to the beginning of your career. What got you into the world of MMA, what’s your favorite part and if you weren’t a professional fighter what do you think you would be doing?
Main: I started training when I was 16. I fell in love with Brazilian jiu jitsu, It felt real. I really enjoyed testing myself in competition. That led me to taking my first fight. If I wasn’t fighting I’d be doing what I’m doing, just in another field. I am a competitor and entrepreneur at heart and would be working at self-made success in whatever field I fell into.
I couldn’t agree more as you have been extremely successful wherever and whatever you have done. Speaking of your career it seems like you have been all over, ROC, WCA, The UFC in season 12 of TUF, the CFFC and Pancrase. Would you consider yourself a journeyman or a vet? What sort of benefits/skills/experiences do you think acquired from being all over?
Main: At this point I am a veteran, but not a journeyman. A journeyman comes with the connotation that you just fight to fight or for a paycheck. I am one of the best in the world. I fight to continually prove that. I leveraged my time on TUF to get an opportunity to fight overseas with one of the most historic organizations in MMA in Pancrase. My goal became to capture that coveted title, and I did. My experience has given me a deep level of understanding on many levels. Technical, mental, physical, etc.
I love how you set out to do that and unfortunately people in the US don’t really pay attention to organizations like Pancrase as much as they should because it is simply amazing and you achieved a hell of a feat. Now you were on TUF as part of Team Koscheck (4th round pick). Talk to us about your experience on the show and if you could do it all over again would you? What was it like being coached by Kos and what was your favorite part of being there?
Main: TUF was fun for what it was, and I’ve been able to leverage my time there for many opportunities, as I mentioned. Kos was an interesting guy. At the time focused on his upcoming title bout with GSP. My favorite part was some of the friendships I made. I was still young, only a year fighting as a professional. I had a lot to learn, so I soaked up everything I could.
And that you did because out of all the guys on that show I would have to say you and Michael Johnson have had the best careers, not to discount guys like Phan, Cody, Lentz and others. Now we touched on it but let’s really get into it, you are currently the Pancrase Featherweight King and riding a 3 fight win streak there. Talk to us about achieving the goal of becoming a champion in such a highly respected organization and are there any differences between fighting in Japan as opposed to fighting in the states.
Main: As a martial artist fighting in the motherland will always be one of my fondest memories. Pancrase is as professional as they come. I love it. Becoming the “King of Pancrase” was a dream, making it a reality, and in the fashion I did was just an amazing moment in my life. Only a handful of Americans have held that title, and I glad I am one of them.
Yes! That triangle choke was very impressive and like you said, not many Americans have or ever will achieve that. You now return to the CFFC, a place where we last saw you take on Kenny Foster. You came up short in that bout via split decision (debatable). Since then like we mentioned you have been on a 3 fight win streak. Did you change anything since that fight and why return to the CFFC now after becoming the Featherweight King of Pancrase?
Main: Well anyone who had eyes open saw me outland Foster by a significant margin in every single round and land the only takedown in the fight. I won’t harp on it, it is what it is, but as far as I’m concerned I am unbeaten since TUF. Has anything changed? Absolutely. I improve rapidly. I’m never the same fighter from one fight to the next.
Like what you just said, I won’t harp but I may or may not have had you winning all rounds without question haha… Speaking of your return, you face off against a ultra-tough Jared Gordon for his Featherweight strap. How did this fight develop, when you look at the tape on Jared what do you see and where do you feel you hold an advantage?
Main: The CFFC matchmaker Arias Garcia asked me about fighting again, I said I would be happy to but the only fight that made sense for me at this time is a title fight. I have a lot of different opportunities overseas now, but it is nice to be fighting close to home again. I’m glad they could make it happen. I think it’s an exciting match up for the local scene. Jared is solid and I have nothing but respect for him. I think I have a lot of advantages. It’s simple. This fight comes down to who plays their game better.
I won’t like, I stood up and clapped when I saw the announcement that you would take on Jared after we saw Jared have to withdraw CFFC 61 due to injury. This has been my pick for fight of the night since then. Now with all you have going on, after this fight win or lose do you plan on staying around the CFFC, going back to Pancrase or will you be trying to do both?
Main: Assuming the UFC doesn’t come calling, I’m going to continue to take fights that make sense for my career and excite me. I have big offers from organizations overseas, so I may entertain some of those. I’d love to defend my belt with Pancrase. RoadFC is working on a big tournament. I’ve got options in Japan, Korea, Russia, and China at the moment. Whatever makes sense. If I don’t get called up I’ll fight for CFFC again also, but on what timeline I’m not sure yet. I’ll see what comes up. For now I’m focused on winning this belt.
Sounds accurate and I would easily see the UFC calling. Now many have said you deserved to be on UFC 205 and I have to admit I am one of them as you are one of the top guys in the world not there. Many feel this bout with Jared has the winner getting a call from Dana White. Do you see this fight as that or do feel you need to accomplish more?
Main: The reality is there is no rhyme or reason anymore to the UFC’s hiring structure. I believe I earned the call after I finished my 3rd Zuffa veteran and won the Pancrase title. Jared is another guy who should have gotten a call by now. That’s what doesn’t make sense about their hiring format, the best in the world aren’t getting called unless it’s a late replacement and you fit the bill geographically. I’ll just be staying ready and enjoying the journey.
And that kids is what we call the perfect and professional answer! I couldn’t agree more, the CFFC is packed with guys who should have been called up but time will tell. Let’s to a step out of the cage and talk about your gym in Rockaway NJ, Pure MMA (IG @puremmanj). What got you into the business side of the game, how do you handle being an owner AND a fighter and are there any young guys we should have our eyes on that we might not know about yet?
Main: My brother and I are driven and entrepreneurial, characteristics we got from our father. It felt like the right time, and we decided to go for it. It made sense to start business building with something we knew well. We both love teaching and building the environment and friendships we have has been incredibly rewarding. Being a business owner and a fighter is easy to manage if you have vision, it’s about knowing what you want. I wanted to be able to immerse myself in the martial arts world while I am fighting. Owning a gym is a lot of work, but its work that allows me to train full time and on my schedule. Now that the gym has become successful it also allows me pick and choose my fights because I don’t rely on the paycheck.
A dream of every fighter, not living paycheck to paycheck haha. You and your brother have done a great job that! Ok we know your time is short so we will end with this last question. You have some have some of the most passionate fans in the world no matter where you fight. I heard the crowd go nuts when you won the strap in Pancrase, I was surrounded by your fans when you took on Kelleher in 2014. What do your fans mean to you and if you could say one thing to them what would it be and why?
Main: That was my friends, family, and students or my gym your heard go nuts and I love them all. The support I get from the people in my life is unreal. I’m not even sure why I’m deserving. I just try to be the best person I can be, and go out there prepared. I’d say thank you.
It’s because you care about more than just your personal world in my opinion you go out of your way for others. Ok before we let you go are there any people or sponsors you would like to mention?
Main: My family, my fiancé, my coaches and training partners, PureMMA.com, goparabolic.com, MillerBrothersMMA, TSMMA and Kavkaz MMA Fighters.
We want to thank you again for your time and all of you out there make sure to get this man a follow on social media along with @PureMMAnj and keep your eyes on Artofmma.com for more interviews leading up to CFFC 62! We want to thank Andy one more time and have a good one everyone, if you are going to CFFC 62 let us know!!! We would love to meet you!