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MMA4Real Exclusive Interview: Undefeated Lightweight Robert Shanor

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MMA4Real continues to bring you North Carolina's finest up and coming MMAfighters.  We were able to catch up with undefeated Robert Shanor(4-0).  Robert talks with us about how he got into MMA, his last fight, and what's next for him in regards to his next fight and turning pro.  Let's get it:
Kelvin Hunt-You were born in the Philippines right? How did that come about and how did you find your way to North Carolina?

Robert Shanor-Yes I was born in Angeles City, Philippines on Clark Airforce base.  Within two years of living there there was a volcano eruption and the island I was born on was evacuated, directly after evacuation I moved to Charleston, SC. (Both my parents were in the Air Force). But I have lived in numerous different states prior to North Carolina like South Carolina, North Carolina (I was younger), Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.

Kelvin Hunt-Cool, tell us a little about yourself and how you got into MMA?

Robert Shanor-I’ve always seen it on television.  I was sitting at home one day messing around on facebook and Ryan Hayes’ name came up on my chat log.  I knew him from wrestling in high school. He was the former assistant wrestling coach at R.J. Reynolds and Parkland HS. I knew that he was involved in MMA so I asked him if he could get me a fight. He said yeah and six weeks later I made my MMA debut. I fought James Ronsick to a unanimous decision on the June 6th Circle of Fury Card.

Kelvin Hunt-Man, you made your debut in no time.  However, you were a standout wrestler in high school and wrestled at UNC as well as became a member of the freestyle nation team. Tell us about the process of doing well in high school, then college and making the national team?

Robert Shanor-I started wrestling when I was in the 4th grade in PA. I was involved in a lot of youth wrestling programs prior to High School.  I went to Mifflinburg HS in PA and wrestled and placed 4th in my regional. Over the spring of my freshman year, my father’s job transferred to Danville, VA. We got online to search for high schools with good wrestling teams in the area. After hours of searching we came across Morehead High School in Eden, NC. I enrolled for my sophomore year and wrestled. I went on to capture three state titles and earned a spot on the freestyle national team.  I got a wrestling scholarship to the UNC Chapel Hill.

Kelvin Hunt-Go Tarheels!(unless they playing Florida St. in football)  I know you were a business administration major and wanted to become a business lawyer. Is that still in the plans or have you put that on hold for now?

Robert Shanor-I’ve put school hold because of personal issues. Once I get these issues resolved I’ll re-enroll college.

Kelvin Hunt-Ok cool.  Get that education.  Where do you train and who are some of the people you train with?

Robert Shanor-I train out of Winston-Salem, NC at the Southside Combat Club. Chris Clodfelter and Dell Sapp are my trainers. Other notable NC MMAfighters I train with are Justin Dalton, Jeff Tharington, Casey Hogge, Keith Hulin, and Kevin Hulin. I live in Clover, SC now, so I have had to share time training at a school in Gastonia, NC.

Kelvin Hunt-Yea those guys have been on a roll.  Ok, let's switch gears a bit. You just won your last fight a couple of weeks ago in a tough fight against Bradley Essick. You were caught in a tight triangle choke but managed to fight your way out of it. Tell us a little about the fight and what did you take away from it?

Robert Shanor-I was supposed to fight Jordan Rinaldi on that date but Ryan Hayes, my manager, informed me that Jordan took a fight within three days of ours and took a couple bruises which caused him to have to withdraw from the fight.  I asked him who was going to fight then and he told me Bradley Essick from Team One. I wanted that fight for a while. He was supposed to fight me a while back. I knew that it was going to be a tough fight to take on three day's notice, but this fight could not have come at a better time. The weekend prior, Southside was matched up against Team One four times on a fight card and we won all four fights.  I wanted to make it 5-0 and that’s what fueled my desire to take this tough fight. I had seen Bradley fight before. He won all of his fights by taking his opponents down to the ground. I knew that I was a better wrestler than he was and knew that he not going to take me down. He tried to initiate the ground first, and I hipped in and got the take down.  He had me in what was the tightest triangle I’ve ever been in for two minutes. I got out somehow and he grabbed an armbar and turned it hips down and I did not tap. I manage to take a dominate position for the last 45 seconds of the first round. I knew that he won that round so I to suck it up and win the last two rounds hands down and that’s what I did to win. I really learned that, I need to take this sport more seriously and train harder.

Kelvin Hunt-Yea, that was a tough fight. You are currently 4-0 in 2009 and you indicated that you wanted to get another 5-6 fights under your belt before turning pro. Do you expect to get another fight in this year? If so, when and who would you like to go up against?

Robert Shanor-I’ve agreed to enter a bout with D’Juan Owens on November 21stfor Elite Championship Cage Fighting in Charlotte, NC at the Metrolina Expo. D’Juan and I have rolled a few times so this will make for an interesting fight.  I think that I have a slight edge however. Depending on this fight goes then I’ll make a decision about turning pro.

Kelvin Hunt-Since you fight at 145. I have to get your thoughts on Mike Brown vs. Jose Aldo. Who takes that fight and why?

Robert Shanor-Mike Brown is on a roll, so I’ll go with him. By the way I just recently moved up to 155.

Kelvin Hunt-Oh ok, I'll make a mental note of that.  What advice would you give to all the youngsters out there looking to make a career out of MMA?

Robert Shanor-They should first off focus on school and academics. If they plan on trying to pursue a career in MMA then they should definitely wrestle in HS, and before if possible.

Kelvin Hunt-Good advice.  Do you have any parting thoughts or anyone you would like to thank?

Robert Shanor-I would like to thank, my trainers and manager, and all the fighters at the Southside Combat Club for helping make this transition. I attribute them as to the reason why I am doing so well thus far.

Good stuff Robert, and again MMA4Real would like to thank you for taking the time to speak with us.  Good luck in your upcoming fight against D'Juan, whom we've also had here on the site.  We look forward to having you on the site again.