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Nick Hein: „Conor McGregor crossed the line, he should know better!”

Nick Hein (Photo: Nazariy Kryvosheev)

This Saturday, Germany’s Toughest Cop Nick Sergeant Hein will step into the Octagon in Austin, Texas and throw down with hometown hero and unbeaten TUF veteran James Vick. We talked to him about Conor McGregor, Johny Hendricks and his first fight in the U.S.

Groundandpound.de: You recently visited UFC champion Johny Hendricks and his Team Takedown. Was it worth the time?
Nick Hein: Holy moly, that was impressive! Johny Hendricks has five coaches, one olympic gold medalist, and they are all there watching when he’s hitting the mitts. I felt a bit like Rocky, since we don’t have that kind of resources in Germany and have to make up for it with pure dedication. We definitely have some catching up to do, when it comes to professionalism. 

Did the champ give you any advice?
We chatted a bit and of cause I was listening closely. He’s the UFC’s welterweight champion, after all. Johny is a nice guy, very down to earth. When I left, he walked across the whole gym to shake my hand. 

Who will win the rematch against Lawler on December 6th?
Hendricks. One-hundred percent.

You arrived in Austin on Friday. What is your first impression of Texas?
In America everything is big, but it is exactly as they say: Everything is even bigger in Texas. Be it the landscape or the fast food, that’s giving me the hardest fight right now. I have to rankle with myself a lot, because everywhere you go there are literally fast food temples and I have to walk by them all – that’s completely against my nature. The Americans are very polite though. You hear a lot of bad things about them, but I only experienced good things. I expected to be pulled over, handcuffed and body cavity searched as soon as I step a foot in this country, but everybody is very friendly. I fell in love with Texas!

The fightweek is in full swing, where is you mind at right now?
I’m getting more and more into the tunnel.

...meaning that you’re nervous?
I guess that won’t ever change. Even before sparring sessions I am still getting nervous on a regular basis. 

You fought your first UFC fight in Berlin on home turf, now you have to fight in a foreign country. Does that add to the pressure?
No, I know that experience from my time in Judo, when I fought in Brazil, Moscow and god knows where else. I have less media obligations here, than I had in Berlin. But that’s okay, I enjoy the leisure.

With that much time off you might have heard of Conor McGregor calling Dennis Siver a nazi. What is your take on that?
He crossed the line there definitely. He realized that himself and apologized. But with apologies it is like in a relationship. If you betray somebody once, the mirror is broken forever, even if that somebody forgives you. What Conor said didn’t happen in the heat of the moment, he wrote it on Twitter with enough time to think about it first. I am sure he had history lessons in school, so he should know better. Now Dennis will take him on and who knows, maybe that whole problem will solve itself?

You are facing James Vick this Saturday. Have you already met him?
Not yet, but the breakfast room isn’t too big, so we will cross paths sooner or later. Let’s see if I can ambush him (laughs).

He sounded very confident in his last interviews.
Yeah, he was bragging about beating me. Wait until Saturday James, I will teach you better! The Germans didn’t come to Texas for vacation, trust me.

When you return to Cologne next week you will also return to your day job as Germany’s toughest cop. Is there someone from your life as an athlete that you would really like to bust?
Olympic dicus gold medalist Robert Harting. We lived together in a hostel a couple of years back, he would be the right guy to arrest.