Pre Strikeforce Challengers interview with Lee Higgins. “…the impossible is possible.”

Got in a few words with Lee Higgins who, with a 2-0 Pro Record, is definetly getting what most dream of, an opportunity to showcase his skills to the World watching Strikeforce Challengers Feb 18th on Showtime. On with the show!!

sPidA: Lee, thanks for making time for me brother! I’ll make this as quick as possible and let you get back to doing your thing. You have a Pro Record of 2-0 and already have a dream fight in the spotlight. You feeling any pressure bro?

Lee Higgins: Well, when I first heard about the fight I was feeling a bit of pressure but now I’m just training for the fight. I mean Randy Couture is Ryans dad and he’s a big name but I’m not fighting Randy, I’m fighting Ryan and we both are going in with something to prove. I’m 2-0 and coming out of this 3-0!

sPidA: I hear that bro, awesome answer! What’s your strategy going into this fight? Your last 2 fights you have won via submission, have you been working anything more than the other?

Lee Higgins: We’ve seen a lot of videos of him and have a pretty decent game plan going into this. The game plan is just that, to go in there and win the fight.

sPidA: What gym are you fighting out of and who’s your coach?

Lee Higgins: Its Urban Jungle and were out of Houston, TX man. Tony Torres Aponte is the owner and head coach there. Its an awesome gym and we have a lot of people that make it great!

sPidA: You guys have some great fighters in that gym. Like Marc Ramirez who will be fighting later this month for the IXFA and you guys had Stephanie Alba making her ammy debut last month as well. Hows the relationship with the people in the gym?

Lee Higgins: Its awesome man. Tony is a great Coach and tells us what we need to go into the fights. He does a great job of breaking everything down for us. I’ll be honest and say I lost my first 3 fights as an ammy but we worked it out and I’ve had 4 straight wins since then. Whether I’m fighting, Marc fighting or Stephanie, the gym really supports us and that’s an awesome feeling.

sPidA: Your last fight you actually fought a friend of mine Gilbert Jimenez, he came in with a win streak and tons of experience. Getting that win, did it help boost your confidence as a fighter?

Lee Higgins: Awe man, he took that fight on a weeks notice. I have a lot of respect for the guy for stepping in like that. My opponent pulled out of the fight and Gilbert stepped in.Tough guy for sure and a win over him was great!

sPidA: Great brother so how’s the support outsie the gym? Is your girlfriend one of your strongest suporters?

Lee Higgins: For sure man. She’s awesome and really helps me out a lot. Just from her helping me and putting up with me being a jerk. I know I’m a jerk and this coming week is going to be terrible (laughs). She’s part of the team and she’s a trooper man.

spidA: You have a daughter, how would you feel if years later she wants to get into the fight game?

Lee Higgins: Awe man, she’s a beautiful girl and yea, if she were to grow up and want to get into the game, I would definitely support her. She’ll be able to do whatever she wants. I would just make sure she had the right direction you know

sPidA: After your fight, are you looking to maybe show some hospitality and hang out with Ryan and Randy Couture?

Lee Higgins: Awe yea man, I’m hoping to meet his father after the fight, if he’ll let me (laughs). I mean, everybody loves his dad. He’s done a lot for the sport so yea, I’m hoping to meet him afterwards and possibly have him sign something for me. (laughs)

sPidA: After the fight, you will literally have the TV world watching. Have you given much thought as to what to say? It’s not like everyday you get an opportunity like this?

Lee Higgins: Man, everybody’s got a story and I just want to let people know that I didn’t have it easy. An opportunity like this like you said doesn’t come around often so my words to the world will be “the impossible is possible.” If you have a dream, it’s there, you just have to go and get it make it happen!

sPidA: Man, that just gave me goosebumps. Great words, just want to say thank you bro for giving me these few minutes. At Texas Fighting we’re fan based. Myself and Chris Lopez Jr will be there covering the event and we’ll be supporting our Texas locals as well as you. Any last words man?

Lee Higgins: Absolutely, I just want to thank Tony and Michelle from Urban Jungle. They’ve helped me with my fighting as well as just being there for me to talk. Everybody at the gym, great teammates. There really good people man .I also want to thank my girlfriend Cori. I really appreciate her being there. My boy Phillip and you guys for giving me the opportunity to talk to you and helping me get my name out here. Thank you!

Interview with Ryan Larson “…Fighting’s a crazy game”

I was fortunate to catch up with Ryan Larson (6-2) who has been getting ready @ Jacksons MMA in Albuquerque, NM to make his STRIKEFORCE Challengers Debut. I actually had to pull over to continue with this, so hang on, sit down and read on!!!

Erik Apple: left; Ryan Larson: right

sPidA: Ryan, how are you bro? Hope not to take too much of your time… I do appreciate this.

Ryan Larson: Not at all, I really do appreciate you interviewing me,thank you for that.

sPidA: Are you training at Rodrigo Pinheiro’s gym with Pete Spratt?

Ryan Larson: I live in San Aantonio and I train out of Pineiro’s Gym, just wanted to concentrate on nothing but MMA with no distractions. Just eat, sleep and train you know. So I’m in Jacksons Camp right now.

sPidA: Thats awesome, any names you can throw at us, maybe some of the guys you’ve been training with since you’ve been there?

Ryan Larson: Awe man, lets see, I was training with George St Pierre this moring but also Carlos Condit, Melvin Guillard, Diego Sanchez. Also Cowboy and Jon Jones who both fought at UFC 129 (they both won).

sPidA: Wow! Nice bro, I know they’re all in Jacksons Camp but didnt think people could actually get to train with all of them.

Ryan Larson: Me neither man, its been awesome having them all in the camp. There’s also some local guys that are just tough dudes. Everybody’s careful training hard but smart.

sPidA: Thats great man! So let me ask you, how did you go about getting on the card? Did they contact you or did they contact your manager?

Ryan Larson: Funny how it all came about but I was actually on my way home from training here at Jacksons Camp when I got to El Paso, I got a call from my old coach, Phil Cardella. He told me Strikeforce was looking for an opponent to fight Eric Apple at 170 and he had thrown my name in the box. Later the match maker calls me and its a go from there.

sPidA: Thats awesome that you have great guys looking out for you. Phil’s an awesome spokeperson and definetly represents his camp and Texas very well. Do you keep in touch with your past opponents, I mean is there a commoraridity after the fight?

Ryan Larson: Yea bro, I mean, we need to fight somebody and after my fights win/lose or draw I usually offer them a beer an sometimes even train with that person. I have tons of respect for all of my opponents.

sPidA: I’ve seen you fight twice and I’ve seen you use both your stand up an ground game. Would you say you have a preferance when you do battle?

Ryan Larson: You know, I have great wrestling and Jiu-jitsu but I’ve also had pro boxing experience. Been learning a lot the past few years with Aaron Rosa and Pete Spratt. Lately, my striking has gotten much better man. I usually have a strategy for every occasion but sometimes, like my last fight, I jumped into a guilitine late into the round and just went off my game plan. Wanted to keep the fight on my feet.

sPidA: You’ve done your time in the grappling circuits and in the cage fights here in Texas Promotions. Looking back would you have guessed this would be happening, getting to fight not only for STRIKEFORCE but also have you fight aired on live TV?

Ryan Larson: Man, I would have never guessed it would have happend this quickly. I mean, it’s what we all want but fighting’s a crazy game. With injuries and what not but I am blessed and I’m very pleased to be able to showcase my skills on STRIKEFORCE.

sPidA: So will you be there in Jacksons Camp till the day of your fight or are you planning on coming back to San Antonio?

Ryan Larson: Well, STRIKEFORCE is planning on bringing me out a day before the weigh ins so I”ll be here till then. Afer my fight I’ll be back in Texas for sure.

sPidA: That’s great man! We will be there with the rest of Texas supporting you and the other Texas guys. I do appreciate this bro. Any last words, people you’d like to thank to end this interview?

Ryan Larson: I’d like to thank all the people from San Antonio and Austin. Rodrigo’s gym, Phil Cardella and everybody that I have fought and trained with. My family who has been supportive of me though my ups and downs in my fight career, couldnt have kept doing this without my fiances and family. Also I would like to thank Unrival, they’ve been my sponsors from the beginning. Awesome people and also Ron Hernandez from King of Kombat who has always been good to me. And of course, you guys. It really means a lot to me!

“Always go out Guns blazing.” Interview with Will Campuzano

I contacted Will Campuzano while training in Cali with Team Alpha Male (1-12-11), thanks Micheal Brown for helping make this possible. Hands up chin down… enjoy!

sPidA: Thank you for making time for us here at TexasFighting.com. How are you man?

Will Campuzano: No problem man, I’m doing good. Just finished tonights training.

sPidA: I’ll make this brief bro. How are you prepearing for this UFC event coming up here in Texas?

Will Campuzano: I came here to Cali to train with Team Alpha Male, its hard but I’m getting myself ready.

sPidA: You were a definite stand out here in the Texas MMA scene, both as an ammateur and going Pro, how has the roller coaster ride been?

Will Campuzano: Awe man, its been great. Traveling, meeting alot of new people. Definetly a dream come true.

sPidA: Both you and Shalarus got picked up by the WEC, what was your first reaction when the UFC made there announcment of making them one company?

Will Campuzano: I wasn’t expecting it. I dont think any of us were. I’m glad they did though.

sPidA: You train up in North Texas, how did you get connected with Team Alpha Male?

Will Campuzano: I train out of Mohler in Dallas, the guys there are great! I train up here before all of my fights. I just called them up one day and flew here the next.

sPidA: I’ve seen you fight twice, do you typically go after the knockout?

Will Campuzano: I always go out guns blazing! I know the ground game but definetly go after the knockout.

sPidA: How is your ground game and what are you doing to improve it these days?

Will Campuzano: Its good and its getting better everyday. I picked up a lot of new techniques while training here.

sPidA: You are fighting in your home State and with 1 loss in the UFC, how is your mental game going into this next fight?

Will Campuzano: My mental game is always a top priority when going into a fight but I’m prepearing for everything here. I feel great!

sPidA: I hear you bro, well I do hope we get to cover this event, either way we will be supporting you as I’m sure the State of Texas will be. Any last words or people you’d like to thank?

Will Campuzano: Yea, everybody that has been helping me. My training partners, my sponsors and supporters.Thank you all!

“Don’t call me Baby.” Interview with Paulina Granados by sPidA

Interview with Paulina Granados by sPidA

Paulina Granados will be fighting this Sat Jan 15 in San Antonio,TX and will be representing American Revolution Muay Thai and Submission Center in Corpus Christi. Her and her team mates will have none other than 2x UFC Heavyweight Champion Maurice Smith in there corner… so sit back and enjoy!!

sPidA: Paulina, you have had 1 Muay Thai fight in Oklahoma, do you feel this was enough to build confidence to step inside the Cage?

Paulina Granados: Yes I do, I have always wanted to compete in MMA. I just wanted to test my stand up and see how I dealt under pressure. I won that match by unanimouse decision.

sPidA: I know the owner/head coach Freddie Meellin is a student of former UFC heavyweight champion Marice Smith, so he definetly knows his stand up. What else do they teach at the Academy?

Paulina Granados: We train under the Maurice Smith Fighting System. Freddy is a very technical trainer and teaches us alot of detail plus we also have a Jiu-jitsu classes as well as wrestling taught there. I train in everything!

sPidA: What do your friends and family think about you training MMA?

Paulina Granados: My friends think its cool that I’m training. My family, well my mom worries. She doesnt want me to get cuts or scars on my face but I grew up tom boyish. Always trying things.

sPidA: Are you a girly girl? I mean, are you still tom boyish like you say?

Paulina Granados: No, not anymore. I like getting my hair and nails done. I like taking care of myself.

sPidA: How do you feel when guys call you sweetie, cutie or baby?

Paulina Granados: When I was single, I would say, dont call me baby! I wouldnt let guys call me that. I wouldn’t let them to get comfortable saying that, especially when if I wasn’t their girlfriend.

sPidA: Well said! Were you involved in any other sports growing up?

Paulina Granados: I was in High School. I was involved in Power lifting, Volleyball and the track team. I stayed pretty active.

sPidA: Whats on your schedule as of now? Are you doing this full time?

Paulina Granados: Right now I do this full time. I work nights as a bartender plus I help teach a womens strentgh and conditioning class.

sPidA: I know woman don’t like the weight questions but what weight class will you be fighting in? Did you have to adjust in any way?

Paulina Granados: I had to go down in weight a bit but not by much. I’m in the 115 lbs division. I love to eat (laughter)! My friends laugh because I always have dessert with my meals but I train hard and have no problems burning it off.

sPidA: What are you looking at after your fight this Saturday?

Paulina Granados: After this fight, I want to fight again. Hopefully in March but I’m just thinking about this fight right now.

sPidA: You had a fight in Ok so are you still willing to travel for a competition?

Paulina Granados: Oh yeah, I have a very supportive team, my training partners and coaches help out alot!

sPidA: Thank you once again Paulina. Wish you the best in your carreer. Any last words or anyone you’d like to thank?

Paulina Granados: Yes! You guys for the interview, my coaches: Freddy Medellin, Locker Munsell, Jared Perez, Chris Pecero, my training partners, as well as my sponsors: Mark Gonzalez Attorney at Law, Tussle Fight Gear, E&B Construction, Furious Fightwear, Rocks Discount Vitamins N More, Affiliated For Life, Sean Weaver-Sports Medicine. Hope to see everybody come to the fights on the 15th!

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A leaner Darrill Schoonover, from TUF season 10, ready to fight come Nov. 6th

I had a chance to speak to Darrill Schoonover “LIVE” via Skype as he prepares to get ready for his fight here in San Antonio. He is currently training in Miami, Florida at Ghost Wolf Gym and from his tone he is ready to take care of business at The River City MMA Battle. He went on to tell me that you will see a leaner Schoonover as he is dropping some weight through diet, exercise and the will to win.

Richard Quiroga – extremeTVnetwork

Catch Darill Schoonover at The River City MMA Battle – Saturday November 6, 2010 at the Municipal Auditorium in San Antonio, Texas.

Here’s a heavier Darrill interacting with Rampage Jackson after being nicknamed “Titties.”