SpitballingPod Interviews Matt 'Steamrolla' Frevola
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of speaking with one of the newest members of the UFC roster, Matt 'Steamrolla' Frevola. Matt had a huge win in the final episode of the first season of Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series and guaranteed himself a contract with a second round submission victory against Jose Flores. You can hear the interview in full here, or read a full transcript of the interview beneath the audio player.
Luke: Hi Matt, it’s Luke. Thanks for giving me some of your time.
Matt: What’s up Luke, no problem man.
Luke: Just to go back to last week, congratulations on the win. That was the first fight I’d seen of yours, did it go as you expected it to, or did anything surprise you?
Matt: No, I think it went exactly as we expected it to. We knew that he had that left kick that was his best weapon and that’s what he wanted to throw; he had a left body kick and I knew I could get a dominant angle on him and land my right hand – that was our strategy. He did exactly what we thought he was gonna do – I knew my right hand would beat his left kick and I was gonna be able to take him down whenever I wanted to.
Luke: Is it exactly how we see it on TV – you’re just sat there anxiously not knowing who Dana is going to give a contract to until the end of the show?
Matt: Yeah it’s actually like that. Being the last fight of the night, they were rushing me from the cage straight to the interview and then I had to be rushed from the interview to the backstage where everyone was sitting down. Then they called the first guy to get the contract and he was at the hospital, then they called the girl, Lauren Mueller and they usually never give more than 3 contracts, so I was a little nervous then. I knew I did enough to get a contract though, so I was still pretty hyped.
Luke: Usually it’s pretty clear who will be getting the contract, but during your week almost everyone put in a contract worthy performance! When I was looking down your record, in only 6 fights you’ve already had wins via knockout, submission and decision – do you pride yourself on being particularly well rounded?
Matt: Yeah I definitely do. I’m constantly evolving as a fighter. I started as a wrestler, then I was a submission guy, then I got my muay thai on point and now I’m getting my hands even crisper. Every fight that I have, I’m gonna have some new weapons, and that’s one of the things I love about martial arts.
Luke: Much like your nickname, you came out really quick in your contract winning fight, is that a style that’s hard to maintain over the full distance of a fight?
Matt: When I’m fighting, I’m there to fight and I guess that’s always why I come out pretty hard. I know I’m always ready, I come to fight, I prepare every fight to go 5 x 5 minute rounds. If I’m tired, then I know the guy facing me is ten times more tired, so that always motivates me.
Luke: During the promo for your fight, they mentioned a previous bout in which you injured your hand and your leg in the first round and still won – could you tell me a little more about that?
Matt: It was my fifth pro fight, in Titan FC (it’s on UFC Fight Pass) and during the first round I was throwing a lot of low kicks on him and he checked one of them and fractured my ankle, and then I threw a right hand, the F Bomb and fractured my hand.
Luke: It must give you confidence now as you head into tougher fights, knowing that you were able to overcome that?
Matt: Yeah, I know I can fight through anything. It doesn’t matter what happens in there, I know I’ll stay fighting
Luke: How did you originally get into MMA, did you say it was through wrestling?
Matt: I was always drawn to combat sports and the competitive nature of it. Wrestling was awesome and then once I found jiu-jitsu and ‘The Ultimate Fighter’, then I knew I wanted to be a fighter and from there I fell in love with it.
Luke: They also mentioned during the broadcast that you’ve been training with Ray Longo and Chris Weidman, how helpful is that to have someone there that has been and done it in the UFC?
Matt: Yeah, going to Longo and Weidman MMA has let me train with Aljamain and the other pro fighters there. Just seeing Weidman and Longo hitting pads and being around there, training with everyone has really stepped my game up.
Luke: Have you been given any indication as to when your first UFC fight will be?
Matt: Not yet, my Head Coach and Manager has the contract right now, so we’re gonna review it tomorrow. I want to be ready to fight by the end of the year, being a Long Island guy, November 4th, Madison Square Garden would be amazing. It’s 8 weeks from Monday which is perfect, so I’m just gonna keep that in my mind and if the stars align then I can get on there. That would be a dream come true.
Luke: What’s your ultimate goal in the UFC? To push for the title?
Matt: I just wanna go in there and put on exciting fights and I think the better my competition gets, it’ll bring the best out of me. I’m definitely excited that I made the most out of my opportunity on the contender series, and now we’re in the big show and it’s time to become the big show.
Luke: Thanks for giving me some of your time, I really appreciate it.
Matt: Thanks Luke.