“PURO FANTASMA!!” Nick “The Ghost” Gonzalez Interview

nick the ghost gonzales and spida of texasfighting dot comTalk about a pioneer in the sport of Texas MMA. Nick Gonzalez is of the hand full of those that have been involved in MMA since the beginning. He has fought for several (now defunct) promotions. One being RENEGADES out of Houston,Texas (first time I saw him fight). Love him or hate him…The guy’s always smiling! Here we go!

sPidA: First off, what has kept you motivated in competition all these years bro?

Gonzales: I enjoy fighting, the competition, just throwing down and challenging myself. I’ve been at it awhile but I’m far from being done.

sPidA: This year alone you’ve had quite a few fights get canceled, what’s the worst part when something like this happens?

Gonzales: Not doing what I’m set out to do for weeks at a time!! It’s a big emotional let down to be getting ready for something and NOT having the chance to complete what you set out to do. More recently the worst part is the run around Im getting from promoters in Texas, It’s pretty sad because when I lived in San Diego I was so proud of MMA in Texas. Shows, fighters etc that this year has left me with a lot of disappointment. UWF, STFC, Legacy, KOK, and whatever that lady in New Braunfels calls her show. I wanna fight and stay busy, not get the run around. I’d rather the promoter be honest then bullshit me. I miss the Renegade days when Saul Soliz called you and had a fight, either you fought or he just moved on to the next person that would fight.

sPidA: You’ve competed in a lot of great promotions as well as every promotion in Austin, Texas…Which has been your favorite and why?

Gonzales: The FFC, which was out in Biloxi, Ms. It was my first legit title I won and that’s a memory I will never forget. It was also my favorite because I got the “fight of the nite award” winning the title after breaking my hand in the 2 round!!!

sPidA:This year you’ve also competed in a pro boxing event and done commentary for the UWF promotion in Corpus Christi, are these outlets staying active in the scene?

Gonzales: Yeah for sure, and to make make some extra money! Commentary work would be something fun to do after I retire so it was a way to start and I really enjoy watching fights too!! And I boxed on ESPN Friday night fights for the opportunity but also because two MMA fights fell thru so it kept me busy.

sPidA: You have a big following in your hometown of Austin,Texas, ever thought of starting your own promotion down the road?

Gonzales: Absolutely! I feel with my MMA experience and being around for so long that I’d be able to promote good shows! By seeing a lot of them come and go, I sit back and watch what they did wrong and by seeing the mistakes I know what not to do. Like LEGACY for example. UWF, not so much. It’s about building a product and crawling before you walk. No throwing money away thinking just cause you do an MMA show the flood gates will open and you will be successful.

sPidA: Your next fight is against a tough guy Chas Skelly, known as a strong grappler, will this be a grappler vs striker or are you thinking he will try and stand up with you?

Gonzales: No, he won’t because he can’t. He’s a good grappler and that is his hand to play right now. He is still not developed into a full on MMA fighter but his wrestling is his go to thing to win. I do call it striker vs grappler but I’m a lot more developed as an MMA fighter. I just have more tools in my bag right now. I have been able to shut people down and don’t really seem to have much “stand up” but with his wrestling resume I’m gonna have to use my tools!

sPidA: You’ve had some great wins and some unfortunate losses, which have you learned more from?

Gonzales: The losses. Every fighter should. It’s part of the game. It helps you grow as a fighter and as a person.

sPidA: For the longest time people have always wanted Mixed Martial Arts to have its T.V. time and it’s blown up since 2000. Is there such a thing as overkill?

Gonzales: Not overkill but for sure a quality kill. Like the ultimate fighter. 16 guys every season. There are really only 4 to 5 that can compete in the UFC. The others are “casted” for entertainment which can leave a bad impression on a casual viewer.

nick the ghost gonzales

sPidA: You have some great kids that I’ve seen at some of the Austin events you’ve fought in, how do they feel about you competing or being involved in fighting?

Gonzales: They love it!! I really enjoy having ’em around at fights when I can. It makes them proud and I want them to see that anything is possible. You can achieve your dreams and beat the odds!!!

sPidA: We hope to be there covering this event come September 22nd, best of luck to you bro. Anything you’d like to end with?

Gonzales: Thank your for all the support! Thanks to all the fans. Thank you to Onnit for sponsoring me!! Look for an exciting fight come 9/22, I always bring it…Balls Big, Hands Swinging!! Puro Fantasma!!

 

“My goal is to finish my opponent…” Interview with Brandon Farran

DSC_8161[1]I’ve been following Brandon Farran‘s career as of late. Recently he came off a great submission win as well as a KO victory, he’s definitely showcasing some well rounded Mixed Martial Arts arsenal! He’s preparing to step inside the cage on Friday September 14th for LEGACY FC 14. Let’s get started!

sPidA: You’re coming off a great submission win over a humble and very athletic fighter by the name of Cleburn Walker. How prepared were you for that fight?

Farran: Cleburn Walker is a great guy and it was a pleasure to step in the cage with a man who possesses the same values and principles as myself. I knew he was a great fighter, so I made sure I stepped into the cage knowing that I trained harder than ever for this fight, as I do with all fights no matter the caliber of opponent!

sPidA: With a KO win prior to your fight with Cleburn, was a submission victory planned to show you were that well rounded or did he just happen to fall into it?

Farran: The submission was definitely not planned. When going against any opponent, the last thing you want to do is allow them to take the fight where they feel most comfortable.

sPidA: As a gym owner in Future Fitness, what has been the toughest thing since opening your doors?

Farran: I would have to say the toughest thing has been finding the balance between my family life, business and a fighting career. Luckily for me the business and fighting go hand and hand, so ultimately the hardest thing has been to leave business and fighting at the gym and making sure I didn’t let it interfere the relationship between me and my fiancee.

sPidA: With the change of opponents and now having Derek Krantz step in, has your game plan changed any? What do you know about your new opponent?

Farran: I never prepare for a specific opponent. When I step inside the cage I set the pace and make sure I inflict my will and not vice versa. I know Derrick has established a name for himself and that he’s pretty well rounded. As far as him as a person, I know nothing of him.

sPidA: Nobody trains to lose but many “play it safe”, what is your set goal when entering the cage for a fight?

Farran: When stepping into the cage, my goal is to finish my opponent no matter where the fight goes, that way the judges have no say.

sPidA: With your birthday happening days prior to your fight (strict diet etc..), are you looking to celebrate it after your victory on Sept 14th?

Farran: I will celebrate my birthday inside the cage on Friday night and then I plan to spend the rest of the weekend with my family, since they all live in Houston.

sPidA: It’s great that you have people you love supporting you. Is this the same support that your students and any prospective students can expect?

Farran: The support from loved ones is what fuels my fire! The way I see being a head coach and training partner to my students is, if they do not get better than ultimately I cannot get better. These guys are my family and I love each and every one of them unconditionally. I pour as much fight knowledge into them as they can absorb. I do not teach with a set pace or structure because everyone has different learning curves and I try to give each and every one of them the individual attention they need.

sPidA: We hear about so many “bad calls” in Mixed Martial Arts events, what are your thoughts on training some referees that work them?

Farran: The refs see a totally different view of the fight, a view that fighters and spectators can’t. Their main job is to lookout for the safety of fighters. This is one of the main reasons I train myself and team to finish fights!

sPidA: What Martial Arts movies did you grow up watching and did any of them motivate you to train as you do now?

Farran: I grew up watching them all but my motivation comes from seeing actual fighters and choreographed stunts. Don’t get me wrong, while growing up I loved these movies but after training and fighting you realize those movies are not realistic at all. Although they are starting to do a good job of making them more realistic.

sPidA: Thanks once again bro, glad to see your career taking off. Anything you’d like to add to this before we wrap it up?

Farran: Thank you brotha for finding me worthy enough to interview, it is always a pleasure talking MMA. Thank you to my fiancee Channing Morris for putting up with my drama, she likes to call me a “Diva” lol, but she has been great to me! Also thank you to all my supporters who help to make my dreams come true!


Televised Card
Welterweight title – Jeff Rexroad 5-1 v. Macaco 27 -13 – 5 x 5
125 – Josh Sampo 8-2 v. Antonio Banuelos 20-8 – 3 x 5
135 – Cody Williams 4-2 v. Steven Peterson 7-2 – 3 x 5
170 – Brandon Farran 7-4 v. Derrick Krantz 12-6 – 3 x 5
170 – Lester Batres 2-1 v. Jon Harris – 5-2 – 3 x 5
125 – Matt Schnell 0-0 v. Ryan Hollis 0-0 – 3 x 3
145 – Darrion Caldwell 0-0 v. David Armas 2-4 – 3 x 3
Prelims
170 – Ryan Spann v. Charlie Ontiveros – 3 x 3
205 – Yonny Osuna v. Chris Reed – 3 x 3
180 – Patrick Hutton v. Terrance Ferguson – 3 x 3
170 – Patrick Greene v. Kaileb Cummins – 3 x 3

Check out Brandon Farran -vs- Jarret Jones

“WE DO IT BIG IN TEXAS!” A few words with Ryan “RipTide” Hollis

A few words with a very confident and charismatic young man, Ryan “RipTide” Hollis. Here’s what he had to say about his pro debut for LEGACY 14 happening in Houston, Texas on September 14th. Enjoy!

sPidA: You’re making your Pro MMA debut, how long have you been waiting for this opportunity and how excited are you that it’s for Legacy Fighting Championships?

Hollis: I’ve been waiting for 11 to 12 years for this. I’ve always been a fan of Martial Arts. Fighting in general really. I’ve grown up watching MMA , Boxing , Kickboxing and studied several different martial arts. Everything from Jiu-Jitsu , Taekwondo, American Kempo and Muay Thai. LEGACY FC is for sure one of the biggest promotions in Texas and I’m very excited to fight on this card with all these Monsters!

sPidA: You’re an amateur title holder and now making your pro debut in front of a televised audience, any pressure stepping into the cage come Sept 14th?

Hollis: It is a lot of pressure. I have 2 different towns behind me though. The whole Island of Galveston TX is behind me, along with the town I currently live in Cleveland,TX. I’ve been promoting this fight like crazy! Going around selling tickets with my lady on top of training. I also just found out that I’m going to be a dad while also trying my best to be a great step dad. It’s going to be my first pro fight and on TV. Every day I hear about how “Danger” trains with beasts and how he’s a purple belt. Some people think he’s on another level. So there’s a lot of people I can’t let down. If I lose, I feel like I’d be letting down not only myself but my unborn child, stepson, my team and the great state of TEXAS. Can’t let this Louisiana guy come whoop up on me. So yeah, there’s plenty of PRESSURE!

sPidA: Your opponent is coming in with a lot of great exposure from MTV’s reality Caged Series. Have you been using this to your advantage?

Hollis: Of course. I’ve been using it for this whole fight camp. I’ve been promoting the fight using his credentials. Telling people to buy tickets from me to see me fight this MTV star and so far it’s been working! I’ve sold all my tickets! People want to see me fight this guy. I got to thank him for that. This will be his first PRO fight too which will be on AXS.TV. Which is fine with me because I have the chance of getting my first win on television!

sPidA: He stated that you’ve been very cocky, has he mistaken your confidence for cockiness?

Hollis: I’m not Cocky at all. I’m my own manager and public relations guy so I’ve said things at times for the sole purpose of hyping this fight. I want people to buy tickets and want to get them excited about watching my fight. I walk around at fights with my head down because I have a social disorder and I feel like no one would want to be bothered with my company. It has nothing to do with me feeling like I’m too good for anyone or that I’m a BAD ASS. I know what I can do in the cage BUT at the same time, I know what can be done to me. Not cocky just confident!

sPidA: Very well stated bro. You’re both experienced amateur fighters, why do you think people are saying he’s much more experienced than you?

Hollis: Yeah people talk about how he’s experienced and what not but I’ve had just as many fights as him. My amateur record is 11-2 which is exactly the same as his. Just because I started my amateur career late doesn’t mean he has been training any longer than me, If anything, I’d say I’m more experienced seeing how I have fought several fights where knees and elbows were allowed to the head and this will be his first. I’ve also had my fair share of street fights before I ever started MMA so I’m no rookie.

sPidA: How has your training camp been coming along?

Hollis: My training has been going great. I’m training at Hard Head Hitters / ONE MMA. I put on a lot of weight for this fight camp to add power. I know he’s going to try and grab me which is fine – I’m ready!

sPidA: I was able to meet you at a past LEGACY event, do you prefer fighting at an event or attending one as a spectator?

Hollis: I use to like going to events so I could watch people in my weight class or 1 above to keep an eye out. So if I ever had to fight them, I would have already seen them fight. It drives me crazy cause every event I’ve been to, I find myself wanting to be in the cage.

sPidA: I hear that from a lot of fighters. If ever given the opportunity to try out for a Reality Show (not MMA related) which one would it be?

Hollis: Maybe Big Brother or Survivor. They should make a caged 2.0 and bring it to TEXAS in my opinion and show less baby mama drama and more fighting. We do it BIG in TEXAS!

sPidA: Your training partner Charles Ontiveros left a great impression on his LEGACY debut. Are you looking to make a great first impression as well?

Hollis: He did great! Everyone knows Charlie is good. Nobody knows what I can do. When people talk about us or when I see posts about our camp, people see me as the wannabe, which sucks. I’m a different fighter and in a different weight class. We shouldn’t be compared. Honestly it’s cause I haven’t knocked anyone out yet. I’ve been submitting people so no one’s intimidated. So yeah, there’s a lot of pressure to live up to the hype and to show everyone that I am Ryan “RipTide” Hollis and not some punk kid. I will show that come September 14th.

sPidA: Tell us a bit about the gym you train out of, coaches, sparring partners and what makes it home?

Hollis: I train out of Hard Head Hitters in Cleveland, Texas and our sister school ONE MMA in Pasadena. I’ve trained here for a while and even before training here I fought for Charles Ontiveros’ promotion East Texas MMA. I’ve known them for a while and my sparring partners are mainly Charles Ontiveros Jr. and Mike De Leon. Mike just made his LEGACY Debut. The gym is only 14 minutes from my place and I’ve known everyone here for a long while now and it’s more like a family than a school. We don’t have a crazy amount of people here so there’s more time to get to know each other.

sPidA: Best of luck man and thank you for taking the time for this. Any last minute comments?

Hollis: I’d like to thank GOD, my team, sponsors and gym Hard Head Hitters, OneMMA ,Deviate Auto, Pound4Pound, OvrFlow Music, B.O.I Music, Southern District, TexasFighting.com. My lady for putting up with me during this weight cut and for helping me get these tickets sold. Love you. I look forward to see everyone come September 14th!

Televised Card
Welterweight title – Jeff Rexroad 5-1 v. Macaco 27 -13 – 5 x 5
125 – Josh Sampo 8-2 v. Antonio Banuelos 20-8 – 3 x 5
135 – Cody Williams 4-2 v. Steven Peterson 7-2 – 3 x 5
170 – Brandon Farran 7-4 v. Derrick Krantz 12-6 – 3 x 5
170 – Lester Batres 2-1 v. Jon Harris – 5-2 – 3 x 5
125 – Matt Schnell 0-0 v. Ryan Hollis 0-0 – 3 x 3
145 – Darrion Caldwell 0-0 v. David Armas 2-4 – 3 x 3
Prelims
170 – Ryan Spann v. Charlie Ontiveros – 3 x 3
205 – Yonny Osuna v. Chris Reed – 3 x 3
180 – Patrick Hutton v. Terrance Ferguson – 3 x 3
170 – Patrick Greene v. Kaileb Cummins – 3 x 3

Meet MMA Legend Frank Trigg at the 2012 Europa Get Fit & Sports Expo in Dallas [Press Release]

Press Release: Las Vegas, NV – August 14, 2012

Trigg will also appear as a special guest at the Legacy Fighting Championship 13 weigh-ins and fight event at the Dallas Convention Center on August 17

– This week fight fans in Texas have the opportunity to meet one of MMA’s most recognized personalities! MMA veteran Frank Trigg will be making several appearances in Dallas, Texas August 16 -18. Trigg will be a special guest at the Legacy Fighting Championship 13 weigh-ins and fight event and will be attending the 2012 Europa Get Fit and Sports Expo.

According to Frank Trigg, “It’s always great visiting with the fight fans in Dallas. I’ll be attending several events while I’m in town, including the Legacy FC weigh-ins and fight event and the Europa Expo. Legacy always puts on a great show. I’m looking forward to watching some great fights and meeting with fans. I’ll be at the Last Round Nutrition booth during the expo doing autograph sessions, including a signing with Jake Rosholt on Saturday. It’s going to be a great time!”

Weigh-ins for Legacy Fighting Championship 13 (LFC 13) will take place on Thursday, August 16 at North Texas Yamaha in Lewisville, Texas and will begin promptly at 2:00pm. The LFC 13 fight event will take place on Friday, August 17 at the Dallas Convention Center. Fights will begin at 7:00 pm.

Trigg will be attending the Europa Get Fit & Sports Expo at the Dallas Convention Center on Friday, August 17 from 2:00pm to 8:00pm and on Saturday, August 18 from 9:00am to 8:00pm. Trigg will be in the Last Round Nutrition booth. For more information on the Europa Expo including competition schedules and booth locations, please visit www.europaexpo.com.

About Frank Trigg:
UFC veteran Frank Trigg is a mixed martial arts fighter, color commentator, television personality, radio host, and MMA spokesman. Trigg has fought for some of the most prestigious fight promotions in the world, including Ultimate Fighting Championship, PRIDE Fighting Championships, Rumble on the Rock, Icon Sport and World Fighting Alliance. As a Color Commentator, Trigg has called the fight action for many notable MMA promotions, including the Sungoku Raiden Championships (SRC), Xtreme Fighting Championships (XFC), Legacy Fighting Championships, Dream Fighting Championships in Japan, and many others.

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Media Contact:
Melissa Ingram
602-434-5055
Melissa@ingrampr.com
Twitter: @ingrampr

“I always want to compete against the best!” A few words with Corey Bellino

Corey Bellino, Texas MMA Fighter

Interview with Corpus Christi Police Officer and Mixed Martial Artist, Corey Bellino. The biggest test of his career as he faces STFC Champion Frank Trevino. We talk past, present and his next bout. Representing PARAGON MMA…I present you…Corey Bellino.

sPidA: You have managed a great win streak, is there any pressure as you compete?

Corey: There is no pressure on me. I have a very supportive team. I just show up day in and day out to do what I do.

sPidA: Looking back at fighting UFC TUF participant Darryl Schoonover for your Pro debut, what are your thoughts now on taking that fight so early in your career? (and yes I know him participating in the UFC was years later but he was much more experienced even then)

Corey: Most fighters and people may not have taken that fight, but I looked at it as a great opportunity. I knew he was more experienced back then, but I wanted to be in there against the best. I always want to compete against the best. I lost that fight and it taught me a lot about what I need to do in order to compete at a high level in the cage. Without that fight I would not be the same person or fighter that I am today. I am still thankful for that opportunity.

sPidA: You train with the guys at PARAGON MMA, with a lot of its fighters staying active in MMA/BJJ what do you think sets the competitive spirit withing the Team?

Corey: There is great chemistry at the gym. We have great coaches, great team mates and a very supportive community/family. We push and drive each other every day to train harder; to go beyond our limits as competitors. We do not let each other slack on anything.

sPidA: With most of your fights being in South Texas, are you looking at fighting on other events ( EFC / IMKF / LEGACY FC) and challenging other top middle wieght contenders?

Corey: I would love to fight more top contenders in the middleweight division. I will gladly work with any event that contacts me, but I am a very loyal person and STFC is a great organization.

sPidA: Your last opponent was Andre Kavanuagh out of Austin,Texas, did you have a game plan going into that bout and how hard is it at times to stick to one? (gameplan)

Corey: Game plans always change after the bell rings. You may feel a guy is going to do one thing and then he does another. I learned along time ago to be flexible. I train hard at all aspects and feel that I am ready for anything in the cage. It gives me a great deal of confidence training at Paragon/FCFA.

sPidA: Your a local Corpus Christi Law Enforcement Officer, has fighting given you much if any publicity while doing your job, how much has MMA complimted what you do for a living?

Corey: I have gotten some positive and some negative publicity. On the negative side there are those typical stereo types of fighters that we are aggresive and not intelligent. I try to explain to people in general that I am probably less aggresive on the street because I compete against such high level athletes every day that I have no need to prove anything or be aggresive at all. Because of my skill level I feel that I give people more chances to calm down because I can over come a certain amount of momentum on their part. And the not intelligent thing…PLEASE. I have no clue where these things come from. Some of the most intelligent people I know are fighters.
On the positive side, I have people recognize me and think that its cool for one of “their” police officers to fight in a cage. Now they rarely say if they want to see me win or lose, so… I also have partners and co-workers that get into the sport and support me that would not have if they did not know someone fighting in the cage. On top of that some think it’s cool to show up to work in or out of uniform with a nice black eye from training.
I try to let my career as a Texas peace officer speak for itself though. While on the job I have received four commendations for my actions. I feel that without the training I have had in martial arts since youth and the code of ethics it instills, I would not be the person or peace officer that I am today. I would not have been able to face the obstacles that I have and over come them in the same ways. I owe a lot to martial arts and would hope every parent would let their child compete and learn as I have. Sorry, I get side tracked sometimes. To answer the question of how much MMA has complimented my work as a peace officer though, I would have to say I get to use aspects of the warrior crafts everyday while at work. It gives me great confidence and I carry that aura with me on the streets. MMA is very complimentory to a peace officer.

sPidA: Next bout will be a Title fight , will this be your biggest test thus far? How much more are you training for this?

Corey: Frank will be a very big test. He is the champion and undefeated for a reason. Of course I am putting in extra time for this fight. I have to be ready for five by five minute rounds. How much extra would be hard to say, but my body knows its extra for sure.

sPidA: I last saw you cornering Tommy Guerrero here in S.A., is helping your Team mates part of being a family, who will be working your corner come July 13th?

Corey: Yes, I feel that helping my team mates is part of being a family. That is what keeps us all together and growing as a team and family. I will bring my usual corner. I will have Billy Flores, Roger Narvaez and Aurelio Gallegos or Hector Munoz depending on fight schedules.

sPidA: Are you a fan of female MMA as well, What are your thoughts on Dana White not intersted in having any in the UFC (He has said he would but not enought of them are evenly matched”)

Corey:I am a fan of female MMA. The females at Paragon/FCFA train with and just as hard as the guys. They deserve everything they get. Now Dana White has made millions of dollars for a reason. It would be hard to second guess his logic for his non-interest. As a fan, I would love to see females in the UFC though.

Thank you Corey for taking time for this, anything you would like to add to those helping you to make your dream possible?

sPidA: I would like to mention that I am available for private lessons. I teach/coach anything from MMA to firearms and really any weapon in between. Yeah, I am a certified firearms instructor as well. Have to love to do those things with my job, both of them.

Corey: I would like to thank all of my friends, family, team mates and sponsors for helping me and putting up with me while I train. LBR promotions, Tanner Chiropractic, TD Trucking, Adcock pipe and supplies, VP sales, LSA firearms, Paragon/FCFA, Johnny D’s, the CCISDPOA and a special thanks to one of my partners Danny Garza.

STFC 21, MMA CAGE FIGHTS