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NC MMA-Joseph Carroll Interview

MMA4Real continues it's quest of promoting North Carolina MMA and it's fighters.  We were able to sit down with Joseph Carroll a.k.a "ElDingoLoco".  Joe is a professional mixed martial arts fighter fighting out of Claremont, NC.  He's 1-0 as a pro and will be fighting in the main event of  the Southern Fighting Federation card in Chattanooga, Tennessee on February 21st.  He touches on Helio Gracie's death, the rubber guard, and North Carolina MMA, and his career.  Let's get right to it:

Kelvin Hunt-Joe, thanks for joining us.  Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into MMA?

Joseph Carroll-Well, to start off, my full name is Joseph Bradley Carroll. I was born here in North Carolina, but spent most of the early years living with my mom and brother in Florida. I am a proud veteran of the United States Navy where I spent 5 years serving aboard the Aircraft Carrier, the U.S.S. Carl Vinson. Ever since getting out I have dedicated most of my time to becoming a fighter.  My MMA career started, like most do, as a wrestler in high school. I loved the competition. Then it really took off when I enlisted. When I left, my brother started taking Gracie Jiu Jitsu. He told me that I should try it. I was hooked. It allowed us to do all the cool stuff we could not do in wrestling. It was awesome. Since then, I have been blessed to be able to train under some of the greats in this sport such as Royce Gracie, Rodrigo Gracie (who awarded me my Blue Belt), John Simmons III and Joe Hurst. I love to fight and love being in a fight. I love the camaraderie, you might go whip a guys tail, but as soon as the fights over, you can be friends. There something to be said for that.
I love the rush.....

Kelvin Hunt-Joe, thanks for serving our country.  I know you have a Jiu Jitsu background. How'd you get the nickname and who has been your primary jiu jitsu coach?

Joseph Carroll-Well funny story my nick name "ElDingoLoco" was actually given to me by a Russian Sambo black belt. He said before my first ammy fight " If you win we will call you dingo; if u loose we will call you coyote," and as they say the rest is history. My primary jiu-jitsu coach and some one I look up to would have to be my brother he is 3-1-0 as a pro fighter and a brown belt in Gracie jiu-jitsu we work hand and hand on everything. That’s possibly why we have one of the top schools in North Carolina.

Kelvin Hunt-Yep, your picture and "ElDingoLoco" go hand in hand!  We just lost arguably one of the most important figures in MMA history in Helio Gracie. How did you feel when you learned of his death?

Joseph Carroll-It was a tough day first of all I send my regards out to the Gracie family, and let them know they are in our prayers. Although I did not get to meet Helio in person, it made me think and take inventory of my life. To lose an icon of his era was a big loss in my room and around the world we had a moment of silence in our classroom.  He opened a lot of people’s eyes and saved a lot of peoples lives including mine jiu-jitsu saved me from walking the wrong path. So I say thank you to Helio Gracie and the Gracie family, I will forever be in your debt and Helio will be greatly missed.

Kelvin Hunt-Well said.  You have a big fight coming up in the main event of the Southern Fighting Federation MMA event on Feb. 21st. You'll be fighting Shawn Hankins in his hometown. Give us your thoughts on the fight, what you know about Hankins and how you see the fight going?

Joseph Carroll-Well in my world the hardest fight is in the training camp.
Getting ready for the fight is the best but hardest part of the training camp. I don’t train for the one person I train for the fight. As long as I stick to my game plan, there is no one or nothing that will stop me from winning. I know Hankins is 6 ft tall and he has great boxing ability. He is a very respectable fighter in TN. I see it being a great battle and a tough fight. I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I feel that I have an advantage because of the training camp that has been set. I train with guys that 2 and 3 times my size and weight. It’s going to be a war.

Kelvin Hunt-Being versed in jiu jitsu, what are your thoughts on the rubber guard? Have you tried to incorporate any of it into your game?

Joseph Carroll-I try to incorporate a bit of everything in to my style of jiu-jitsu ( Breakdown Jiu-jitsu) rubber guard , yes you have to be very flexible to work a good rubber guard it can help you or get you caught in a bad beat down position. I work a lot of gi, even though mma is no gi. Working in a gi makes you very well versed and strong as hell.

Kelvin Hunt-I've heard a lot of fighters say that about the gi.  Almost all of your wins have come via submission. What's your favorite sub, and when are you going to win a fight via KO!?

Joseph Carroll-Well my favorite submission of all time would have to be a no hands flying knee bar but I don’t see me landing it in a mma match. Although I have landed a flying arm bar in a mma fight just ask (Jason Wiggins) that’s not my favorite.  I like the basic submissions and I’m working on some good chokes but I can’t put everything out there. Hopefully, if my strength and conditioning coach, Kris "Tiny" Negley, has anything to do with it, this next guy is going to get a nice surprise. Hell, after I won my pro debut, everybody was congratulating me but Tiny. He said that I could have finished the fight 2 times when I was dropping elbows, but instead of finishing I went for submission. The way he looks at it I owe him not one, but two TKO victories, so we will see how the fight goes and go from there.

Kelvin Hunt-Haha...good stuff!  If you win this next fight you'll be 2-0 as a pro, what's next for you and is there anyone in particular you want to fight?

Joseph Carroll-Well I have my management working on my mma fights coming up after the Feb. 21 fight. We are trying to plan a lot of good fights out of state. So we can venture out and see what other kind of fight breeds we can meet up with. I plan on going to the world’s jiu-jitsu in Cali in June I don’t just want to be the best in NC, I want to be one of the top in the world. So in order to do so, I have to travel and fight and train with some of the best. Who knows there is a big chance i'll come home with a nice medal.

Kelvin Hunt-I like that attitude.  You can't settle for the big fish in a small pond syndrome.  All of your fights have taken place in North Carolina. Give us your thoughts on the MMA scene here and where you expect it to be in 5 years.

Joseph Carroll-Well within the next two years I plan on being in the UFC not only do I want to be one of the top in the world. If you think about it, Spencer Fisher is the only reputable UFC fighter, as far as I know, from NC. I hope to put this state on the map, not just be from here, but, train, live and run my gym here.  I want to fight only the best and the ones who are at the top of their game. The scene here in NC is ok it is still new here so people are just starting to catch on I think within the next 3 years it will be a big money maker as it is in Vegas and elsewhere. What will help us is if we can get a big organization to step up and really dedicate themselves to rivaling some of the bigger organizations in the southeast, such as the XFC in Florida or the RFL in Kentucky.

Kelvin Hunt-This is true and another reason why MMA4Real is doing what it can to get the word out there.  Besides yourself, who are some prospects out there on the local scene that we should be keeping an eye on?

Joseph Carroll-Roger "The Leprechaun" Carroll
Kris "Tiny" Negley
Jeff" The Punisher" Piercy
Chucky "The Mulatto Mauler" Jacops
Derick "Little D" Smith
Brandon Miller
Micah" The Machine" Lail

Kelvin Hunt-Ahh..some new names...nice.  Any parting thoughts, and anyone out there that you want to thank?

Joseph Carroll-First of all God, without him none of this is possible. Then there's my brother Roger and with him all of this is possible, my mom , dad and all my family for supporting me. Next there's my Strength and Conditioning Coach, Manager and primary training partner, Kris "Tiny" Negley. Also I want to thank Hickory Chiropractic, American Stand-up, Omega Attire, Charlie's Cafe and Tiny’s new clothing company, Koroner Apparel Company.

Joe, we appreciate you taking the time to speak with us here at MMA4Real.  Good luck in the future, Go get that win in Tennessee, and we look forward to having you back on soon!