A few words with Le’Ville Simpson who will be stepping inside the cage on Saturday March 23rd in Corpus Christi at the American Bank Center. Coming off an impressive Pro debut in San Antonio. Lets get started!
sPidA: You are coming off a great Pro debut in San Antonio,TX, was going Pro the best decision for your MMA career?
Simpson: I really felt going pro was the best decision. Everyone in the TWMMA family felt I had proved myself in my amateur bouts and they gave me the thumbs up to make that next step.
sPidA: You have a strong Team in TWINWOLVES MMA, what sets you guys apart from other gyms?
Simpson: TWINWOLVES is a family more than a team. On teams you have guys that like to compete against one another, but all my brothers in the gym we push each other to help better one another. There is no jealousy among us. Our coaching staff is phenomenal ranging from Kasib Taylor, to Daniel Moraes, and Jamir Toledo. We always joke we’re the hidden gem in the middle of Texas.
sPidA: I keep up with the news and am shocked at how much your team mates are willing to travel to compete, is fighting away from home a norm for you guys?
Simpson: It’s been like that since we all started. We’re always traveling – a promoter calls and we show up to fight.
sPidA: Your upcoming bout you will be traveling to Corpus Christi, are you nervous or excited about this next match up?
Simpson: I’m excited about fighting in Corpus Christi.I’ve seen some good fights there so its exciting to know I’m going to be apart of that.
sPidA: What do you know about your opponent, how do you see this fight going?
Simpson: All I really know about Kirk is that he had a good amateur career and that he’s a hometown guy that’s gritty. I’m not intimidated by his record or the hometown fans, its me and him only in there and I still see myself walking out victorious.
sPidA: What got you into Mixed Martial Arts? Was competition something you’ve always been involved in?
Simpson: I starting training to get into shape really, but when an old school football teammate and current TWMMA fighter Geoff Neal made his debut, I figured what the hell why not.
sPidA: A big part of MMA is entertainment, are you looking to put on a good show for your next bout at ROCKS Xtreme MMA?
Simpson: I always look to put on a show for the fans, nobody wants to feel like they wasted their money on boring fights. You will never get a boring fight with Twinwolves on the card.
sPidA: Who (other than your coaches or team mates) do you look up to in the sport of MMA?
Simpson: Rafael Cordeiro hands down man, one of our coaches Jamir Toledo actually worked with him at the Chute Boxe Academy back in the day in Brazil. Watching the old Pride Fc fights and seeing how successful all his guys were really makes me want to learn from him.
sPidA: Harlem Shake or Gangnam style, why or why not?
Simpson: Neither man, they’re both stupid dances.
sPidA: Thank you brotha for your time. Is their anyone you would like to thank to wrap this up?
Simpson: First off I would like to thank GOD for everyone He has put in my life to help me achieve everything I have so far. My family for their support. All the coaches at TWMMA for passing on all their knowledge down to us and spending the time they do with us. Everyone in the TWMMA family who help prepare us for fights, its really a honor to represent our school.
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.
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 Webbof 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.
I wanted to start the New Year off by talking about how Strength, Conditioning, and Nutrition play a vital role in mixed martial arts (MMA). Often times we see fighters, both amateur and pro; run out of energy in the cage. Good energy levels from bell to bell play an important role when it comes to whose hand is raised at the end of the fight. I’m sure many of you have seen a fighter come out for Round One with high energy, however; by Round Two or Three become sluggish and unable to defend themselves and ultimately loose the fight.
Fighters must find the right balance in their training and in their fight. Fighters should understand that strength, conditioning, and nutrition are also part of a successful game.
Joel Jamieson, founder of 8weeksout.com, is one of MMA’s top Strength & Conditioning Coaches and pioneers and is widely regarded as the nation’s leading expert in the science of physical conditioning for MMA. His no nonsense scientific approach and Precision Conditioning training system is helping to revolutionize how today’s top fighters get in shape and has been instrumental in the success of more than 20 of the world’s best fighters from the UFC, Dream, WEC, Shooto, K-1, PrideFC, and other major organizations.
In one of Joel’s articles titled “Ultimate Fight Conditioning – Push the Pace” he writes “regardless of a fighter’s weight class, every cell in their body needs a constant supply of energy to function. This includes the cells within muscle fibers, of course, and they need energy in order to do their job of contracting and producing the force it takes to throw strikes, go for and defend takedowns, attempt a submission, etc.”
He goes on to say “Dynamic sports like MMA that require an athlete to produce a ton of energy to support high levels of muscle force and power for up to 15-25 minutes no doubt rely on both aerobic and anaerobic energy production – there is simply no way that either system alone is capable of producing enough energy by itself. This fact is generally well known and accepted, but what’s often misunderstood, however, is just how important the balance between these two energy systems really is.”
He then breaks it down to three major components, developing your cardiovascular system to deliver as much oxygen to the working muscles as possible, training the muscles to become more efficient at using the oxygen that your cardiovascular system is able to deliver and finally incorporating a training method called pace work. For combat sports, this type of work should take the form of sparring or pad/work and the general guideline is simply to deliberately train at the maximum pace you can sustain without any real measure of fatigue.
Right here in Texas we have great strength, conditioning, and nutrition personal trainers who are making a difference for Texas fighters. The Muscle Factory, of San Antonio, is one of those training facilities. Roland Gonzalez, Owner and Head Trainer, of the Muscle Factory has been helping amateur and pro MMA fighters for years. Roland will tell you that “we are not here to replace the importance of stand-up, wrestling, or jiu jitsu, we are here to supplement it.”
Roland continues “We can help improve a fighter’s game by first improving their cardio and muscle endurance by incorporating a variety of exercise regiments that fit the fighter’s needs and lifestyle. Secondly, we would start a diet plan that would help with strength and muscle recovery that will help maintain fighter energy.”
“The only real way to make lasting changes, regardless of your goals, is to use a holistic (meaning whole body) strategy. Every muscle group, including the heart the lungs, nutrition and diet, and positive mental wellness all have to be included in your overall program.”
While at the Muscle Factory I was able to watch Roland put Ray “The Judge” Rodriguez, a pro mma fighter out of San Antonio, though one of his two hour work out. Wow….it was high paced! I was impressed with Roland’s personal attention to detail and motivation during Ray’s work out.
After his workout, Ray told me “Training at the Muscle Factory has made me a complete fighter. My size, strength, stamina, and speed have all improved greatly.” Ray also said “Roland Gonzalez is amazing at what he does, and is one of the most genuine people I have ever met in my life. He’s been at every weigh in and been able to help me put back on 15 to 20 pounds before my fight time.”
In closing I would say seek out a professional trainer who can help you with taking your game to the next level.
If you wish to contact Muscle factory please call 210-771-9044 or visit them at www.themusclefactory.synthasite.com
Was set to fight Ivana Colaman 9/22/12 in Ft. Worth, Texas at Premier Fight Series 2, now facing Paige VanZant out of Las Vegas. Making her long awaited Pro Debut, here we have a few words with Amber Stautzenberger.
sPidA: You’re making your pro debut, finally. How do you feel about this?
Stautzenberger: I’m very excited and have been waiting for a long time!
sPidA: Were you able to attend the first event for Premiere Fight Series, if so, what were your thoughts on their first show?
Stautzenberger: I did attend the first event. I enjoyed it. Just about all the fights were entertaining. I think this second show will have an even better turn out in regards to the fans.
sPidA: Your opponent was changed just last week, what do you know about your new opponent, have you changed any of your training or just training harder?
Stautzenberger: I have seen a couple of Paige’s fights. She is young, but has a great future in the sport. She’s constantly active and aggressive.I have been training harder than ever and been working a lot on my technique. I feel it will not only do me good in this fight, but for all my fights to come. We will put on a great fight.
sPidA: Seems like women in Mixed Martial Arts have been getting a lot of attention lately, any pressure? What are your thoughts on this?
Stautzenberger: No pressure. I kind of like to stay out or the starlight, but it’s good that WMMA is getting attention.
sPidA: Your last fight was a tough one against Tecia Torres, what did you learn from that fight?
Stautzenberger: Yes, it was a tough fight. Tecia is experienced and is a great person/fighter. I learned how and how not to cut weight. LoL I learned from my mistakes and I know I will perform better from here on out.
sPidA: She is also making her move to Pro debut as well , Fighting for INVICTA, Possible future re-match?
Stautzenberger: I would love to fight her again. Start of fresh as professionals. I think it will happen in good time.Good luck to Tecia on her debut!
sPidA: If you weren’t competing in Mixed Martial Arts, what sport would you more likely be involved in?
Stautzenberger: I have no idea!! I did several sports in high school, but not any that I would have actually done anything with, besides any sort of martial arts, I guess I would continue to lift weights.
sPidA: Last interview you had said you work teaching others how to paint, are you selling any paintings or possibly thinking about it?
Stautzenberger: I actually do sell paintings. I just sold a watercolor painting recently of someone’s home that got destroyed 50 years ago. I love painting the human figure most, but I work with what’s wanted as well.
sPidA: With UFC 151 cancelled, what were your thoughts on this? Most hate Jones, others love him. Should the UFC put that much power on a fighters status?
Stautzenberger: It’s kind of sad the the whole card was cancelled because of one match, but at the same time I understand that that was the fight everyone was paying to see, though I know it still could have been an entertaining event.
sPidA: Thank you Amber, wishing you the best of luck. Any last minute comments to your friends, family and sponsors?
Stautzenberger: For those who aren’t able to attend the event, it can be viewed streaming live at: www.premierfights.net . My fight will also be recorded and shown on a later date on TimeWarner Cable. I want to thank my coaches and teammates at Mohler’s MMA. My coach, William Campuzano, puts a lot of time into me and that’s something I really appreciate. Also I want to thank my sponsors, who help out so much: www.AMMOTOGO.com , NOKOUT, M. King Construction Inc, Co. (from Dilley,TX) M. Holcomb FNC-P Inova Richardson – Family Practice.
I also want to thank my family who is going to drive up to my fight! They haven’t been to one of my fights since 2009, because they are always out of state!
Talk 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.
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!!
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