Welcome to the first in a series of exclusive MMA Forum Interviews with Profesional MMA fighters from around the world. Our very own El Bresko, Met up with Bellator's 'JJ 'Superman' Ambrose'
at Phuket Top Team. Here's what went down:
Q - How did you get the nickname Superman?
The Thai trainers here gave me the nickname, i tend to use more muscle than technique when it comes to clinching/anything,
It's a bit of a flaw but they kept it going, except it sounds more like "Supah Mon" when they say it.
It's a big name to live up to, I can't have off days. I don't want anyone calling me a fake
Q - What is your toughest fight ever?
Mike Pyle wasn't the toughest, but he sure showed me what the next level looks like. After that loss I changed the way I train and really opened myself up to new things.
Q - Is there anybody that you dislike in MMA?
I don't dislike any one person, I do however dislike the poser crowd. You know the type that always has their gym tee on, mohawk, puffed up chest, big tribal tattoos.
The guy that looks the part but trains more in the mirror than the gym.
Nothing wrong with tats and hairdos, but if you are going to have a puffed up chest make sure you can back it up.
Is there any fighter who's style you try to emulate?
Dan Henderson. Solid wrestler, granite chin, show stopping right hand. His mindset of fight anyone at anytime is legit.
No gimmicks, no flash, all fire. He is a fighter in every sense of the word.
From a fan's perspective, who is your favourite fighter?
I love watching world class strikers, Anderson Silva, Jose Aldo etc.
They pick their opponents apart without brawling, where most fighters have machine guns, they are the snipers of mma, the one shot one kill artists.
What is your stance on PEDS and TRT?
I am absolutely against them. Everyone gets dealt a hand, just because you don't like something doesnt mean you should be able to "Go Fish".
If you want to be stronger and faster, train harder.
These guys taking steroids build their foundation on a needle, not hard work, and they are the first to quit when things get rough.
Matthew Betzold is missing a leg and just won a title, he's not making excuses.
Maybe instead of TRT or PEDS these guys should inject themselves with a little bit of what he [Betzold] has inside.
Have you ever witnessed fight throwing in a major organisation?
Can't think of any off hand, but they happen every weekend at Bangla Stadium.
A foreigner comes in after a months training and "KO's" a Thai that has been fighting since he was five. It's a joke.
What do you think is the best base for an MMA fighter and why?
Hard to say. Anderson Silva started as a striker, is great at BJJ and hasn't really touched wrestling.
Cain Velasquez is a D-1 wrestler with good striking.
With that being said, I think it's having a collection of all martial arts, being proficient at all things that makes you a truly great fighter.
What are the best and worst things about being a high level pro MMA fighter?
The best is that I don't have to wake up and go to a desk everyday.
I feel bad for businessmen who have to work and make time for exercise.
They have to juggle so many things in life from work, leisure time, exercise etc.
I can't imagine. I would just get fat, no question.
The worst part is the time away from family. I miss my wife and kid during training camps, I missed this past Christmas with my family because I was training for my Bellator fight Jan 17th.
It paid off in the end but I missed my daughter opening her gifts.
How old were you when you began MMA?
I started wrestling when I was in fifth grade and carried on through High school. My first actual fight was when I was 17. I won via mounted guillotine.
If you were to give a young kid, just starting out in MMA one piece of advice, what would it be?
Be humble! Deflate that chest right away, become a sponge and surround yourself with the right people. If anyone is hindering your progress, get rid of them.
Is there any room for fear in the mind of a professional fighter?
Fear makes us do great things. It drives us to work harder than we would normally. I'm terrified of gassing out in the ring, so I train 2-3 times a day so that it never happens.
What are your Thoughts on WMMA?
Remember what I said about inflated chests and cool hair cuts?
Replace those with braids and sports bras. The ratio of "tools" in WMMA is ridiculous. I do however enjoy watching a few female fighters.
Cyborg is a stud, you can tell she works hard, Leslie Smith is another, she's really humble but fights like hell.
What is your Fondest fight memory?
All of them, the people I've met and the places i've traveled have made all the scars and sacrifices worth while. I wouldnt trade it for a mansion.
Is there anybody at LW that you wouldn't want to fight?
The lightweight division is stacked. Benson Henderson, Michael Chandler, just absolute animals, But i wouldn't be a fighter if I didnt see myself fighting them some day.
The main reason I fight is to test myself.
Throw the fame and fortune out, It's not why im here. I'm here to be the best or give it everything I have in the attempt.
What is the Worst part about prepping for a fight?
The weight cut is miserable. Watching your friends and family enjoy themselves while you are suffering. Just terrible.
What is your Pre fight meal?
Lots of carbs, little protein, fruit. This last fight i ate brown rice, avocado and salmon. I eat pretty clean so those are usually what i crave the most.
If you could fight any person Alive or dead, who would it be?
Jack Dempsey for the challenge, those old school boxers had no quit in them, made of different material than the guys today.
For pleasure, any of the Jersey Shore type reality TV stars. Pretty much anyone that acts tough but isn't.
What can we expect to see from JJ Ambrose in 2013?
2013 is my coming out party. I got my first win on the big stage Jan 17th at Bellator and I'm not stopping there. Onward and upward.
Thanks to Forty Thieves, Pony Club Grappling Gear, Phuket Top-Team, Sub-Fighter for being there for me.
Follow me on twitter @superjjambrose and my webite at www.superjjambrose.com Cheers!
A massive thanks to JJ for taking the time to speak to MMAF and we wish him all the very best for the coming year and the rest of his career.