Interview with Texas Amateur MMA Fighter Jared “The Cajun Fighter” Reeves

After watching Jared “The Cajun Fighter” Reeves fight his first amateur fight at the Championship Showdown in New Braunfels, Texas, I knew I wanted to do a spotlight on him.  Yesterday, I spent an hour interviewing him and was impressed by his humble yet confident personality which makes a good combination for a new fighter who wants to make a name for himself in Mixed Martial Arts.  Reeves currently trains with CTC out of Austin and is set to fight on October 17th out in Dallas at Fight to Win which, if it is anything like his last fight, should be a good show.  Enjoy the interview!

~Interview Start~

Texas Fighting:  How long have you been training in Mixed Martial Arts?

Jared Reeves:  I’ve been training Jujitsu for about two and a half years or so. I startedJared Reeves Victory out at Austin Submission Fighting which is a small school out of a guys garage in South Austin.  I learned a lot and it taught me a lot of the basics of fighting.  A little over a year ago, I started out at CTC and my coaches have helped me get a lot more in depth in training.

Texas Fighting:  Is CTC a pretty big outfit, tell me a little bit more about where you’re training?

Jared Reeves:  It’s a Miletich school, which is only one of two in Texas.  They have one here and another one in Dallas.  It’s a great school with great coaches.  We’ve got my MMA coach Ernesto, Charlie the Boxing Coach, Jason Webster the Muay Thai coach, and Kamal Shalorus who’s a title holder at King of Kombat is our wrestling coach and Olympic wrestler.  The facility is really great, there’s a lot of high end equipment so it definitely helps out with training.  They also keep the facility running all the time so we don’t have to worry about little things like infection and stuff like that.  Everything’s always kept real clean so it makes it easier to train there.

Texas Fighting:  It sounds like they have a pretty well rounded training program there, tell me a little about what your training consists of and how often you train?

Jared Reeves:  I train 4-5 days a week at the gym itself Jared Reevesand I supplement the other days with running and stuff like that.  I don’t lift weights, I kinda haven’t got into that space yet but I’ll hopefully start pretty soon.  The problem we’re worried about lifting weights is, yeah it’s good for strength but we don’t want it to put me over the edge as far as weight goes.  My next two fights I have coming up I’ll be fighting at 155 but we’re actually thinking at the first of the year trying to drop down to 145, just because of the last weigh in I came in so far under.  Basically I spend about two days a week on Jujitsu, one day on boxing, one day on Muay Thai and then usually one day a week we’ll work everything together.  But, basically, everyday of training is always punching, always kicking, working on take downs – we work basically everything every day with a focus on one particular aspect of MMA.  It ends up flowing together really well, especially with our performance trainers who help us mix everything in to help maximize our efforts.

Texas Fighting:  In your last fight, did you fight at 155 or 165?

Jared Reeves:  I was supposed to fight at 155. My fight Jared Reeves 3with Paul Silva was the only fight of the night that ended up with both of us really far on each side of the spectrum. Paul was about 5 inches shorter than me but he ended up weighing in at 161 and a half and I ended up weighing in at 148. So it was really far off as far as weight goes but he was a good sport and went in there and cut the last bit of weight that he could.  He ended up getting in at 156 and a half in 30 minutes. The boxing commission was cool about it and gave him 30 minutes to cut the last bit of weight.  It was better than it was going to be at 160 and that’s one of the main reasons we’re considering dropping down to 145.  My cut time was only 30 minutes and I normally walk about 170.  Twenty pounds in a week was a little difficult but I still had enough energy left over.  We are going to eventually try for 145.

Texas Fighting:  You mentioned that you’ve been involved in Mixed Martial Arts for two and a half years, where do you see yourself in the next two years?

Jared Reeves:  Two years, well luckily our gym has Jared Reeves 2good connections within the industry and I’ve been trying to make sure that I get in with as many leagues as possible.  The league that I’m fighting in on Oct. 17th is Fight to Win. They’re an organization that hasn’t done an MMA event in Texas yet. The one in Dallas will be their first one here in Texas.  They’ve been around Colorado for a while doing events there.  Fight to Win is a great organization and I’ve competed in two Jujitsu tournaments with them here in Austin and had a great experience both times.  They run things very well and are not afraid to take chances.  The venue that they’re using for the fight is at the Dallas convention center, which is a good size venue.  NAGA was held there, so it’s a good size venue and it will be a lot of fun fighting for them.  Three of our fighters fight for King of Kombat so hopefully I’ll try to get in with King of Kombat and Ron Hernandez.  I’d like to go pro, if my coach says it’s cool, by next summer.  We’re going to try to have three fights done by the end of the year and do another four or five at the beginning of next year.  From there I’ll just see what happens.  To be honest, I just wanna fight – that’s all I want to do!  As long as I have a place to fight and an opponent, I’m good to go.  I don’t care how long it takes for me – three years, four years, ten years to go pro, I’ll fight as many times as they want me to.  If they put somebody in front of me I’ll be there.

Texas Fighting:  How did you get into MMA?

Jared Reeves:  Originally I moved to Austin from Jersey for music, met my wife, moved here and was doing the music scene – stuff like that.  My wife and I use to watch UFC and the WEC a lot together.  I ended up quitting my band and she was like, “go do something.”  So she pushed me into it. We found a gym, I started training and just got hooked.  I trained for about six months, took a break for school and work – life happened, then came back and started going to CTC – I’ve been going steady ever since.   I just can’t get enough of it!

Texas Fighting:  Did it a take a little while to get use to getting hit?

Jared Reeves:  The hardest thing to get use to about getting hit in the face is the human reflex of turning your head and getting a way from it. It took a while to get use to it but luckily there are some really good guys in the gym that hit me in the face a lot so I got use to it quicker than others I’m sure.  I enjoy it a lot.   I also like to joke around when I train so when I get elbowed in the face or punched in the ribs I just start laughing.  It just doesn’t bother me anymore.  That’s one of the things that I was worried about in my last fight that I’d get on the ground and just start laughing (loud laughter).  Getting hit in the face gets me pumped up.  Whether it’s training in the gym or in the cage, I love to fight period!

Texas Fighting:  When you were younger did you get into fights much?

Jared Reeves:  I can’t say that I was this bad a@@ kid who was always in trouble.  I was raised in Cajun country in Louisiana but never really got into all that much trouble.  I always wanted to do martial arts when I was growing up but my parents were old school so they never let me.  I was always athletic though and played baseball all through high school, did a little bit of wrestling but I never liked the idea of getting pinned to the ground.  I’d rather submit somebody than get pinned. Growing up we moved around a lot.  My dad was an Engineer so we lived here [Texas], California, Louisiana, all over the place.   As far as the fight aspect goes, I believe anyone who has some form of martial arts growing up, whether it be wrestling or any martial arts, is at a great advantage.  For me, I have to take in as much as I can and fortunately I have a team to learn from.

Texas Fighting:  You mentioned that you like to fight, is that your only motivation?

Jared Reeves:  I want Mixed Martial Arts to be my full time job. I work retail and go to school like anyone else but what I really want to do is to fight for a living.  I want to go pro and do everything that I can or at least take it as far as I can take it.  That’s one of the things that I love about being an amateur, you have to want to fight.   I mean, you’re not getting paid, you’re not getting as much publicity, you have to make the publicity for yourself.   If you don’t go out there throw a show for everybody you’re just another fighter on the card.  But if you can go out there, make an impression, turn some heads, then that shows that you can get along.   Hopefully that’s what I did at my last fight and hopefully that’s what I’ll continue to do.

Texas Fighting:  Do you attend local MMA events?

Jared Reeves:  Not as many as I’d like to but, then again, MMA in Texas is still growing.  I want to get out in the scene as much as possible to network and let people know that I’m ready to fight.  This last fight was on a weeks notice which came out of nowhere.  I had even shied off training for about two weeks, then they told me I was fighting next week so I kinda had to get into the swing of things real quick.  If a promoter can call me up and say, “Hey I’ve got a fight for you next week” and I can go and do my business, that’s fine with me.  Also, Texas has really weird laws with pro and amateur events.  There has to be organizations that are separate which is great for the Athletic Boxing Gym. Also, Fight to Win, which is going to be out here soon and other organizations bringing amateur events out here to Texas.  One of the really cool things I like about Fight to Win is that they’re from a different state.  Not only are they trying to get amateurs noticed, they’re bringing amateurs from another state.  For example, this one coming up is actually the same day as the UT vs. OU game so what they’re doing is all the fights are going to be Texas fighters vs. Oklahoma fighters.  It’s also really cool ‘cus they’re comping us on everything, they’re basically treating us like pro fighters.  I wish they had more amateur organizations like Fight to Win and Athletic Boxing Gym.  Both great organizations that I’d love to fight in again but then again, I just want to fight!  Whatever organization will take me, I’ll be there.

Texas Fighting:  Who sets up the fights for you?

Jared Reeves:  My coach and I both work together.  We both aim to get our roots out as far as we can.  My coach Ernesto, who’s the head MMA coach out at CTC has really been taking care of all the amateur fighters. Most gyms place the amateurs as a second priority but our coach treats us all the same and gives us all the same respect. He’s taken care of us real well. The idea is to continue reaching out and get as many organizations as possible to continue to recognize us.

Texas Fighting:  How many amateurs come out of CTC?

Jared Reeves:  Our main amateurs are myself, Lindsey White, Gavin who fights at 170 – he’s an all around great fighter, we have a 185er, Nick, who’s an old school country boy – he’s going to be a real shock when they put him in the ring, Brian Delgado who’s really great at Muay Thai and has awesome submission.  These are the main amateurs and we should all be on the upcoming Fight to Win card. A bunch of great guys to train with, each bringing their own individual style.

Texas Fighting:  You mentioned that you’re married, how long you been married?

Jared Reeves:  I’ve been married for a little over a year now.   I love my wife to death, she definitely pushes me to work harder.  For instance with my dieting and cutting weight, which was hell, she pushed me through it and made sure I was eating right.  Everything from driving me to weigh-ins and everything in general she’s completely supportive.  It’s different being married but I couldn’t ask for anything more – it’s great.

Texas Fighting:  So you’re going to school as well, what are you going to school for?

Jared Reeves:  I’m going to school to be a teacher.   Right now I help out Ernesto at the gym sometimes, doing Jujitsu coaching stuff like that.  I was in school for nursing before but changed over to teaching and think that I’m really going to enjoy it.

Texas Fighting:  Another thing I wanted to ask you, you mentioned you came down here for music-tell me a little about that.

Jared Reeves:  I was in a band, played the guitar for about fourteen years or so, toured all over the country.  But after doing that for a couple years it just got old so I figured I would just quit while I was ahead.  I had fun with it but luckily I picked up fighting and haven’t turned back since.

Texas Fighting:  Do you have any favorite pro fighters?

Jared Reeves:  I really like Amir Sadala, unfortunately with his last fight, they called it a little too early in my opinion. He’s one of those fighters that is a goof ball all around but you hit him and he comes back ten times harder.  Anderson Silva with his unorthodox striking, weird angles, no body gives him credit for his Jujitsu but he’s a black belt under Nogueira so when he gets to the ground he knows what to do.  I try to style myself around that as much as possible.   I do have a little bit of a height advantage with guys in my weight class and I’m extremely lanky so hopefully I’ll be able to do some of that unorthodox striking in future fights.  My boxing coach works us on coming from really weird angles and coming from a spot that people aren’t use to.  The way i see it is the more unorthodox fighter you are the better chance you’ll have. Gotta give props to BJ Penn and all the ground guys, the ground is my bread n butter so I gottta give props to them.  Also, our gym is sponsored by Pat Miletich who was great in his time.   I love his style of wrestling background.

Texas Fighting:  Any thoughts you’d like to share about yourself?

Jared Reeves:  I try to stay as humble as possible and don’t want to ever come off as cocky in any way. But what I will say is put me in the ring and I’ll bang with whoever you put against me no matter how big or how much experience – whether he’s 50-0, I don’t care because I love to fight.  Whether I win or lose.  Losing is part of the growth experience. In order to get better you have to lose.  No fighter will ever have a perfect winning streak – no one.  I’m also the kind of guy that doesn’t want it to go to the judges.  I’m either going to try to knock you out or end it by submission. I’m going to do my best to maintain control of the fight ‘cus I’m not going to give you the fight, you’re going to have to rip it from me.

Texas Fighting:  Anyone you’d like to thank?

Jared Reeves:  My wife definitely for supporting me through everything, my family who’s been really supportive, my coaches and everybody at CTC from the guys that work there to the guys that I train with and Paul Silva for bangin’ with me at the last event.

~Interview End~