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Vaughan Lee: I Have Something To Prove

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Vaughan Lee will face Motonobu Tezuka in his fourth fight for the UFC on Feb 16. at the Wembley Arena in London.

Lee as racked up a record of 12-8-1 (1-2-0, UFC) and just signed a new 4 fight contract. With his win over Yamamoto earning him a sub of the night bonus and then going on to lose against TJ Dillashaw it is safe to say that 2012 was a roller coaster ride for Vaughan.

Motonobu Tezuka as a record of 19-5-4 (0-1-0, UFC) with his debut earning him a split decision loss against Alex Caceres (Bruce Leeroy). Not one to finish fights Tezuka as 13 decisions out of his 28 fights. 

FRMMA: You have your fourth fight coming up for the UFC and you always hear about the UFC jitters, do they ever go away or is it always in your head that your on the biggest stage of them all?

VL: To be honest I only ever had the UFC jitters the first time, the second and third time I kind of got used to it. Even though I was fighting on the main card on my third fight I still didn't get as bad as I got on my first.

FRMMA: Were the jitters the first time down to it being your debut or that it was in your hometown, or both?

VL: Both, it was my first time in the UFC and when I walked out, the scale of it I was like "this is mega".

FRMMA: I think its fair to say that it was a roller coaster year for you. You had sub of the night with that fantastic performance in Japan and then a performance that you were very self critical about against Dillishaw. How important is this next fight to you, I know its cliche but is this the most important fight of your career because I know you've just signed a four fight contract?

VL: It's very important, I know everyone says that their next fight is the most important which is true because every fight you have is a building block to where you need to be or where you want to be. I definitely have something to prove, in the fight with Dillashaw I just got over confident and not coming up to the fight I didn't underestimate him then but I did underestimate him in the fight and I made stupid mistakes.

FRMMA: Can we just get something cleared up for your cornerman because John Annick stated that one of your cornerman instructed to elbow the leg and I think it would be fair to your corner if you could clear that up?

VL: What happened was, the crank was sunk in that deep that i thought "fuck" I couldn't get out of it and I just wanted to cause a little bit of pain in his leg. I knew I was going to either go out or something so I thought I'd give him a dead leg for a day or so.

FRMMA: Moving on to your next opponent, Motonobu Tezuka. How do you think he will want to go, how do you think he's going to want to fight you?

VL: I have no idea, I watched him fight before he fancies himself as a striker as well as being good on the ground but I'm not really impressed with his striking to be honest so I think he may want to stand up but when he realises that won't work he'll try and take it to the ground. Maybe after subbing Yamamoto that might put a bit of fear in him.

FRMMA: Out of his 28 fights he's had 13 decisions, he seems to have gotten comfortable going the distance so do you see this going the distance?

VL: I think so yes. I always try and go into a fight to try and finish but he looks like an endurance kind of guy, just like Chris Cariaso he's hard to finish so I'm preparing my cardio tank for that.

FRMMA: Its your second UFC fight in the UK, do you see that as an advantage?

VL: A little bit yes because I don't have to travel and get the jet lag but I don't know if the pressure is going to be on again with fighting at home.

FRMMA: How as training been going with this one, we've just come out of the holiday period?

VL: I've been training over Christmas and New Year so I haven't taken any holiday so every things going well and going to plan.

FRMMA: You've just been given another four fight contract, after the loss to Dillashaw was there any doubt in your mind that you would get the opportunity or were you happy enough with the fact that your fights have been exciting no matter what that they were going to re-sign?

VL: I was worried, I thought I'd ballsed things up. I always go out there to finish fights, I try not to put on boring fights. I was thankful that I got another contract.

FRMMA: Does that put added pressure on your next fight or does it just make you more determined to win?

VL: It definitely makes me more determined, it gives me more drive. I get mad thoughts in my head, its like I'm fighting myself.

FRMMA: We're looking forward to seeing you get the win. Is there anyone you would like to thank?

VL: I'd like to thank the UTC management, Mark and Darren. Behind the scenes they do everything but nobody gets to see that and nobody gives them credit for that. My sponsors Bad Boy and USN and also all the UTC lads.

Follow Vaughan on Twitter HERE

For the longer uncut interview make sure to check out our future podcasts