“I Can Stand with Almost Anyone Inside the Cage” – Q&A with Alex Zaya

ARMY veteran and TAEKWONDO Specialist Alex Zaya will be stepping inside the Cage for the 2nd time this year. This will be for Premiere Combat Groups Amateur Mixed Martial Arts event at Cowboys Dance Hall in San Antonio, TX on April 6th. Here’s a few words with the man.
Alex Zaya

sPidA: Since making your amateur MMA debut in Austin, TX for CAGE WAR earlier this year, how has your training changed if any?

Zaya: Well I took the fight on short notice and just came off of an injury. Only trained for a month. I’ve been mostly a boxer and worked on my stand up but I’ve been training a lot on my ground game with BTT/Texas. I’ve done a lot of strength & conditioning. I am in better shape than my last fight.

sPidA: Will fighting in your hometown add any pressure since friends and family will be in attendance?

Zaya: Yes, fighting in front of family and friends scares the heck out of me. I know I can stand with almost anyone inside the cage. I plan on stopping his ground attack and take him-out standing.

sPidA: This will be your 2nd fight in 2013…you looking to stay busy this year?

Zaya: I honestly don’t know because my children are getting older and they need me more and more. If I can find a balance I will continue to fight. I know my opponents will only get harder with each fight. My skills are decent but will get better as well.

sPidA: Your first fight was a stand up war, are you looking to test your ground game or pretty much taking it where it goes?

Zaya: My ground game is designed to get off the ground and to not get submitted or ground and pounded out but if I have an opportunity I’ll go for a submission.

sPidA: Who’s helping you with your training for this fight? Will they also be coaching you the night of the fight?

Zaya: Well of course Santo Randazzo will be in my corner and my other coach is with BTT and has 3 other fighters competing on the same card, so its just Randazzo but I am used it just being us.

sPidA: Any one you would like to thank before we wrap this up?

Zaya: I would like to thank GOD for my ability, health and children. My Coach Santo Randazzo for always having my back. Thank you Arlene Alveraz for pushing me. Thanks Sergio and Richard from BTT for beating me up in BJJ. My friends and family for supporting me.

Yves Edwards MMA Seminar Featuring: Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Seminar

Yves Edwards MMA Seminar
Featuring: Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone
Saturday June 23rd – Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Diaz Martial Arts
166 South LBJ Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666
512-392-4763

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!