UPDATE ON DAVID CASTILLO MMA BOUT SATURDAY: David Castillo, who runs The Garage MMA gym, fights Saturday in Council Bluffs, Iowa, meeting another veteran, Dakota Cochrane. Card is here; good luck David. ... Today we are chatting with the two MMA professionals meeting in the co-main even on June 23 in SLC at the SteelFist card. Both were successful local amateurs. Miles Welk, of The Garage MMA, is 1-0 and Steve Chan, of Victory MMA, is making his pro debut. This is a tough match for novice pros but even a loss is better than five wins over outmatched competitors. The whole card is here.
So, here we go with the interview:
1) Tell me a little about yourself. What got you interested in MMA, who are some MMA athletes you admire?
CHAN (Seen below) When I was younger my dad would teach me karate and Kung Fu, We would watch a lot of martial arts movies like Jackie Chan and Jet Li, So I've always been interested in combat. When I got a little older I started watching shows like Dragon Ball Z and Power Rangers and started reading X-men comics, So I got really into the whole superhero/combat/ fighting atmosphere. Later I found an interest in boxing and then discovered MMA one night flipping through the channels. It was Ben Henderson fighting and I was immediately hooked. I started watching the local late-night MMA shows and was very impressed with the sport: the grappling, striking, everything. I continued boxing and later decided to try Muay Thai and my obsession just grew from there. I admire Anderson Silva because of his unorthodox style, it is really exciting to watch. I also admire Zach Zane, his heart, passion and aggressiveness for the sport taught me that you don't have to walk around like a tough guy to earn respect outside of the cage. Chan Sung Jung, Jose Aldo, Demetrious Johnson are also fighters that I enjoy watching.
WELK (Seen below with trainer David Castillo): I'm 27. I wrestled for a while and after school I missed wrestling and that type of workout and competing. I admire my coach David Castillo and my stand-in big brother Lucus Montoya, Chris Weidman, George St. Pierre Matt Hughes and Jeremy Horn are fighters I admire.
2) Where are you training for the bout. Who are your coaches? What other fighters are training, or sparring with you?
WELK: I'm full time at The Garage in Layton, Utah. My coaches are David Castillo, Jason Tafoya, Anthony Lobato. I have a solid group of teammates who I would be nothing without. (They include) Bryce Edminister, Anthony Miller, Bobby King, Nathan Owens, Brandon Rease.
CHAN: I am training at Victory MMA, where we have amazing coaches that make sure we are prepared for war. My coaches are: Jake Paul, Kam Tuller, James Foster, Matt Raines and Kyle Herrera Some of my teammates I am working with are: Brenda Enriquez, Clay Abrams, Jayden and Jordan Marshall, Kelleck Diamond, Drew, Erick, Dan, Joshua Tauteoli, Ethan Shepherd, Pedro and a handful of other guys and girls.
3) What are your strengths, what are your opponent’s strengths and what’s your strategy to come out on top?
CHAN: I believe I am a well-rounded fighter and I am looking to come away with the win wherever the fight goes. My opponent likes to wrestle, and I like to do all of it, wrestling included.
WELK: My opponent is a tough guy with a deep gas tank I know he's training hard. He has good hands and decent ground awareness from the video I've watched. I'm just working hard to get better everywhere so I'm comfortable no matter where the fight goes.
4) Where do you hope to be in your career a year from now?
WELK: In a year I would like to be 4-0 maybe 5-0 with a local title.
CHAN: A year from now I will be an even better fighter, with much sharper tools and farther in my journey to become the best mixed martial artist I can be.
We wish the best to both Welk and Chan, two great competitors with strong futures in the sport.
SOME MORE NEWS:
On Saturday, there is amateur boxing at the Legacy Events Center in Farmington. The card is sponsored by All Heart and Lights Out gym. We hope to have results and perhaps photos to share on the blog.
Also on Saturday is Fierce Fighting Championship MMA card in Price. Of particular interest is the Jordan Chandler versus Cy Nelson fight. It's likely the last fight for Ogden's Chandler as he moves with his wife to Arizona to continue his education.
June 9 there is a pro/am boxing card at The Complex in SLC. Undefeated local pros Ignacio Chairez and Larry Gomez are in separate bouts and Utahns Tim Carroll and Christian Aguirre fight for the state middleweight title. Chairez, by the way, was noted as one of the top 12 prospects in boxing by Inside Boxing.
Next week we'll have interviews with Carroll and One Hit MMA's LJ Schulz as he prepares for his main-bout fight at SteelFist on June 23.
Finally, remember that Utahn Jose Haro is fighting for a national featherweight title on June 10 in Sloan, Iowa, against Daniel Franco, and the fight will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.
Read our interviews with amateurs Ben Guymon and Kaden Weston, who are fighting on the SteelFist card,