Following an eventful episode of The Ultimate Fighter last night, Spike TV afforded FiveOuncesOfPain.com to conduct an exit interview with “Sugar” Shane Nelson, a student of B.J. Penn’s who was submitted in the second round last night by Efrain Escudero.
We took to ask the rugged Hilo native on his thoughts about how he was portrayed during his drunken escapades in the house and to break down how his fight went again Escudero.
Sam Caplan: Have you seen last night’s episode, and if so, how did you feel about how you were portrayed?
Shane Nelson: Yes, I was able to watch last night’s episode and it was portrayed pretty much exactly how it happened. We got to watch the pay-per-view and me and Junie just planned on having a few glasses of wine and ended drinking a lot of wine and a lot of tequila and what not. Things got a little out of hand and I got into an argument with Roli and Efrain and we’re not supposed to touch each other in the house and I pushed Efrain and I pushed Delgado. It was just a drunken episode.
What they didn’t show on there though was the next day when I woke up in the morning, I went to Rolando and I apologized and I went to Efrain and I apologized and we pretty much put things behind us then.
Sam Caplan: Looking back, do you have any remorse for how you conducted yourself?
Shane Nelson: No, not really. I am a 23-year old guy living in a house with 15 strangers that’s filled with alcohol. I am sure everyone my age has gotten drunk and acted a fool before but the difference is I did it with 100 cameras watching me. That’s the only difference. And if anyone judges me for that, then so be it.
Sam Caplan: Do you feel it’s a good policy for the UFC to keep everyone in the house relatively closed off from the outside world and then make alcohol so readily available?
Shane Nelson: I think it’s great for ratings because it causes drama. I don’t think that it is good for the training and the fight aspect of trying to get the contract. But I think there’s a balance there: alcohol and 16 strangers in the house will create its own drama. People want to see drama on TV, so it’s a little bit of a give and take there.
Sam Caplan: I believe either Delgado or Efrain accused you of having a tolerance to alcohol equal to that of a 12-year old girl. I don’t believe you got a chance to respond to that on the show, care to respond to that here?
Shane Nelson: First off, Delgado is the one that said that. Delgado himself lost his fight to get into the house, so he really didn’t even belong there. Secondly, as the season goes on, you’ll see that if he’s saying my tolerance is that of a 12-year old girl, then his tolerance is of a six-year old girl later on in the show. He kind of contradicted himself by saying that. There are a few times where we drink in the future and his tolerance wasn’t half as mine.
Sam Caplan: You train out of B.J. Penn’s MMA Academy in Hilo. Has anyone at your camp said anything about how you represented yourself during the show?
Shane Nelson: Actually, I haven’t seen anyone since the show aired because here in Hawaii, the show doesn’t air until 7 p.m. But as far as B.J., I haven’t seen them since before the episode aired. I did tell B.J. that I lost and stuff and how I lost on the show. I didn’t know how they were going to portray the episode so I couldn’t really give them anymore than that so I’m sure he’ll have a few things to say when he sees me this afternoon.
Sam Caplan: Are you nervous at all about going in there?
Shane Nelson: Oh no, not at all. He’s not going to yell at me or anything like that, or put me down. B.J. is a super-nice guy and he’ll probably find a lot of comedy in the episode that he just watched last night.
Sam Caplan: On the show, you indicated you didn’t mind going first. But you were told to go first as a punishment. Do you feel that was fair, considering Junie Browning acted up much worse than you?
Shane Nelson: Yeah, actually, at the time I didn’t think about it. But now that I’ve watched the episode, I thought that Junie should have had to fight before me because he was a little bit more extreme than I was. I did want to fight first, however, I wanted to pick my fight. I wanted to choose my opponent and I would have had no problem fighting first. Unfortunately, the cards didn’t play out that way and Dana made me fight first and it was only right that I was calling out Efrain and that me and Efrain fight. It could have easily been me and Rolando Delgado fighting too because I pushed him too but I think Nogueira knew that would have been a bad matchup for his team and I think he knew Efrain was a better matchup for me as far as his team getting a victory.
Sam Caplan: Coming into the fight, did you have respect for Efrain’s fighting style?
Shane Nelson: Oh, definitely. I think that I said it on the show too, I believe that Efrain was the best guy on Nogueira’s team because he has good ground skills and is a good wrestler, which gives everybody trouble. I believe he was the best guy on the team and I had said that I was going to beat the best guy first and then the rest won’t be as difficult. Hats off to Efrain, he came in with a good game plan and he executed his wrestling well. He caught me in a triangle and there’s nothing more I can say about that. There are no excuses. He was the better man that night.
Sam Caplan: It looked he was able to control you in the clinch and land some knees to the body on you. Did his striking ability surprise you?
Shane Nelson: No, not really. The knees were really nothing major. The thing with Efrain is that I was real cautious with his wrestling so I wasn’t able to let my hands go as much as I usually do and as much as I like to. I had to be more cautious of shots and that kind of took away from my game and played into his game.
Sam Caplan: At one point in the first round it appeared that you started to tire. Was that a cardio issue or were you hurt?
Shane Nelson: No, I think that Efrain mixed up the punches and added takedowns and that kind of wore on me. And that’s was a lot of wrestlers do, they just wear you down, wear you down, and then when you’re tired they capitlize, which is what he did. It had nothing to do with cardio. I was in good shape; I was in great shape. I think that being out of my element, it kind of hindered my ability a little bit. But as far as being in shape and being ready to fight, I was as ready as I could have been. I guess I was too cautious and didn’t fight the fight I should have.
Sam Caplan: Did the drinking like the night of a fight affect your stamina in any way?
Shane Nelson: Not really. On the show, it looks like we drank the night before. Dana White came over the next day but it looks like that I fought on that second day, which is not how it happened. It was actually about six days a part from that one night that we drank to the day we fought. So that alcohol had all been sweated out of my system and I don’t want to use that as an excuse.
Sam Caplan: Has the UFC given you any indication if you’ll be used on the finale?
Shane Nelson: No, I haven’t gotten any indication yet. Hopefully I’ll get a shot because that was not the real Shane Nelson fighting. I think you can see a huge difference from my first fight to my second fight, whereas the quantity of punches and all of those kinds of things. I’m sure a lot of people noticed. If I get another shot to fight in the UFC, that’s one fight I’d want to get back, to fight Efrain another time. We’ll see what the UFC does.
Sam Caplan: Are you still under contract to the UFC?
Shane Nelson: As of right now I am still under contract to the UFC.