Rio Grande Valley MMA Fighter, Ricky Palacios, Believes in Making the Impossible Possible

Ricky Palacios MMA Fighter from The Rio Grande Valley
[Ricky Palacios – image courtesy of townnews.com]

Ricky “El Gallero” Palacios loves to fight, not because he likes to hurt people, but because he wants to share his unique talent with the world. He’s worked extremely hard to build a solid fight record, he owns his own gym, has a large Valley fan base, and continues to push his way to the top. His amateur record stands at 6-0 and he concluded his amateur career after obtaining two titles. In his pro debut he won his fight by TKO stoppage putting him at an uptick of 1-0. His next opponent, Loroy Martinez, comes into this fight off of a decision loss but won his pro debut by TKO as well. Ricky intends on making a name for himself, not just in The Valley, but whenever he steps into the cage, ring, or mat… Enjoy the interview!

Tell us about what led you down the martial arts path and why you fight?

What led me to mixed martial arts was mainly my weight. I was close to 200 lbs, which is very large for my stature. I was determined to lose weight. I started out getting into street fights so I set a goal to lose weight and get a legit fight in the cage. It was part of my bucket list to get in there and after I fought and won my first fight, I made it a goal to become a champion!

What would you like to accomplish in your MMA career?

To be honest everyone wants to be a world champion but to me I see it as a goal like everyone else. The main thing is that I’ve done it so later in life when I’m older I won’t be haunted with the question, “What if?” or “I should have?” knowing that I tried something I wanted is an accomplishment in itself and not too many people get to do what they dream of doing. With that being said, I would like to give others the opportunity to do what they dream of. I’ve been blessed to be where I am at and with my own gym “El Galleros Den” now I can help others make their dreams come true. That’s what I’d love to accomplish!

As a pro MMA fighter and boxer, what else would you like to compete in? Which discipline are you most passionate about?

I’ve been working to be an all around fighter. I’ve been thinking about trying out kickboxing or Muay Thai just to see where I stand. I fell in love with boxing and I think I’m good at it. I’m not afraid to try other martial arts and compete. All I need need to do, or anyone for that matter, is to set a goal and have a positive mind set, and never give up.

What advise would you give to someone who’s currently struggling with obesity but wants to make a change like you did?

Now that’s a great question that I love to answering! I was close to 200lbs and now I walk around 148 lbs. I set a goal to lose 15 pounds but the main thing is your mind set and how dedicated you are to accomplishing that goal. I had no one to push me and I didn’t know anything about a diet or fat burning. I did everything naturally just worked out and the willingness to do it. No one was going to stop me no matter what! I set high expectations for myself even when it seemed impossible. I made it possible and that’s how it should be.

Who inspires you?

My inspiration is my spouse and children, They give me the drive to succeed. They have been my back bone since day one. I had a lot of financial problems when I first started training and they have always stuck with me. I was never alone when it came to motivation before or after a fight. Like I said, “make the impossible possible.” We use to sell chicken plates for gas money just to get to the northern cities in order to fight. The we’d come back broke again. The promoters didn’t really care if I was broke or not, they just wanted me to make a fight happen.

Tell us about your upcoming fight and your training regimen going into it.

My upcoming fight is against Leroy Martinez. My training is going great and I feel like I’ve got all the tools to come out victorious March 16! I see every fight as a championship fight and I never think I’m the best or that I’m going to walk through anyone. It’s a fight – anything can happen.

Your opponent Leroy, is there bad blood?

I really don’t take anything personal but I feel like he talks too much. I don’t know, maybe that’s how he pumps himself up but I could care less. I just see it like any other fight. He has said some stuff that shouldn’t have been said. Ido feel like he needs to work extremely hard to beat me. He says that he wants to knock me out or break my arm or something like that. I really don’t care. All I know is that he has a good training camp and I’m pumped because he should be at his best with no excuses. It should be a very entertaining fight. He may want to make it a jiu-jitsu match but I hope he worked on his stand up cuz I’m coming at him hard!

Anyone you’d like to thank, any shout outs?

I would like to thank GOD for my blessing with him anything is possible. My big brother Jeff Bonugli, my family, LX BJJ, Green Ghost Academy, all my sparring partners, Vitamin Shack and shake, H&B fitness, Charlie Clark Nissan, Phatboy racing, and all my sponsors, and fans.  – Ricky Palacios – El Galleros Den

El Gallero’s Highlight Reel

“NEW GYM, NEW DIET, NEW GAME PLAN.” Vanessa A Rojas Interview

Vanessa Rojas
Very inspiring interview, Vanessa Rojas out of OHANA WARRIOR MUAY THAI in Richardson,TX will be the only fighter representing the State of Texas come Februay 23rd in Miami,Florida, S1-Challenge.com . Read on and wish her well. MAHALO!

sPidA:Your have a bout for S1 Challenge in Miami,Florida coming up,how has your training been going thus far?

Rojas: Training is very different now 🙂 My husband Alvaro (also an Instructor at OHANA and a fighter but from Team Toro in Chicago) has been putting in a lot of work with me. I say different because its obviously someone else training me now, I haven’t fought in almost 4 years, I am training hard for the first time in 4 years with an old knee injury, and for these last 4 years I have been a VEGETARIAN. So now my cards have changed… NEW GYM, NEW DIET, NEW GAME PLAN. I think there will be a few unexpected things coming from me when I get in the ring and dance 🙂

sPidA: Being a mother,wife and instructor,would you say you are great at multi tasking?

Rojas: Oh man if only I was just those 2 things hahaha! My mini me’s are all of different age stages… Between being a wife, instructing at the gym, training, bartending at nights on the weekend, My daughter who is now 13, “THE TEENAGER”… My oldest Son who is now 8, THE “ANTAGONIZER”, and My youngest son who is now 2,”THE TERRORIST TODDLER” (yes they get fighter names ha) keep me pretty damn “ENTERTAINED” with also being a personal cab driver, alarm clock, referee, police officer, a judge, clean up service, nurse, bank, and my favorite a hugs and kisses booth! Thanks be the LORD my husband is the CHEF and MECHANIC! So I don’t want to say I am a GREAT multi-tasker but I will say that I always try my hardest to be.

sPidA: With Muay Thai only happening in the amateur circuits here, would you say a Pro organization is way overdue here in Texas?

Rojas: OH DEFINITELY ! I say this because with all the rules the amateur fighters have to abide by to prepare for these fights, they may as well be considered PRO! From the blood work, to fighting with no head gear? WHY NOT!!m

OHANA WARRIOR

sPidA: What is a training week consist of for you,bag work,conditioning etc..?

Rojas: Well besides the usual warm ups of jump rope and shadow boxing… My husband usually asks me to start with 9+ 3min30sec rounds of Everything, Hands, kicks, knees, elbows. Then we do 6 or more of 5min30sec rounds of Pad Work/Technique… ending in Plyometrics, Core, Rehab conditioning of my knee, TEARS and sometimes ICE BATHS… good times 🙂

sPidA: With Mixed Martial Arts having gone main stream,do you think there is room for Muay Thai events to start coming out on TV here in the States as well?

Rojas: Well if they can put SUMO on television channels in HAWAII and California… One can only dream that they can make a little room for MUAY THAI! I believe Muay Thai has much bigger following around the WORLD than Sumu does!

sPidA: You have had over 10 bouts in both ammy and Pro fights, which stands out the most and why?

Rojas: Oh man I would have to say my 1st!!! Ohhhhhh THE ANXIETYYYY! hahahahaha! So many thoughts through your head and the butterflies in your stomach! THE way your heart pounds after the Ref says “fight!” and my favorite… THAT FIRST HIT!!! WAKE UP, LEGGOOO!

sPidA: Fight week,do you train till day of,or take the last week of prior to fight day?

Rojas: I like to train LIGHT the week of the fight until about 2 days before the fight just to keep my body moving and my weight on point!

S1 CHALLENGE

sPidA: Whom will be cornering you for this bout, are you planning on staying a while in Florida or coming right back?

Rojas: It will be my HUSBAND! He always has my back 🙂 Alvaro’s teacher from Chicago, Ricardo Perez will also be in Florida cornering for Cyrus Washington, so Ricardo will be in my corner as well! We actually get to stay in Florida until that following Monday! So that means I can enjoy Florida for ONE beautiful day! I’ve all ready checked the weather and mid 80’s looks promising!

sPidA: If you could fight any Mixed Martial Arts female in a Muay Thai match,whom would it be and why?

Rojas: Haaaa to be honest I don’t follow Male MMA fighters very much, let alone Female MMA fighters. The only one I keep hearing about is Rhonda Rouchy?? but I think she is a good 30lbs heavier than me lol I would love to see if she could handle Germaine de Randamie in Muay Thai… Sorry but that’s an ass beating I don’t think she can handle!

sPidA: Thank you Vanessa,wish you the best of luck come fight day, anything you would like to add to this interview?

Rojas: No, Thank you for wanting to ask 🙂 I would like to say that I hope that this fight or even this interview, will give someone out there some kind of inspiration for whatever it is they have going on in their lives. Originally coming from an abusive past the only reason why I ever stepped into a gym and put on a set of gloves was to never be afraid again. In the end it not only was to never to be afraid of facing abuse again but also to never fear life and what it holds for me, good or BAD. We all risk something at some point in time its deciding whether you have the courage and heart to face it for the benefit of yourself and your loved ones.

FightLabel.com

“I JUST WANT TO KEEP FIGHTING” ELIAZAR RODRIGUEZ INTERVIEW

El Oso

A few words with “El Oso” Eliazar Rodriguez, bound Premiere Fight Series 3, March 2nd at the Guys and Gals Ballroom in Forth Worth,TX. Here we talk winning streak, fight schedule and possible Title shot?? Enjoy!

sPidA: PFS3 will be your next bout, with a win streak at hand, any pressure going into this?

Eliazar: No, actually I’ve grown quite confident with every win.

sPidA: You’ve fought twice every year since 2011, you looking to stay busy 2013?

Eliziar: Yes I do! I think PFS will keep me busy. I hope to fight 5 times this year!

PFS3

sPidA: With a nickname “Oso” can you break down what that means for our non bilingual readers and where did the name come from?

Eliazar: My nickname “Oso” translates to bear. I got this name from my BJJ coach Jose Reyes. He gave me this name because I was a little over weight when I joined his gym. LOL, I have an aggressive fighting style, so it fits.

sPidA: Your last fight was for the same promotion you will be competing in come March 2nd, how was the production in your eyes?

Eliazar: Premiere fight series put on a great show and I was glad to be a part of it! The show began on time and they put on great fights!

sPidA: With wins via sub and Tko, would you consider yourself a grappler or striker first?

Eliazar: I am definitely a grappler first, and my striking is improving every day! At the end of the day, I’m a well rounded fighter!

sPidA: Can you name some of the people at your gym that are pushing you to reach your goals?

Eliazar: I spend a lot of time at Mohlers MMA / Reyes bjj. I am lucky to have guys like William Campuzano, Chris Jones, Douglas Frey, Cameron Miller, Jay Lee and Amber Stautzenberger helping me train for this fight! Beating me up and making me a better, stronger fighter

sPidA: What is your schedule like?

Eliazar: I have a full time job, so yeah I work, train, eat and sleep. On my off days I’m putting in three a days!

sPidA: After this win are you thinking title, or is there more you’d like to accomplish before given the opportunity?

Eliazar: After this victory, I am definitely open to a title fight. If that doesn’t happen, no biggie. I just want to keep fighting and winning in excellent fashion

sPidA: Any pre-fight rituals? What’s the first meal you go after fight day?

Eliazar: I don’t really have any pre-fight rituals, I just try to relax all day. I enjoy a stack of pancakes and omelete the day of the fight and the day after! Haha

sPidA: Thank you brother, hope to make this fight card (it’s stacked). Anything you’d like to add to this before we call it a wrap?

Eliazar: I can guarantee that this will be an exciting fight for all the fans! This is a great card with great fighters. Many thanks to Mohler MMA, Tested, Crusade Combat, Randy king Insurance and Texas Pit BBQ in Saginaw.Thank you!!

FightLabel.com

10 Questions with Elias ‘Smash’ Garcia in Preparation for STFC: Bad Blood

Elias 'Smash' Garcia

sPidA: Your stepping back inside the Cage February 22nd, how ready are you for this bout?

Elias ‘Smash’ Garcia: I’m really excited about this fight, I feel like every day I’m evolving and I can’t wait to put my new found skills to the test.

sPidA: This is a pretty stacked card with a few titles on the line, anyone on the card you’re looking to see fight?

Elias ‘Smash’ Garcia: Yea man, I’m looking forward to seeing Frank Trevino fight, I hear that guy’s a beast. Also I’ve had the pleasure of rolling around with Carlos Ferreira when he came to the gym and I have to say, that dude is LEGIT!

sPidA: This bout will be at 125lbs, is this your ideal weight?

Elias ‘Smash’ Garcia: It is man, I did really well at 145, and 135 earning titles in both but man those guys are super strong. I feel like the 125 divion I can keep my speed and strength.

sPidA: Dana White stated he was looking to search for male fighters in the straw weight class (115lbs) would this be something you’d be interested in? Should Texas MMA promotions look into this weight class as well?

Elias ‘Smash’ Garcia: You know, I make 125 extremely easy and I would definitely be interested in fighting at straw weight.

sPidA: You have an addition into your family (congratulations). If your kids wanted a career in combative sports, what would be your thoughts? Would they differ if it was your son or daughter?

Elias ‘Smash’ Garcia: It’s funny that you ask that, my daughter is turning 9 this month and all she ever talks about is growing up and wanting to fight in the cage like me. Honestly, if that was her passion, for any of my kids for that matter, I will support them in anything they choose to do.

sPidA: You had your pro debut here in San Antonio (your home away from home), do you prefer fighting away from home or vice versa?

Elias ‘Smash’ Garcia: To be honest it’s going to be a bit weird not fighting in San Antonio. I believe 8 out of my 9 fights were in S.A. so I always felt like I had home field advantage there. At the end of the day the cage is my home so I’m comfortable fighting anywhere.

fightlabel

sPidA: This bout coming up, what can you tell us about your opponent? Have you been training specifically for him or are you looking to make him fight your fight?

Elias ‘Smash’ Garcia: This will be my opponent’s first pro fight I believe. I’ve watched his videos just to pick up his habits but I never really train specifically for an opponent as I always aim to make them fight my fight.

sPidA: Your ammy career you had told us you only trained part time due to your active duty
schedule, is there any pressure now that you can train full-time?

Elias ‘Smash’ Garcia: No, not at all. As far as pressure goes I never really feel any type of pressure. I know mentally that I’m always going to go in there and give it my all.

sPidA: Which would you prefer, a two fight contract from Bellator or a single shot to fight for the UFC on FOX?

Elias ‘Smash’ Garcia: Whichever one discovers me and wants to sign me first. Haha

sPidA: Thank you bro for taking time for this, anything you would like to add before wrapping this up?

Elias ‘Smash’ Garcia: First off glory be to God who allows me to do what I absolutely love! My future baby
momma Gloria who backs me up 100%. I would also like to thank my coaches, especially Rudy Valenzuela who’s a huge inspiration, role model, and leader. My team, my manager Bryan Sosa over at Flex Sports Management, Castaneda PR, and my sponsors for this fight SWOLLE fitness apparel, TexasFighting.com, Rocks King of Supplements, OGC III, Mako Contracting, Mi Guerra, Eyez Low Entertainment, Elisha Dickerson, and TakeAway Gourmet.

STFC: BADBLOOD (MMA CAGE FIGHTS)
STFC: BADBLOOD

“FIGHTING IN FORT WORTH WILL FEEL LIKE FIGHTING AT HOME.” Vernon Lewis Interview

Interview with Heavyweight Mixed Martial Artist Vernon Lewis. Met the guy while he was competing in Seguin, TX a while back. Here we talk MMA, last minute bouts, and coming off an impressive victory. He will be stepping back inside the cage at Premiere Fight Series in Fort Worth, TX/March 2nd. Let’s get started!

Photo property of: Jordan Overturf

sPidA: Your last bout was a last minute fight, what made you jump inside the cage and where are you training?

Lewis: Yeah, It was an 8 day notice fight. I had a fight scheduled a month earlier, but my opponent backed out last minute so I was somewhat in shape. Had a little too much turkey and dressing during the holidays but I was ready for a fight.

sPidA: What promotion was this for and what were your thoughts on the event?

Lewis: It was for STFC (South Texas Fighting Championship). I was blessed to have the opportunity to fight in front of the McAllen, TX crowd and would fight there again. Even on an 8 day notice…LOL

sPidA: You are coming off of a submission victory, was this part of your game plan going into your last bout?
Lewis: Well I would of love to get a KO but he was a Division I wrestler. I knew I was better standing and on the ground so where ever the fight went I was comfortable.
sPidA: You study BJJ under the Relson Gracie lineage, was signing up for BJJ an easy task for a big guy like yourself? Is using technique rather than strength an easy transition?

Lewis: I’ve been doing No Gi grappling since 2006 so rolling in the Gi was a challenge for me. In the beginning I was getting tapped by guys that have only been training for a year, so it was a humbling experience for me. I love training in the Gi now. It has helped my No Gi game, and I even won 1st place in the Relson Gracie Tournament held in Waco, TX last year. I train in the Gi at least twice a week, even while I’m getting ready for a fight. As far as using my strength, we have some big guys at our gym so my mount escape has to be a little bit more technical than just pushing and bridging.

sPidA: What rank are you and who is your instructor?
Lewis: I’m a blue belt under Relson Gracie, and I train under Chris Spicer at the Relson Gracie Waco Academy. It’s a young gym, but we are growing every day.

sPida: This next bout you have coming up will be for Premiere Fight Series in Forth Worth, TX. Who is your opponent and does fighting away from home get easier over time?

Lewis: My opponent is James Hubbard. We will put on a show for the Fort Worth fans. I can’t wait.. I really don’t see this as fighting away from home. Waco is about an hour away, and I’m just glad I’m fighting in Texas. During my amateur career I couldn’t find fights in Texas, so most of my fights were in the bordering States. Fighting in Fort Worth will feel like fighting at home.

sPidA: What were you doing before jumping into MMA? Did you ever think you would be stepping inside the cage?

Lewis: I was working and trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life. I needed to get in shape, so I started training at an MMA gym. After a few months some of the guys there told me that I was pretty good, and asked me if I wanted to fight. Five months later I had my first amateur fight.

sPidA: Since making your Pro debut in 2010, you have fought once in 2011 and once in 2012. Are you looking to stay busy this year?
Lewis: I always want to stay busy, but my opponents, unfortunately, have been backing out. I decided to stay busy by getting into professional boxing in 2011. Boxing wasn’t what I wanted to do, but at least I had something to look forward to. I’m hoping that 2013 will be the year that I can make a name for myself in the sport of MMA!
sPidA: If you had an opportunity to fight a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, who would it be and what would be your game plan?

Lewis: Randy Couture. He’s a legend. I look up to him because he was on top around the time I started training. My game plan would be not get beat up against the cage…LOL

sPidA: Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to talk with us. Is there anybody you’d like to thank ?

Lewis: I want to thank my family for supporting me on this journey, my training partners for pushing me in the gym, and I want to thank God for blessing me with a life that allows me to do what I love to do.

fightlabel

Promoter Spotlight: Jeff Bonugli of JC Productions

“It’s not about me. It’s about the fighters and more importantly to give glory to Jesus Christ.”

[Interview with Jeff Bonugli – Former fighter. Self-made businessman. Follower of Christ. | Interview and video by Chris Lopez Jr.]

Jeff Bonugli of JC Productions discusses JC’s first event coming to Pharr, Texas March 16th 2013. 12 scheduled bouts for this event with another possible add on and they’re giving away a car! He goes into detail about the future of JC Promotions, discusses fighter pay, dismisses his critics, and shares his passion behind it all.

“We’re going to change the way local promoters pay fighters!”

Jeff is someone who has my respect for all that he does, and has done, for local fighters in Texas. He cares about the fighters because he’s been in their shoes and deep down he’s still a fighter at heart. Enjoy!

El Orgullo del Valle – Full Fight Card
(Fight Card Subject to Change)
Date: March 16, 2013
Location: 3000 North Cage, Pharr, Texas

Aaron Rosa -vs- Tony Melton
Cody Williams -vs- Randy Fuentes
Ricardo Palacios -vs- Leroy Martinez
Alexander Hernandez -vs- Victor Galvan
Jordan Morgan -vs- Gabriel Reynaga
Marcelo Lumakang -vs- Corey Bellino
Steven Zamora -vs- Ryan Spann
Julio Villarreal -vs- Christopher Lopez
Jay Peche -vs- James Hall
Jose Ceja -vs- Rene Gonzalez
Matt Mooney -vs- Juan Chapa
Raymond Moreno -vs- Brandon Ruiz

EL ORGULLO DEL VALLE

Special thanks to JC Promotions & Green Ghost Academy’s Sponsor Charlie Clark Nissan!

Charlie Clark Nissan