We'll get back to boxing, including a preview of Friday's boxing card at The Complex in SLC and an interview with one of the boxers. However, as part of our preview of the June 23 SteelFist MMA card in SLC, we were fortunate enough to chat with One Hit MMA's LJ Schulz (seen training above at left) who is fighting The Garage's Anthony Miller in the main event. The 150 pounders are competing in a 5-round SteelFist title challenge. Miller defeated Jeremiah Guzman to win the belt recently.
So, here's the interview:
1) Tell me a little about yourself. What got you interested in MMA, who are some MMA athletes you admire?
Schulz: I'm 28, married and a proud father of 2 kids. I got into MMA right about the time the first ultimate fighter came on. I was just a fan for a while. I didn't even start training until about 2 years after my first fight. When I did decide to train, I was lucky to be able to train with Shane Brennar at his basement gym. He created a lot of my grappling foundation to this day but he left to California after a year. I had to find a gym and knew Jordan Smith was the top guy in Utah at the time and he trained near me.
2) Where are you training for the bout. Who are your coaches? What other fighters are training, or sparring with you?
Schulz: That's how I found One Hit and the head trainer Aldo Oreggia. I've been training there for 6 years now and we prove every fight card we're the top gym in Utah. I train with the best and because there is too many to name, I'll stick with the upcoming talent that are fighting with me on June 23. Cory Rose, Gavin Weston, and Kaden Weston, will set One Hit up with a 3-0 before I get our fourth and my shiny new belt.
3) What are your strengths, what are your opponent’s strengths and what’s your strategy to come out on top?
Schulz: My strength is the ability to go anywhere. I've improved my boxing a lot during that pro boxing try I had. However, I've always been known as a ground guy. I recently earned my purple belt in BJJ but keep in mind I've done No-Gi grappling a lot longer. He'll most likely try taking me down which is fine, I'll be the one picking if we go there.
4) Where do you hope to be in your career a year from now?
Schulz: Not quite sure where I'll be. I'd love to get another shot at LFA but I'm more than happy to defend this belt a couple times then take the 145lb SteelFist belt. My training partner and friend Jon Neal will relinquish it because he'll be in the UFC by then.
We wish Schulz, as well as Miller, the best of luck on the 23rd. We may have some more interviews as the date of fight night approaches. Also, read these previous interviews of June 23 competitors here and here.
More boxing: As mentioned, there is a pro/am boxing card Friday night at The Complex, which starts at 8 p.m. The main event matches Tim Carroll, (above) who teaches boxing at Factum gym, with Christian Aguirre. The bout is for the state middleweight title.
We chatted with Carroll recently about the fight:
Utah Fight Game: Tim, what do you know about Christian Aguirre and how are you training for him? Who coaches you and helps you with your training? What is a typical day of training like? You've had some fights with tough opponents and I thought a couple should have went your way. What have you learned from tough bouts? What's it like being the coach at Factum? You started late as a pro. Where would you like to be a year from now?
Carroll: My days are pretty busy. I work 10 hours a day as electrician then I go to Factum and train people for a couple of hours. After that I try to fit in some time to train with (former pro) Gary Gomez, then go home to my beautiful wife and seven-month-old baby.
I turned pro at 34, I'm 37 now me and Christian (and I) used to be sparring partners. We both trained with Gary Gomez. I've worked the corner against him in three out of his four fights. He is a good boxer. (At this point Carroll expressed concerns with some comments Aguirre has allegedly made prior to the fight.) ... but all of his trash talking just gets me more excited. I have forgotten more about boxing than he knows as a coach. I put more pressure on myself to win but I just want to show all the people I train just to leave it all in the ring.
That's all I expect people to do that I train; is to leave it all out there so that's what I try to do every time.
Good luck Tim, and to all the competitors, including undefeated Ignacio Chairez, who are fighting on the card. Unfortunately, undefeated boxer Larry Gomez's fight was cancelled.
We will report boxing results through the weekend.