Rory Markham is one interesting and diverse dude. Fighting in one of the deepest divisions in the sport's premiere promotion, his success hinges on his willingness to study, work hard, and improve but his training transcends that of a guy sweating in a gym. While that work is vital and a big part of his regiment, Markham sets himself apart by studying people who have been successful in a wide range of areas. He applies their ingredients to his own quests whether it be inside the octagon or in front of a movie camera. Acting is a profession that he plans to pursue more seriously in time but his short-term aspiration is to play the role of UFC welterweight champion.
We talked to Markham by telephone and discussed his upcoming fight with Nate Diaz, training with Pat Miletich, and putting on a great show for the fans.
FiveKnuckles- What are your thoughts on your upcoming opponent, Nate Diaz?
Rory Markham- He's a lanky striker and a great jiu-jitsu guy, a very long opponent with good submissions. With lanky guys you always have to look out for any kind of front headlock, guillotine stuff, and triangles. I'm very aware of that. Also, he's real busy on the feet so it's just a matter of not getting frustrated with him. Knowing that I might get touched a few times, I can't get out of my game plan and I have to know that my mind set is proper.
FiveKnuckles- Just a few months ago, he made weight at 155 and this fight is taking place at welterweight. Do you think that could be a factor?
Rory Markham- Yeah, I've been saying that in a lot of my interviews. He just fought Maynard at 155 not too many months ago. In order to go up to '70 appropriately and do it in the right manner is to take on weight that's going to be yours forever. You need to put on permanent pounds, the kind of weight that's going to be harder to take off than just this false weight of water or whatever kind of bulk. I heard he walks around in the 80s and gets up to 190 or whatever. We all walk around nice and heavy between the fights but that doesn't mean that he can put any real mass in the time it took to get from Maynard to me. I don't think it's enough time to put on the kind of weight that's conducive to 170lb. strength.
FiveKnuckles- Pat Miletich is a legend in the sport. What does it mean to you to train with a guy like that and the camp that you guys have there?
Rory Markham- It's humbling. Every day we meet at 10:00 in the morning for an hour long session for strategy and to work on things and he does things with such ease that it humbles you. You kind of scratch your head and say "man, do I look that good when I try to do that, when I'm trying to replicate what he's doing, or do I just walk around with two brick feet?" On paper, Miletich has trained more champions than any other trainer out there and just because he hasn't been at every UFC or doesn't get into the limelight as much as he used to doesn't take away from the fact that he's still the #1 trainer, on paper, for mma. I can absolutely attest to that when I work...