10 Questions with Elias ‘Smash’ Garcia in Preparation for STFC: Bad Blood

Elias 'Smash' Garcia

sPidA: Your stepping back inside the Cage February 22nd, how ready are you for this bout?

Elias ‘Smash’ Garcia: I’m really excited about this fight, I feel like every day I’m evolving and I can’t wait to put my new found skills to the test.

sPidA: This is a pretty stacked card with a few titles on the line, anyone on the card you’re looking to see fight?

Elias ‘Smash’ Garcia: Yea man, I’m looking forward to seeing Frank Trevino fight, I hear that guy’s a beast. Also I’ve had the pleasure of rolling around with Carlos Ferreira when he came to the gym and I have to say, that dude is LEGIT!

sPidA: This bout will be at 125lbs, is this your ideal weight?

Elias ‘Smash’ Garcia: It is man, I did really well at 145, and 135 earning titles in both but man those guys are super strong. I feel like the 125 divion I can keep my speed and strength.

sPidA: Dana White stated he was looking to search for male fighters in the straw weight class (115lbs) would this be something you’d be interested in? Should Texas MMA promotions look into this weight class as well?

Elias ‘Smash’ Garcia: You know, I make 125 extremely easy and I would definitely be interested in fighting at straw weight.

sPidA: You have an addition into your family (congratulations). If your kids wanted a career in combative sports, what would be your thoughts? Would they differ if it was your son or daughter?

Elias ‘Smash’ Garcia: It’s funny that you ask that, my daughter is turning 9 this month and all she ever talks about is growing up and wanting to fight in the cage like me. Honestly, if that was her passion, for any of my kids for that matter, I will support them in anything they choose to do.

sPidA: You had your pro debut here in San Antonio (your home away from home), do you prefer fighting away from home or vice versa?

Elias ‘Smash’ Garcia: To be honest it’s going to be a bit weird not fighting in San Antonio. I believe 8 out of my 9 fights were in S.A. so I always felt like I had home field advantage there. At the end of the day the cage is my home so I’m comfortable fighting anywhere.

fightlabel

sPidA: This bout coming up, what can you tell us about your opponent? Have you been training specifically for him or are you looking to make him fight your fight?

Elias ‘Smash’ Garcia: This will be my opponent’s first pro fight I believe. I’ve watched his videos just to pick up his habits but I never really train specifically for an opponent as I always aim to make them fight my fight.

sPidA: Your ammy career you had told us you only trained part time due to your active duty
schedule, is there any pressure now that you can train full-time?

Elias ‘Smash’ Garcia: No, not at all. As far as pressure goes I never really feel any type of pressure. I know mentally that I’m always going to go in there and give it my all.

sPidA: Which would you prefer, a two fight contract from Bellator or a single shot to fight for the UFC on FOX?

Elias ‘Smash’ Garcia: Whichever one discovers me and wants to sign me first. Haha

sPidA: Thank you bro for taking time for this, anything you would like to add before wrapping this up?

Elias ‘Smash’ Garcia: First off glory be to God who allows me to do what I absolutely love! My future baby
momma Gloria who backs me up 100%. I would also like to thank my coaches, especially Rudy Valenzuela who’s a huge inspiration, role model, and leader. My team, my manager Bryan Sosa over at Flex Sports Management, Castaneda PR, and my sponsors for this fight SWOLLE fitness apparel, TexasFighting.com, Rocks King of Supplements, OGC III, Mako Contracting, Mi Guerra, Eyez Low Entertainment, Elisha Dickerson, and TakeAway Gourmet.

STFC: BADBLOOD (MMA CAGE FIGHTS)
STFC: BADBLOOD

Promoter Spotlight: Jeff Bonugli of JC Productions

“It’s not about me. It’s about the fighters and more importantly to give glory to Jesus Christ.”

[Interview with Jeff Bonugli – Former fighter. Self-made businessman. Follower of Christ. | Interview and video by Chris Lopez Jr.]

Jeff Bonugli of JC Productions discusses JC’s first event coming to Pharr, Texas March 16th 2013. 12 scheduled bouts for this event with another possible add on and they’re giving away a car! He goes into detail about the future of JC Promotions, discusses fighter pay, dismisses his critics, and shares his passion behind it all.

“We’re going to change the way local promoters pay fighters!”

Jeff is someone who has my respect for all that he does, and has done, for local fighters in Texas. He cares about the fighters because he’s been in their shoes and deep down he’s still a fighter at heart. Enjoy!

El Orgullo del Valle – Full Fight Card
(Fight Card Subject to Change)
Date: March 16, 2013
Location: 3000 North Cage, Pharr, Texas

Aaron Rosa -vs- Tony Melton
Cody Williams -vs- Randy Fuentes
Ricardo Palacios -vs- Leroy Martinez
Alexander Hernandez -vs- Victor Galvan
Jordan Morgan -vs- Gabriel Reynaga
Marcelo Lumakang -vs- Corey Bellino
Steven Zamora -vs- Ryan Spann
Julio Villarreal -vs- Christopher Lopez
Jay Peche -vs- James Hall
Jose Ceja -vs- Rene Gonzalez
Matt Mooney -vs- Juan Chapa
Raymond Moreno -vs- Brandon Ruiz

EL ORGULLO DEL VALLE

Special thanks to JC Promotions & Green Ghost Academy’s Sponsor Charlie Clark Nissan!

Charlie Clark Nissan

[Interview] Richard Odoms Feels the Burden to Keep Big MMA Cards Coming to San Antonio; Prepares for Legacy FC 17

Photo courtesy of Pro Elite
[Photo courtesy of Pro Elite]
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.

Richard Odoms
Photo via Richard Odoms FB page

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 Webb of 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.

“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

“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.