No matter what a fighter goes through in their career, their wins and loses, submissions and knockouts, there is something a fighter will always remember… their very first fight. Everyone has their own reason for fighting. It is not easy and it gets violent, but something makes a person want to do it.
This Friday night in Galveston, TX, Tony Nguyen will be making his MMA debut against Jacob Norsworthy at SCC VII. Nguyen isn’t completely new to the MMA scene. He is part of OSS Combat Productions, and assist in the production and cage set ups. I caught up with Tony to see why he decided to get involved in MMA, and who and what is Team Pine.
Mark Carrillo: So tell us a little about yourself. What did you do before MMA, and what got you into the sport?
Tony Nguyen: I went to school at Colorado University of Boulder. When I left I explored a few business adventures. Some were successful and some were great learning tools for future interests. I started training MMA full-time at 28 years old. At that time I was at an intersection in my life where I was blessed enough to be able to choose my second career. I was not satisfied with the path I had chosen. I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I knew it had to be something that I truly love. It was actually between The Culinary Institute of America and 4oz Fight Club.
MC: How hard have you been working to get to this point?
TN: May 16th will make it 17 months of relentless wrestling, muay thai, and jiu jitsu.
MC: What is a typical day of training like for you?
TN: Depending on the day, I have 2 or 3 classes per day. Also mixed in with those classes, I have private sessions with strength and conditioning coaches over at Plex and/or my head striking coaches Kru Bob Perez or Artenas “Machine Gun” Young, and wrestling/jiu jitsu with Coach Jose Santibanez.
MC: What would you say is the strongest part of your game?
TN: I feel like my ground game has been my foundation since I started. Even though I never competed in wrestling, I feel like I have taken to it well. It kind of worked out for me because I am blessed to be training with Daniel Pineda and Alex Black, both are really high level ground practitioners. Justin Reiswerg also coaches me in my jiu jitsu, and that has also been a big asset. He constantly helps me make sense of jiu jitsu and wrestling in the cage.
MC: What do you know about your opponent?
TN: He is a tough guy that loves to bang. I will be ready and looking to dictate the fight with my strengths when the opportunity presents itself.
MC: How do you see this fight going?
TN: For this fight, I have worked particularly on my striking. Adding more angles and level changes to tie into my wrestling. I can’t wait for May 16th! I am ready for 3 rounds of wherever this fight takes me.
MC: Who and what is Team Pine?
TN: I am glad you’re the first person to ask me this; you being who you are and all. I told myself I would wait and avoid the question when people would ask me, and only reply to this question when it would be in print. Team Pine is not a who. Team Pine has been here way before I came along. I am merely one of he spokesmen. Best way I can describe it, it’s a community that follows a certain set of ideologies; a way of life or belief system if you will. Team Pine is creating a brotherhood and bringing people together from different walks of life; connected through similar interests.
MC: Your sister, Bebe, also fights. Who would win in a fight between the two of you?
TN: This is going to start a fight. Mom is not going to like you asking this question; but lets just say, muay thai is not that effective when you are on your back.
MC: What happens for you after this fight? How many more times this year would you like to fight?
TN: God willing, I would like to fight four more times this year. I want as much cage experience as possible. I want to fight every style before they start to count.
MC: Who would you like to thank for helping you prepare for your MMA debut?
TN: My mother (my rock and inspiration), I am extremely proud of her for publishing her first book at the age of 57. To overcome all she had to overcome to get here, it is simply inspiring. She has always been supportive of my goals, win or lose, mama has my back. The 4oz Fight coaches and staff: Bob “The General” Perez, Coach Santibanez, Coach Mahon, and Steve Garcia. My awesome Pine-Mates Kun Kao, The Dude, Killer Kyle, Cowboy, Rip Tide, Bam Bam, Mini Me, The Truth, and Love Bug. You guys pushed me past the limit daily, thank you. Also Windy Sport and Fitness, Team Tooke, and Gold Team, for allowing me to cross train with them. Thank you for this enjoyable experience.
The Truth will be providing updates and results to SCC VII. You can follow him on Twitter @TheTruthJackson, or on his Facebook Page.
Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkilloTX
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