My first writing endeavor has been riddled with uncertainties. The only thing I knew, I had to interview Joshua Preston. But, I wasn’t quite sure as to how I wanted to approach the interview. Do I make it question and answer? Do I make it flow like a conversation? Do I take shots or uplift? I trained for years at Hoger MMA, leaving on “ehhh” terms. But, that story may be my second writing endeavor.
Rasta: Let’s just jump in. You’re considerably larger than you were when we trained together. Why move up in weight when most are moving down?
Joshua: When we trained together, I was relatively young. I’m only 23. So, I’m still filling out. This could very well be my last fight at 155.
Rasta: You have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. What style of Tae Kwon Do did you study, and what’s the difference?
JP: Yes, my background is in Olympic TKD. Which is more or less boxing with your feet. However, there is no punching to the face. While, ITF (International Tae Kwon Do Federation) is more point sparring. You reset after every point. Like in Karate Kid.
Rasta: You have a solid ground game. Was the transition from pure striker to full MMA difficult?
JP: Since I competed so heavily in Olympic TKD, I was prone to being taken down a lot. Knowing that, I focused more on my ground game. So it was the first to evolve.
Rasta: If my long term hasn’t failed me like my short term has, you also teach TKD. (Josuha is a corporate head hunter by day. Shoot him your resume, you never know).
JP: Yeah, I previously taught at Hero MMA, but had to step down due to health issues. My time at Hero aided me tremendously in understandjng my skill set. Because of that, I have developed a unique game; I am certain won’t be replicated.
Rasta: You mentioned health issues. If you don’t mind me asking…
JP: My health issue is some sort of neuro-muscular disorder. Honestly, I was relieved to find out that there was something going on and it wasn’t just in my head. It helped me to be more aware of my body during the training process. I use to exacerbate my symptoms by over training and have since backed off and learned to recover properly. Now that I have the support of my doctor to help me monitor my symptoms throughout my camp, I am able to cope with it a bit better. I was able to get a bit of information on how to decrease the severity of my symptoms. This is also part of my decision to move up weight classes. After this fight I will decide if I will remain at 155 or make the move to 170. Either way, watch out. I’m dangerous at any weight class I decide to make my home.
Rasta: You train with arguably one of the fore fathers of the modern era of MMA in Sam Hoger. Tell those that don’t know what that’s like.
JP: Training at Hoger has been a great experience. There is a great group of veteran fighters and some promising up and comers. I look forward to seeing what some of these guys start to do with their careers. There is a lot of talent coming out of the Houston area and the better the competition becomes here, the easier it will be to make it on the national and international scene.
Rasta: Anyone you want to thank?
JP: There are quite a few. I’d like to send a big shout out to Mike Hale for setting me up with this fight. Foster Volker for organizing my camp. Thanks to Sam Hoger for chasing me in his car down Richmond. Thanks to Ryan Josey for coming and training despite being injured. Thanks to Shawn Machado for helping me with anything I need. Thanks to the Guerra family for cooking around my diet, Melanie for promoting and supporting me throughout this camp, and my family for putting up with me through out my fight career. Thanks to Mick and Collin at legacy, but most of all I’d like to thank God. Without God, none of this would be possible.
Josh takes on Josh Wilson of Kingwood MMA this Saturday at Legacy Amateur Series 14. The event takes place at what was formally known as the Verizon Wireless Theater; it is now the Bayou Music Center.
Follow Rasta on Twitter @Rasta420MMA