Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Talking with MMA fighters Eric Munoz and Tyler Conway

Eric Munoz (at left) is seen sparring at Foley's gym in Ogden against MMA pro Dom Gero. Munoz, a three-year amateur, is concluding his career with a bout this Friday night at the Weber County Fairgrounds against against Alonzo Salas, who fights out of The Garage MMA. Munoz fights with The Pack MMA, which was started by former pro Pat Reeves. Munoz, 125-pounder Tyler Conway, and 145-pounder Jacob Robbins, (both of whom train at Foley's) are also on the card, promoted by Jeremy Horn's Elite Fight Night. Conway fights Jeffrey Pardo Morales; Robbins fights Jerome Loto.

And also competing Friday night is another MMA amateur from The Pack at Foley's, 135 pounder Geovanni Gavilanez of Ogden, who meets Nate Cook

Last week we interviewed MMA fighter Thomas Hughes, who makes his pro debut as the co-main event Friday night. Today we spend time chatting with Munoz, and  Conway, who along with Robbins, is making his amateur debut.


Utah Fight Game: Why is this your final bout?

MUNOZ: My first fight was 3 years ago, and Jennifer and Jeremy Horne gave me my first shot. When I started contemplating whether I should be done with fighting, I wanted to finish where I started; I hit up Jen and she made this fight happen. 

 This is going to be my last fight because for me to train and be able to keep up with these younger fighters, it takes a lot of time and effort. I still plan on working out and coaching, but I would like to start focusing on other things that are going on in my life right now. After I injured the discs in my neck and had to have surgery, I thought I was done, but I still had a fire inside me to do a few more fights.

Utah Fight Game: Eric's original opponent for this bout had to pull out due to injury, and Alonzo Salas of The Garage MMA has stepped in. The pair fought earlier for a SteelFist regional belt, with Eric winning. 

Utah Fight Game: How is training going?

MUNOZ:  I train 3 to 4 hours each day and then put in time on Saturdays and Sundays when I can. I will train the same I have trained for all my fights and train hard. I have great teammates that push me hard, and we make each other better each and every day.

Utah Fight Game: What are some of the positives and challenges of MMA? What advice would you give to those entering the sport?

MUNOZ: The positives of fighting MMA is that it gives personal goals, helps to keep someone fight ready, in shape and healthy. I've wrestled and coached many sports for many years and it is something that I enjoy and will continue to keep doing. Struggles from MMA (include) dealing with injuries, juggling work and training and still have enough time left over to spend with loved ones. Advice to those wanting to step in the cage, train hard train often and surround yourself with talented teammates that can get you fight ready.

Utah Fight Game: Who have you looked up to in the sport?

MUNOZPat Reeves is my coach, my mentor, and my best friend without him there would be no pack and I wouldn't have had the success I have had.

Good luck to Eric Munoz on Friday and we wish Salas well too, who is a tough competitor.


Now we chat with 18-year-old Tyler Conway. (Above at right seen with Robbins (center) and Peter Reznik, at Foley's gym) Here is our conversation with Tyler:

Utah Fight Game: What got you interested in MMA? What brought you to Utah and Foley's gym and The Pack? What's your fighting style and has training gone? Whom do you admire in MMA and what are some long term goals?

CONWAY: I have always been interested in MMA and I grew up in some tough streets in California and always wanted to learn how to protect myself. I guess you can say it; I moved to Utah for a new start, and I came to Foley's MMA because I finally had the money and time to train, and I've heard a lot about Dave Foley and wanted to be trained by him. 

I also came to Foley's gym because I am enlisted in the army and ship out next June and wanted to be in shape. My main fighting style is wrestling and boxing, I took 8th in the state for wrestling this year at Bonneville High School. My main idols in MMA are Conor McGregor, Cody Garbrandt, and Dan Henderson. My long-term goals are to eventually to go pro and maybe open up my own gym.

We wish the best for all the fighters on the card Friday and appreciate Hughes, Munoz and Conway speaking with the fight blog. The main event matches Bobby King and David Jordan. Amateur Nathan Owens, who fights out of the Garage MMA, is also scheduled to fight Kevin Torres.

You can learn more about the card here and here.


Last weekend in South Salt Lake, the Police Athletic League had its Pete Suazo Invitational cards. There were a packed house of fans both nights. Local gyms also participated. From Clearfield, Julian Stevens of Lights Out gym said: Giovani Gonzales beat a kid from Wyoming Ozmanny Sanchez beat Justin hubley from Fullmers and Christian Pasiallas beat a kid from St. George. Jon Bryant, Utah and Rocky Mountain Golden Gloves champ, lost a decision to noted amateur Aaron Olmedo. The pair will fight again this weekend in St. George.

From All Heart Boxing in West Haven, Jason DeCarlo said Santana DeCarlo defeated Absolom Flores from Tucson, Ariz., and Jesus Saldana defeated Patrick Muhindu fron South Salt Lake PAL.

From Foley's gym in Ogden, Dave Foley said that Luis Cornejo won both fights on Friday and Saturday, Kenny Cruze was defeated both nights, and on Friday night, Joe Gibson defeated Jesus Guzman of South Salt Lake PAL.

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