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!
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
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