Pro wrestling legend Bill Goldberg sat down for an interview with Submission Radio. In the one-hour interview, Goldberg hit on a variety of subjects including a potential Brock Lesnar UFC return, how he thinks Brock would do, Jon Jones’ failed drug test and how the UFC handled it, if he would ever consider having at least one pro MMA fight, if he thinks CM Punk will be successful in the UFC, and nearly accepting a fight in the now extinct PRIDE FC.
Goldberg on whether or not he thinks Brock Lesnar will have success if he returns to the UFC:
“I think so. You know I haven’t trained with Brock. I don’t know exactly what he does, but if I were him I’d spend 75 percent of my time on stand up. I believe that if he does it properly he can go back and dominate, but if he doesn’t do it properly he’ll go back and the same thing will happen, you know towards the end of his tenure. It’s all about growing. It’s all about being able to look at yourself in the mirror and look at your deficiencies, and be man enough, and be egoless to go out and put yourself in negative situations in training so that you could learn.”
Goldberg talks about the Jon Jones situation, and how the UFC handled it:
“When I saw Dana White’s comment about ‘this is the best thing that could have happened’ you know I was appalled. But once you sit back and think about it, for Jon Jones the person this is the best thing that could have happened. Do I like Jon Jones as a fighter? Was I cheering for Jon Jones against Cormier? No. Do I appreciate his ability? Do I think he is pound for pound the narliest MMA fighter on the planet? Absolutely. Can I appreciate the fact that he’s made it to that level by training his ass off, and being unique, and being innovative? Absolutely. Do I like him as a person on a post-fight interview? Absolutely not. Do I like the eye pokes and do I like the knee kicks? Absolutely not. I think that’s cheap. I think he can be a much better fighter, and be a much better champion, and be a much better example for people to follow, if he sat back and just understood that some of things that he says and some of the things that he does need to be tweaked a little bit.
“And hey, I don’t know Jon, but I love him to death because he’s a guy that worked his ass off to make it to the top of his field. As a human being I want the best for Jon Jones. UFC on the other hand, what they did with this situation; until I get 100 percent of the information straight in front of me so I could look at it, I think passing judgement not really knowing everything, I think they dropped the ball. Because they’ve been fighting for what, 20 years to try and get a positive impression from everyone? From trying to get into New York state, from trying to get into these states that John McCain kept them out of years and years ago. I think it would be in their interest to do the right thing. And you know the definition from the committee about in-season testing and what ‘in-season’ means is absolutely appalling. It’s ridiculous and it’s a technicality, and it’s something that if they would have pulled Jones from the fight, god knows how many millions of dollars they would have lost, and they would have had to refund. I can’t tell you how long it’s been that I have been wanting for a fight to happen such as Cormier and Jones. You know [Robbie] Lawler and [Johny] Hendricks I definitely wanted to see that one, but there’s other fights that you want to see. But if they would have taken that one off the plate then that was a huge loss for them in a lot of ways.
“So I understand from a business stand point why nothing was done, but it doesn’t look real good from the outside looking in. So I think something has to be done. I know Jon Jones is going to come back bigger and better, and look at it from a wrestling stand point; a lot of people thought he was a dick beforehand, though he was a great fighter. I made the analogy yesterday; it’s like I’m a car guy, I love muscle cars. And if I see a low-rider going down the street, and it’s perfect, immaculate, I’m gonna appreciate it, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. So I have a lot of respect for him, but I don’t like some of the things that he says and some of it, he’s like a little baby sometimes, you know? That’s not the way a champion is. And 90 percent of the time he’s a great champion, but there’s just some things that I’m not in favor of. But hey, it makes him look like a heel, and you need a heel. And does it show a character turn, and is this the thing that puts everyone back in his corner, and even the people that didn’t like him before put in his corner? Hey, absolutely. But at the end of the day none of that matters. We’re talking about one human being and their struggle with drugs, and I hope nothing but the best for Jon Jones.”
Goldberg on whether or not he’d ever consider having at least one MMA fight:
“Abso-damn-lutely. That is in the back of my mind and it has been for the past couple of months, and you know, hey I’m 48-years-old. The reality is that it’s not like I didn’t retire from the NFL because of injuries. So my body is torn to shreds, but I continue to have the desire to compete. I talked to Royce Gracie this morning, same thing with him. You know warriors never die, they just get older. And you know things change a bit, but you know the spirit never dies. Therefore every day I look for some type of physical test, and you know whether it’s putting myself against myself, which is my own worst critic and no question my biggest advisory. You know if I can please myself, then I can guarantee you that I could go out there and have some fun with people. You know Rampage [Jackson] and I were supposed to train earlier in the week. He unfortunately has the flu. We’ve got a number of guys at the gym that like to trade punches. That’s a lot of fun.
“We got a big autograph session at Magic City Comicon in Miami coming up this weekend, and I did an interview yesterday the Miami State and put it out there that I want to train some Muay Thai. American Top Team threw an invitation out, you know a number of other people did. Hey man, I don’t have an ego. I’ve done more in my life than 90 percent of the people could ever imagine doing. And so I don’t have an issue. Go on YouTube right now and have a look at the video that I posted of Jimmy Pedro the U.S. Olympic Judo coach tossing me around like a doll. Well, Jimmy weighs about 180 pounds, and if I had an ego and if I was worried about what people think, I wouldn’t put that online. But I thought it would be great, and I thought it would be killer to be able to feel that from a professional. From one of the best in the world. I have no problem training with anybody and getting beaten by anybody, because anytime you’re getting beaten in a brawl — you know the good ones are the ones who prosper from that, and they learn, and they get bigger, and they get better, and they grow in the knowledge department.”
Goldberg on if CM Punk can be successful in the UFC:
“Oh yeah. I mean I think anybody can be successful if they take the proper route prior to stepping in that cage. I wanted to talk to Royce [Gracie] a lot about CM [Punk] because I’m not going to pass judgement on anyone until I know 100 percent of their background, until I watch what they’re doing. I want to see what his stand up’s like. You know I think it was a great PR move for the UFC. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Pride fighting over the UFC hands down, because of the entertainment factor. At the end, I think the biggest difference between Pride and the UFC is the pageantry of Pride, the over the top pageantry of it; the ability to watch kind of like the ‘Street Fighter’ mentality of a very unique individual versus someone who’s completely the polar opposite of them. They still have match ups like the original UFC — Gracie and Akibono, you know Hong Man Choi and Jose Conseco.
“You know as ridiculous as those fights are, and as unprepared and unqualified as some of these people are, it’s huge entertainment. And if they’re willing to go in and do it, then I’m willing to pay for it. And I’ve been in the audience and I was in the commentating booth at two of those events and they’re unbelievable. I had a great time there, and you know the fans are wonderful. It’s just the pageantry. I guess it all boils down to, at the end of the day it’s the fact that you’re not watching two guys that are almost very similar to each other. If you’re in MMA these days you’d be an absolute moron not to train equally in all disciplines, but for me that makes everybody look the same. So I honestly don’t enjoy it nearly as much as I used to, and it doesn’t even hold a candle to it. But at the same time — and I expressed this yesterday on the air somewhere — that doesn’t mean that I don’t respect or admire the ability of these new age fighters.”
Goldberg on PRIDE offering him a contract:
“Hustle One, which was where I wrestled, was owned by PRIDE. And did they want to entice me to fight? Absolutely. Was it something at the time where the money was there? Not comparatively for me. So there’s no question that I would have taken the Mixed Martial Arts route if the money was there back in the day, but at the time that I got over to Japan, and I’d already sustained so many injuries, and I wasn’t getting younger. It just wasn’t a smart move for me.”
[Image via Bleacher Report]