In May 2007 Manny "The Mangler" Tapia put his undefeated record on the line as he made his WEC debut stopping Brandon Foxworth via TKO(strikes) in the second round. After defeating Antonio Banuelos at WEC 32, Tapia is rumored to be facing WEC Bantamweight Champion Miguel Torres in a championship bout in December. With his overall record standing at an impressive 10-0-1, MMA4Real had the chance to conduct an email interview with the WEC contender.
Manny, thank you so much for granting MMA4Real the opportunity to speak with you. I've been wanting to speak with you for a while now, and I'm thankful we could make it happen.
MMA4Real-Manny, where are you from and how long have you been involved with mixed martial arts?
MT-I live in Chino, Ca. origanally from Rverside CA! I have been involved with MMA for 8 years now!
MMA4Real-How was Manny as a kid? What was life like growing up there for you?
MT-As a kid i was a little brat, hanging out with the local gang. Getting into trouble here and there! Life was a little tough growing up since my parents passed away when i was seven!
MMA4Real-Oh man, I'm sorry to hear that. What caused you to want to be a professional fighter; how did you know this was what you wanted to do?
MT-I never thought i would be a professional I started training 8 yrs ago and I picked it up pretty good! But I also wrestled in college and high school so that helps! To be honest I don't even like to fight I just like to train and train others!
MMA4Real-That's interesting! Given you are known as "The Mangler"...lol...how did you earn that nickname?
MT-My jiu jitsu instructor gave me that name Mangler! He started calling me Mangler and it sort of stuck!
MMA4Real-The last time we saw you in the cage was in a war against Antonio Banuelos at WEC 32 with you winning via split decision. That was your first fight in about 9 months...is there any particular reason you took so much time off in between fights and give us your thoughts on that fight?
MT-I took so much time off because I was coming back from a knee surgery! they offered me the chance to fight Chase Beebe for the belt but took the fight against Antonio because I wanted to make sure my knee was good enough to train for 5 five minute rounds! And i thought i won against Antionio and knew he was going to be a great opponent!
MMA4Real-Good deal...Rumor has it you have Miguel Torres coming up, he just did a recent interview and mentioned you having good hands and wrestling, but said he hadn't seen much of your jiu jitsu...I know you have began your training camp already...give us your thoughts on Torres and how you expect that fight to go?
MT-I originally come from a Jiu-jitsu school! I started using my hands my first fight in the WEC cuz I knew it was going to be aired on TV! And I don't want to give the people a boring fight! Torres is a great fighter who in my eyes is good in everything he does! I know i have a good one ahead of me! But i will be ready for anything he brings to the table!
MMA4Real-Oh man...no doubt...I can't wait for that one!!! In a perfect world, how would your fight with Torres go and what's next for you after that?
MT-In the perfect world the fight would end by a quick knock out or choke! I don't even care if its me that's knocked out or choked as long as nobody gets seriously hurt! I don't know what would be next...I guess we will have to wait on what happens after the fight!
MMA4Real-I see....are you doing all of your training in one spot or going to different camps?
MT-Yes i always do my training in one spot and thats my gym! I feel like i train with the best! *Editor's note Manny trains out of (www.millenniajiujitsu.com)
MMA4Real-Zuffa/WEC has just signed a TV deal with CARDENA TRES as the Home of the WEC in Mexico. Give us your thoughts on that and your thoughts on representing your Mexican heritage in the cage?
MT-I am very proud to represent my Mexican heritage, and the rest of the Latin community!
MMA4Real-No doubt...you fight like a warrior...Do you have any final thoughts, words of wisdom or anything you would like to say to your fans?
MT-Just want to thank everyone who believed in me since day one and stuck by my side...and of course my training camp the best camp in the world! Just know that I have never promised to win any fight, just know that when i fight I leave it all in the cage! I do promise that I'll do my best everytime!!!
Manny, again thanks so much for joining us here at MMA4Real. I know you are extremely busy since you have already started your training camp and all. If indeed you and Torres sign the contract to fight one another I'm sure you both will give us a very exciting fight! Good luck with everything.