UFC: Of course your last fight didn’t have the outcome you’d hoped for. How did you put that behind you and keep pushing?
LJ: I learned a lot from that loss. As a professional athlete, we have to know how to face failure and learn something from that. I don’t fear loss; the key is to figure out the reason for the failure and then learn a lesson from it. Each failure helps me and encourages me to be better. I was out of the shadow of that loss very fast.
UFC: What keeps your motivated?
Family is always what I am fighting for. My parents, my wife, my daughter and my son who was just born a few months ago; each time when I am thinking about them, I am encouraged and motivated. I also have a very solid team backing me – my coaches, management team and many friends. All of these people give me energy every single day and make me feel that I am not fighting alone.
UFC: Your opponent, Santiago Ponzinibbio, has been out for a couple years. Does that make him more dangerous, or does his layoff favor you?
LJ: I don’t think the two-year gap is a big issue for Santiago Ponzinibbio. What I know is that he had some health issues in the past two years. He is a very experienced fighter; he knows the business and knows what he is doing. If he is confident enough to return and get a green light, I think he is still dangerous. He is a superstar from Argentina, on a seven-win streak, and used to being top 15 in this division. I am very happy to fight him and I’m expecting a very exciting fight.