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Matt "The Steamrolla" Frevola, UFC Fighter

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
April 21, 2023 9:07 pm

Matt "The Steamrolla" Frevola, UFC Fighter

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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April 21, 2023 9:07 pm

Matt Frevola joined Zach to discuss his journey to professional fighting and preview his fight against Drew Dober in UFC 288. 


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Discover your perfect pair at That's A-L-L-B-I-R-D-S dot com. We continue, this is Zach Yelp Show Coast to Coast on CBS Sports Radio and what a treat it is right now to have us joining in-studio. A man that's a star, and there's one thing to be a star, but now he's dressing like a star with the backwards hat, the jean jacket, I don't even think he's wearing a shirt underneath there.

And let me tell you, if I did that, everyone would be running away out of this studio if I was walking around with just a jean jacket on. And now joining us, let's give a proper introduction here, it's the STEAM ROLLER! How about that? Matt Fravola, the steam roller, who's getting ready to kick ass and take names in UFC fight coming up on May 6 as he's going up against Drew Doburn, he joins us right now. Matt, how you been? Yeah, I'm doing good, man. Thank you for having me.

You know, there's only like a couple weeks, like a year, that I could pull off the Canadian tuxedo with no shirt on, and you know, you caught me in a good day. Well, I'll tell you, your stock is really, not to sound like DJ Khaled, but it's booming these days, because I was at Madison Square Garden, and all of a sudden I hear Timmy Trumpets playing, and they're like, oh, a Long Island kid is coming out, and he's fighting, and I'm looking around and I go, this is pretty cool when you have all the fans chanting STEAM ROLLER, and the next thing you know is a quick knockout, and ever since, your stock has really taken off. Oh yeah, man, no doubt. The Trumpets got the MSG crowd going, and then the knockout kept them going, so we're moving in the right direction. So I know you're a Mets fan, that's a cool part of it, following you on all social media and you interact with all the fans as well.

You're a big time sports fan, and that's not always the case when we're dealing with athletes when it comes to other sports. Is that how you got the whole Timmy Trumpets, the Narcos-Edwin Diaz entrance just because you're a Mets fan? Oh, 100%, you know, Edwin Diaz walks out to the Narcos and it's electric. And he would go in there and he'd just, you know, close it, shut everyone down, and that song is amazing and it just gives me like fight feels, I get like a bullfighting arena vibe like when I when I hear it, and you know, we walked out to it, and it's definitely stuck. What was that moment like for you?

Because you're from Long Island, you're a New York kid, it's very quick to get into Madison Square Garden, you know it's the Mecca. When you're walking out and you know you have your friends and family in the building and also across the street at Mustangs, Harries, getting ready to celebrate afterwards, just what was going through your mind before that fight? You know, it was huge, it was huge. At MSG in my backyard, and then walking out to the Timmy Trumpets, like I said, with the Mets killing it, and you know, I had the perfect opponent, you know, he was the perfect bad guy. At Manazzatar, he was undefeated 13-0 with like all knockouts, and I was the underdog. You know, a lot of people counted me out for that fight, and I think I proved a lot of people wrong, and you know, I know that on my best day, I could beat anybody in the world, and you know, I brought my A-game that day, and you know, I defeated him. Clearly with what you do as Matt Fravola, this team role is here with us, you have to be confident, and you have to expect to win, but when did it hit you when you knocked out your opponent at Madison Square Garden, what you actually accomplished? You know, I think once I see his limp body falling down after my left hook, and then I hear the crowd erupting, like, it was unbelievable. I didn't even, I jumped on top of the cage, and I just, I let my emotions out, and you know, it was a picture-perfect fight, and you know, I'm keeping it rolling. You know, I didn't I didn't take much time off after that, I got right back into the gym, and you know, I wanted a big fight after that fight, and now we got number fourteen in the world, and I have that big fight. You just keep on steamrolling through people, no pun intended right there, and your fan base is really growing by the day.

To keep on seeing this fan support grow exponentially, just what does that mean to you? It means the world to me, you know, like, I'm a I'm a normal, like, Strong Island, Long Island kid, you know, I grew up born and raised in Huntington, you know, Mets, Jets, Islanders fan, and you know, I'm just a tough kid, I'm a tough kid, I was never, you know, overly good at anything, but I was always a scrappy, grinding kind of athlete, and I think, you know, I found a home in mixed martial arts, you know, I put in the work, I've been doing this now for about ten years, and, you know, we're at the top of the game now, and I'm coming for it all. To be able to do this, you clearly have to be physically fit, and you have to have the physical mentality, but also a lot of it is mental. How'd you get involved in saying this is the profession and the game that you want to enter? You know, I started as a wrestler, I wrestled at Harbor Fields High School in Greenlawn, New York, Long Island, and you know, I was never like a very good wrestler, I was always a good wrestler, I was never a great wrestler, like I would go to counties, I got beat up in counties, I never made it to states, and and then, you know, I loved wrestling so much once I, you know, finished high school, I found Matt Serra's gym, and I found jiu-jitsu, I found Brazilian jiu-jitsu with Serra, and, you know, I watched him, you know, go for his title run, and you know, watching a Long Island guy make it to the top of the mountain, and and get UFC gold, I was thinking, you know, why not me? And I started training jiu-jitsu, and eventually, you know, started taking amateur fights, and, you know, I was always a tough kid, but when I walked into Serra BJJ, I got humbled, I got humbled quick, but I kept showing up, and there's no secrets to this, I just kept showing up, kept learning, kept growing, and, you know, stayed the course. When you talk about how you had to get humbled, and you kept showing up, when you kept on showing up, when did it start to click for you?

Yeah, I'm pretty damn good at this. You know, I think it was my fourth amateur fight, and I got the opportunity to go to Costa Rica, and I was fighting the Costa Rican champion down there, the kid was 9-0, and I was fighting for the Costa Rican amateur title, and I was 3-0 at the time, he was 9-0 with, like, all knockouts, and we fought in a bullfighting arena in Cocoa Beach, Costa Rica, and he comes out, and it actually started raining on us when we were fighting, which, you know, the fight gods were on my back, were on my side that night, because he comes out, and he cracks me with the right hand, and he, like, wobbled me a little bit, and it was raining, so it was so slippery, so then I shot a takedown, I got an easy takedown, and I just started beating the piss out of him on the ground, I just started ground and pounding him, and I ended up arm barring him in the third round, and I won the Costa Rican title, and after that I remember holding the belt, and I'm like, man, like, I think I could make something of this, and ever since then, you know, I've non-stop been in the gym, non-stop been, you know, improving my martial arts, and the dream was always to be a UFC champion, and, you know, we're getting closer. When you look at this journey, and you talk about where you were not that long ago, now when you go into Madison Square Garden, and in a few weeks you're going into the Prudential Center, has it even hit you yet? Like, is that still surreal to you, that, wow, you went from an arena where they have raining on you, to now you have 18,000 people supporting you when you walk into a building? You know, honestly, it's awesome, like, I put in so much work, I'm so, you know, I'm so ready, and I love that I'm on the biggest stage, and able to show the world, you know, my hard work, and, but when it comes down to it, it could be, it could be, you know, the backyard, or it could be the Cajun, the octagon at MSG. It's me, it's my opponent, and it's the ref who's gonna pull me off his limp body.

Matt Fravola, the steamroller here with us in studio, it is the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. We always hear the preparation and the training for these fights. You look swole right now, like, you always look like you're in good shape, but we could tell that the fight is getting closer and closer. What is the training like to get ready for what's gonna go down in two weeks?

Yeah, you know, we're two weeks out. You know, I had a great sparring session yesterday with Denis Bazuka, who's an amazing fighter. I've got a team full of killers, you know, the Saralongo fight team. We're led by the godfather of MMA, Ray Longo, and, you know, it's hard not to get better training with these guys. The champion, the main event, Aljamain Sterling. We got Ali Aquinta in there. We got Chris Weidman. You know, we got so many good guys.

Marab Davalashvili. And, you know, we all put in the work and we all feed off each other. We all help each other. And, you know, when I got a fight coming up, I got my boys coming in helping me. When they got a fight coming up, as soon as I'm done with this fight, I'm back in the gym helping them. It's, you know, you see, it's, you know, there's only one of us fighting in that cage, but it takes a team.

It takes a team to prepare and to step into that cage and leave it all in there. And, you know, I'm blessed to have a great team behind me, great coaches, and, you know, I'm ready to finish camp. I'm ready to finish camp strong. You know, next week is the last hard week. You know, I'll have my last sparring session probably next Thursday.

And then, you know, fight week, we head to the Prudential Center. We head to Newark and, you know, I cut this weight and then I beat this dude's ass. What is the eating regimen like right now?

Because I follow you on social media when you're not getting ready for a fight, you do what I love and you just devour bacon, egg, and cheeses on Long Island. So you have to clearly alter that diet right now, I would assume. Oh yeah, you know, I'm a big egg sandwich guy, big egg sandwich guy, but now I'm having my healthy egg sandwich. I'm having two eggs. No, I still eat the eggs. You know, the yolks are good. I have two eggs, avocado, salt, pepper, hot sauce on a sunflower whole wheat flagel from Bagels on Main. And it's so good.

And I enjoy it every day, but I haven't had a bacon, egg, and cheese in about two months. And someone's going to pay for that. Someone's going to pay for that. I love that. And Drew Dobra is going to pay.

I have not had a bacon, egg, and cheese in two months and he will pay for that. When you're in the gym, do they have hanging on the wall, photos of bacon, egg, and cheeses just to get you even more amped up? Because that's what I would do if I was your trainer.

No, but I need to put one up. Matt Fervolo, the steamroller here with us in studio. So talk to me a little bit, because just following on social media and you're a genuine good dude, I could tell that you are friendly with a lot of these fighters and you like to continue to grow the sport and you get the attention of someone like me who didn't really know much about UFC a few years ago and now have become a little bit more than a casual fan. When you look at Drew Dobra, what stands out to you and what's the challenge that lies ahead? Man, he's a beast.

He's number 14 in the world for a reason. I've always known about him. He's been in the UFC for a long time.

He's a veteran. But once I got this fight booked, going back to, and I watched all his fights. And honestly, I had a fun time watching all his fights because he's got some of the best knockouts in the UFC lightweight division I've ever seen. But I also see where I can beat him. I know he's human. He's human just like I'm human. He could get knocked out just like I could get knocked out. And I know that I have what it takes to knock him out or take him down, smash him and submit him.

So I'm prepared for it all. What do you say? Because I see it on social media where people like following you, but when you're trying to make a bigger name for yourself, there's all, even when you get to the top, there's always people that are going to be doubting you.

And I see in your mentions, people going, Fravola, this is where the fun stops for you. You're not going to win coming up on May 6th. What do you say to the people that are doubting the steamroller right now? Listen, they've been doubting me my entire life. I've had an underdog mentality my entire life. You know, like I said, even in wrestling in high school, I was good, but I wasn't great.

They've always been doubting me. I've always been the little chubby kid who, you know, just was scrappy. And, you know, I carry that around with me everywhere. And I love showing people, you know, what I'm about. You know, I might not look like much, you know, I might not be the fastest. I might not be the strongest, but I'm going to give it all I got.

And I'm going to keep chipping away until you break. So, you know, I love turning the haters into fans and, you know, good luck to Drew Dober and good luck to all his fans. But I know all his fans are going to be steamroller fans after the fight. If you win this fight, or let me say it, when you win this fight, before you correct me, what does this do for your career?

This gets me on a title trajectory. You know, Drew Dober's number 14 in the world. I plan on being number 14 when I beat him. And once I'm number 14 in the world, you know, I'd say I'm two, maybe three fights away from a world championship, which is the ultimate goal. You know, Long Island, we have three Long Island champions, which is really crazy if you think about it. You know, every country, they count, you know, the number of champions from each country. And we have three world champions from Long Island, born and raised. You know, Matt Serra, Chris Weidman, Aljamain Sterling.

And I plan on being the fourth one, steamroller for Vola. Matt for Vola, wrapping up with him in studio right now. I want to ask you a few things about the UFC.

Just want to get your perspective on it. Adesanya Pereira was another tremendous fight. Adesanya finally wins in the UFC.

Afterwards, everyone comes out. I don't know if it was the company line, but they were like, Pereira's going to 205. And he even said that, and who knows if we'll eventually see a rematch again as a fight fan. I guess I could say that now. I'm hoping we see those guys one more time. Cause I was there at MSG. It was awesome. It went to Pereira.

And then the last one went to Adesanya. I feel like we need to see it for a third time in the UFC. Yeah, I think you need to, you know, it's, it's the rubber match. You need the rubber match, you know, in MMA, they they're one-on-one in MMA and they both are one-on-one with, with finishes. So I think it's only a matter of time, but it will be fun to watch, you know, Pereira fight someone else, you know, watch, you know, style bender.

But the thing is, his style bender is almost ran through the 185 pound division. I think we, I'm looking forward to seeing that Polo Costa and Chamayev fight. I think Chamayev and Polo Costa fight. And then maybe, you know, Chamayev has got a lot of hype on him. Chamayev beats Costa.

You know, it'd be nice to see Chamayev fight style bender. And then we'll see how Pereira does at 205. You know, I think he did, he does cut a lot of weight.

Yeah. And I think when you- He's a big dude. He's huge, man. He's huge.

And when you cut a lot of weight, you're not able to take the shots like you're used to, you know, because you're, you know, might be a little bit dehydrated still. So I think maybe, you know, maybe he'll be a better fighter at 205. And maybe he goes, you know, and wins the title at 205. And then you get a little champ first champ for the grudge match.

So we'll see. I saw Gilbert Burns was added to the main card. I know you guys are close for this fight coming up on May 6th. Just take me more, a little bit into what stands out and what you kind of look at when you watch him fight.

Dariño, Gilbert Burns is a beast. And the thing that I love about him is that he was a jujitsu world champion. And then he comes into the UFC and he just starts knocking everyone out.

So it just shows like his, you know, his skills. He could take you down and he could submit you or he could knock you out. But he is a tough fight.

Balel Mohamed is a beast. Mohamed is, you know, he's a great wrestler and he's got that dog in him. He doesn't stop, but again, they're both taking this fight on short notice. And it's a five round fight. So it will be an interesting fight. You know, usually both these guys are known for their cardio, but they just signed the fight yesterday. This fight's two weeks. So they're gonna, they pretty much don't have a fight camp. So is their cardio gonna be there? I think somebody is gonna get tired and somebody is gonna get finished.

So we'll see. How old are you? I know you're in your 30s, how old? I'm 32, I'm in the prime of my life. So I remember last time we were talking, I was like, oh, what are you gonna be doing 10 years from now? You're like, hopefully I'm gonna be retired at that point. But the reason why I asked that is you've had this come up and you've had some success now when you're looking to get closer and closer to that championship fight.

But someone like Rosas, who's 18 or 19, had that great fight. And then the second time it clearly didn't go his way. And he's got some work to do. What advice would you give him?

Stay the course. You know, he's so young. And align yourself with the right coaches. I think it's so important to find a coach that you trust, that has the best interests for you and your career. And I think he's been doing that. I saw him working with Aljo.

And Aljo has been helping him out when he was in Vegas. So I think he finds the right coaches and stays the course, because he's got a lot of potential. You think of myself at 18. I didn't even know what MMA was at 18.

I was wrestling and playing football, trying to play college football, just getting blackout drunk, being an idiot. But I found my direction. It seems like he found his direction. He found his passion. So good luck to him.

What do you want the world, because we're on 200 stations around the country right now on CBS Sports Radio. For people that don't know Matt Fravola, what do you want them to know about the steamroller? You know, I want them to know that I put my heart and soul into this. I love martial arts. I love the man it's made me into.

It's humbled me. And it's a lifelong journey. I will be a lifelong martial artist. I'm not just a fighter. I'm not just a guy who's in the cage, who hates his opponent and wants to just fight. I love expressing myself in the cage through martial arts.

I love working hard, training, helping my team, and then going in there and leaving everything I have in that cage, blood, sweat, and tears, putting on a great show for the fans, showing beautiful martial arts, and having fun and drinking a beer afterwards. I know that you're focused on Dover, but everyone, when they bring up your name, they talk about that eventual fight with Paddy Pimblet. What's the deal there?

Are we getting close to that? Oh yeah, it's only a matter of time before I smash that dude. You know, I like to humble people, you know, just like I got humbled. Now I humble people. My last opponent, I humbled, and old Paddy Cakes needs to be humbled. He needs to be humbled.

I love that. We all need to be humbled, and I will gladly humble him after Drew Dover. I beat Drew Dover. Now I'll save my toughest question right here, right now. This will be the last question for you. And this one, don't punch me. Don't get annoyed at me.

I'm just asking you the question here. Jersey Jerry from Barstool Sports. He used to call me when I was doing the weekend overnights. He did picks up against me this year. I love Jersey Jerry.

I'm a big fan of Matt Fravola. I feel like this is a marriage right now, and I'm like the counselor, just trying to make sure that you guys give a hug at the end of the day. Are you guys good, you and Jersey Jerry? I saw you guys are going back and forth on social media the other day. Yeah, well, I was actually just at Barstool, and just what happened, Jersey Jerry wasn't in the office. You know, he wasn't in the office. A smart move by Jersey Jerry.

He was out golfing, but I got to have a FaceTime with him, and I told him that he needs to watch his mouth. He needs to watch his mouth, and us fighters, we're not in there playing a game. We're not in there trying to score a touchdown or hit a ball. We're in there fighting. We're in there trying to separate each other from our consciousness.

We put our health on the line. So have some respect. Watch your mouth, Jersey Jerry. And he, you know, I think he read me loud and clear. You know, it would be different if he was just, you know, some no-name troll, and you know, you could ignore him, be like, you know, this guy, but Jersey Jerry's got a following, you know?

Yeah, big following. He's a funny guy, and you know, I like him. He's a funny guy. He has good content, but you know, next time when somebody gets knocked out, let's not like, you know, kick him while he's down.

Let's say, awesome fight, Edson Barboza. You did great. You know, that was a great, great performance to this guy, instead of kicking the guy when he's down.

Have some respect. How about that? Wow, Matt Fravola taking a shot at, I gotta bring you guys to a game together, and I'll sit in the middle. I'll have Jersey Jerry to my left, you to my right, and we'll just drink some beers.

Sound good? Yeah, man, listen. I brought him some diapers and kissed himself again. But, and then I gave him a signed print of this theme roller, so, you know, we'll be all right. Well, I was in attendance with a fight at MSG. Not unfortunately, because I don't want my friend to get offended, but one of my best friends is getting married on May 6th. So I'm going to be at this wedding, having a few beers. And when you knock out Drew Dober, I'm just going to be like on the dance floor, screaming, steamroller! How rude of him. Oh, I love that. There we go. Matt Fravola, the steamroller, good luck. Kick ass and we'll see you soon, all right?

Yeah, I appreciate you, Zach. Get some damn sleep. Go get a shirt of people. America's most recognized brand of mattress, American made, Michigan made, and always the highest quality. Check out the entire lineup of mattresses at over 150 retailers in the Metro area.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-21 23:01:05 / 2023-04-21 23:13:07 / 12

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