The North Carolina MMA world will be on fire this weekend as Lenoir, NC, hosts the Elite Championship Cagefighting event. MMA4Real caught up with Brian Whitaker who's one half of the welterweight title fight main event. Brian spoke about how he got into MMA, his future, and North Carolina MMA. Let's get to it:
Kelvin Hunt- Thanks for joining us Brian. Tell us where you are from and a little about your background and how you got involved with MMA?
Brian Whitaker-I was born in a small town in West Virginia called New Hall. When I was in grade school I moved to Taylorsville, NC where I went on to wrestle for Alexander Central High School. I got my first experience with MMA while in the Marine Corps. We used some basic moves like arm bars and triangles in our hand to hand combat training.
Kelvin Hunt-Thanks for your service to our country. How are you feeling mentally and physically?
Brian Whitaker-I feel great mentally and physically. This is the best condition I've been in. For each fight I try to step it up and improve from the last fight.
Kelvin Hunt-Right. You are currently undefeated at 2-0. You have finished both of your fights in under 2 minutes. Is there any particular strategy you use to finish your opponents so quickly?
Brian Whitaker-I never expected to finish my first two fights so quickly. I feel like keeping a lot of pressure on your opponent is the key to ending any fight.
Kelvin Hunt-You are fighting in the main event of the Elite Championship Cagefighting event next weekend against Allen "The Hedgehog" Greenway. What can we expect from you in that fight?
Brian Whitaker-You can expect me to be a better fighter than I was in my last fight.
Kelvin Hunt-I interviewed Allen, and he said he had heard a rumor about you using him as a "Pinata" when you guys fight. Is there any rumor to that, and if so what's the back story?
Brian Whitaker-I'd like to use all of my opponents as a pinata. My coach likes to joke around to take the edge off and try to have a little fun. I don't really put much thought into stuff like that. I always let my actions speak for me.
Kelvin Hunt-I can understand that. Allen is a pretty tall guy. Do you have any particular strategy in place to negate his length? What has your training camp consisted of for this fight?
Brian Whitaker-No, not really. We train in all aspects of fighting. We train to be well rounded fighters so we will be ready for all styles.
Kelvin Hunt-I only know you as Brian. Is there a nickname you use? Also, some fighters are superstitious, is there any specific thing you do before you fight?
Brian Whitaker-The guys at the gym call me "The Wall". No, not superstitious at all. I just try to relax before the fight.
Kelvin Hunt-What are your thoughts on the MMA scene in North Carolina?
Brian Whitaker- It's improving with every event. There were a lot of one dimensional fighters in the first event. Now they are getting more well rounded.
Kelvin Hunt-Yep, I noticed that in the fights that I've seen. Do you have any particular goals in regards to MMA?
Brian Whitaker-The only goal I set for myself was to win an amateur title.
Kelvin Hunt-Any parting thoughts, and anyone you would like to thank?
Brian Whitaker-Thanks for giving us some coverage for this fight. I would like to thank my wife who has been behind me the whole way and my kids. I couldn't do any of this without my coach Professor Huss* and all my training partners at Huss Hybrid Combat College.
*Side note on Professor Huss:
-Carrys nearly 100 career MMA fights, more than anyone else in NC,
-Fought professionally in Japan for 8 years,
-Fought fighters from UFC and PRIDE,
-Before returning to the US he was the Head Instructor and only fulltime instructor of Mach Dojo , Mach Sakurai's gym.
-One of the original fighters with Purebred, Enson Inoue's team.
-East Japan Shooto Champion, LHVY,
-2x All Japan MMA Tournament Champ,HVY,
-Top ranked competitor in Japan's Combat Wrestling,
-World Hall of Famer,
-Jiu-Jitsu Instructor of the Year 2003,
-Pioneered MMA in NC back in the 1991, long before the UFC,
-and too much more to be listed.
Brian, we at MMA4Real again thank you and Professor Huss for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with us. Good luck, I know you guys have a big fight coming up this weekend and we look forward to having you guys on after the fights.