Saturday September 27th, Garcia Promotions will return with Cage Combat 16, at The Humble Civic Center in Humble, TX. It will be the promotion’s first event in almost a year, and they are coming back with a bang. A 15 fight card, with three title fights, including Edward Longoria versus Jake Heffernan for the 135lbs title, Kyle Villarreal versus Cameron Graves for the 145lbs title, and Fabian Galavez versus Tyler Flores for the 170lbs title.
A shot at the belt is one thing all fighters strive for, and for Tyler Flores, it is no different. The BJJ practitioner/boxer/MMA fighter, is looking to add “Garcia Promotions’ Champion” to his resume. With about a week left before fight night, I reached out to the Gracie Barra fighter to see how he feels going into his first title fight.
Pinche Mark: Give us a little background information on yourself. How long have you been training?
Tyler Flores: I started training in 2010 at Gracie Barra The Woodlands when I was sill in high school, and did a bunch of jiu jitsu tournaments before I got my first fight less than a year later for Legacy Amateur Series. I ended up losing that fight because I wasn’t ready for it. I took the loss pretty hard and decided to give up on MMA, and then I fell in love with boxing. I replaced MMA with boxing, so boxing was all I did at the gym. I also started training at a boxing gym in Conroe called Pound 4 Pound. I had a few boxing matches and ended winning the Houston Golden Gloves in 2013. My boxing record is 7-1, but after the accomplishments I got in boxing, it still didn’t satisfy the need I had to redeem myself from that loss I got back in my first MMA fight. So with the help of Alex Morono, Charles Lloyd, Ricky Turcios, and a few other guys at Gracie Barra, I decided to get back in the cage, and it couldn’t have turned out better. The fight was last May for Cage Combat and I ended up getting a knockout in less than a minute, and got Knockout of the Night. Since then, I have moved to College Station to attend Texas A&M University, Whoop! So now I currently train at Windy Sport and Fitness under Bobby Powers and Jermaine Anugwom. I still train at Gracie Barra, and do a little cross-training at BVMMA when I can.
PM: When did they offer you the title fight?
TF: Well, I was originally on the card to fight the “Karate Clerk” guy, and was pretty excited for that fight because there was a lot of hype on him and it would’ve been a great striking matchup. Then about two weeks ago they informed me that unfortunately he wasn’t able to fight, but now I would have a title shot instead. Well, anyone that begins this sport has the goal of working there way up to a belt, so of course I was down for it.
PM: What has your training been like?
TF: It’s been great. I’ve been getting a lot of work at Windy and at Gracie Barra when I’m able to go back home. I also run a lot too.
PM: How much do you know about your opponent?
Tyler Flores: Not a whole lot. I’ve watched some of his fights, and have seen that he is pretty strong and isn’t afraid to strike or go to the ground.
PM: What do you think the hardest part of training is?
TF: Honestly, the hardest part of training is dieting to lose weight. I love to eat, and eat bad. So, not being able to eat what or as much as I want, is the hardest part. Another hard part is the anticipation building up to the fight. Towards the end of camp, you are just so ready to get in there that you can’t wait anymore.
PM: What will be your game plan going into this fight?
TF: Developing a game plan for an amateur fight is tough because your opponent hasn’t had that many fights to go off of, and many amateurs change so much between fights that it makes it hard to train for. So for this fight, I’ve seen that he is a pretty good wrestler but will also stand and throw punches with you in the pocket if he wants. So, I’ve been preparing for either situation.
PM: What’s your mindset like on fight night?
TF: I like to stay pretty calm and just hang out with my coaches and teammates in the back, and set all distractions aside. I don’t really like to go out and watch the fights while I’m waiting for mine to start. I’m also of course a little nervous too, because if you’re not a little nervous then you’re not ready. I don’t like to have long drawn out warm ups like some of the other fighters do. I always have a short warm up, I hit the mitts for a little bit before the fight then I’m ready to go.
PM: How do you predict this fight going?
TF: Honestly, I couldn’t say. I can see it going with a win by KO, submission, or ground and pound, but of course, with me always being the winner (laughing).
PM: Anything you would like to say to Galavez before the fight?
TF: Good luck man. Because if you want this belt, you’re going to have to work your ass off for it because it’s not going to be easy.
PM: Who all would you like to thank for helping you prepare for this fight?
TF: Of course the guys that started it all for me and made me into the fighter I am today, Alex Morono, Ricky Turcios, Charles Lloyd, Gerardo Abadie, Alex Gotay, Jake Heffernan, and all my other teammates at Gracie Barra. Sorry, there is too many to name. Then Bobby Powers, Jermaine Anugwom, Anthony Cruz, and all the other guys at Windy Sport and Fitness.
Get your tickets at MikeTheTruth.com. Don’t miss out on a night of exciting face punching!