— Robin, thank you very much for your time. Let me start from the fact that Khabib blocked you in twitter. This news has generated lots of buzz in Russia.
— I’m very proud of my breakdown of Khabib and Tony, and it was a great pleasure to study these two brilliant artists. I was surprised when I was blocked by Khabib because I thought I had celebrated his incredible fighting skills. I took it as kind of a weird compliment, then moved on. Later a friend mentioned it was more likely his manager, Ali who blocked me, and this made sense. I know Ali to be an overly reactionary type of cat.
— Your breakdown seemed to be fair and non-offensive. In your opinion, what was wrong?
— I have made very gentle comparisons of Kahbib to Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey. Fighters that are incredibly dominant when they get ahold of you, that are less dangerous on the feet, but always do get their hands on you and you cannot stop them. I think this is accurate and in no way meant as an insult, but apparently this might bother Khabib’s team? I hope not. I think Khabib is one of the most dominant fighters in the world who brilliantly plays to his strengths.
— You mentioned Ali Abdel-Aziz as a person likely to be responsible for blocking you in Khabib’s twitter. In this respect, do you suppose that fighters’ social pages should be run by their managers or social media managers?
— Well, that’s up to the individual. If I was someone like Khabib, someone who is the best in the world in his field, I can understand why he would leave media and social promoting to someone else. His job is to train, grow, and fight. All this chatter and drama can be left to someone else while he trains to have the best performance possible in front of millions of people. I have a picture in my head of Khabib training his ass off oblivious to twitter, breakdowns, gossip or drama
— Let’s move from this story to your career as an analyst which has a lot of fans in Russia. Are there any breakdowns which could be regarded as your favourites and why?
— First of all, I just absolutely love doing this work, I love studying these fighters and trying to tell the story of the brilliant skills and artistry in battle. Every breakdown is very special to me. Some of my very favourites? Hmm, hard to say — my Cub Swanson vs Doo Ho Choi breakdown was an incredible joy to build. A true joy. And Eddie Alvarez vs Conor McGregor was such a pleasure to build too. And I guess Ronda vs Holly. That was the first one I ever did for the UFC, Dana asked me personally to break that one down. But, truly, doing these breakdowns is my life’s purpose. I get so much happiness from doing this.
— You have met a lot of great MMA-people doing this job. Which are you most proud of getting acquainted with?
— Yep, that’s true, I’ve got to meet a lot of cool people doing this job. Joe Rogan has been the most generous, he’s really done a lot for me, and I’ll never forget it. Joe Rogan is an incredible guy. When I grow up I want to be like him.
Dana is also cool. He is always so cool to me. He seems to really like my breakdowns and it’s always so cool to see him get jazzed up when I talk about fights with him. MAN, he was pumped for Cub vs Doo Ho Choi in Toronto and MAN so was I. And, of course, that fight was one of the best ever.[divider][/divider]
— Your breakdowns and analysis are distinguished by passion, enthusiasm and alternative approach to providing them to the masses. Was it the original idea or did you come to that as you progressed?
— Thanks for the kind words. I just think fighting is the most beautiful and elegant art form. These artists are so special and when two great ones come together, something very wonderful happens. I just want to tell the story of their combat and celebrate their greatness. There was never really a plan for where this analysis was going, I simply follow my curiosity and study these brilliant artists perform their brilliant art, and share what I find with other fans like myself. I let myself express the passion that I have for fighting, and I always try to break the art down in a way that a 7-year old could understand. Doing this work is a joy for me and I’m really glad some other people enjoy it too.