Interview with Corpus Christi Police Officer and Mixed Martial Artist, Corey Bellino. The biggest test of his career as he faces STFC Champion Frank Trevino. We talk past, present and his next bout. Representing PARAGON MMA…I present you…Corey Bellino.
sPidA: You have managed a great win streak, is there any pressure as you compete?
Corey: There is no pressure on me. I have a very supportive team. I just show up day in and day out to do what I do.
sPidA: Looking back at fighting UFC TUF participant Darryl Schoonover for your Pro debut, what are your thoughts now on taking that fight so early in your career? (and yes I know him participating in the UFC was years later but he was much more experienced even then)
Corey: Most fighters and people may not have taken that fight, but I looked at it as a great opportunity. I knew he was more experienced back then, but I wanted to be in there against the best. I always want to compete against the best. I lost that fight and it taught me a lot about what I need to do in order to compete at a high level in the cage. Without that fight I would not be the same person or fighter that I am today. I am still thankful for that opportunity.
sPidA: You train with the guys at PARAGON MMA, with a lot of its fighters staying active in MMA/BJJ what do you think sets the competitive spirit withing the Team?
Corey: There is great chemistry at the gym. We have great coaches, great team mates and a very supportive community/family. We push and drive each other every day to train harder; to go beyond our limits as competitors. We do not let each other slack on anything.
sPidA: With most of your fights being in South Texas, are you looking at fighting on other events ( EFC / IMKF / LEGACY FC) and challenging other top middle wieght contenders?
Corey: I would love to fight more top contenders in the middleweight division. I will gladly work with any event that contacts me, but I am a very loyal person and STFC is a great organization.
sPidA: Your last opponent was Andre Kavanuagh out of Austin,Texas, did you have a game plan going into that bout and how hard is it at times to stick to one? (gameplan)
Corey: Game plans always change after the bell rings. You may feel a guy is going to do one thing and then he does another. I learned along time ago to be flexible. I train hard at all aspects and feel that I am ready for anything in the cage. It gives me a great deal of confidence training at Paragon/FCFA.
sPidA: Your a local Corpus Christi Law Enforcement Officer, has fighting given you much if any publicity while doing your job, how much has MMA complimted what you do for a living?
Corey: I have gotten some positive and some negative publicity. On the negative side there are those typical stereo types of fighters that we are aggresive and not intelligent. I try to explain to people in general that I am probably less aggresive on the street because I compete against such high level athletes every day that I have no need to prove anything or be aggresive at all. Because of my skill level I feel that I give people more chances to calm down because I can over come a certain amount of momentum on their part. And the not intelligent thing…PLEASE. I have no clue where these things come from. Some of the most intelligent people I know are fighters.
On the positive side, I have people recognize me and think that its cool for one of “their” police officers to fight in a cage. Now they rarely say if they want to see me win or lose, so… I also have partners and co-workers that get into the sport and support me that would not have if they did not know someone fighting in the cage. On top of that some think it’s cool to show up to work in or out of uniform with a nice black eye from training.
I try to let my career as a Texas peace officer speak for itself though. While on the job I have received four commendations for my actions. I feel that without the training I have had in martial arts since youth and the code of ethics it instills, I would not be the person or peace officer that I am today. I would not have been able to face the obstacles that I have and over come them in the same ways. I owe a lot to martial arts and would hope every parent would let their child compete and learn as I have. Sorry, I get side tracked sometimes. To answer the question of how much MMA has complimented my work as a peace officer though, I would have to say I get to use aspects of the warrior crafts everyday while at work. It gives me great confidence and I carry that aura with me on the streets. MMA is very complimentory to a peace officer.
sPidA: Next bout will be a Title fight , will this be your biggest test thus far? How much more are you training for this?
Corey: Frank will be a very big test. He is the champion and undefeated for a reason. Of course I am putting in extra time for this fight. I have to be ready for five by five minute rounds. How much extra would be hard to say, but my body knows its extra for sure.
sPidA: I last saw you cornering Tommy Guerrero here in S.A., is helping your Team mates part of being a family, who will be working your corner come July 13th?
Corey: Yes, I feel that helping my team mates is part of being a family. That is what keeps us all together and growing as a team and family. I will bring my usual corner. I will have Billy Flores, Roger Narvaez and Aurelio Gallegos or Hector Munoz depending on fight schedules.
sPidA: Are you a fan of female MMA as well, What are your thoughts on Dana White not intersted in having any in the UFC (He has said he would but not enought of them are evenly matched”)
Corey:I am a fan of female MMA. The females at Paragon/FCFA train with and just as hard as the guys. They deserve everything they get. Now Dana White has made millions of dollars for a reason. It would be hard to second guess his logic for his non-interest. As a fan, I would love to see females in the UFC though.
Thank you Corey for taking time for this, anything you would like to add to those helping you to make your dream possible?
sPidA: I would like to mention that I am available for private lessons. I teach/coach anything from MMA to firearms and really any weapon in between. Yeah, I am a certified firearms instructor as well. Have to love to do those things with my job, both of them.
Corey: I would like to thank all of my friends, family, team mates and sponsors for helping me and putting up with me while I train. LBR promotions, Tanner Chiropractic, TD Trucking, Adcock pipe and supplies, VP sales, LSA firearms, Paragon/FCFA, Johnny D’s, the CCISDPOA and a special thanks to one of my partners Danny Garza.