Over the phone interview with Roger was conducted while enjoying an Ice Cold Frappe. Are you ready? Enjoy!
sPidA: Roger, thanks for making time for me brother. First off, what gym are you fighting out off, I know you have been training with Hector Munoz for years now.
Roger: Yea, well, it’s two gyms but basically Hectors Munoz “Full Contact Fighting” joined up with Aurelio “Paragon BJJ” here in Corpus Christi, TX to try and build, not only the best team in Corpus, but also in South Texas. Hector takes care of all the NoGi, boxing, MMA. Paragon BJJ takes care of all the Gi fundamentals.
sPidA: Thats awesome! Best of both worlds for sure! How long have you been training in MMA and also I read that you work for the Fire Dept?
Roger: Its been 4 1/2 yrs now and yes I am a member of the Corpus Christi Fire Dept.
sPidA: I’m sure the workouts in MMA have helped you in your line of work, have you felt the difference once you started training?
Roger: I have. When I first started I use to be big on weights and walked around at 270lbs. Once I started training in MMA I felt the weight come off. So yes it has helped me tremendously with my work performance.
sPidA: I know some men and women that have taken the test and failed because of the physical exam. Are you able to train comfortably after an 8hr job? How does that work with your schedule?
Roger: Actually my work allows me a lot of time to train. I usually work a 24 hr day and then take 2 days off. 8am-8am then I train depedning on my schedule 5-6 hrs on my days off. Thats one of the things I like most about my work schedule.
sPida: Wow, I’m jealous (laughs). How is the support from your employment and co-workers? Are they aware that you are a Cage Fighter?
Roger: As far as the main Cheif in the Dept, I dont think he knows but since it’s Ammy its not considered outside employment. As for my co-workers, their support is great! They know about my fights and usually support me by buying my walk out tees and showing up to my fights. They’re a great moral support for me.
sPidA: Great! As of now you hold a 3-0 record. 1 by tko and 2 by submission. With that said, would you consider yourself a better grappler?
Roger: I would say I’m more comfortable on the ground game. When I first started training I did it for the Jiu-Jitsu aspect. Wasnt really looking at getting into MMA. I stay pretty active in some of the big BJJ/Submission tournamnets like “Fight to Win” etc and as of now hold brown belt under Hector Munoz.I do hold a blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do but that was when I was 14,definetly helped with my agility now.
sPidA: Do you know much or anything about your opponent,how have you trained for this fight?
Roger: The promoter did give me a name.I do know he is 2-2 and hasnt foguth in a while but I plan to keep this fight standing. Been working on my boxing a lot for this one.Both fights I saw of him he lost unfortunetly but he is very aggressive and I’m not taking him lightly.Thats about all I know.
sPidA: You’ve obviously trained a lot with Hector, do you help with some of the classes while he’s away?
Roger: Yes, I’m Hectors under study and me and the Flick brothers take over the MMA classes if Hectors out training somewhere. The least I can do for all he’s done for us.
sPidA: I’m sure one of your goals is to obtain your blackbelt and keep training,would having a school yourself be somehting you would like to have if the Team keeps expanding?
Roger: You know, if thats something that they would ask of me, I would love to in time. Our classes here are growing but that would be up to the Team. For now I’ll keep helping them and we’ll see what time will bring.
sPidA: I remeber back in the day,we used to get flyers to our school about tourneys and fights. With social networks like Facebook,do you think it has helped with the growth of MMA?
Roger: It has helped, I mean, I get to keep in touch with fighters an fans from everywhere we go. Plus now promoters are on there so getting fights is a bit easier,seems like there throwing fights at you at time (laughs) but I like the social networking. Now I can pick my fights and I can space them out and give myself time to train properly.
sPidA: Earlier you had mentioned you were a blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do,do you still use some of the moves you had learned and did training in Martial Arts ealier in age lead you into MMA?
Roger: I was doing Tae Kwon Do (McKenzie) when I was way younger, stopped at around 14yrs of age. I had stopped and started with Football, baseball basically where the girls where at (laughs) but if i would have stayed with it, I know I would have started earlier with MMA. As for using it in MMA, no I dont but I think about the only thing I still use is my front kick (TaeKwonDo), my stance is alot more kickboxing, I’ve adapted to my instuctors fight stance more over the years.I like it and it has a been a great tool for me over the years.
sPidA: How do you feel about being able to cross training with other gyms or students for that matter?
Roger: Man, thats actually how Paragon and Full Contact Fighting got together. I had asked Hector for permission to roll with other students and he gave me the Go. It’s the best thing, after a while to start to stale mate with your training partners and there a lot more techniques and game plans outhere.Hector tends to train with Greg Jacksons camp in New Mexico and I hope to be able to make it outhere myself.
sPidA: After this fight, are you looking at possibly going Pro or will you keep training and competing in MMA?
Roger: Not sure,hard to say because I love Jiu-Jitsu. I would like to possibly have 2 Pro fights a year bur definetly keep competing in BJJ/grappling tournamnets.
sPidA: Wow, its been a great conversation and we definitely covered a lot of ground,thank you Roger for the time and hope to see you in the big leagues brother. Any last words to those reading this?
Roger: Definetly man,i’d like to thank both Hector and Aurelio as weell as the Team for there support! I’d also like to thank my sponsors who have helped me out a lot. Doctor Peters Chiropractic, Joe Balboa @ Rocks vitamins and supplements, Big O @ Affilated 4 Life, American clothing brand and you guys @ TexasFighting for helping me get my name out. Oh and i cant for Franks Extreme Fight Wear.They always hooked me up with great shorts and been there for me. Thank you!