Interview With Adam Fugitt

Interview With Adam Fugitt

Interview With Adam Fugitt

When did you get interested in MMA?

Fugitt: I started out wrestling in high school and year at community college. Did five years of that and then I stepped foot in my first MMA gym and got my butt handed to me by a muay thai guy. It enlightened me a little bit. I could handle my own in grappling, but I had no knowledge of how to use my fists or my feet.

So I started doing kickboxing and muay thai and honed my skills there. Then an offer in MMA came up and I took it. It’s kinda cool to see it come full circle, put all my skills together in the arena.


What do you like about MMA?

Fugitt: I was kind of a hyper kid. I had played team sports my whole life, but took a flier on a wrestling camp. I met my mentor there and fell in love with the sport. It was so much different than team sports and it helped me discover a little bit about myself. There are no teammates, it’s all on me. Put in the work and you’ll see the outcome of the work you’ve done. If my parents had known then what they know now, they would have had me do it way earlier.


How do you prepare yourself before a bout?

Fugitt: My first wrestling match (in high school), I had an energy dump, all amped up. I think I warmed up before the dual meet even started and I was just exhausted before my match. Before my first muay thai fight, the professionals were laughing watching me warm up because I was working the bag so much.

Today, you’ll find me in a corner, asleep until about 30 minutes before. I’ll wake up, get stretched out, warm up and I’m good to go.


How do you handle training and bouts with your personal life?

Fugitt: I live a split life I guess you’d say. I’m a supervisor at a lumber company, supervise 30 people. It’s a minimum 40 hours a week type of job. Then I go straight to the gym am I’m usually there from 5 to 9.

I have a girlfriend, a dog and a house. She doesn’t care for my second life too much, but she encourages me and is always on my team. My family and my friends are a huge support system. Without them, it would be hard to do the multiple life thing. I get nothing but support from there.

My dad is a go between, father/manager at this point. He takes care of the little stuff, the posters, t-shirts, hats – anything he can do.

Interview With Julian Erosa

Interview With Julian Erosa

Interview With Julian Erosa

What got you started in MMA?

Erosa: When I was younger, I got into a handful of fights. I was an avid skateboarder and it comes with the territory. But I almost got into trouble for fighting a few times. I enjoyed fighting, but didn’t want to get into trouble for it. I found a local gym (Yakima MMA) and I enjoyed it. It was a good outlet.

I would say within the first year, as an amateur, I was doing really good. The thing is, if I enjoy it, I put in 100 percent. I wanted to be a professional and take it as far as I could.


Many fighters have different sports backgrounds. What was your background growing up?

Erosa: I wasn’t much of a team player, I didn’t do school sports. But I was good skateboarding, it was my own thing, no structure. Fighting was a smooth transition. It’s a lot of self-pushing to do the things you need to do. There’s only so much you can do with the team, but you can make yourself responsible.

It was actually nice (not having a wrestling or boxing background). Sometimes, if you go from one discipline to the next, there are some bad habits that come along. It’s hard if you’ve been doing something a certain way for three or four years. My coach was happy when I didn’t have any of those bad habits. I was a clean slate.


How do you handle the emotions of entering the ring?

Erosa: It was unusual for me when I first started as an amateur. I was pretty young, 18 or 19. I had been in skateboarding and snowboarding events, so I was used to performing in front of people. It’s your turn and you just go.

When I turned pro (in MMA), I started getting more nervous, feeling the nerves amping up. Some fights felt like an out of body experience. You have to learn to deal with it. Every fight I’m getting better. You have to be aware, no matter how comfortable you feel, you’re going to have those nerves and anxiety.

I always tell myself, “You’re always going to be nervous, don’t let that scare you. Embrace it.” A lot of times, guys over excite themselves, then overexert with the warming up, and they wonder why they gas out so fast.


Talk about your experience on the Ultimate Fighter: 22

Erosa: The easiest way to break it down, for those who don’t fight, it’s almost like a summer camp for fighting. (The cameras) are on you almost 24-7, as long as people are up and awake. Anytime we were up, there was a camera guy there. It was something to get used to the first 5 or 6 days, but after that, it was like they weren’t even there.


What is it like having to move from Yakima MMA to Xtreme Couture MMA?

Erosa: I will always represent any gym that has helped me. Some people switch gyms and won’t acknowledge their old gyms. I was at Yakima MMA for 8 years, I will always represent Yakima MMA. But I just grew out of that gym – you have to go somewhere where you get your butt kicked. At Yakima MMA, I was the hammer. Here, I’m the nail.

Interview With Joey Gomez

Interview With Joey Gomez

Interview With Joey Gomez

What got you started in MMA? When did you know this was for you?

Gomez: I wrestled in high school and after that, I was done with wrestling completely. When I moved for college, I knew someone who was really into jiu jitsu. He told me to come into the gym one day and I loved it. After training for a few months, I was asked to fight in an amateur MMA event, and it was a great feeling. From there it just got more and more serious.

I didn’t realize what a big deal it was until I stepped into the ring and everybody was watching. I realized this is real. I didn’t have any boxing experience, just went in there and took him down. Ground and pound until the ref told me to stop.


You have the background in wrestling and some jiu jitsu before training in mixed martial arts. What discipline suits you most?

Gomez: I think these days you need it all to be successful. There’s so many good fighters. Over the years I’ve definitely sharpened up on all aspects of MMA. I’m more comfortable on the ground, but I like boxing, I try to use it more, get more experienced in the ring. But when it comes do to it, I’m most comfortable with jiu jitsu.


How do you handle the emotions of entering the ring?

Gomez: I always get nervous before the fight – everyone does even if they don’t admit it. Maybe it’s just natural. But when I step in there, everything just comes down to instinct. I don’t feel pressure or anything when the ref blows the whistle. I go in and do my thing.


How do you balance training/bouts with “real” life?

Gomez: I don’t have a wife or kids, so it works out for me in that sense. When it comes to training camp, it’s hard to have a social life or anything. All the focus is on training. My friends and family know what’s going on when a fight is coming up.

I just finished grad school in May and I was a therapist and social worker, worked mostly with teenagers, but adults too. I’m now starting a position at the Kulani Correctional Facility in Hilo. I’ll be working with the guys, making sure they aren’t treated too poorly, making sure their mental health is stable.