[OFFICIAL] MMAF ALL ACCESS THREAD
What's up everyone! MMAF All Access is back with another awesome interview with another awesome member. This member is great on the staff, an extremely MMA savvy person, and an all around great dude.
Hey TraMai, how are you doing today?
(TraMai interviewed by HitOrGetHit)
"I <3 Trolls"
I've had better times in life but I can't complain, today is a day when things start looking up!
What made you become a fan of MMA?
A few things, actually. I was at my girlfriend's parents house watching my daughter while she went to work and the baby had fallen asleep so I started channel surfing. I came upon something called "UFC Unleashed" and they were showing Josh Haynes vs Rory Singer. I just remember that someone got their face absolutely crushed in the first round by, I believe, a head kick. It was the most bloody, balls to the wall show of heart I have ever seen in a sport on TV and I was just amazed. A couple weeks later I went to my sisters house and talked to her new boy friend about it. He told me about what I had seen, showed me some tapes and then told me that he actually fights and so did my sister (she lived 3 hours away so I hadn't been able to see her much, this was right when I got my licence). From then on I was hooked. Her boyfriend started training me in BJJ and I started traveling to gyms in the area learning everything I could, watching and going to fights constantly to learn more. Greatest sport on the planet, this is.
So, we know how much you love Jon Fitch. A lot of people are not a fan of his style. Tell us, what makes you such a big Fitch fan?
First off, a little fact: Jon Fitch and I were born and grew up in the same city (Fort Wayne, IN). He went to school with my cousin Eric (when I met Jon my cousin was there, they were telling me and my friend party stories from high school). So part of it is that I have real close ties to him in that regard. The second part is that I've been watching him beat everyone the UFC put in front of him since he's been fighting in the UFC. I've seen him grow as a fighter and I've seen him dominate everyone not named GSP. And he does all this with something I suck at hard (wrestling lol). I know his style isn't flashy or, to some, even entertaining. But this is a man who was never an elite in college or high school and he comes into MMA and gets to where he is just off working his ass off and sticking to it. Now he's dominating top shelf competition in just gritty, grinding ways that shows his workman's spirit. I find a lot that I can connect to there. I'm not great at fighting, I'm not natural but seeing how he can just work his ass off and be that great of a fighter is inspiring. Same goes with Frankie Edgar. That kid is all heart.
Do you think he will defeat BJ Penn?
Stupid question, HELL YES I DO. Honestly I think Jon is a horrible match-up for BJ. BJ will do next to nothing off his back (yeah, yeah he swept Hughes like 4 years ago, I don't care. Hughes is a wrestler, Fitch is a grappler) and I firmly believe BJ's stand-up is terribly overrated. He has a great jab but nothing else really sticks out. That being said he will beat Jon standing and I don't think Jon is going to KO him or anything like that. I don't think BJ will be able to KO Jon standing either. He may not have the best chin but his recovery time and heart are nothing short of incredible. Jon will get him down though. The dude is HUGE and very, very strong. If he wants you on the ground, you really don't have a choice about it. From there I think Jon just punishes him from the top with elbows and possibly take his back and choke him mid 3rd round after BJ mentally quits.
Is there any fighter that you dislike?
A couple. BJ Penn is one of them. The guy has excuses for everything. It might be his fans, too. I think he's one of the most overrated fighters ever. Yes, when he's on point he's fantastic, but then it doesn't seem he's on point most of the time. I keep hearing about this BJ Penn that when he comes in focused is the best fighter in the world, but I've yet to see it. I know, I know, he demolished Sanchez, Kenny and Joe. But Sanchez I've never held in high regard, Kenny had possibly the worst game plan I've ever seen in my life (hug him until the fight's over?) and Joe I've never really thought was anything special either. He also seems to get granted title shots out of nowhere constantly... The other is the mid-range of Chuck Liddell. The Chuck that does nothing but rely on that big overhand right to finish fights. To me, watching a fighter use a single tool to win so many fights is just terribly infuriating. The Chuck that fought Rich though, I loved. He mixed up his strikes and even FINALLY used his damn wrestling to take Rich down. too bad it was too little, too chiny.
What about outside of MMA? (Boxer, K-1, etc.)
I don't actually watch much K-1 or boxing. After watching MMA and seeing all of the different tools these fighters have I feel like I'm watching half of a sport. Don't get me wrong, these dudes are extremely talented at what they do and how they do it, but it just feels gimped. Watching boxing I know if they were ever to get in a real fight a wrestler or a BJJ guy would tool him just by taking him down (if they could avoid getting punched for 5 seconds). Kickboxing I like a bit more. There's more tool to it and more you have to look out for, not just hands, but the ground game is really my forte and what I enjoy the most, so it's still not there. I will say that what LeBanner did a while ago by walking out of that fight that was a draw and had an extra round was completely classless though.
Which style of Martial Arts do you like to see the most?
BJJ for sure. Just a beautiful, beautiful art form. I've been obesessed with it since I started learning it and I constantly seek to make improvements in my game.
How do you see Fitch doing against GSP for a second time should they fight again?
Honestly I'm not sure. GSP is a ******* monster and I honestly can't see anyone beating him any time soon. If Fitch could get top control for a round or two I think he could beat GSP, but GSP is hard as hell to take down. Fitch hasn't shown much improvement in his stand up game (his timing has gotten better but he's still loopy and slower than GSP) to stand and trade with GSP. I think GSP by another UD. Honestly I don't think he should fight GSP again, I think he should move to MW. After watching what Chael did to Anderson, I think Jon would take that belt pretty handily. I think Jon is a better all around grappler than Chael and he has some of the best sub defense in MMA. Silva has horrid TDD and I don't think Jon would wait to take it down and win that fight.
Who do you think is the best wrestler in MMA?
Pure wrestler? I'd have to go with Kos. GSP uses his striking to set up his wrestler. Jon is more of a grappler as he uses trips and the like to take you down, not just doubles. Chael's up there too, as is Gray Maynard.
What about BJJ practioner in MMA?
Demian Maia by far. The only dude that's beaten him in BJJ is Marcelo Garcia and he beat him on points! Maia subbed GONZAGA. Demian Maia by a large margin, then Jacare.
Where do you think people like BJ Penn and Jake Shields rank in all of this?
In what? the whole scheme of MMA? That's a huge field of rank lol. They're both legit, but the only one i see even giving SOMETHING of a challenge to GSP is Jake. He's got a legitimate chance on the ground in my opinion. This of course means GSP will wreck his face standing, which is where I expect GSP to keep it. Unless Jake can pull something really really sneaky I don't see him winning that belt at all. GSP has shown some holes in his offensive BJJ game (Hardy) but I don't think it will translate to defensive. As long as GSP stays defensive on the ground and works to stand he won't see trouble in his fight with Jake IMO. My opinions on BJ are pretty well known. I think he's vastly overrated and I've explained why multiple times so I'm not going to to go at length on why that is here. We'll see what he does with Jon and then I can rank him at WW. A win over Hughes at his age, no matter how devistating, means next to nothing to me. If BJ can show me something off of his back and some damn heart, then I start touting him as a top contender at WW. As it stands I think he ranks at the bottom of the WW top 10. Thank God that Dana didn't hand him another title shot though...
I heard you are pretty good at grappling. What belt are you again?
Brown Belt. Got it from my brother in law who trained under Carlson Gracie.
That is awesome man! Congratulations!
What about the best striker in MMA?
Pat Barry if he can suck it the hell up and start finishing dudes. Anderson Silva if Barry can't haha.
Do you think the UFC's heavyweight division is better than Strikeforce's heavyweight division?
Yes and no. I think parts of both are really blown out of proportion. StrikeForce seems to think they have extreme talent all over the place and it's no different at HW. That being said, Fedor, Werdum and especially Allistair are all legit top 10s, high ones at that. In the UFC the only really talented HWs I see are Cain and JDS. Brock has obvious problems. Mir definitely has the POTENTIAL to be a very, very good HW when he stops getting punched in the face and comes up with a good game plan. Carwin is really one dimensional. They're all great fighters in their respective weight classes, but when you take their skill sets and weaknesses and put them at a lower weight class they almost all pale in comparison to the talent there. The exceptions being Cain, JDS, Allistair and Fedor. They're the only well rounded HWs I see. The rest like I said are great where they are but put on a scale of skill would rank nowhere NEAR a p4p ranking.
What was the first MMA fight that you saw? If you can remember.
Josh Haynes/Rory Singer. Didn't we cover this? :P
How about a favorite Kun Fu Movie?
Man, I don't watch many and I don't want to be Cliche and say "Enter the Dragon" haha. I'm gonna go outside the box a bit and go with sort of a Kung Fu movie but with Muay Thai, Ong Bak.
If you could have one dream fight to see in MMA, who would be in it? Where would it be? What ref would be in the cage?
This is impossible. There's so many. Of course it would be in Fort Wayne. I think the UFC needs to come there anyways. It's the second most populated city in Indiana, it's right in the middle of Chicago, Indianapolis, Columbus and Detroit (its like 3-5 hours from each I believe) so there would be a lot of people there too. As for the ref? Definitely Herb Dean. Best ref in the business hands down. If I had the choice Mazz and Dan wouldn't come within 200 yards of the Coliseum (that's our Venue!). As for the fight? I have no idea. Can I do a card? HAHA. If I had to pick one I'd say Fitch/Silva for the MW strap. No better place to have him win that strap than his home town. The guy is a legend here.
What is your favorite woman’s MMA fight?
Don't have one? I've only seen a few women's fights in SF (Gina/Cyborg of course and a couple of Tate's fights). I'm gonna have to go with Tate/Akano (I think?). Akano came in as a heavy underdog and a grappler and just stood and traded punches with Tate the whole time. Lots of heart.
Speaking of women, if you had to choose between Gina Carano and Arianny Celeste, who would it be?
Brittany Palmer. OMFG
What is your favorite MMA organization?
UFC easily. Highest overall level of talent, generally the most well matched match-ups and the best production.
How do you feel about the WEC and UFC merge?
AWESOME! I've been wanting it to happen for quite some time actually. The lower weight divisions are spectacular to watch and a couple WEC LWs I can see making pretty big waves in the UFC like Cerrone and Pettis. The little dudes deserve all the recognition the can get, too. 135/145 are easily two of the most entertaining weight divisions in MMA.
How about your favorite weight class to watch?
either the lower ones (135/145) or 170. I fight at 170 so I like seeing the level of talent there. A man can dream huh?
What is more impressive, a first round (T)KO, a first round submission, or a 5 round dominating decision?
It all depends on how it happens. KO's happen way too much in MMA with clipping shots that are just winged punches. If it's something pretty (like what Jeremy Stevens put on Marcus Davis last week or Paul Daley/Scott Smith) that's different. But those are few and far between. 5 round dominations are kind of the safe route in all of it. If the fighter is dominating, he should be trying to finish the other guy. Fitch has gotten better about it trying to choke people out. GSP's 5 round facestomping of Kos wasn't that impressive to me. Sure, he jabbed him into oblivion but he rarely threw anything that looked like he was trying to put him away. The dude's eye is broken, you're landing jabs at will and he can't see anything, HIT HIM HARDER. Given those, I'd have to go with the 1st round sub. Submissions are NEVER an accident, they have to be planned and executed perfectly. Not to mention, a punch will KO you but you don't have a choice in going to sleep. Plus there's always the "Everyone get's caught" line you can throw out. An unchecked submission will make you never fight again if you don't tap. You have to WILLINGLY give up the fight to survive and fight another day. And it's never "I just got caught" it's "I made a mistake and he's the better fighter." Talk about breaking a man's will.
Ok TraMai, what is your name?
Jubal Minnix. Yes, I know it's weird as shit. Both of my parents were potheads and loved Sci-Fi novels. I'm named after a character in the book Stranger in a Strange Land.
Some of us know, but for those who don't, what does your screen name mean?
I wanted a tag to use on all my art in school so people would judge it before they knew who made it (wasn't popular with the Jock dudes because I was a nerd who wasn't afraid to stick up for myself. That and I was sort of a dick LOL) so I came up with it. Read backward it says I aM arT with the caps separating the words. See, kids, not everything with Alt Caps on the internet is because people think it looks cool!
How did you stumble across this wonderful place that if MMAForum?
I was in design class at school being bored (I was in the junior class because it was a two year program, the year before I went for computer repair) becuase I was already ahead of the class since I came in with prior knowledge. Went to Sherdog and was like "Okay now let's try and find a place with a few INTELLIGENT members." Next up on my Google list was MMAF. Saw a post by IronMan and was hooked. I think one of my first posts was actually arguing with him that straight ankle locks are "Just a pain lock" in his words. I still maintain that they can stretch/tear ligaments and break small bones in the foot if done correctly!
What is your favorite part about this forum?
The community. There isn't a bunch of infighting and name calling like a lot of other boards. The internet is really a giant cesspool of trolls and stupid people. This board has a very small amount of both of them. It's one safe haven on the internet that I know won't become crowded by morons BECAUSE I CAN BAN THEM! MUAHAHAH
What do you do for a living?
As of now? Jack shit. My old boss was an asshat and fired me for something that was his fault. So right now I'm between jobs just kinda freelancing fixing computers. Remember to go to school kids, it's damn good to have something to fall back on when shit hits the fan!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Running my own gym! I sort of have for the past 5 years but it's been out of garages. Now that the 3 founding members are settling down, have decent jobs (besides me LOL) and feel they're ready, the next thing to do is move it into a building and make it legit!
If you had just 24 hours to live, how would you occupy your time?
Finding out why the **** I have 24 hours to live and then trying to stop it! Barring that? Spending time with my daughter.
If you could have one car no matter what the cost, what would it be?
Viper GTS. Been my dream car since I was like 8. Plus they're only like 75k, so it's not that big of a dream!
Well that is all of the time we have this month MMAF. Please thank TraMai for taking the time do be here with us today. I am sure he accepts green reps. Keep an eye on your inbox for MMAF All Access as YOU could be next.