[Interview] Richard Odoms Feels the Burden to Keep Big MMA Cards Coming to San Antonio; Prepares for Legacy FC 17

Photo courtesy of Pro Elite
[Photo courtesy of Pro Elite]
San Antonio, TX, Jan. 14, 2013 – Richard Odoms is a humble man, who puts his family first, but still has the time to manage a super busy schedule that includes serving his community as a police officer and a local business owner. He has officially been studying martial arts for over 19 years and is a 5th Dan/Master in American Moo Duk Kwan karate. He has been teaching this traditional martial art for the past 9 years.

Richard Odoms will be stepping into the cage for the eighth time with a clean 7-0 record.  We had the privilege to get a quick interview with him before his fight in San Antonio, TX for  “Legacy Fighting Championship 17.”  This will be his biggest fight to date in his home town as the co-main event against All-American collegiate wrestler Jared Rosholt on AXS.TV.

What’s your biggest motivation to fight at this point in your career?

My biggest motivation is my family. I want to set the good example to my children and students to be the best in whatever makes you happy. I don’t want to be that old man that everyone knows, who says I could of, would of, should of. My dream right now is to compete with the very best martial artists in the world.

How do you feel about fighting for Legacy FC in your home town?

Man……I am on top of the world right now. I couldn’t believe that it was going to happen. San Antonio has taken the backseat when it comes to MMA. A lot of people here like mixed martial arts and there is a lot of good martial artists in San Antonio. I feel our city has been overlooked when it comes to big MMA cards. I feel the burden to keep big MMA cards coming to San Antonio is on the local fighters’ back. I’m glad to be one of those local fighters that plan to keep big cards coming our way.

Being a cop, a martial arts school owner, and an mma fighter – how do you prioritize your time? Do you feel that each area of your career compliments one another?

I am so busy. I hate when people tell me that I can make time to do this or to attend that. I just don’t have the time. Other people are depending on me! At work, as an officer, the community is depending on me. At my school, Martial Arts Academy of San Antonio, my students are depending on me to be there to provide quality martial arts for the children and adults I teach. As a fighter, I am to inspire others in their walk through life. My children depend on me to inspire them. I feel it is my job to show, not just talk about becoming a productive member of this society, but to live it. Not being afraid to dream, knowing how to set and conquer goals towards achieving that dream, and show them that hard work is rewarded with success. Then you top all that with being a father, not just a donor. When all of that is said and done I still have to be there for my family. It is what I have helped to create, so yeah I have to still make time for my children and wife. Everything I do compliments each other. It has to or else it would have to be thrown out. I’m a big believer in not wasting my time, everything I’m involved in, I love. If you make the things you do in life what you love, it all becomes a pleasure rather than a chore. It also has purpose.

What can your fans expect from you in this fight and moving forward?

Expect that each time I get into the cage I will be a more improved and exciting fighter than the last time I competed. When I step into the cage Feb. 1st, I will have been out of competition for one year. I am not the same fighter as before. Everything has improved, and I can’t wait to show the world.

Richard Odoms
Photo via Richard Odoms FB page

With your last fight dating a year ago – what have you been doing to prepare for this fight? Who are some of your training partners?

I try to twist negatives and turn them into positives in everything I do. Being out for a year was not my choice. I had some contract issues, along with other mishaps. I got new management with U.S. Elite Fight Management, made other connections to make myself a better fighter, and stayed in the gym waiting for opportunity to knock. Signing on with U.S. Elite Fight Management is a great asset to my MMA career. This will be the first fight I go into with sponsors. I just didn’t have the time to seek sponsors. It has opened a lot of doors for me. Mike Rangel of Know Pain MMA has helped me with my overall MMA. Aaron Rosa has been helping with sparring. There is no substitute for top caliber heavyweight sparring. Pete Spratt (Big Brother) / RPBJJ has been helping me with Muay Thai. His high caliber experience and knowledge is top notch and doesn’t get any better. I’m always learning from him that’s why I call him Big Brother. Rodrigo Pinheiro has helped me with my BJJ. Wallace Tarver gives me an outside of the box look at MMA from a traditional martial arts perspective. Mr. Moreno of Blue Tiger Academy always keeps a stack of guys to push me in sparring. Suzy Swinger got me an opportunity to coach on Cage Quest. Ms. Swinger is great and has opened so many doors for me. I met King Webb of Luling MMA through her. Mr. Webb has been helping me with my BJJ as well. Through Mr. Webb I met Luiz Charneski. Luiz is from Curitiba, Brazil, home of some of the greatest fighters ever. He changed up my striking and added a new approach to my MMA game. Training with Luiz has been great. He doesn’t speak a lot of English, and I… very little Spanish and no Portuguese. We communicated with the language of mixed martial arts and it is lovely. While I wish I was in the cage the entire time, it was like I went to MMA college and I’m back ready to show everyone my new stuff.

How much do you know about your opponent Jared Rosholt’s fighting style? Do you have a specific game plan coming into this co-main event fight?

I don’t know much about him. I do know he is a top caliber and All American collegiate wrestler. He is tough, has a good chin, improved his boxing, and is hungry for a win! My game plan is to leave Cowboy’s Dancehall with a win and leave a good representation of what MMA is all about in San Antonio.

How do you mentally prepare before stepping into the cage?

I relax, I’m calm. I visualize the fight. It is all mental. There is nothing more I can do to change what I’m about to do. All of the work has been done in training. I have trained to win and all that is left for me to do is pray with my wife, Thank God for the Victory, step into the cage, and go out there and perform.

Any last words? Anyone you’d like to thank?

If you are in the San Antonio area, please come out and support the Legacy Fight Card. All of the local fighters plan to come out and put on outstanding fights for you. I would like to thank my wife, Janie, for all of her understanding and putting up with me while I’m training and getting better. She has to pick up the slack when I’m unable to be there. I’m very appreciative. I’d like to thank all of my training partners from the many different schools I train at that come to help me get better, take a bruise or two, and have the respect to come back out and train with me again. Thank you all for making me a better martial artist and extending a helping hand. I would like to thank the leadership at The Martial Arts Academy of San Antonio for keeping my school running the way I would have it if I wasn’t absent while training. I would like to thank the U.S. Elite Fight Management family. Mr. Claudio and Mr. Royer thank you for the work you do. I would like to thank my fans and sponsors. Thank you all for your support.

“The belt will be coming home with me.” Anita Rodriguez Interview

Anita Rodriguez
Anita Rodriguez via Tapology

A few words with Anita Rodriguez, bound for Big Dawg promotions in Conroe, Texas on Jan 26th. Anita is a veteran of both BELLATOR FC, and King of the Cage. In this interview, we talk about her training, her camp, and her supporters, as well as the prospect of her bringing the title back with her to Dallas.

sPidA: Your upcoming bout is for a title, how well prepared are you going into this bout?

Anita: I think I am well prepared for this fight, so well prepared that I know the belt will be coming home with me to Dallas. I have trained too hard not to…

sPidA: What do you know about your opponent? Have you trained specifically for her, or making her fight your fight?

Anita: Yes I’ve studied her, and seeing what I’ve seen, I’m not a bit worried.  I plan on making her fight my fight.

sPidA: Having had BELLATOR experience, has this made you step up your game?

Anita: Having Bellator experience, and now having a Manager,  certainly stepped up My Fight game.

sPidA: With the UFC finally picking up on Women’s MMA, has this changed your hopes and dreams of fighting in the big show someday?

Anita:  I knew it was a matter of time before women would be fighting in the UFC.  My goal is to get there and be remembered as one of their best woman fighters.

sPidA: Most of your bouts have been won via submission.  Are you a grappler first, when it comes to mixing it up?

Anita: It’s funny that you ask that, because my strongest ability is my stand up, but if I go to the ground, I can hold my own, so no, I’m more of a Boxer.

sPidA: Your last bout was an unfortunate loss.  Most learn from them. Others never get over them mentally, it is safe to say.  What have you learned from this?

Anita: Yes, I remember that loss against Jessica Eye. She was better that night, but I know in my heart that I  can beat her.  I see a rematch in the near future. I have learned what a real training camp is.

sPidA: With you recently signing up with Imperial Management, are you looking to stay busy in 2013?

Anita: Yes, I recently signed up with Imperial Management, and that’s the best decision I’ve made yet. I’m already looking busy for 2013.

imperial Fight MGMT

sPidA: What is a typical training day like? Do you train till fight time, or do you take a week off prior to fight day?

Anita: .My typical training day is brutal, having to train and,spar with some of the best male fighters such as Jason Sampson, Derek Campos, Donnie Bell, Kashiff Solain, and Ryan Benoit. They don’t see me as a female, and they only make me a better fighter.  I train up until  prior to fight Day.

sPidA: Thank you Anita. I wish you the best for this event. Is there anybody you’d like to thank before wrapping this up?

Anita: I’d like to thank my friends and family who’ve helped me with my 2 year old little  girl, and I’d also like to thank Coach Durwyn Lamb, one of the best coaches in the MMA, and surely a great friend; and Matt Rossini from Imperial Fight Management, Torque Clothing, Lockout Supplements, Corganics, Purfight.com, Coach Mohler, Coach Joe Garcia, VIP Mouth Guards, and John Lee Nutrition. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, you guys.

BigDawg

“I MAKE SURE EVERY FIGHT TO TRAIN HARDER THAN MY LAST” Eli Tamez Interview

Eli Tamez

Interview was done before his opponent change but we still decided to pursue the interview and wish Eli Christopher Tamez the best of luck for his Dec14th bout for LEGACY FC 16. Here we talk about family,work and his dreams of becoming the best in his weight division in the World of Mixed Martial Arts.

sPidA: What gym do you fight out of and where is this located at?

Tamez: I fight out of Octagon MMA (4152 Cole Avenue, Suite 104, Dallas, Texas 75204)

sPidA: Your coming in on a win streak as well as your opponent,any pressure coming into this bout?

Tamez: Not really pressure but just training my butt off to make sure I’m as prepared as possible. I make sure every fight to train harder than my last.

Imperial Fight Management

sPidA: Your opponent and you have some history,you guys first met in the ammy circuit,with you getting the victory,is that playing a role in your confidence?

Tamez: Not at all.. I don’t think about that fight at all. The last fight he made a mistake early in the fight that I capitalized on. I know im fighting a better man than that night. He is ranked i think 184 top bantamweight in the world… I want that! My win over him as an ammy is nothing.. it doesn’t matter. I want that spot more than he wants his revenge on me.

sPidA: Being a family man,how important is it for you getting the support that you do from home?

Tamez: Its very important! I have a HUGE family, friend and fan base and I’m really excited to fight close to my home town. especially because out of my total 11 fights this will only be the 3rd time I’ve fought close by home.

sPidA: Fighting for LEGACY FC 16 are you nervous about the possibility of coming out on TV?

Tamez: I’m actually on the TV portion (think I’m right in the middle) I am always nervous about the fight.. i don’t really let the TV and crowd get to me but then again I’ve never fought on TV.

TORQUE FITNESS

sPidA: What full time job do you do and do you have to schedule it around your fighting schedule?

Tamez: I’m actually pretty lucky. I work about 20 hours max a week and I cut/color men and womens hair. So thankfully I have a huge advantage i make my own schedule and work and take off whenever I want. Also my wife owns her own commercial cleaning company (myfinalclean.com) so she is really able to be a stay at home mother to our 3 year old son. She is an amazing person and very supportive of me.That being said I do schedule my work around my training schedule.

sPidA: Before your debut in MMA back in 2009,where you considering ever fighting or was training just to stay in shape?

Tamez: At first I started just training because id do little grappling matches here and there and I had a few friends that fought. I started to get really good fast, so I just thought id give fighting a try. Had a good ammy career and kept winning and just kept at it ever since.

sPidA: Walk out song,do you change your per fight? Most seem to keep theirs if they win,has it been the same for you during your Pro fights?

Tamez: Yes mine has always been the same ever since I was an ammy fighter and I’m sticking with it! Got to come to the fights if you want to know what it is..haha

sPidA: Reality TV,most watch it,some live it. What’s your take on some of these shows being televised?

Tamez: Its a good way to get your name out there if that’s what your wanting to do. I would never do it. For one, I couldn’t leave my family anyone who knows me knows I’m a HUGE family man! My wife and son mean the World to me. I couldn’t bare to be without them no matter the situation but then again everyone is different.

sPidA: Thank you bro,best of luck in your LEGACY FC bout,any last minute words?

Tamez: Thank you for the interview! Also thank you to my sponsors, Last Round Nutrition, Torque, Dr. Franco (bitelock.com), Revgear, Myfinalclean.com, Buff Water, Drugz, New Community Church (newcommunity.co), Cruz Combat for making my shorts, West Plano Crossfit, my manager Matt, all of my teammates and brothers at Octagon MMA, my coach Sayif Saud who continues to bring talent to our gym, my wrestling coach David Bertolino, my family and especially my wife Crystal and son Zane!
Anyone needing discounted tickets to my fight Dec 14 in Allen TX you can inbox me on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/eli.tamez

www.FigthLabel.com

“I AM READY TO PROVE, I AM A CHAMPION…” Stephanie Alba Interview

What seems to be a re-match of 2012,this bout is sure to be one checking out. Stephanie “The Cyclone” Alba will not only get an opportunity to avenge her only loss in her amateur MMA Career but also the opportunity to become an Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Champion for the Garcia Promotions. Event taking place in Humble,TX on Friday / Dec 21, Don’t miss out! Ticket info: Tickets@GarciaPromotions.com

sPidA: I was able to witness your amateur debut here in S.A. over a year ago,how was your experience stepping inside the Cage for that first time?

Alba: It was an amazing experience and an energy I never felt before, the lights, the crowd, the cage locks, and its go time!

sPidA: How have you changed your training regime since that first bout?

Alba: I have become much more serious. It is a lot of training not just physical but also mental training. I am not training just win but to be a champion no matter what it takes, blood sweat and tears.

sPidA: After that first loss, you have managed to compile a 2 fight win streak, has your confident grown as well as your skill per fight?

Alba: I am a very humble person but I am confident in my skills and it improves with every fight. Every fight has taught me something new about myself.

sPidA: Women MMA has exploded and even more now that the UFC has announced a womens division , how was your reaction about this news a few weeks back?

Alba: I think it is great that women have been recognized not just as a pretty face but as real fighters. It sucks that some of the girl fighters have to use their looks to gain fans versus noticing our skills. We are just as passionate as men our about the sport/fighting.

sPidA: You are now training in a new gym,new fight camp, why the change and how has it been helping you since making this move?

Alba: It was so hard to leave the gym I started out with it was the foundation of where my passion grew but sometimes peoples visions change and I feel I’m where I need to be right now. I really hate MMA politics and I wish that I could train anywhere without a problems but that isn’t the reality.

sPidA:It’s obvious that every ones attention is on WMMA , With fight companies like INVICTA and others overseas , do you see your self competing int one of these come 2013 ( once you decide to go Pro)?

Alba: I would love to compete for a big organazation like that. I need and want a lot more experiance. I feel a lot of people go pro to soon but I want to improve and be the best before I go and fight the best.

sPidA: While compiling some great MMA wins,you have also continued to stay busy in BJJ , do you see yourself keeping both up or will 2013 keep you training for 1 more than the other?

Alba: I love competing in BJJ tourneys unfortunately while fighting MMA you dont train to much in it but I am definetly going to keep both up as much as possible

sPidA: This coming Dec , you not only have an opportunity to win Gold but to avenge your only loss, how are you mentally and physically heading into this event?

Alba: I am EXCITED!!! It is a great opportunity and I’m ready to show off my skills and do what I do and put on a great show. I am treating it as any other fight but I am ready to prove I am a champion.

sPidA: Everybody is friends with everyone on FB but are you staying focused on this bout and concentrating on just getting this win?

Alba: Yeah I know I havent been on social media to much but I’m really just focusing on traing and preparing myself not only physically but mentally.

sPidA:(Random question) You are given 1 wish but can’t use it on yourself,what would it be?

Alba: My wish really is to get rid of politics to come up with something where there is real change in the world for the benefit of American people and basically for the whole world.

sPidA: Thank you Stephanie, this bout will definitely be one many shouldn’t miss, anything you would like to add to this interview?

Alba: I just want to give God all the glory, he is my rock and my shield without him I could never do all that I do. Also to my family and friends who continue to support me.I also want to give a shout out to 4oz and all my team mates especially Jeremy and Bob for accepting me into their family and also want to thank all my sponsors (www.NokOutFightBrand.com) I also want to thank you sPidA for taking this time to interview me.

“WAKING UP EVERYDAY TO DO WHAT YOU LOVE IS A BLESSING.” Sonny Luque Interview

Sonny LuqueOwner and head instructor Sonny “LOCO” Luque will be traveling to Mexico come Dec 15th for a Co-Main event bout for Combate Extremo, 1 of Mexicos top Promotions. Here are a few questions with someone I’ve had the pleasure of meeting at events. Best of luck Sonny, here goes!

sPidA: Your coming off a great win on your last event. Was the previous lost at BELLATOR enough to drive you to make that statement?

Luque: Losing in front of my hometown on the biggest show I’ve ever fought for definitely lit a fuse in me. I had to redeem my self ASAP. UWF gave me an opportunity a month after the BELLATOR scrap. I jumped all over it.

sPidA: You are the gym owner at Laredo MMA, I was able to visit you guys while there covering an event, how is the gym doing and what all do you guys offer there?

Luque: Thank GOD the gym is doing great. I tell people, I am not gonna get rich anytime soon But waking up every morning to do what u love is a blessing. I am great full and thank full for my students.

sPidA: Traveling to Mexico seems to be a norm (being so close to the Border) tell us a bit about your upcoming bout?

Luque: My next fight will be in Monterrey Mexico, for Combate Extremo. CE is the biggest promotion in all of mexico by far. I will be fighting a tough dude from Chihuahua Mexico, Juaqin Grajeda. Co-Main event of the night.

sPidA: Do you know anything about your opponent, what are you looking to impose come Dec 15th?

Luque: I know he has a lot of fights and a karate background. Most of his fights he keeps on his feet. Anyone that has seen me fight knows I have no intention of taking it to the ground. Should be an exciting stand up contest for the fans.

sPidA : Having fought for BELLATOR, how was your experience and is your motivation to pursue greater still there?

Luque: It was amazing, a taste of the big shows. The outcome was not what I wanted but it just woke the LOCO inside of me. I want the taste of the big show again. I stepped up my training and have been cross training with my buddy Leonard Garcia. Hopefully soon if I get a shoot at a big show travel to New Mexico and train with his camp.

sPida: You have fought some tough guys here in Texas, which bout have you learned from more the most?

Luque: Definitely my loss at BELLATOR, it really opened up my eyes. Showed me I have to be even hungrier and can’t be one-dimensional anymore.

sPidA: Competing at 155lbs is where you’re at now,ever think bout dropping to 145 for the bigger shows?

Luque: You know it’s not the first time I’ve been asked that.. If you’ve ever been to Laredo you know it’s hard to keep a diet hahaha.. but on a serious note it is something I’ve thought about and considered. Maybe.

sPidA: Thank you for your time bro,best of luck and best wishes on your travel,anything else you would like to add?

Luque: Thank you for the interview spida. Also if I could thank my sponsors; SWOLLE FITNESS APPARELL, ROCK FITNESS CENTER, MI ESPERANZA CARE PROVIDER, RAMOS FAMILY, LOS CUERVOS MC CLUB, SAITO MA. and of course all of my students at LMMA you guys are the reason I fight, love you’ll. And last my girl Mandy who puts up with me camp after camp.. Love you babe.. Thanks again sPidA u da man’..

Q&A with Aaron Rosa who’s Making his Pro Boxing Debut November 30th

San Antonio local and Professional Mixed Martial Artist Aaron Rosa ( 17-5 ) will be stepping inside the Boxing ring come Nov 30th at the Hurst Conference Center / Right in the Center of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. He will be competing for Standing 8 Promotions “Mid-Cities Mayhem” in a four round heavyweight fight (undercard). A veteran of Mixed Martial Arts, Aaron Rosa is still undefeated here in Texas as a Professional Mixed Martial Artist. A veteran of big events (STRIKEFORCE / BELLATOR / UFC) He has also established some great wins on B level promotions such as SHARK FIGHTS 13/Devin Cole , Titan Fighting Championship 17/Abe Wagner. Had ran into him at a local MMA Promotion here in San Antonio on Nov 17th (ALAMO SHOWDOWN 5) Having seen this guy fight his way to the bigger shows,I can honestly say I am a fan of the guy and always will be. Was able to ask him a few question:

sPidA: Long road to the get to the UFC man, what is harder, getting there or staying in it?

Rosa: Staying in the UFC is harder.

sPidA: What made you want to try out Professional boxing?

Rosa: Just want to try it man, see what happens and where it goes.

sPidA: If you could change anything in your Mixed Martial Arts career, what would it be?

Rosa: Change? Nothing , I am doing the best I can with the situation I am given.

Best of luck to Aaron Rosa. He is still undefeated in Texas so any MMA Promotions wanting a FIGHTER – HERE’S YOUR GUY!