“The sport should come before money and that’s how it will survive in Texas!” Xavier Soto Interview

A few words with Xavier Soto out of Austin, Texas, coming off a great Amateur Mixed Martial Arts debut. He is set and ready to step inside the Cage August 4th in San Antonio. For more info, visit PremiereCombatGroup.com. Here we go…

sPidA: You will be stepping inside the Cage for Premiere Combat Group once more, what has kept you from competing since your debut?

Soto: I don’t know where to start man I had an opponent on the May 19th card for PCG but that fell through due to him having an injury then had another fight in Houston and the guy backed out for some unknown reason and then this card and another guy backed out so I appreciate Jesus stepping up I’m not an easy person to prepare for by any means.

sPidA: On your amateur debut you looked calm and collect, very agile for a big guy, what do you owe that to?

Soto: I owe all of that to my training partners at Rubicon  Fight Sport a lot of smaller faster and very agile guys I have to be fast just to catch them and I have a few guys for the size but the little guys are a big factor but what helps more is all my training partners hit like Mack trucks.

sPidA: What were you doing before Mixed Martial Arts? Were you involved in any other sports?

Soto: Yeah I’ve always been involved in many sports. From football to swimming but I’ve always been involved in martial arts from a very young age.

sPidA: What do you know about your opponent, after this bout are you looking at a possible Heavyweight Title?

Soto: All I know is he trains out of Ashcraft TDK in San Antonio he’s 6’2″ and he is a heavyweight that’s about it. Man I can’t catch a break I’m getting nothing but hometown boys to fight LOL but after the fight if everything goes according to plan yeah I’d love to ask for a title shot!

sPidA: What does your training consist of, you looked comfortable with your striking, are you well versed in your ground game as well?

Soto: Well my training consists of a lot of conditioning running, circuits, body conditioning and plyometrics, then on to Jiu Jitsu, MMA, Muy Thai, Judo, Catch but stand up is my main focus I just love KOing people and making fans anywhere cheer for me but the ground doesn’t concern me I’ve been training Jiu Jitsu for damn near 20 years and for the past 6 months I’ve been training under Ronny Lis he’s . . . It’s easier for you to just look him up LOL.

sPidA: With it being this difficult to find opponents, what would you like your fighting schedule to be?

Soto: To be honest I’d love to fight 6 times a year at least so I can stay in shape year round to get and keep a buzz about me going and to keep me training and in the gym and constantly getting better.

sPidA: You fight out of Austin,Texas…seems like just a few years ago the city was booming with Mixed Martial Arts events. What do you feel has happened and how would we be able to change this?

Soto: I don’t know man, to me we are a great music city with food and clubs as well as people but I can say the same about San Antonio as well. What helps are headstrong promoters and good hearted people like Jennifer. She is an awesome person and PCG is a great company to fight for. MMA should be about putting on great fights not trying to make a ton of money. Promoters should worry about action packed cards and exciting fights. The sport should come before money and that’s how it will survive in Texas.

sPidA: With difficulty finding opponents, do you find it as hard to find people to spar with?

Soto: Yeah really hard but even harder to find guys to fight I got a core group of guys who kick my ass on a daily basis and can push me around, but the reason I looked so good against Odie was due to my gym, trainers, training partners but mainly Daniel Jolly that dude is going to be in the UFC very soon and a world champ shortly after getting there trust me but outside of those core guys I don’t trust anybody else.

sPidA: With the sport going strong, can you see yourself in the big promotions (UFC/BELLATOR etc) in the future, who are some of the guys fighting now that you look up to? (other than training partners)

Soto: Of course I wanna be champ in the UFC but as far as who I look up to in the UFC are the likes of Anderson Silva, Dan Henderson, Shogun, Rampage, Forrest the list goes on. Two main idols of mine are Bas Rutten and Evan Tanner (R.I.P.) who I’ve trained under and learned many things from.

sPidA: Thank you for the interview man, looking forward to you putting on a great show, any last comments or thank yous?

Soto: . It was my privilege man thanks to TexasFighting.com for this but yeah I have a training partner fighting the same night in Shreveport Louisiana for their 145lbs title so shout out there thanks to Daniel Jolly for training me also Ronny Lis, Thiago Wellington ,Paul Nixon ,Britton Wells, Laren ,Warren ,Van ,Garrett ,Nael ,Coach Charles Izzard to my beautiful girlfriend Shaylah for pushing me to be the best and my parents for putting up with all this and for all the people who helped me training and even giving gas money for me to get to training it helps a lot. Wanna thank Ronny Lis Jiu Jitsu ,Chute Kombat ,Rubicon Fightsport ,Tsunami Judo ,UT Judo Club ,The Enlightened Warriors ,Graven Images ,Sign Express thanks Texas Fighting thanks Spida and see you guys soon on August 4th if you don’t have plans to go your missing out make it and you wont regret it I promise! Peace , Xavier “The Texas Hand Grenade” Soto

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“I wanna fight, I’m a fighter that’s what I do!” William Campuzano Interview

William Campuzano

Spoke with William Campuzano about the unfortunate incident involving Chad Robichaux pulling out of the fight today for LEGACY FC. The Fight Card is still stacked and we hope to see William Campuzano in action soon! Here we go…

sPidA: What all happened at the weigh-ins and was their any sign of illness on Robichaux behalf?

Campuzano: No, he looked weak but nothing out of the ordinary. I was pretty drained myself.

sPidA: He did miss weight and no title was on the line, how upsetting was this and how much more damage were you looking to hand out?

Campuzano: Him missing weight was very disappointing. I really wanted the glory of having a Title fight!

sPidA: It’s unfortunate that this bout will not take place, being sidelined, is there any other bout in the card you are now looking to watch?

Campuzano: The whole card looks great, I’ll be there watching all of them.

sPidA: You are atop the 125lb weight division here in Texas, with that being said many are wanting to fight you,your thoughts?

Campuzano: I don’t know, I usually have a tough time getting fights, that’s why I haven’t been really active. Guys run their mouth but never sign a contract.

sPidA: No doubt you were looking to climb up the 125lb weight division, if it were possible, would you take a last minute replacement for a Title shot?

Campuzano: I wanna fight, I’m a fighter that’s what I do!

sPidA: We do not know the state that Chad Robichaux is in and we do wish him the best in his recovery, any last comments to your friends, fans and family?

Campuzano: I am really sorry for everyone who bought tickets to come watch me fight. I’m speechless and know tickets, travel and hotels don’t come cheap. Lo siento.

“What keeps me motivated is becoming the best…” Randy Villarreal Interview

Randy Villarreal - 125 lbs Prospect

Probably one of the most active Mixed Martial Arts fighters at both 125-135 weight class division. A few words with someone I personally know and whose career I have always followed. Bound STFC come Friday July 13th, a few words with Randy Villarreal.

sPidA: What first attracted you to Mixed Martial Arts?

Villarreal: When living in San Antonio my brother used to bring UFC DVD’s to my apt, that got us looking for a place to train and we found your class. (Yes our very own sPidA was my first Jiu-Jitsu Instructor)

sPidA: You’ve competed a lot in both your amateur MMA career as well as your Pro career now, what keeps you motivated?

Villareal: I have had over 25 fights in 5 years, what keeps me motivated is becoming the best in the 125lb weight division and be World Champion. Then I’ll be satisfied!!

sPidA: You have fought some of the best talent in both the 125-135lb weight division, if you could host a Flyweight Tournament and add 3 others (including yourself) who would they be and why?

Villareal: If we’re talking 25ers not in the ufc for a flyweight tourney it would def be Will Campuzano (cause thats the one 125lb fight I want more than any else and I feel he doesnt wanna fight me) Jimmy Flick (so I can avenge my loss to him) and either Jason Sampson or Nick Mamalis (so I can avenge those losses as well, since I was winning both those fights.)

sPidA: People always ask me “when is the best time for a fighter to start competing?” Your thoughts?

Villarreal: I would say, the time frame for an MMA fighter to start competing would depend on the individual and the amount of time he put into his training, both physically and mentally. With that said, realistically anywhere from 8 months to a year of solid full time training and the right Coaching.

sPidA: With fights getting harder and harder to find here in Texas, are you looking to compete outside the State this year?

Villareal: I wouldn’t mind fighting outside the State (as I have before) but it all depends on the pay and a fight with ANYONE at 125lbs.

sPidA: Thank you bro for making time for this, as always we wish you the best,anything else to end this Interview?

Villarreal: Id like to thank my coaches Durwyn Lamb,  Tony Tipton,  Albert Hughes, Coach Javad and Coach Sina for all the work they put into me for my fight this Friday the 13th. Midnight Activity Music for being there for me since my amateur days. I’d also like to thank you Spida for all the continued work you do for ALL the fighters and last but not least I’d like to thank all my fans and supporters. I love you all!!!
MMA Cage Fights - STFC 21

“If you want to be the best, you have to fight the best!” Amber Stautzenberger Interview

Fighting out of Mohler’s Mixed Martial Arts in Coppel, Texas… Amber Stautzenberger prepares to take the Tiny Tornado for a spin of her own come Monday July 16th, for the American Battle Championship # 11 in West Palm Beach, Florida (115 Title and #1 World Women Ranking on the line). Wishing her the best…I present to you, Amber Stautzenberger!

sPidA: You had started your Mixed Martial Arts career in Missouri, after your first bout, did you know this was something you wanted to pursue?

Amber: Yes, I knew I wanted to keep pursuing a career in Mixed Martial Arts but I didn’t know where it would take me. My main priority at that time was school.

sPidA: You have 6 bouts in Amateur Mixed Martial Arts competition, after this fight, will you possibly be going Pro?

Amber: I have been trying to go Pro at 115lbs since the end of last year but haven’t been able to get a fight. Hopefully this fight in August will come through.

sPidA: Not many women competing in Mixed Martial Arts here in Texas (at least not within the same weight division) Is this the reason why you are traveling to Florida for your upcoming bout?

Amber: It is one of the reasons, Jordan Gaza the other 115lb fighter here in Texas wont fight me. It would make for a great bout. The other women at 115lbs are just starting out.Tecia my Florida opponent is skilled and 6-0 in MMA, That’s why I took the Title fight. She has over 15 fights totaled including her kickboxing matches. I figured it would be great to fight someone with a lot of experience especially since I will be going Pro soon. If you want to be the best,you have to fight the best!

sPidA: This next bout you will be going against what many consider to be the best 115lb MMA female fighter in the World. What tools do you feel you will bring into this bout to challenge her?

Amber: My height and my reach are great tools to use against her, I’m pretty well rounded as is she. It will be a great technical fight for both of us.

sPidA: Seems like many Mixed Martial Arts competitors nowadays are friends (via social networking), would this keep you from fighting someone who is a “friend” through social media?

Amber: It would not, I am friends with many women in my weight class (115lbs) If we fight,we fight. We will still respect one another. This is a sport. No grudges.

sPidA: Who do your training partners consist of? Do you have any female fighters helping you prepare for this bout or like many gyms, do the guys that train there help you prepare for your fights?

Amber: I have several girls helping me such as: Amanda Fine and Jinh Yu. Both the men and women I train with have different strengths and skills so it’s great to be able to work them all. Amanda has been my main training partner for this fight but the guys have been helping me as well.

sPidA: With STRIKEFORCE closing its doors this year (they have been doing a great job pushing Womens MMA) What other organizations have you been following that have been helping the growth of Womens Mixed Martial Arts?

Amber: INVICTA is playing a big roll right now in Womens Mixed Martial Arts. Even though they are just starting out, they have some great names on their cards. Marloes Coenen , Kaitlin Young and Carla Esparza to name a few. They also help out the women that are just starting off their Pro careers like the Lybargers. I hope INVICTA continues to grow with it’s succes as well as JEWELS in JAPAN.

sPidA: You will be fighting in your opponents home State of Florida, where else have you fought other than Texas and do you get nervous fighting outside of your own home State?

Amber: I have fought in Las Vegas, Missouri, Louisiana , Arkansas and here in Texas. I feel comfortable fighting outside my home State. I have too because I don’t have many 115lb opponents here in Texas. I don’t get nervous but I do start getting the jitters the day of the weigh ins, on and off. Mostly just from being anxious from wanting to fight. Adrenaline takes over in the Cage if there is any nervousness left.

sPidA: Your walk out Tee was created to help out a great cause, can you tell us a bit about this and will the Tees be available after your fight?

Amber: Yes most of the proceeds will be going towards my 17yr old cousin, Justin Salcedo. He is going through chemotherapy Stage 4 testicular cancer. He is a fighter and will make it through, no doubt about that. These shirts will not be available after this fight but I will have others for future fights that will also be helping out a great cause.

sPidA: Most that compete in Mixed Martial Arts work as bouncers, security, trainers etc so that they have time to train, what kind of job do you have outside of the cage and does it allow you to train when needed?

Amber: The job I have right now is fantastic! I went to school for art and now I teach painting classes. It works well with my training as I can still workout multiple times a day.

sPidA: All this talk about ZOMBIES in Florida, if you were to run into one, what would be the first thing you would do?

Amber: Without a weapon, I would probably kick its head off! That seems like a safe way to go, then alert the CDC.

sPidA: I do thank you for your time Amber, TexasFighting.com and the State of Texas is behind you 100%.  Anything else you would like to add to this interview?

Amber: I would like to thank the great State of Texas and you guys at TexasFighting.com for the opportunity on getting this interview. I would like to thank my coaches and training partners for helping me get prepared for this fight. My friends and family for their support. Thank you Tristan Grimsly and Nathan Heath for working with me on my strength and conditioning. I would also like to thank my sponsors: M.King Construction Inc, CO and Michelle Holcomb, FNP-C , Inova Richardson-Family Practice and Ammunition To Go. Thank you everybody who has helped me and my cousin Justin!

“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

“I want to look into their soul and break them…” Cody “WOLVERINE” Williams

Interview with Mixed Martial Artist Cody “WOLVERINE” Williams , he will be traveling to Louisiana/Delta Downs on July 7th. Fighting out of Beaumont,Texas, The Main Event and a great opt for him to bring back the IXFA Title…Let’s keep Texas Fighting!!

sPidA: You came out with a BANG from ammy to Pro, was there alot of pressure making the transition?

Cody: No pressure at all it was just time and after getting the nod from American Top Team HQ that i was ready it was just finding a fight after that.

sPidA: You’ve had 5 bouts as a PRO fighter, other then getting paid to punch people, what has been the best thing about finally going Pro?

Cody: Bigger stages to perform on – businesses tend to take you more serious when you sit down and talk with them and you’re a professional fighter – unfortunately theres no governing body to filter talent and someone who just applies for their pro card

sPidA: Your last bout was an unfortunate loss, how where you able to stay focus and prepare for a title shot /IXFA?

Cody: A hiccup – both losses have just been fractional errors on my part – Benoit said he was going to bring a fight to me so when I backed up to let him up he hit me with a savvy little trip move and took the back – kudos to him for the win – but if you watch the fight I think we know who was bringing the heat.

sPidA: Will fighting for IXFA in the Delta Downs be the first time fighting outside the State of Texas?

Cody: I have fought in Louisiana a couple of times as an amateur but this will be the first trip as a professional

sPidA: Your waiting backstage and they finally call your name to walk out, what goes through your mind and what helps you stay focused?

Cody: I just look down at the cage as a playground and try to make as much eye contact with my opponent as possible – i want to look in their soul and break them before the first bell ever rings – i just tell myself this guy signed a contract will full intent to beat me up and take my money, my sons money and food – that will drive any person.

sPidA: I’ve personally followed your social media outlets, (FB/TWITTER etc) How important is it for a fighter to manage there status and how has this been helping you in your fighting career?

Cody: Its worked for me – I haven’t put on a show or a gimmick I mean I post what going on with me and give the fans and sponsors an inside view of what goes on with me – also has helped me build a fan base that i might not have been able to do by just fighting.

sPidA: With so many MMA movies out there, which has been your fave so far and if given the opt, would you star in one?

Cody: I liked Warrior – the story about the teacher was cool and grabbed the audience – I saw a lot of what i fight for in his character and working for the law firm at that time had a lot of the same feelings – showing up to work with bruises and black eyes having to go in front of other professionals was kinda awkward but I made it out like, “yeah this is a real black eye and busted lip” as far as the plot it was okay but i really favored that particular character – The Mickey Ward story was really good too! I think it was The Fighter? Hands down though i have to go with the messy bare knuckled boxer in “Snatch”!! I think my story would make a great movie – and would love to star in one – I think I could be a pretty good actor in a movie even if it wasn’t my story necessarily

sPidA: Your work outs are insane and your always pushing yourself to the limit, what keeps you motivated to pursue your dreams?

Cody: Goes to my son – I mean I’ve made the transition to train full time now and its hard not knowing where that next paycheck will come from – I started my own business and have been working on getting it off the ground – everyday is a blessing there are people out there that have children that cant walk or be active in anyway, kids that would do anything just to see what it feels like to run down the street or catch a baseball, “God gives us these talents and if you sit idle on them he may just take them away” I can’t imagine what it would be like to be in a position where i couldnt workout or train so when im tired or feel like I cant make that last round I just think about how blessed I am and suck it up and push through it

sPidA: Not to over look your next opponent but after the Title win,what’s next on your Mixed Martial Arts agenda?

Cody: keep training keep fighting – I’ll be going back to American Top Team in Florida after this fight to do some more training and hopefully getting ready to take another fight – Legacy, IXFA, Fight Time in Florida and BAMMA USA in Cali have all shown interest but currently I have 2 more fights on my contract with Legacy so they have first pick.

sPidA: Thank you brother, best to you in your travels and keeping Texas Fighting, any last shouts to your friends,fans and sponsors?

Cody: I want to thank my family and support system that has made it possible for me to train full time – my friends for believing in me even when I don’t come out of the cage with a win they are always there to pick me up – to GOD for blessing me and keeping me motivated through my son – all my sponsors especially Sign Builders of America in Austin , Major League Grill, Trey Lacy DDS, Spidle Oil, West LTD, APAC Construction all located here in South East Texas, 88MilesWest.com and ZeroCutCreative.com and the newest addition to my team World Gym here in Beaumont – they are doing some great things for the Wounded Warrior Foundation and im stoked to be a part of that! Certainly American Top Team and The Mostyn Law Firm for all that they have done. My boy SUBTRAXZ (Chris Sublett) and Headz Will Roll Recordz for all the custom sounds that i get to workout too and walkout to! And to Cruz Combat for the custom fight shorts i love them cant wait to walk down to the cage July 7th!!! TexasFighting.com!!!!