Stevie Ray is by his own words, the top lightweight MMA fighter in the UK. With a main card fight against Joe Lauzon at UFC Nashville incoming, he has been working hard to prepare. However, he took some time to speak to our new Junior Reporters. Ryan Hanley, 12 and David Somerville, 10, are both kickboxers from Skyaxe gym in Dundee and they too, took some time out from their training schedule to interview Ray.
They ask him everything and anything they can think of – leading at one point to Stevie being challenged to an arm wrestle from a very confident 12 year old reporter, cornered into calling out Usain Bolt and asked whether he believes he could beat Conor McGregor in an arm wrestle.
Watch the video and read the interview with Stevie Ray below.
MMA Junior Reporter (David): Joe Lauzon is quite a good fighter, do you think you’re prepared for your fight against him?
Stevie Ray: Eh, yeah Joe has been in the UFC for over ten years, he’s had over 20 fights in the UFC, similar to my last opponent, Ross Pearson. He is really experienced. I feel it’s a really exciting fight for the fans and yeah, I’m training hard and I think it’s going to be a really good fight.
MMA Junior Reporter (David): Your last fight went to the judge’s decision, do you think you’ll win this fight early or do you think it’ll go all the way?
Stevie Ray: Thinking off the top of my head I think it’s probably going to go the full way but obviously I’m prepared to go the whole way.
I don’t really want to think in my head that I’m going to stop him, just in case in the fight it ends up in the third round or whatever so you’ve got to prepare for the worst which is a three round war with me still winning, that’s the worst! But if I can get the knockout or the submission then even better, but I’m preparing for a war, because I know that Joe is a tough guy and he’s been in a lot of tough fights.
MMA Junior Reporter (David): Joe Lauzon has the most post fight bonuses tied with Nate Diaz do you think you might be able to win one in this fight?
Stevie Ray: I’m going out to put on a really good fight and I know that Joe is going to be coming swinging as well. There’s a few other fights on the card as well, that could maybe steal it as well, I hope not! But yeah, Diego Sanchez he’s fighting Al Iaquinta that’s going to be a really good fight as well, but I think me and Joe, if Joe’s gonna come and he wants to put on a show for the fans that’s exactly what I’m going to be doing.
Going out and just mixing it up and putting on a really entertaining fight I think it will be a three round war. A really good one for the fans to see. It should be cool.
MMA Junior Reporter (David): Joe Lauzon is quite an experienced and really good fighter, so if you go in and, what if you lose the fight?
Stevie Ray: I don’t really look at it like, what am I going to do if I lose? I do, however never ever say to myself that I can’t lose because obviously you’ve got to know that you can lose, if I knew that I was going to win the fight 100% guaranteed, then I probably wouldn’t even train.
What’s the point in training and doing all the hard work if I know I’m going to win? If somebody says, “You’re going to win!” I’m not going to go to training and do all the hard stuff, the dieting and so you’ve got to have that, knowing that he could possibly win.
He’s training hard as well. And then obviously if I do lose on the night, then it’s not the end of the world. I’ve still got my family that loves me, and I’ve still got a good life.
I’m staying positive though. I think we’re going to get the win. I think I’ve got the tools to beat him.
MMA Junior Reporter (Ryan): What’s been your biggest achievement?
Stevie Ray: My biggest achievement? I would say my biggest achievement is record wise, probably getting a win against Ross Pearson. With him being such an experienced and he’s been around forever. He’s always been known as the best lightweight in the UK.
I have got some wins that are right up there like UFC Glasgow. Getting the knockout and the performance of the night and stuff, but I would say on paper, beating Ross Pearson cemented myself as the best in the UK in the lightweight category.
MMA Junior Reporter (Ryan): What has been your hardest fight?
Stevie Ray: My hardest fight in the UFC? Well, I have to say the one I lost. Obviously. The others, to be fair every fight I’ve won in the UFC, I’ve never really been in any danger. My debut I went in and dominated a BJJ brown belt at the time, he’s now a black belt. He was on a tear up. Beat him.
(With) Leonardo Mafra, (I) just kind of started getting into my rhythm and I won by knockout. The French guy, Mike Lebout I was never really in danger against him and then the same with Pearson. I just hit and moved against Pearson and never ever got hit, he couldn’t hit me, and yeah it wasn’t his night.
MMA Junior Reporter (Ryan): Who would you consider your biggest challenger?
In the UFC lightweight division? It would have to be the number one guy, just now, McGregor. He’s the one with the belt. So, he’d be my number one challenger, and the most exciting one for me as well. I know that obviously I can’t be calling McGregor out just now, I’ve got to earn that. I do believe, in my skills and my ability. That I could beat anybody, as long as I’m on my A-Game.
So, hopefully he’s still fighting and he’s not retired, anytime soon. Then I could work my way up and call him out. Ireland versus Scotland. I could take another belt from him, I already took the CageWarriors one that he vacated. So, I’d be looking to take the UFC one, whether he vacates it or fight him for it, eventually.
MMA Junior Reporter (Ryan): Who would you say is the greatest of all time?
Stevie Ray: The greatest of all time? Out of anybody in the world? Greatest of all time, out of anyone in the world…I’d probably say GSP. He’s, I mean, he’s going to be coming back, and we’re going to see how he gets on. If he can come back and take a title and make a run for it again then, he kind of solidifies, his argument with that. But, GSP I know that he got criticised for now being lame prey a few times but he was smart he knew how to win. Really intelligent fighter. All round, really, really, good with his training and stuff. He always knew how to win. I like GSP.
MMA Junior Reporter (Ryan): What would you say your goal is?
Stevie Ray: Long term goal would be to be a UFC Champion, have more money than I know what to do with, have loads of money and live a really good life. Drive the cool cars. Big houses and yeah. Short term goal, I would like to obviously win this fight, sign a new deal with the UFC and start working my way up the rankings.
MMA Junior Reporter (Ryan): Who would you class as your inspiration?
Stevie Ray: My inspiration? I’d like to say even though McGregor is the champ. I see him as an inspiration, because he knows what he’s doing, he knows how to promote a fight, he’s humble after the fight and at the end of the day, he makes you want to watch his fights, so that’s an inspiration in itself.
MMA Junior Reporter (Ryan): Could you beat Usain Bolt in a race?
Stevie Ray: Definitely! He’s not as fast as me, seen me run? I’m kidding. I wouldn’t beat him in a race, I’d beat him in a fight though.
MMA Junior Reporter (Ryan): Would you beat Conor McGregor in an arm wrestle?
Stevie Ray: An arm wrestle? Probably.
MMA Junior Reporter (Ryan): Could you beat us?
Stevie Ray: In an arm wrestle? Oh I don’t know…
Catch Stevie Ray in his fight against Joe Lauzon at UFC Nashville April 22nd.