Exclusive Interview with 7 fight UFC vet Ivan Salaverry ahead of Cage Contender 14

Seven fight UFC veteran Ivan Salaverry takes on South African Frasier “The Omen” Opie at Cage Contender 14 on Saturday 21st July in The National Basketball Arena in Tallaght, Dublin for the Cage Contender Light-Heavyweight Championship.

He kindly agreed to answer a few questions ahead of his first bout on Irish soil.

SevereMMA.com:  Before fighting for BAMMA back in May 2011, you had gone nearly 3 years without fighting since your loss to Rousimar Palhares at UFC 84, what was the reason for this extended break from fighting?

Ivan Salaverry: I took an extended break from MMA because I have a business, 4 children and family to attend to.

SevereMMA.com: Why did you come out of retirement?

Ivan Salaverry: Jeff Monson asked me and I like to fight.

SevereMMA.com: You’re last fight was against Matt Ewin on short notice at BAMMA 6, losing a decision, how much of a factor did cage rust play in this fight?

Ivan Salaverry: With my age and experience Cage Rust was a very little to do with it.

SevereMMA.com: You are a 7 fight veteran of the UFC, going 3-4, earning victories over Tony Fryklund, Joe Riggs and Semenov and losing to Rousimar Palhares, Terry Martin, Nate Marquardt and Matt Lindland, all very tough opponents but who has been the toughest fight to date?

Ivan Salaverry: My first UFC was my toughest [Semenov] . I think every fighter has a hard time with there first UFC, i had the Jitters.

SevereMMA.com: What do you know about your opponent Fraser Opie?

Ivan Salaverry: Nothing

SevereMMA.com: This will be your first fight in Ireland, what if anything do you know about Irish MMA and it’s up and coming fighters?

Ivan Salaverry: I know its becoming popular, the market has picked up on it, I have a few good Irish friends and they are tough son of a guns.

SevereMMA.com: This will be your first fight at 205lbs (LHW) having previously competed at 185lbs, how does this change your camp?

Ivan Salaverry: It doesnt change it.

SevereMMA.com: Jeff Monson was originally set to face Fraser Opie in Dublin on the 21st July at Cage Contender 14, but had to pull out. Talk to us about that and how you came to be the replacement?

Ivan Salaverry: Jeff Monson called me.

SevereMMA.com: Do you stay in close to fight shape? The fight is in 11 days, How do you think your cardio will hold up?

Ivan Salaverry: I am a seasoned Veteran I keep myself in good shape

SevereMMA.com: You are now 41, how many years or fights do you think you have left before retirement?

Ivan Salaverry: I don’t know, silly question, bad enough you wrote my age in a sentence.

SevereMMA.com: Former Cage Contender fighter, Gunnar Nelson has signed for the UFC, have you heard of him? How do you think he will do in the UFC?

Ivan Salaverry:  Lyoto Karate stance + reflexes with amazing ground game, he will do just fine. The kid is cool as a pickle, i dig that.

Ivan Salaverry: I want to thank Johnny and all my trainers and training partners at ISMMA

We would also like to thank Ivan for taking the time to do this interview. Be sure to follow him on twitter @TeamIvanMMA

Owner/Editor of SevereMMA.com. Writer, Podcaster, Producer of 'Notorious: Conor McGregor' film, 'Conor McGregor: Notorious' TV series, 'Ten Thousand Hours', 'The Fighting Irish' and more documentary films.