MMA Interviews - UFC, Strikeforce, BAMMA, Bellator, ONE FC
- Published on Friday, 12 April 2013 01:15
- Written by Dave Page
Barb “The Little Warrior” Honchak claimed the inaugural Invicta FC flyweight title this past Saturday at Invicta FC 5. Now almost a week removed from her unanimous decision victory over Vanessa Porto, Barb was kind enough to take some time to discuss the fight and what winning the title means to her with MMAMount’s Dave Page.
MMAMount: What does winning the Invicta FC flyweight title mean to you?
Honchak: Winning the title, that’s pretty much what every athlete in the sport aspires to do. To be recognized as the best in your weight class and having the title, that’s pretty much what that means. And on top of that, bringing the title back to Miletich Fighting Systems I think is a pretty big honor, to say that I’m holding a title while I’m at MFS, simply because they have such a huge history of amazing world title holders. And so to be able to hold a world title under that name at MFS is incredible.
MMAMount: You and Vanessa fought a very measured, technical fight on the feet. Was that your gameplan coming into the fight?
Honchak: You know, I was really prepared to go wherever the fight went with Vanessa. I felt like I was more technical. I knew that I was going to be more technical on the feet and I also knew that I could handle her on the ground. So, anywhere the fight went I felt that I could handle it. I tried to grab her a few times, I tried to put her against the cage a few times, I tried to take her down once and every time I went in to grab her she was out very quickly. So, it became evident to me real fast that she didn’t want to go to the ground, she didn’t want to clinch, that she just wanted to stand and bang. So, I had a pretty good idea that that was where the fight was going to go after the first couple of rounds.
MMAMount: Considering that she wanted to stand and bang with you a little bit more than you expected, you really did a nice job with your head movement and counterpunching when she was trying to throw those big overhand rights. Was that something that you worked on during your training camp?
Honchak: Yeah, for sure. The fight before mine, she fought Tara LaRosa and she threw just powershot after powershot after powershot coming off her right side, so I was expecting that. She tends to throw two to three punch-kick combinations and every single one of them has power behind it. So, I was prepared for that, I was expecting that.
MMAMount: While she didn’t have very much success with her boxing, she was peppering your lead leg with a lot of kicks early in the fight. So, I have to ask, how is that lead leg feeling now six days after the fact?
Honchak: In the fight I didn’t consciously notice how much she was kicking it. I checked a few and I ate a few for sure and my leg is still tender. My calf and my shin are still pretty tender. My thigh got away pretty good, there was a bruise in the fight on the back of my leg but I think it was from her toe whacking the back of my thigh. The thigh doesn’t really hurt at all; it’s really the calf and the shin that suffered the most damage.
MMAMount: How did you prepare for those leg kicks during your training camp because she also used those quite a bit in the LaRosa fight if I remember correctly?
Honchak: She did. I have training partners who are amazing and they kick me a ton and really very hard, like I would imagine that I have some nerve damage in my thigh. So, I don’t feel the kicks that hard, not like I used to. My leg isn’t as tender as it used to be. I did work on technique, I did work on jamming those low kicks, I did work on countering her off of the kicks. I think in my fight, my most successful technique was countering off of the kick.
MMAMount: Just judging by the eye test, you appear to have put on a great deal of lean muscle since joining Miletich Fighting Systems. How much emphasis have they put on the strength-and-conditioning aspect of the fight game?
Honchak: Quite a bit. I have a great conditioning coach named Josh Howat and when I’m in my camp I’m with him three times a week. On top of that, Junior [Hernandez] runs our classes and there is a lot of nights that after we get done with an hour-and-a-half of sparring technique or two hours of fighting technique he’ll then put us through some calisthenics, so there are weeks that I’m doing conditioning up to five to six days a week. So, there is quite a bit of conditioning.
MMAMount: Now I know that Junior Hernandez is the head coach at MFS at this time, but I’ve also heard rumblings that Pat Miletich kind of has the itch to get back into more coaching and training of fighters. Has he been trying to make himself more visible at the gym?
Honchak: Yeah, Pat’s up there a lot. Pat’s up there quite a bit. He teaches a class Monday mornings and he works one-on-one with us so I work with Pat at least three times a week in the weeks leading up to my fights. Junior Hernandez is going to try out for the 135-lb. TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) coming up and Pat’s been working with him several times a week as well. The fighters who are really dedicated that stand out to him as people who are really putting forth the effort to make this their career and be successful, he spends a lot of extra time with.
MMAMount: Speaking of The Ultimate Fighter and the UFC in general, we recently saw a couple highly ranked flyweights in Rosi Sexton and Sheila Gaff move up to 135 and sign with the UFC and it seems like there are a few more moving up to try and get into The Ultimate Fighter house. Are you at all concerned about the flyweight division losing more potential challengers to your title?
Honchak: For sure I am. Rosi and Sheila are both tough 125ers moving up to 135 and what I’m hoping ends up happening is that Dana will eventually separate the weight classes to 125 and 135, that way there is a legitimate 125 pound weight class in the UFC, not just 135ers. That’s kind of where I see that going. I think that the girls that are signed there are kind of paving the way for that happen.
MMAMount: Have you ever considered moving up to 135 to try out for The Ultimate Fighter or possibly get a contract with the UFC outright?
Honchak: I definitely considered trying out for TUF. I wanted to see how this fight went before I even really put some kind of thought into it. After the fight I talked to my team and my manager, I talked to Timm (her husband) and I think that where I’m at is a very good place. Invicta treats us so well and I’m holding their title so I definitely don’t want to compromise my relationship with Invicta. I’m very very happy fighting for them. But yes, I did consider it, especially being that my coach is trying out for this season and there is a very good chance that my good friend Cat Zingano is going to be one of the coaches on the show. So, this would look like an awesome season for me to jump in and be on it, but when I think it comes down to it, I’m at a very good place with Invicta, I’m very happy at 125; so for the time being anyway, I’m content to stay where I’m at.
MMAMount: You mentioned that Invicta treats their fighters well, yourself being one of them. You have fought for a lot of different organizations throughout your career, so how has Invicta set themselves apart from the rest?
Honchak: They take such good care of us, they think of all of the details. When fighters come up, a lot of fighters start out fighting locally and build their way up before eventually going out of town and fighters don’t realize how much goes into fighting away from your home town or your home country for that fact, being that they bring in so many internationals. Invicta is very very good about taking care of all the little details that you sweat when you leave town, like finding a sauna, where do you get your hair braided, for the internationals their medicals; They help us take care of all those little petty details and that makes a huge difference in the stress and the ease of going into a fight and they really make it so all you have to do is come in, sign up for appointments and fight. It’s very easy and it makes everything very low stress. It’s wonderful.
MMAMount: Has Invicta given you any indication of when they would like you to defend your title?
Honchak: Nope. I haven’t heard a word yet. The title fight was my last contracted fight with them, but there is a clause that a champion is still placed under contract with them. I haven’t talked to them, we have to work out that stuff and then I imagine that I will skip a show and be on the next one. So, take one off and probably on the show after that I’ll fight. We haven’t really talked about it at all yet. I’m sure my manager will be getting a hold of me pretty soon with details on that kind of stuff but for now, no, I do not know who, when or anything like that.
MMAMount: Is there anyone that you would like to fight next?
Honchak: I’ll fight anyone that they put in front of me. I kind of have an assumption that right now, looking at the girls that have fought for Invicta at 125, unless they are bringing somebody in from the outside which I don’t know if they will do that or not, but looking at the girls who have currently been fighting for Invicta at 125 I would expect Jennifer Maia to be my next opponent. But I don’t know if that’s going to happen, they haven’t talked to me about it, I doubt they have talked to her about it so that’s just a guess.
MMAMount: Would that be your “dream” next fight or is there somebody else that you have in mind that you would place as that “dream matchup” for you?
Honchak: No, I don’t really have a “dream matchup” but another girl that I would really love to fight one of these days out of respect is Rosi Sexton. I think she’s amazing and I would love the opportunity to fight Rosi Sexton. But again, she is signed to fight with the UFC so whether or not that matchup is even possible, I don’t know.
MMAMount: You said at the post-fight press conference that there are a number of fighters at MFS that are getting ready to make some noise on the professional MMA circuit. Would you care to share any names that we should be looking out for in the future?
Honchak: The one big name that people need to look for is Junior Hernandez. Pay attention to him! I believe he will be on TUF, I believe in my heart that he’s going to win TUF. He’s the big name coming out. There are a few others that you will see but I think that it will take a couple years to get them up on the big stage. Junior is the one you’re going to see next.
MMAMount: Is there anyone that you would like to thank that helped you reach this pinnacle of your career, the Invicta title?
Honchak: Oh my gosh, there are so many people that have helped me get here. Going back to St. Louis with Steve Berger, Sid Gee, Jay D’Amato, all of my coaches that I had back in St. Louis. I’m sure I’m forgetting people. All my training partners going back to Val Coolbaugh and Ashley Cummins and all of the guys at Berger’s MMA and St. Charles MMA that helped me in St. Louis. All of my guys at MFS, Junior of course is a big part of getting me here. Pat Miletich also is a big part of getting me this title. Every single person I’ve rolled with, sparred with, competed against has played a role in getting me to where I am today. There are just too many names to get to in one interview. My manager Brett Atchley of course is another big one. Sam Wilson has helped me get a ton of the fights that I’ve had. Slade Bittler also played a big role helping promote me and getting me out there as a young pro. The list goes on and on too, but those are many of the various people that have helped me get here.
MMAMount: Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview with me today.
Honchak: Thank you.
You can follow Barb Honchak and her Invicta title reign by following her on Twitter @BarbHonchak or “Like” her Facebook page: Barb “The Little Warrior” Honchak.Add a comment
“Thug” Rose Namajunas discusses her recent “Submission of the Night” victory and Invicta future with MMAMount
- Published on Wednesday, 10 April 2013 23:18
- Written by Dave Page
“Thug” Rose Namajunas has burst onto the women’s MMA scene with two “Submission of the Night” performances in her first two professional bouts, both under the Invicta banner. Her most recent victory, a 12-second flying armbar submission over Kathina Catron at Invicta FC 5 this past Saturday, has placed her on MMA highlight reels near and far.
Now considered a star on the rise, Rose was kind enough to take some time to discuss her recent victory and future fight plans with MMAMount’s Dave Page.
MMAMount: First of all, a 12-second flying armbar submission. Unbelievable! Is that a technique that you practiced for or did you just pull it out of nowhere?
Namajunas: That’s definitely something that I threw a lot in practice just on a whim. As soon as somebody would go for my neck, I would just go for it. So yeah, it’s just one of those things where I didn’t really drill it a lot but if it happened in sparring I would throw it.
MMAMount: So would you say that it kind of became second nature for you?
Namajunas: Yeah absolutely. It’s really something that I’ve done so many times in sparring sessions that I didn’t really have to think about it. Then it got to the point where I was pretty much doing it on anybody.
MMAMount: It was so quick that no one even had a chance to get video of Pat [Barry] fidgeting anxiously in your corner. Has anybody come to you a little disappointed about that?
Namajunas: If they are, than they better get out my face. Somebody asked me: “Would you have liked the fight to last longer?” I said “Hell no!” If it could end in two seconds that’d be great.
MMAMount: Hey, that would be another record for you too.
Namajunas: Yeah, for real. That’d be a world record.
MMAMount: You mentioned at the post-fight press conference that you actually suffered an ankle injury coming into this fight. Can you describe what happened?
Namajunas: Yeah, about two to three weeks beforehand I twisted my ankle. It was just one of those things where I was really drained and probably overdid it a little bit and didn’t listen to my body and twisted my ankle; but after that it almost kind of distracted me from the fight itself and almost helped me in a way. It sounds weird, but I just had this feeling that I had so much faith in myself and my preparation and my mindset that it was something that was a challenge but I was able to overcome it.
MMAMount: Did it change your gameplan in any way going into the fight?
Namajunas: No, actually not really. I guess I was thinking that maybe I wouldn’t be able to use that much footwork because we always say that as long as I keep my feet moving there is nobody that can touch me and I firmly believe that, so I was kind of having that thought of “Oh man, is this gonna hinder my ability to keep somebody off of me?” It’s good that I had that other trick up my sleeve, just to be able to throw that armbar as soon as she would get close to me.
MMAMount: Like I said, that was absolutely impressive. Concerning the ankle injury, you said that you weren’t really listening to your body, maybe you were overdoing it a little bit going into the fight. Is that [experience] going to help you during your training camps for future fights?
Namajunas: Probably but you know what, it was definitely a learning experience and I wouldn’t take it back for nothing. I know it sounds stupid but in a way, I wouldn’t have changed my training one bit if I could go back in time, just because it all happens for a reason. Like I said, who knows, I could have been overdoing it, but it could have also been just the thing I needed in order to have that sense of urgency to really go in and finish the fight as fast as possible.
MMAMount: Speaking of potential future fights, has Invicta given you any indication of when they would like you to fight next?
Namajunas: Yeah, I think they’re hinting towards the next show. Obviously after a display like that they definitely want me back. I think they are thinking about either June or July.
MMAMount: So June or July is the next time we will see you in the Invicta cage.
Namajunas: Yeah, most likely.
MMAMount: You are 2-0 right now. Would you like your next fight to be against another up-and-comer like yourself, a la Tecia Torres, or would you rather fight a more established veteran such as Bec Hyatt, Joanne Calderwood, “Killer Bunny,” someone like that?
Namajunas: You know what, it doesn’t really matter to me, the experience level, just because I’ve always been able to overcome somebody who is more experienced than I am, but I would like somebody who wouldn’t mind standing and trading a little bit more instead of going to the ground right away or clinching up per se. There are a lot of fighters who like to stand, but they want to get in close range and me, I like dancing on the outside so preferably somebody like that. If I could fight Joe Schmo from across the street and get the same paycheck then that’s fine with me too.
MMAMount: Has Invicta given you any possibilities as far as who they might be lining up for you?
Namajunas: Yes, there are a couple names floating around. I can’t really share that just yet but it will definitely be out as soon as possible.
MMAMount: Are the names people that we have seen before in the Invicta cage, or would they be newcomers?
Namajunas: There are a couple names that are already in the organization.
MMAMount: Where do you think you stand in the strawweight pecking order? I was looking at some of the rankings today and Fight Matrix has you ranked 18th (in the division). Where do you feel you stand?
Namajunas: Well it’s kind of tough to say just because I don’t really look at rankings. I mean they can change like night and day so it’s hard to say. Obviously I’m still only 2-0 so I still have to prove myself regardless of what I have done. I know it kind of sounds silly but, I don’t know, I don’t really pay attention to rankings that much because I know that anybody can win and anybody can lose and I feel like people stress too much on a fighter that just lost getting dropped down the rankings really far versus somebody that got a win against someone that is not that impressive. And it’s also a matter of how many fighters are in my division. I don’t exactly know the precise number because they are bringing in so many fighters and it’s still such a new organization. So for me to be ranked at 18, I guess it depends on what names are above me.
MMAMount: And the rankings themselves go over not just the Invicta fighters but there are Jewels fighters and fighters from many different organizations. It’s just the overall strawweight division rankings for Fight Matrix.
Namajunas: Oh, okay. I saw another ranking system that had me as, like, 24th in the 115-lb. division and I can understand that just because I’m a new fish pretty much. But I think it should take into consideration my potential. I know what I am capable of and I’ll be #1 very soon.
MMAMount: Is there anyone that helped you leading up to last Saturday’s fight that you would like to thank?
Namajunas: Trevor Wittman, Greg Nelson and Pat “HD” Barry are my coaches; all my teammates at Grudge Training Center and The Academy; all my sponsors: Cage Potato MMA, Alienware, Fear the Fighter; Brian Butler with SuckerPunch Entertainment; also Matt Miller with Horsepower; and just my family and friends and all fans that support me.
MMAMount: Rose, thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me. I appreciate it and I look forward to seeing you fight again.
Namajunas: All right, thank you very much.
You can continue to keep tabs on the MMA career of Rose Namajunas by following her on Twitter @rosenamajunas.Add a comment
- Published on Sunday, 17 March 2013 14:04
- Written by Craig Wathey
- Published on Tuesday, 02 April 2013 21:35
- Written by Dave Page
Bec “Rowdy” Hyatt’s star has skyrocketed since her last appearance in the Invicta cage, an exciting unanimous decision defeat to Carla Esparza at Invicta FC 4. She took that fight on two weeks’ notice and opened a lot of eyes with the skill and tenacity that she brings to all of her fights. In doing so, she has gained a legion of fans and a massive amount of media attention ahead of her matchup with Jasminka Cive at Invicta FC 5 this Friday.
Bec was kind enough to take some time out of her hectic schedule to discuss her career and upcoming fight with MMAMount’s Dave Page.
MMAMount: You have had a great increase in popularity since your fight with Carla Esparza; describe the whirlwind that you’ve been on since that fight.
Hyatt: Since that fight with Carla, it’s been hectic. I’ve gained a lot of fans from that fight, I think I proved a lot of people wrong and they have all jumped on the bandwagon. It’s been pretty hectic, I’ve gotten undying support from all of my fans since that opportunity and it’s been an awesome experience.
MMAMount: How has that increased notoriety changed your training camp for this fight?
Hyatt: That hasn’t really changed it at all. We’ve got a good routine and a good plan in place, and I’ve got some good teams that I have gone to as well. Just pretty much trying to improve everything all around, not anything in particular, just always trying to improve and be the best fighter I can every time I get out there.
MMAMount: As you said before, your fan base has grown quite a bit. How important is it for you to keep growing your fan base, especially through social media such as Facebook and Twitter?
Hyatt: It’s very important; that’s been my main goal since I started out was to promote myself properly and do it the right way. I never want to half-ass anything so marketing and all that stuff goes hand-in-hand with the sport. You can’t have the skills and win fights but have no one care about you, you’ve got to have that equal, you have to have people caring about you whether you lose or win and follow your journey.
MMAMount: Has this increased recognition helped you in attaining sponsorship for you fights? I know for a lot of fighters, especially female fighters, finding the financial ability to do the travel and all the promotion on top of the training can be difficult at times.
Hyatt: Yeah, it can be really difficult. That’s what I was just talking to my coach about, how nobody ever talks about the sacrifice that they make to compete in this sport and what we have to go through to do it. I’m sure every fighter would say that they’re tired and has to sacrifice their family, their social life. You have to sacrifice a lot of things and it doesn’t come easy. It’s nice to have sponsors come on board and help support you in getting you to where you want to go. Definitely it [the notoriety] has attracted a lot of sponsors and I have Alchemist Management on the job getting me a lot of sponsors. I just picked up Americana MMA and they have really come on board and really taken some stress off my shoulders this camp so yeah it’s been amazing.
MMAMount: With all of that in mind, has this fight with Jasminka Cive become more important than your previous fight with Carla?
Hyatt: No, I don’t think any fight is more important. I’m competitive and I want to win regardless who the opponent is. I have one job to do and I’m going to go in there and do it, no one fight is more important than the other.
MMAMount: What challenges does Cive present you in this matchup?
Hyatt: She’s going to come out aggressive. She’s going to be the one trying to stalk me down while I am the one stalking people normally. That will probably be her biggest attribute. I think I’ve got the ground advantage on her, I don’t think her ground game is going to be as good as mine or as technical as mine. I think she relies a lot on strength instead of being technical. I think that will be my upper hand.
MMAMount: Are you excited to potentially show off your stand up skills more in this fight as opposed to the previous one?
Hyatt: I’m always excited to stand and bang that’s what I like to do but I’m not afraid to take it to the ground either. So yes, it’s exciting to know that she’s going to want to try and stand with me but so did Carla, she thought that she wanted to stand with me until I punched her in the face and she did not want to anymore. So you never know, Jasminka might not want me punching her in the face and she might try and take me down. We’ll just have to wait and see.
MMAMount: And you feel that you have the advantage in the ground game and takedown department.
Hyatt: Yeah, definitely. I have been working on my ground ever since I’ve started, and I feel like I’m very well rounded. A lot of people just think that I’m a striker and have no ground but I’m very confident in my skills all around. So yeah, I definitely think I have the upper hand there.
MMAMount: Where would an impressive victory over Cive place you in regards to potentially gaining another title shot in the future?
Hyatt: I’m pretty sure that I will have to win a few more fights. I just got put into that title fight by luck and I’ve grown from the opportunity, I just haven’t made it there [to that level] quite yet. I’ll just have to keep winning fights and they will put me in there when they feel that I have earned it or when I’m ready for it again. I just need to win a few more fights and keep climbing that ladder.
MMAMount: This is your second fight with the Invicta promotion, how would you compare fighting in Invicta to fighting in the Australian shows that you had done previously in your career?
Hyatt: It’s a whole different class up here. They’re amazing; they make you actually feel like an athlete. In Australia, you pretty much wake up, go to the weigh-ins, you can weigh in anytime, go home and refuel and then have a bit of time, and then you can fight. Here you have media requirements, photo shoots, you have all these requirements and it feels like a job, it is a full-time job when you get here and it is an amazing experience. They really look after you and make you feel welcome. When I arrived to the hotel, I had two packages, I’ve got V-MODA headphones that are personalized and a goodie bag that I can’t quite eat yet, but they definitely make you feel welcome and they are amazing
MMAMount: So is that goodie bag going to be the first thing that you dig into after the weigh-ins?
Hyatt: Yeah, there are a few things in there that I’ve got my eye on definitely.
MMAMount: Is there anyone you would like to thank going into this fight that has helped you along the way?
Hyatt: Yeah, I’d like to thank my team, Impact MMA that has always supported me and helped me get here, as well as my training partners. The other places that I’ve been to and trained at, Integrated Martial Arts and Gamebread and Danny Galvan who has been doing a lot of work with me on my wrestling. I’d also like to thank my management, Alchemist Management, and my newest sponsor Americana MMA, and of course Invicta and all of my supporters that support me all the way and are always there talking to me. I wouldn’t be anywhere without you guys.
MMAMount: Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview with me and I look forward to seeing you fight on Friday.
Hyatt: No worries, thank you.
Invicta FC 5 airs this Friday beginning at 6:00 pm Central time (USA) live on Ustream pay-per-view.
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- Published on Wednesday, 06 March 2013 15:24
- Written by Daniel Cosgrove
We caught up with Alex Reid ahead of this weekends Rumble on the Rock event, where he will be a special guest MC.
Remember! ... 2 Lucky fans will win 2 free tickets to the show and will even be sitting on Alex Reid's table. Competition ends tonight, check @dannycufc on twitter to enter!
1. Have you ever been to Jersey before?
No, it will be my first time visiting Jersey. As a child I went on a number of school trips to Guernsey but have always wanted to visit Jersey, I remember seeing it on TV when I was younger watching 'Bergerac'. I am looking forward to the trip and hope to be able to explore what Jersey has to offer as well as a great night watching some fantastic MMA fighting.
2. How do you feel about watching grass roots amateur MMA up to full professional on a tropical island?
I love grass roots MMA, guys are more hungry and willing to take chances to get somewhere. sometimes professionals may be disappointing. It's great to see peoples passion when they are starting out.
3. Do you have any advice for the less experienced fighters?
Breath, relax and ultimately enjoy. It's not the end of the world if you don't win. I find reality goes a little weird on fight day as you simply have to focus. Just enjoy it, it's a game and a sport. You've trained hard, enjoy the experience and use the nerves for excitement!
4. You have been fighting professionally for over 10 years. A lot of people don't realise that you fought some beasts in your day including Murilo 'Ninja' Rua, Jean Silva and Lee Murray. Which of your MMA fights was the toughest?
My toughest fight was with myself, conquering my own ego. Each fight has been tough in their own right. My toughest opponent is Alex Reid.
5. Best way to win - Knockout or Submission?
With style and class!
6. Which of your many acting roles are you most proud of?
I don't feel I have even started yet with my acting.
7. Who is your favourite Thundercat?
Liono, of course!!
8. When can we expect to see you back in the cage?
In the Summer, when I'm healed, at my last fight I was injured. I only really fought with one Arm. I shouldn't really have fought, but I'm a professional. I still have some nerve damage, so until that is sorted 100% I won't fight, but I'm enjoying my training, but watch this space.
9. Is there anything you would like to tell the MMA Mount fans fans that they might not already know? An interesting fact.
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a super hero or ninja, I guess I have got as close to that as I can with MMA.
Thanks to Alex for talking to us, we wish him the very best of luck with his recovery. And of course good luck to anyone entering the competition.
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- Published on Monday, 25 March 2013 21:39
- Written by Dave Page
Invicta atomweight Cassie Rodish (4-3 MMA, 2-0 Invicta) has been making noise as of late with a four-fight winning streak that includes a TKO victory over Stephanie Frausto, which has her poised to break through into the division’s elite. She is set to square off against London’s Simona Soukupova (3-2-1 MMA, 0-0 Invicta) at Invicta FC 5 on April 5. Rodish took some time out of her busy schedule to discuss the matchup with MMAMount’s Dave Page:
MMAMount: Invicta FC 5 is less than two weeks away, how are you feeling both mentally and physically this close to fight time?
Rodish: Really good, my training camp went really well. I was able to travel and visit other gyms. I went to Omaha to Mid-American Martial Arts with Jessica Philippus and Summer Arthenton. Then to Miletich in Davenport with Barb Honchak, who by the way is amazing. I can’t wait for her fight on the Invicta card as well. Then, to top it off, I spent a week in Ada, OK with Sarah Maloy at her gym Body Tech MMA. That was fun for me because I got out of the monotony of being at home and in the same gym. I learned new things and meet new people. I couldn't be happier with this camp.
MMAMount: What aspects of your training will change these last two weeks?
Rodish: I'll stop sparing hard and lifting heavy. I will be running a lot and hitting pads. Now it's time to get cardio up and the weight down. A lot of the classes my coaches will gear toward my fight, going over possible 'bad scenarios," preparing for wherever the fight takes me.
MMAMount: You’ve had a change of opponent with Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc getting injured and Simona Soukupova stepping up in her place. How have you had to adjust your training for this change?
Rodish: Yes, I knew four weeks out so I’ve had plenty of time to adjust. It really wasn’t a big concern because this is mixed martial arts. I'm always training every aspect of my game. I really concern myself on what I'm strong at and where I want the fight to go.
MMAMount: Do you feel that Soukupova is a better matchup for you than Nicdali was?
Rodish: I have faced a lot of strikers in the past so I feel comfortable on my feet. I was very excited for the fight with Nicdali because she is so aggressive with her takedowns and ground and pound. I thought it would be a good fight for me to show that I’m not only a striker but I’m well rounded. This fight will be full of fireworks and I promise the audience they will not leave disappointed.
MMAMount: Are there any weaknesses in Simona's game that you will be looking to exploit?
Rodish: She is well rounded and I'm prepared to go wherever the fight goes. I think the fight will dictate where we end up.
MMAMount: Obviously you are well prepared and I'm sure that you see your hand getting raised when all is said and done. Do you have a prediction as to how you will get the victory?
Rodish: We are both really tough and I don’t see a knockout for this fight. I believe it will be by ref stoppage due to strikes.
MMAMount: Where would a win over Soukupova place you in the atomweight pecking order?
Rodish: I've been getting this a lot. My mind just doesn't work like that, I have a task at hand and that is my only concern. One fight at a time for me. If the opportunity arises to face more of the top 5 females I will gladly jump on it.
MMAMount: Is there anyone that has helped you get to this point that you would like to thank?
Rodish: All my coaches and training partners at Des Moines jiu-jitsu and Crossfit515. My wrestling coach Ryan Freeman, Polanti watches, VII AD, Klench Mouthguards, Dr. Taverni, Combatives Gear, Fight Soap, Cardio Force, Throat Punch, and my manger Brett Atchley with ASMM.
Invicta FC 5 takes place on April 5 at the Ameristar Casino Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri.
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- Published on Monday, 04 March 2013 18:29
- Written by Ste Passey
UKMMA veteran Jack "Stone" Mason is currently preparing for his first fight of 2013. The previous year saw Mason drop to welterweight and pick up his first MMA title. Mason is scheduled to face Matt Inman at Cage Warriors 52 in London, UK. Jack took time out of his busy schedule to speak to MMAMount. This is what he said ...
How are you feeling now you are at Welterweight?
“I feel great now at welterweight, I've now had three bouts at the new weight and i'm really starting to get used to it! I've had to undergo a bit of a lifestyle change to make sure that its much easier for me to make the weight such as eating no processed foods and giving up drinking Diet Coke and Monster Zero. I feel amazing in training camp and have bundles more energy, making welterweight is always going to be a struggle for me as I'm pretty thick set but the proof is in the pudding now so I need to out there and start putting in some big performances as the new weight!”
You fought SEVEN times last year. Are you planning to be as active this year?
“I'm just going to take this year as it comes and do one fight at a time. If I had my way I'd only fight on Cage Warriors this year and I'll stay as active as possible. Whilst I'm still a young guy I want to experience as much as I can and If I'm fit and healthy and have enough time to prepare for each fight I'll take as many as possible. I'm definitely not going to take any silly fights or last minute ones if i'm not prepared though! It'd be great to go through 2013 unbeaten.”
You won the Shock'N'Awe Title. How does it feel to be a champion of a promotion?
“If feels amazing to be honest! Shock 'N' Awe is one of the top five best organisations in the UK and I feel privileged and proud to be their champ. I look forward to defending the Shock 'N' Awe belt some time in the near future!”
Do you now feel any added pressure being a champion?
“Maybe a little, but its nice pressure. I'm extremely proud to be the champion of such an amazing show and I hope to make Shock 'N' Awe proud to be their champion with my achievements going forward!”
Are you planning on defending your SnA title?
“Without a doubt, I've got no intention of letting that belt go! I'm sure Brian and Gareth have some plans for me in the future so keep your eyes peeled!”
Your next fight is against Matt Inman. What do you know about him?
“Yep, I'm fighting Matt Inman on Cage Warriors 52 on 9th March at The Forum in London. I've watched a lot of tape on Matt and he's a dangerous guy in all areas, he also fights out of a great gym in SBG Mainline and trains with some excellent fighters. Matt has been a professional boxer and has some nice hands, kicks and knees which I have to be wary of, he's also pretty good off his back so I need to be worried about his submissions and in particular his guillotine, triangle and arm bar. I don't think he's necessarily going to bring anything to the table I havent seen before but he's skilled in all areas and is aggressive with it so I know I have a tough fight ahead of me!”
What preparations have you made for this fight? Have you done anything different?
“I don't think Inman is going to bring anything to the cage I haven't seen before as I've fought some of the best guys in the world however that doesn't mean I'm taking him lightly as he is a serious threat! I've train very hard for this and been trying to work on all areas of my game, obviously my stand-up in particular with my Boxing and K-1 coaches. I have some excellent stand up coaches in Steve Whitwell for boxing of St Ives ABA and Horia Radescula for K1 from Golden Glory who is also Valentino Petrescu and Semmy Schilt's K-1 coach. I've also tried to expand my training partners and have been lucky enough in this camp to have done work with Paul Daley, Danny Roberts, Jack Hermansson and Mohsen Bahari which has given me a slightly new outlook on how I approach my MMA training and its been great!”
Have you identified any weaknesses in Matt's game you can exploit?
“Haha is this a trick question?! :-) I've seen a few things which I've been working into my game plan...but it would be giving the game away if I told you wouldn't it!”
How do you see the fight going?
“A gruelling fight, resulting in a Mason victory!”
What are your goals for 2013?
“Its a bit of a cliche but I'm just focusing on this fight for now! Inman's a dangerous enough task for me to deal with right now so once I'm done with him I'll look to my next goal!”
(PHOTO: Cage Warriors/Dolly Crew)Add a comment
- Published on Monday, 18 March 2013 22:36
- Written by Ste Passey
Lloyd is a young and hungry MMA fighter hailing from Manchester, UK. He holds a respectable 4-2 professional MMA record and has recently started to surround himself with a team that will take him to the next level. MMAMount recently caught up with Lloyd in order to find out a little more about the man from Denton. This is what he said …
How did you get into MMA?
“I remember watching UFC on TV and thinking I want some of this so I went looking for MMA gyms in Manchester that is how I stumbled across Manchester Ground & Pound ran by Ozzy Haluk and Danny Rogerson. Let me tell you it wasn’t as easy as it looked on TV I got my arsed kicked for 6 months LOL.”
Did you have a martial arts or combats sports background?
“I trained in Thai Boxing as a kid. My uncle was a British Thai Boxing Champ so I’ve always been in and around the fight game.”
What did you do before MMA?
“I was an accountant believe it or not LOL. I started as an apprentice when I left school got AAT Qualified and I’m currently studying for my Chartered exams. I’m also training full time & modelling to.”
How has MMA changed your life?
“This sport has definitely changed my life for the better. It gives me focus and something to work towards. It kept me on the straight and narrow. It has made me physically and mentally tough.”
Where do you train? Who do you train with?
“I currently train and fight out of top MMA gym, Fight Factory. I do my boxing with the hugely respected boxing trainer/coach Bobby Rimmer at Bobby Rimmer’s Boxing Academy in Denton (Manchester). There I train with: current English Champion and future World Champion Brian "The Lion" Rose, recently crowned British Masters Champion, Jack Arnfield and hot prospect Alex Rutter. I do my wrestling at the Y Club with the likes of Amir Ghasmi, Ali Arish and 8-time British Champion Mo Osman. At the Fight Factory I train with the likes of Ali Arish, Andy DeVent, Kenny Richardson, Jason Jaques, Shane Barry, Amir Ghasmi & Tom Blackledge.”
Do you train full-time?
“Yes I currently train full-time. I imagine if I wasn’t doing MMA I would be back working in a finance office. As well as training full-time like I said I also study for my chartered exams at weekends and I’m also modelling now.”
What are your strengths?
“I would say my main strength is my heart and toughness. There is no quit in me no matter how bad I’m hurt and I’m very difficult to stop.”
How would you describe your fighting style?
“I would say in the past I’ve been a brawler, but these days I would like to think I’m more technical and more rounded as a fighter.”
Who has been the biggest influence on your career so far?
“I couldn’t name one person in particular. There has been a number of influences on my fight career family, friends, team members, sporting heroes etc but I think it was more circumstances in my life that drove me to fight.”
Who inspires you?
“Again I couldn’t name one person in particular. There are a number of influences. Me personally I like the brawlers, the guys who bring it every time they walk into the cage. The Wanderlei Silva’s and Chris Leben’s of this world. But then I look at my training partners and see Ali Arish doing really well and at the age of 38 you have to admire his dedication and willing to still want to fight at that age. Then of course you have Andy DeVent who’s attitude I really admire, a very ballsy and gutsy character indeed.”
When are you fighting next?
“I’m scheduled to fight on Cage Conflict May 18th. My opponent is not confirmed yet and I have a few other fights lined up to.”
What are your plans for 2013 ?
“It is going to be a very big year for me. I am going to stay active. I am looking to put together a charity calender and get my kit off for charity for the burton myeloma support group raising awareness and funds. I would like get some of the high profile MMA fighter's in the country involved people like Alex Reid etc. If anyone is interested in taking part please get in touch. I will also be getting Safe MMA registered and looking to fight on the bigger MMA promotions in the summer. I would also like to do some more media stuff.”
Is there anyone you would like to thank?
“I would like to thank my manager Cody Lachey. He has worked really hard to get me the best. I would like to thank all the coaches and fighters at Fight Factory. My Thai coach Baz White, Tom Blackledge, Kenneth Richardson, Ali Arish, Bobby Rimmer and Bobby Rimmer’s Boxing Academy. I would like to also thank all my sponsors The Y club, UR Protein, Vanita Model Management, Burton Myeloma Support Group, Calypso Restaurant Blackburn and a huge thank you to my latest sponsor Luke 1977 who also recently dressed me for a recent modelling shoot.”
You can follow Lloyd on twitter @Lloydharropmma.Add a comment
- Published on Monday, 04 March 2013 12:29
- Written by Craig Wathey
Following his appearance on TUF: The Smashes which culiminated in him reaching the final and being signed to the UFC, Colin "Freakshow" Fletcher is now preparing for his fight against Mike Ricci at UFC 158 in Montreal.
I managed to grab a quick chat with him and here is what he had to say about things since signing with the UFC.
CW-Since signing for the UFC do you feel that your life has changed in any way and if so how?
CF-My Life hasn't really changed much other than now I can eat soup out of my own shoes that I bought with my own money instead of a shoe I stole from someone at the soup kitchen.
CW-Do you think the Americans and indeed the world are quite ready to handle the freakiness that you will no doubt be bringing to the UFC?
CF-I'm pretty sure people all over the world are ready for the freakiness. I got a fantastic response from the people in the land of Oz. People are cool everywhere, I'm sure once they realise I'm not a complete helmet and I just like to have fun with my life they'll let me off.
CW-Finally, do you have anything special planned with regards to your entrance for your upcoming fight?
CF-I've got a few things in mind for Montreal, I'm hoping I'm allowed to just be myself but I've only just got my toe in the water so hopefully I can get my feet under the rug and really let loose one day.
CW-Thanks for your time and best of luck for your fight.Add a comment