It has only been two years since he made his debut, but Ryan “Riptide” Hollis (8-4) has kept himself very busy since then. He will be stepping into the cage for the 13th time this Friday night at LFC 39, when he squares off with Albert Tapia (2-1), who stepped in for an injured Elias Garcia. Hollis is coming off of a very impressive KO victory over Humberto DeLeon at Fury Fighting 2 back in October, and is looking to keep up the same pace this year as he did last year; maybe even collecting a title on the way.
Mark Carrillo: You were originally set to face Elias Garcia, but he had to pull out due to injury. What do you know about your new opponent, Albert Tapia, who stepped in as his replacement?
Ryan Hollis: Yeah I trained hard for Elias but he got hurt; it is what it is. I don’t know much about Albert, other than I’m going to beat him and get paid for it.
MC: Does it matter who they found ,or would you have said yes to anyone?
RH: Yeah it mattered, I was only 3 weeks out from my fight and already sold my tickets. So, depending on who they had, is what kept me from giving people back their money and calling an end to camp.
MC: Your only loss last year came to Hector Sandoval when you stepped in to face him on very short notice. It was a title fight for Tachi Place, and many thought if you won that fight you would have been offered a UFC contract. Do you regret taking such an important fight on such short notice?
RH: No, I don’t regret it. I fought someone who was 7-1, on a 7 fight win streak, and out of Team Alpha Male on 5 days notice. When I got the call I was drinking a 40oz, and I went 5 rounds with him and still almost knocked his ass out several times in the last round.
MC: What flyweight fighter out there would you like to step into the cage with the most, and why?
RH: I have no idea. I never get the fighters that I really want to fight. I asked for Sandoval, Jonathon Lopez, Matt Schnell for a rematch. I want that motherfucking belt though, I know that.
MC: Any chances we see you compete in a Legacy kickboxing match this year?
RH: I have mentioned to Collin Cantrell my interest in competing for Legacy kickboxing. I would for sure like to, would love it actually, maybe then my opponent won’t try to lay on me, but I can’t make any promises on that.
MC: You fought 5 times last year, which is a lot for a pro fighter. Will you be as busy this year as you were last year?
RH: Yeah I plan more than 5 fights this year. I want 7 or 8, I would have had 6 last year if the Big Dawg event hadn’t shut down the day of the fight.
MC: Fighters have been getting popped for PEDs on a regular basis now. What’s your take on PEDs?
RH: I think fighters who take PEDs are pussies, afraid of their opponents so they take a needle in the ass hoping it gives them some sort of advantage, and confidence to step up to another man in the cage. I find it funny that these people that get popped for “roids” and cocaine get in less trouble than people who get popped for marijuana. I’ll just say that.
MC: Where’s the banana suit? Will we ever see it again?
RH: The banana suit is here with me at my house. I stopped doing the goofy stuff for one, because I have a sponsor, Bloodhound Clothing, who pays me to walkout in a Bloodhound shirt. So, wearing costumes conflicts with that. Also, because I don’t feel I was appreciated for trying to make people laugh, honestly. You won’t see anyone else at Legacy trying to do that though, nobody has the balls I got.
MC: Fighting is a tough sport, lot of injuries, very time consuming, and doesn’t pay the best. Why fight, and not get a more secure job with less risk?
RH: It’s just the cards I am dealt right now. This isn’t what I want to do forever, the pay is shit. When you are a fighter, you do more than just fight. You diet, you sell tickets, promote the fight constantly, sell shirts, and find sponsors. All while you are away from your family. I will move on to something soon enough if this shit doesn’t pick up.
MC: You’ve made a few videos online that are pretty funny and get a lot of views. Any chance on you giving up on fighting and becoming one of those YouTube sensations?
RH: I would give up this bullshit sport in a heartbeat for some sort of movie deal. Making videos is a hobby/passion of mine, it’s something I do that brings me joy. I don’t know about YouTube, not sure how much that pays. I’d shovel shit if it paid more than fighting, wait, it probably does.
MC: There seem to be a lot of people that like to trash talk you through the Internet. Why do you think that happens?
RH: Because I’m a flyweight, people think they can talk shit to the lighter weight guys because in their head they can take us. Until the come to the gym and I make a Josh Neer video with them.
MC: Anything you want to say to Tapia before the fight?
RH: Nah, I’m going to do my talking in the cage. Seriously, I will be talking to him during the fight.
MC: Who would you like to thank for helping you prepare for this fight?
RH: I’d like to thank my teammates: Daniel Pineda, Derrick Lewis, Larry Crowe, Coach Jose, Coach Rocky, Bobby Powers, Chris Soliz, Lauren Soliz, Jordan Carmona, Jonathan Davis, Alex Black, basically everyone that helped me in sparring. My sponsors: Bloodhound Clothing, Roselli Graphics, Southern Boys Tattoos, Custom Installations, Mega, Boneface Fight Gear, Mike Hale Management, and of course, 4oz Fight Club.