Ep. #102 – Impa Kasanganay

Impa Kasanganay is a mixed martial artist who competes in the Middleweight division of the UFC. The former accountant turned fighter is a product of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series and member of the rapidly rising Gym-O MMA gym in North Carolina.


Impa Kasanganay: Boom, we are back with episode number 102.. I’M really excited for this one, i’m having impact on who uh is one of the uh he’s getting a lot of attention on social media um? Obviously he didn’t have the the uh. I guess the result didn’t go his way in fight island, but that being said, i mean his. His followers have grown he’s a huge fan, favorite a lot of people like him, not just for his fighting style, but also his attitude towards the game. I’Ve been a fan um since before the contender series and is now in the ufc and uh without further ado, i’m going to invite him on there we go how’s it going great. How are you thanks for having me on yo? Thank you for for coming on. First things: first man: how are you, how are you doing? Obviously, the fight, uh fight island didn’t go your way, but how are you doing mentally after after the fight i’m great bro? I really am. I started training that tuesday, when i got back light drilling um back to doing what i love. Obviously not the performance that i wanted, or you know that i know that i can put forth or the result that i wanted. But then i the blessing to be out on fight island. My dad called me for the first time i told my best friends out of there and i trained man. We were ready to go, didn’t come through how i you know believe i could have but hey. I mean i’m blessed to be in the ufc uh, more fights my contract, and then you know after this next one we do it and keep fighting man. So i’m you know eager expecting looking forward looking ahead and blessed to do. I love really um. So emotionally i’m sure it was a was uh pretty difficult. But how are you feeling physically, i mean obviously um. You took a shot there, but any any injuries. After that i know you have a sick. I think it’s 60-day medical suspension, but outside of that, are you uh, you’re good, physically physically i’m great yeah man, nothing crazy! Then the most damage during the fight is a little scratch yeah just a little scratch of uh. I think maybe, when his when he kicked me or something like one of the kids, i think he threw up and just like scratched me a little bit but a little bit of glove but other than that. No body feels great uh. You know all medical has checked out. You know negative scan the negative results, so i mean negative um test results which are perfect. You know, so i’m honestly, i’m great man. Just you know on that protocol with the ufc. The ufc pi is amazing and their whole team appreciate charles and everybody uh sent me everything i need just you know for post, uh post. You know knockout recovery, anything that came up potential, concussion no concussion, i feel great um. You know it’s my first time ever being dropped or knocked out ever so i was like oh okay. Well, this is how this is what happens and this how it feels, but i don’t say, i’m blessed. We know no crazy repercussions. Anything like that, so i’m good yeah, it’s funny, because i was talking to a couple of the guys that i write with, and i said he’s probably one of the few people who’s really stock rose in a knockout loss. You know like the way you handled it. Um, you know you got attention from everybody in mma world, just being like wow like level of professionalism and how you handled it was uh was superb. I guess – and he talked a little bit of trash before that so so kind of talk about why you were professional afterwards. Is it just the way you were? Was it something that you talk about with your coaches? How do you, how do you stay like positive? Even after a loss like that, you know i look at people who talk trash man, that’s that’s not real. You know i mean i it’s not even about the person i have to see. What can i control myself right? That’S that’s what fighting’s about and, though, like even in the fight like man, i have to control myself. I had to fight better that fight, so you could say people can say whatever they want to say. Who can talk trash we can make fun. Uh fighters can talk junk, but it’s really about what do you say about yourself and i have a. I have a greater goal in mind. You know it doesn’t stop right there. You have to be the best to ever. Do it, you know, get the ufc middleweight title move up and get the light heavyweight, like my goals, aren’t stuck on one moment. You know if anything they’re built from a moment and if i’m to lower myself to talk trash or engage in that, because i think i should it’s not how i was raised. It’S not how i’ve been coached. It’S not my belief system. Like my faith, like i love what i get to do, and i love people and i love to fight, i really do so. It’S like the fighting. Does it right? You know it’s not like i was. I mean i didn’t fight the way i needed to, but the fight wasn’t like a blowout right. So it’s one of those things. I’M not gon na ever lower my standards to um talk trash with somebody, because if you just think about the phrase talk trash like i’m speaking garbage, that means that’s coming out of me. Yeah! That’S not that’s, not that’s not what’s on the inside and then one of those quotes. I love from the stones just talks about how somebody angers you they become a master and it’s like you’re a puppet to them, and i will never let anybody just control me that way right. So for me it’s like and then after the fight you know we talked, he was cool and sometimes i think people are just younger in our lives, especially fighters. Man, like you, see an unboxing you see in mma specif, especially. I think that people think they need to act a certain way and for me i’m breaking that mold. That’S not me like. I could talk trash, that’s how i trash my teammates all the time, but that’s all like that’s all like locker room and that’s all with fun, with your guys and your brothers, because you know you’ll laugh the next day yeah. But you know to have my dad there and then one day i plan to be a dad one day right, i’m planning to be married. One day, oh my tell my kids. This is how you should act, that’s what you should do and then they see me talking trash, i’m not it’s not who i am, and i won’t let anybody change that about me. So that’s that’s. Why really i mean it’s like i love what i get to do, i’m not going to disgrace it. You had a very successful um fight on the contender series and had a quick two quick turnarounds. Um some fighters seem to benefit from it guys, like donald cerrone, um, neil magni, sam alvey. Those guys tend to fight. Often are you somebody that likes to just get in there? I know you said you love fighting. Do you like fighting often, and do you think it’s a benefit for you just staying busy, or do you think it may be something that might hinder you long term? No, i mean, i think that it’s definitely the benefit to me. I did i. I don’t think me turning around quickly had anything to do with the reason i lost. I actually think, if anything that made me better, i from the contender series to my from my second contender, serious fight to my uc debut that helped me out a lot man, because i was like okay, i’m back ended up going. I had to fight for a while. You know since, like my first contender serious fight and then i had so many fights drop and things like that, so it felt great to get back in there do what i love, because the second time i went when i was in my uc debut it felt Just like home and then when i got into the uh on fight island and i felt comfortable, i was happy i was like i was in my pizza – place, not comfort. Like lazy, i didn’t get going the way i needed to for sure, but i think that was my preparation and uh. I just i didn’t get going. You know. That’S definitely on me. I’M not gon na take that my coaches have been prepared. Diego had a great game playing coach jim, i had a great game playing brian, my dad. They all took care of me on fight week. You know i failed there and you know i own it, but um. I think me staying active, keeps me going it’s like what would a warrior want to be doing right like yeah? What else would i rather want to be doing like? I would want to be i’d like for me to sit down and like not fight and trade? I’M like oh lord, i love the traits, i’m happy, i’m healthy enough to get back training and do what i love and refine refined refined. I love that, but at the same time too it’s like, oh, i don’t have to wait until the fight, but i mean i look forward to that day because the day that comes to feel like christmas is gon na feel like man, i’m back in here, i’m Alive, i’m gon na do what i love to do. Literally my hands are healthy. My shin’s healthy, my body’s healthy, like nothing is nothing is beat up. So it’s like when i get in that fight by the time i get a fight in uh 52 days, but who’s counting right, yeah, that’s what i’m cleared to fight right. I’Ve been i’d, be that much more improved that much better and i can make adjustments from last night and my pre-fight prep was low. I want to talk about you. You mentioned it a couple times your dad in your corner. I think it was the first time he’s ever cornered. You is that correct yeah. What would the whole experience like with him? I mean obviously going to fight island with him. I’M sure that whole thing was was a hell of a journey man. It is a blessing having my dad’s, my hero, man he’s done a lot for me. He’S uh still does to this day. Always believes in me. Always pushes me always challenges me and you know he’s wearing his today actually saw him wearing the whole uh walkout kit. You know he’s so proud, you know for me, it’s like i, i personally i’m like man. I wish i had the best performance of my life that fight right and you know, but it’s like when you know, he’s your dad. He still loves you proud i’ll. I’Ll. Have them on every fight trip, if possible, right and i’m having on every every chance you get. You know my mom is like my mom and dad are married, but we always call they always call each other uh. He refers to her as his girlfriend he’s like man, my girlfriend, you know i should be fine without me, whatever they leave by chilling, but they you know it’s just a great experience. Man he’s the kind of man i want to be right, he’s the kind of man that he works. So hard he’s came, you know came to america with twelve dollars in his pocket built a fortune for the life it it is. It pushed me and challenged me and always so: disciplined loving and just keeping everybody up to date back home to have him there to walk out with him. He came with me to the weigh-ins, the media. He got to see everything and then you know the the the different kind of perspective he got on mixed. Martial arts and mma was completely new to him right, so it was kind of fun. Sharing that part with him. I had a great way cut. I didn’t have to get him asana, so that was awesome, so he didn’t have to see me suffer, but i could see him like wait a minute. What’S going on here like he because a lot of times a lot of my teammates said we always have fun. We’Re joking we’re laughing then he’s just like. Well, it does get serious right, so he wore the gopro all around so you’ll see some videos gon na have a youtube channel coming out so from first contender series. Second contender series to debut and some stuff in between. So i’m excited to share that and oh you’re, the first one you’re the first person i thought about that. Actually, so i’m excited about that. But man, my dad was welcomed by the ufc. You know if i could be proud to work in an organization work with some people then, and the ufc. So i just i thank their staff. I think they’re everybody they made my dad feel like he was the one fighting that week like then. Oh, what do you need they just coming at them shaking his hand, you should have seen the first time michael kiev, paul felder carrying everybody, uh, goodin and uh, who else is in there uh going blank on the blank one of the other announcers um dan hardy Was there dad dan hardy yeah, yeah dan hardy and uh one other person? They were all so welcoming man like, but i said they said dad. You can send an interview with me he’s like what me wow wow. I haven’t seen the smile. Then the ufc um arabia, i think uc arabia came um and interviewed him and the smile on his face man. I was like dad. Why don’t you get in there? What? No? I i can’t, if you need me too, i was like come on, come on get in there. He took pictures and uh juan and kaylee. The photographers, through the yesterday were making him feel like he was on top of the world, and i couldn’t thank them enough right and uh, dr tara. Everybody like the entire staff there made my dad feel, welcome, then being in abu dhabi. There are many people from uh, you know from different parts of africa, so they just kept coming to my dad hugging them talking to so i was like the hotel. The w man, like i’ve, never seen my dad just just smile like that from ear to ear the entire trip and then on the way back, i got ta have my uh first class seat and he was just chilling. You know i feel like king, like man, i didn’t get the victory as far as the fight, but to share this moment with my dad early in my career and he get to see during this career. I mean i’m so so i thank god. Every day like i really thank god, like i said like having him, there was the best experience and he you know he just. He went with me to the hospital after the fight right and i got to share that moment with him too, because you know i don’t plan for that to happen anymore, so it’s like so i want him to so. You got to see almost everything and how the i think it was michael was his name. I can’t remember right now. He got knocked out at that time. So, but he said uh he said yeah we’ll get you taken care of. You got me the cascade, but my dad was just like welcome. Welcome welcome so that whole experience there was one of the biggest blessings of my life with him, i’m actually. I was actually getting a little emotional hearing. That story i mean i my my family’s abroad and and coming over here, i’m i’m living in canada, but we’re originally from spain, so very similar in the sense that you know i can imagine what your father went through to provide you with those opportunities. Uh you, you wear the the you wore the the usa flag and you kind of represent the united states, but you’re originally from the congo is that is that correct? That’S where your family is from yeah. My family’s from my roots are from there i’m the first person in my family born outside the congo, so i was born in the united states born in fort lauderdale florida. So, what’s it like representing um, you know, congo in a way um being able to be one of the few african fighters on the ufc on the ufc roster man. That is something that honor is almost unexplainable like growing up. When i was young, i was made fun of a lot foreign like i was just like you know you weren’t. There are things people will say when you’re young, that they just don’t know. That won’t say it’s bullied. I think it’s just ignorance more about like being african being this. Oh, do you live by a zebra, dude you’re, almost ashamed to share your culture, yeah right, but the older you get. You start realizing. You won’t know who you are until you know where you come from, or someone or like what you’ve been through and to be able to like grow through that and always think for me to represent congo, even though my mouthpiece, i always have like the half congolese Flag: half the united states, but yeah i’m proud to be an american man. I love being american. I know we have crazy things going on in this country for sure, but i’m so proud to be here and see my parents story. Super cool fact about the flag that i walked out was the first time i walked out with the i used to walk away. Straightly the convolution flag, because that’s the only one i had it was a gift, but then i also got an american flag in the ufc. You have to have them sewn together or something my dad knows how to sew and he’s so he sewed the two flags together which to me was very symbolic, like he brought my dad was the first person in his family to leave congo to leave everything and Brought a lot of his family here and everybody started building their lives so like for me him selling that flag together. That will always be the most honorable peace that i carry on on fight week to represent people in congo to get the love that they wish. They sending to have my dad be a part of it all like that. Just that is almost like the american dream. We talk about right, you build the build, and then you see your kids do it and then i get to bring them along. My dad always said he wanted to go to the middle east. He wanted to go to abu dhabi and, like he used to travel a lot when i was little and then now i got to bring him and him being a world trauma him being an immigrant him being a person who raised me, that’s like to represent my Culture and my people, and so i can actually stand and be proud of, and the warriors that we i come from our culture like i’m, i’m grateful man, i’m just like to have him there. It just makes me so happy and it feels i’m getting so excited right now, i’m like i’m ready to fight again, but it’s just it’s super super um they’re, just super cool man having that honor to represent them and and where the congolese crest on my um. My ufc fight kit for the first time and i think i’ll always switch between usa and congo and really fight another country where that countries kind of represent the people, but really man. It always always means a ton to me that you know that i get a representing congo, like it’s such a beautiful land, beautiful people, so much going on there a lot of corruption, a lot of craziness, but that also too, i could use this platform to bring Awareness but also use this position that i am to one day go back and help so there’s a lot yeah. So it’s it’s crazy to think that, even just maybe even five years ago, a potential ufc africa just seems so far-fetched and not even possible. But now you’ve got guys like francis uh, israel, sonia kamaruzman and you’re right there as well. What would it mean to you if the ufc were to be able to say you know what we’re going back? Maybe not congo, but maybe in nigeria or a morocco? What would it mean to you to be able to be part of a cardinal, oh man, to be on that card house? For me, it’s like. I don’t just see myself as congolese. I am congolese for sure, but um. I look at it as like we’re one tribe, one sort of one people there’s too much like in america might have racism, but, and you see tribalism, people like always many people put themselves away like for me. It’S like. I see some one tribe, one sort of like you know: yusuf the moroccan comes from yeah yeah yeah. He awesome guy man, we met before the trip. We were talking, really really cool. Guy welcoming you know, i see him as my african brother and i see you know everybody’s african sisters and brothers. Like i say everybody like you know you, it doesn’t matter where somebody’s from i just see. People as humans and the cool thing about being african is again, i could say, we’re all connected in a way right, huge culture, family oriented, so it doesn’t matter what country it is we’re in at that time, and i would love to fight in congo one day In king chasse, like the rebel in the jungle, was, let me keep speaking that but man to fight on a car, let’s say israel’s headlining and he has a middleweight title defense in nigeria, and i see myself fighting him one day like that to me would just Always be some balkan to be on that undercard to be on that car to earn my way up or to fight for the title in their country. You know like to say, like fight israel out of in nigeria, to fight these guys when that time does come. Like that would be such a huge honor, and it’s not me being against this african country to me, it’s be like we get to celebrate the pioneers who came before me. Marti kise adesanya these guys, who all paved the way and made it something so special like that for me would be like man. Thank you and i’m honored, and now i get to you know, carry that on like that would be mean the world to me. I believe it’s going to happen one day, man so yeah. I got to get back. You know back to doing what i do work working training. You know claim these victories and i believe that you know when that time does come. It would make sense for me to be out there all in god’s plan. On god’s will, but um um man, you keep talking about this stuff. I got outside and calling texting like. Why? Don’T we do this now? I think so. I’M excited man really yeah. I want to talk to you about one thing, specifically uh, i’m an accountant by day, i’m an accountant by day, and i i do this on the side for fun and uh. As a former accountant, i guess i i don’t. I i still like doing accounting, but you know i i do have a passion for mma, not fighting necessarily. I guess what would your message be to someone in my shoes who’s doing another job on the side, but would has a passion in something like mma. I mean you, you were an accountant and you switched and now you’re doing fighting full-time. So what would your message be to someone like me? Well, man for you, so i one you’re doing a great job already man so like sometimes people look at what they lack and not see what they have like. Oh man, i wish i could do this full time only that blah blah you’re doing great the fact that you started your own stream. The fact that you started your own channel you’re on episode 102, which i’m honored to be a part of so you’re consistent about it you’re doing it remember. Consistency is king, but also to like take your your your work that you are. You know your profession and and fund your passion, so that one day can become your profession right. This is what you want to do forever. What’S the most creative way, what’s the most professional way to do it? What what will you do like if you’re going to be the best accountant, take those same principles and put it into into you know your journalism, like, maybe you take a journalism course, and a media creative media course like what makes you you, what makes you you? What makes you stand out right for me when i left accounting i had to let everything go, because i knew nothing right. I couldn’t really do fighting on the side or do it at the certain times at the gym that i’m in you know jamel right yeah. I couldn’t really like you know at the time, so when i got offered a job russian, i was gon na interfere with my training and i prayed about it, and i said god this is going to call me to do like by faith. I’M letting everything go because i had to at that time right to make as many training sessions to make up not make it for the time that i’ve never done it but like to to take advantage of all the time. That’S offered right. So what gives you that niche? What will allow you to stand apart from the rest and then what what trips can you take like? Where can you go to like who can like, i would say, reach out to many journalists in the mma world, but also journalists who have nothing to do with mma? What makes them so special study them obsessive over it and then also, i would say, like start just just writing your journal every day. Man, like questions, maybe fighting about like talking to you something like talking to a friend, so you i think you do a great job. It feels like i’m almost like in the living room right so like. I think you have that about you. So how do you make people always people feel welcome, and then how do you challenge yourself interview yourself like put yourself in the fighter? Shoes like you know, like. I appreciate you and you’re respectful, like some people, some people don’t understand like the magnitude of fighting. Like i’m different, i mean i take things differently, so it doesn’t bother me but like some people wouldn’t so what will set you apart and then also too like? I would look at like a lot of people. That’S fighters about the fight. The s5 is about like what got them there and their motivation, but also feel free to ask fighters about like like where they are mentally and just like what are the some of the most challenges that fighters have. I never really hear questions like that. Like i’ll. Listen to 100 interviews a week or 100 interviews a day right of great people that ask them like what questions. Aren’T they asking right, because people want to see what they don’t know if you always have. If you hear four interviews and every interview is about the same, like i would say, ask the questions. People, just don’t like, aren’t willing to ask in the most respectful way or what can you recommend to the fighter? Maybe not even about their fighting style but say: hey man, here’s a book. I read and it helped me build my dream as a journalist, um and then like then it creates a conversation because the fighter thinks about you that way and then i would then not not just the fighting with mma. But if it’s your passion, man, what tools do you need? How do you most invest in this, like? What does your studio look like even like? Even if you have one chair, one monitor one everything like what can you invest in that and also too um like it? Just i mean i have to think about. I could definitely write you some more because this is off the top of my head, but, like i would just say man if it’s your passion, let nothing get away with it like right, yeah, nothing, even even on your. You know the most challenging day. We just don’t feel like asking questions make that the day you ask the questions you you know ask and then just like right and maybe sometimes too like pre-interview. Like sometimes you know some people, some people send questions in some people. Some fighters don’t want to request. Whatever but like ask that, oh, i would ask the coaches interview, coaches interview teams, interview um people in the gym hey. Can i talk to somebody from your gym? Can i talk to your coach? Can i talk to coffee from the pi? Ask them like 10 minute questions, i’m just doing a woman and then putting it. I don’t know i’ll just go any creative abstract throughout, because i love that when i, when i hear interviews i’m like. Oh that’s interesting. I’Ve never heard that one before right, but if i get another photo okay, i understand that as a fighter, but man like, i think, you’re doing a great job. The fact that you do is just take every little bit that you can and invest back into your career and also too like what makes you what makes you happy like if you’re listening to interview, what would make you want to stay in tune right and then, Like for somebody, who’s letting everything go, and i hope i’m going to go too much of the interview part like with accounting what uh for me from when i left accounting. It was like this. If i’m gon na, do this, i’m a guy to give it everything. I have, and i don’t know what happened. I don’t when i, when i’m done fighting when i am like later in my career. I don’t even have the option to go to accounting. I know it’s there, but i don’t i don’t. I don’t want to give myself the option to do that. If i feel like in a few minutes in a few years, i still think oh man, i probably should do accounting then i feel like i failed, because i didn’t take advantage of every single thing that i had with mma like right now. I see that it should be the position that i never have to go back to accounting right. So what can you do with your passion? What can you do to cultivate that? What do you do to make it grow great? You could actually imagine right by faith and by working hard every day, that’ll make that accounting seem like a like. A second very thought that you never ever have that again. Does that make sense, i don’t know yeah it’s funny. You said you say that, because, like that’s part of the reason why i even started it was a to to kind of hope for something greater than you know doing the same thing, eight to f eight to four monday to friday, but it was also, i found All mma interviews were the same. You know um same questions, um and a lot of them were clickbait, like you know, so-and-so calls out so and so and and what i like, what what i do is i just write literally. What you see below is what i write um and it’s like watch the whole thing, and you can kind of see the dialogue and hear it rather than rather than just me trying to get followers and subscribers. It was just for me that that that’s kind of the reason why i did it and i want to be able to have a conversation more so than an interview, type thing: um, that’s yeah, but uh, but man. I appreciate that. That’S actually it’s funny, because i just uh bought the pop the the platform to do this so to hear you say you know, invest in it. I was like man, that’s kind of what i needed. That’S what you know, those little things there and those sorts of tips. So i appreciate it man, i i actually uh it’s it’s kind of nice to hear someone who had the same background. I did and to see how how they’ve risen and the success they’ve had. Oh man, thank you, man, it’s good to see people go after their dreams and their passion, like i think i i respect for anybody who’s doing accounting. I think sometimes you can come across like oh forget that now, like some people, may they love it and some people it’s provided for their families and sometimes that’s all that like that’s what they have. So i agree especially the time where many people are losing their jobs in the middle of the pandemic. But if you do have a passion someone’s calling your heart bro see see how you can best make that happen right. What’S the best way for you to make that happen, and before you know it like, this will pay like let it organically grow, be you be respectful, be loving, you don’t have to be click bait, like i think, that’s where the trash talk comes from right, like They see, oh my gosh, like sometimes you know, that’s funny. I don’t think trash talk is the best thing in the world, but i think that guy’s, seeing people like fighters who who’ve succeeded and they’ve had trash talk and they’re like man, look what they’ve done for their families. This person’s like well i’ll trash talk to anybody, except for this in my family, and then you see, but you think about it like. Is that really what you want like, because i think about the long-term effects, like you listen to guys like mike tyson, he says he doesn’t want to listen to his old interviews, because he’s embarrassed and people like how they used to be right. You don’t have to be that to be a monster in the octagon or that ring, but it’s at the same time too, with interviews you don’t have to be like everybody else, like you think about this, if you, if you one day, you have kids, you have A family and you want them to say dad. I want to listen to you to the interviews that you did. I want to be a journalist, just like you and they’re five years old and when they’re at five years old, they should be able to listen to your interviews, not be like wait. What did you just say, or why would you tell somebody that, like how insensitive were you, but when you can pat like the perfect, the great legacy is to pass it down to the ones that look to you to your to your apprenticeship, like the ones who Come after you right and and you’re well, your future, like your legacy, and i think about like when i pass down what i do all my children, be like man, they’re comfortable coming into him thinking my dad’s, not really a jerk he’s really a nice guy. The same thing for you, man like whoever whoever like or maybe that’s just a young kid who’s inspired by the way you tell stories the way you interview people and i think that’s that’s gon na be a huge uh testimony to the way things need to go. Let things go organically: what’s a hundred thousand followers and what’s 3 000 followers yeah, but when it’s all quality, when people really really feel it, you know. I think that that’s where the respect is earned, the money will come. So that’s that’s! Never worried about that stuff. All right i’ll ask you a couple more questions. I know i told you 20 minutes and we’re running a bit we’re running longer, but i love it um. No, it’s it’s great! Uh um! Then you’re fun. To talk to you and, like you said it’s, it’s more! Organic when we’re just having a conversation so i’ll ask you a couple more. I couldn’t go without asking about jimmo, i mean very successful team, guys like joe salecki, brian barbarina, you name it a lot of success coming out of that camp. However, it’s kind of falling on the radar a lot of people aren’t talking about it. Do you think it’s because it’s a smaller camp and do you think, there’s a lot of benefits to having a close knit team such as jimmo, rather than you know, maybe a big team that you could have hundreds of training partners, but maybe not necessarily the one-on-one Training, you may need so, okay with one-on-one training. I think that you have to seek that as a fighter right, it’s funny, because you can be in a small gym and nobody seeking out one-on-one training, you’ll, be the big gym and everybody’s sticking out, or nobody seeks it out at all right um. What i love about gmo and coach is that you have that private. You have that one-on-one feel you have that closed boutique gym and you get to address certain issues that you might not ever get addressed anywhere else right, and you know guys like select you, my man who just had a baby shout out to him baby, nora, uh And guys are coming to like select, he comes back and forth from wilmington right and he brings such a plethora of knowledge like him and uh salter right when they come down from wilmington man like the amount of learning you get in those sessions is second to None and then having coach, jimbo man, who is my second dad right on his third daddy? He he just brings a lot of luck to the room right and he challenges us and he pushes us right. I don’t want to knock those big gyms. I mean, like you know, you see some great great guys come out of those gyms and there’s a benefit to having 40 different training partners with different, looks right and guys who come every day. Guys, who are there to you know, do some do some great work right and they just want to be in the wolf’s. Then right, then, you have um, it has a barbarina and hot sauce right, you come in and they just bring years and years of experience, but also great men, and i think that’s what makes gmo special really it’s about this amount of people. Then i think yes, sometimes we, i think, we’re growing and flying to the radar as well, because um, you know we have less fighters in some gyms, but the quality of fighters – i don’t think, is it doesn’t doesn’t change. You know it’s not like. Oh, like this guy versus now, you saw a brian fight luke last year. All these guys, like it wasn’t like and scott jim miller, and then this fight in new jersey, like they fought some solid fighters too. He said these guys, these big gyms, i think they have quicker turnarounds because they have more guys fighting right. You could have three guys fight. Then one month, four people fight the next month and just like their name stays in the media in the in the circuit which they earn and they and they deserve right. So i think that’s the only reason really, but there are benefits benefits to both for sure yeah yeah. I agree, i’m gon na ask a couple more and then i’ll. Let you go huge fight this weekend and i couldn’t go without asking. I mean yeah everybody’s been talking about it for months and it doesn’t even seem real that it’s happening. I mean khabib versus gaichi. I mean it’s insane, it’s like it’s like seven days away and uh, it’s crazy. I thought it was never going to happen with everything going on with khabib’s dad. That being said, what’s your prediction for the fight i mean they’re, both my favorite, both they two of my favorite fighters, like think of which i don’t know which glove you like better. It’S like, i don’t know it’s uh. That was weird. I said that that sounded weird when i said it sounded better in my head, but uh ah how’s it gon na go it’s i think. If anybody can get, it could be it’ll be gaechi, oh god. It’S so hard to pick against could be i’m gon na pick gaichi, because i want to see like you know him him rocking it and see what he’s gon na do. Then again, i guess i can go out of the way, but for my pick for this fight, i’m picking the dress against you. I love it. I i was on the fence. I’Ve been on the fence back and forth. I i ended up sticking with khabib just because how do you pick against them when the guy has literally no no like no flaws in his game? Every time someone’s like he’s gon na get caught by conor, he goes out and mauls them. So it’s really thick against them, but i think if anyone’s going to do it, like you said i think it’s i think it’s cagey yeah. I think so, because gaitre can wrestle he’s done it he’s he’s with a coach. Whitman is an excellent coach right. Then you know zero zero gaichi in and you saw how he just picked apart ferguson. I’M not saying ferguson could be more the same at all, but then he knows they know how to game plan. He doesn’t do it he’s been proven to claim victory after victory. After victory and he’s not scared to get in there, i think some people get scared of kami. They’Ll engage you like i mean unless it changes on saturday or sunday, whatever it is, could be an abu dhabi. I think that he he knows how to do it. Then again too, he knows how that travel affects gaichi. Who knows how you know: khabib’s been abu dhabi, so maybe there’s the benefits of that, but i i think you can get it. Let’S see and it’s fun to take that pick – that maybe not everybody else will pick right so we’ll see all right. I’M gon na ask you one last one and then i’ll uh and then i’ll. Let you go um. I hate to end it on this note, but uh. I guess what advice would you give to someone um, who kind of had a loss like that, whether it’s an mma or something else in public i mean the world’s seeing it. Millions of people are seeing it um, i’m sure it’s hard to see. But what advice would you give to someone who’s going through something like that um and what’s like a positive message, man like what a blessing it is to have a public failure right because you don’t have to change it up the library of the changes thinking about It everybody knows right, and i was actually in church today and thinking about that, like what a joy it is to get the opportunity to show how you rise and show that what you’re really meant to do right. A lot of people before my fight. Oh he’s undefeated to know he’s doing really well, and you know he’s have questions, but he didn’t fight too terribly blah blah. He still lost. He did this right, but what a blessing it is to take advantage of that opportunity. Like let everybody laugh, let everybody see what they want to say. Let everybody tag you in the video or whatever ever since, but then that gets to share you got to share. Who you are you get to show your character? You get to show what you stand for and if you feel like you lost it doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean you have to stay defeated forever right, it doesn’t mean you have to be in a place where, where you have to live in a state or an Atmosphere of defeat, if anything, you get to live uh in the state of resurrection where you get to come back better than ever, and that i think that shows people like so many people feel defeated right now they lost their business, they lost their job, they they. They were, they were doing so well, they were thriving and they lost everything they felt fat on their face flat on their face, but then they don’t, they realize they get to rebuild and build something better. That could inspire so many. So for me, it’s like you. Actually, now have the responsibility and the opportunity, that’s what i tell myself like either a responsible opportunity to let people know what fighters do right if i’m undefeated right – and i did this man, i believe i never have to lose again right and that’s that’s a great Thing, but if you give yourself the permission to win and the permission to claim victory after falling short in public, then when you, when you’re back in public and you claim a victory and you’re at the top and you’re rising, can you imagine how people are going To see and how they’re going to feel how inspired they’ll be so take, take advantage of that opportunity own your failure and then also get the opportunity to adjust and be a better you, you get a better like you, get the opportunity to be the best version Of yourself and that’s going to be a better version for the world to say right could be the 50 that was on me. I thought it was the best version of the date, but i’m like wait, there’s so much more. I can do now, there’s so many more lessons, there’s so much more training. I can get it there’s so much more. So much more about me that i get to show the world, and i thank god for that opportunity and then the bible just talks about. Thank god that i’ve been afflicted it’s a good thing that i’ve been afflicted, because now i can share the gospel. I get to share god’s work right for me. That’S my faith, that’s my ministry, but i also get to share something positive and maybe it’s encouraging people, because before i didn’t have as many eyes on me right and then people saw the fight like oh excellent, fight, blah blah blah. Oh, you got that shot was crazy and it was a great shot by joaquin beautiful shot. You know great shot, but now i can still use my platform to hopefully spread positivity, spread love and especially in a time like this. I have the responsibility as a professional athlete as a professional fighter as a fighter like to let people know that yeah you’re not down, but you get back up right and the bible says the righteous man falls seven times, but he gets up eight. So really, every time you fall, you get the opportunity to get back up even better and if you look at any great company any great any great story, any great war, any great any great anything anything you ever see in life, the ones who fell the ones Who fallen short and they come back? What they become look at lomachenko right. He fell early in the straight to seledo, but came back, he fell again fell, fell again and then brotherly he’s gon na come back better right. You see guys like um guys, who just did you get so many opportunities man to be something special oozman one loss became the champion like look at uh poirier. Sometimes you have to fall flat on your face man and there’s no shame in that. The shame is in not owning it because when you own it, you lose the power of self-efficacy. You lose that power to change yourself. You lose that power to become something greater than you could ever ask or imagine. But when you get a look within yourself and you get to reassess your whole area, you get to recess your life sometimes, and i don’t refer to the bible, but it’s like it’s. What helps me right? John 15 talks about god’s, a true vine and you got ta look at the gardener. Sometimes you got ta cut a plant and it hurts to get a prune it right, but the best way for you to grow is by cutting off what holds you down right, whether it’s an old thought, whether it’s a negative thought, whether it’s thinking you’re punished like You’Re never punished because you go through a bad moment. God’S! Not punishing you life’s, not punishing you! It’S just that child is it’s helping. You grow to become better, and if you realize that you get tougher, you grow to become better. The more you grow like if you prune a rose, that’s when you get the beauty of the rose. If you never prune it, it never gets to grow the way it needs to. If you don’t prune the the crops like you, don’t ever really get to experience. The best harvest, so the greater harvest – that’s coming, usually comes after the time of pruning. So that’s how i look at it. Like i look at fights like i get a prune from my old self, like you know, there’s myself usually i’ll cut my hair. I’M thinking about you know shaving my mohawk right and going back to the place where it’s like, okay cool, i didn’t get what i wanted. It feels painful. It hurts but own that living that and then what you get to become from that is what’s going to inspire money and that that’s the responsibility you get the opportunity you get the responsibility to help other people and and that in turn will help yourself. So you get a you, become that much greater of an artist and if you feel like you’ve fallen, if you feel like you’ve had that public loss, don’t worry your public success will shine that much better. If that’s what matters, but don’t worry about the people in public focus on yourself, because the person you become nobody else gets to see right the person you can become in private, the person you become in public. That’S going to become that’s going to be a testimony for the world to see right, so don’t be discouraged, don’t don’t worry about it. You’Ll be you’ll, be totally fine man. I love that and i think, there’s no better way to end it on man. What a beautiful message i mean: taking that all that negativity! That’S come your way and turning it into a positive, and i think it’s really important for not just the mma community, but people in general to to kind of hear messages like that. I think, especially right now in 2020, with everything that’s going on yeah. I really appreciate you taking the time man. It meant a lot. This was probably one of the more heartfelt ones talking about everything from your from your dad cornering you to to even that message. There at the end, so i really appreciate it. I know we’re running way over time, but uh man, i appreciate it. So all the best man and we’ll uh we’ll have you back on uh after your next one or even before your next one. I i really don’t thank you so much yeah, please, let me know for sure all right, man, all the best stay, safe and uh and take care. Thank you have a good one. God bless all right there. We are uh impact song and i uh been a fan of his for a long time. This is one of the uh, the more emotional ones. Uh i mean he’s uh. You know he’s experiencing a lot of public negativity, but man the way he turns it around and turns it into a positive is really inspirational, and i think it’s something that a lot of us can learn from that being said, thanks again to everybody for for tuning. In and don’t forget to like comment and subscribe until then i’ll see you guys next time all the best

Sergio Pineiro

Sergio Pineiro is the Founder of FighterPath.com and host of the Quarantinecast podcast. Based in Canada he is both a sports journalist and MMA enthusiast. He practices the sport but has a passion for the individual stories of training, fighting and living the fighting lifestyle.

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