The Capitals' right winger spends his time off the ice cheering for UFC fighters Jon "Bones" Jones and Georges St. Pierre.
I do a radio show here in Washington DC on 1067 The Fan. While interviewing different athletes from our local teams, I often run across fellow mixed martial arts enthusiasts. It gives me a chance to figure out what drew someone who makes their living as a professional athlete to MMA.
Washington Capitals right winger Eric Fehr has always enjoyed talking about fighting whenever we get the opporuntity to have him on the air. Now, as we all get ready to watch UFC 128 on Saturday night, we get to find out why he likes the sport and what drew him to it.
Chad Dukes: You're a hockey player, what drew you to the sport of Mixed Martial Arts?
Eric Fehr: I just think that they are great athletes. I think that they go through a lot of training and you know it takes a lot to be a fighter so, it's a tough position that they are in and I respect how hard they work and it's something that has drawn my attention.
CD: You play a real physical sport too, what similarities between hockey and MMA?
EF: It's definitely, they're both pretty rough sports. I think, the hockey fights are obviously more comparable to the fight in the MMA ring but, it's a lot different when you're in the octagon I can only imagine.
CD: If MMA was as popular as it is now, back when you started playing hockey, do you think you might have given that sport a shot?
EF: Uh, I kind of don't, just because I'm not really a fighter on the ice to begin with, but you never know, I think it's really interesting how, how many different sports are kind of combined to become a good UFC Fighter.
CD: Is it something you ever talk about, maybe taking a jiu-jitsu class or a taking an MMA class?
EF: A couple of my buddies have taken it, but I don't really have the time and to learn as much as those guys have learned, they've put in so many hours I'd be too far behind to even start trying.
CD: If a hockey fan came up to you and said ‘Hey why should I watch MMA?' What would you tell them?
EF: I'd probably say, it's really exciting, I mean there are superstars in that sport like hockey or baseball or any other sport and you know the story lines are great, the fighters don't like each other and talk about how they're going to win the fight and everything. It's great entertainment.
CD: Who is your favorite Mixed Martial Arts fighter and why is that?
EF: I'd have to say two. I got to go with Georges St. Pierre, obviously, he's Canadian, but I just like the fact that he's so respectful and that he's a real professional, like the way he wears a suit and tie to his fights and he's all business. And on the other side, a fighter I really like, Jon "Bones" Jones, who probably is one of the most underrated really super exciting fighters and I think he's going to have a good title shot coming up in the next couple years.
To listen to the entire interview with Eric Fehr, click here.
This interview with Eric Fehr of the Washington Capitals is the first of several interviews Chad Dukes plans to do with professional athletes in Washington, D.C. regarding their love for mixed martial arts.