Photos by: Pete Amador
|© DeportoPR 2010|
Fight night is around the corner folks. This next Friday, April 29th, the Puerto Rican fans will sit through the best MMA card ever presented by a local MMA promotion as of yet.
One of the most anticipated match-ups takes the cage in a main event with the makings for fight of the year when Rafael ‘Kunta’ Moreno takes on ‘El Bandido’ Elvin Leon Brito in a fight for the number one contendership for MAXXFC’s lightweight title.
Curiously, the current lightweight top dog, Mike ‘El Terrible’ Erosa, steps down from the main spotlight (and weight class) to welcome American Top Team’s Ralph ‘SpyderMonkey’ Acosta to the Puerto Rico MMA scene in a featherweight match.
Erosa, undoubtedly one of the most recognized figures in Puerto Rico’s MMA today, is a very polarizing character and one who fans love and love to hate.
The MMA Truth had a very interesting conversation with ‘El Terrible’ and this is how it went down:
The MMA Truth’s Angel R. Cordero: First of all, thank you for taking the time to talk to us. How are you?
Mike Erosa: I’m doing pretty good, thanks.
How has training for this fight been, how do you feel? How is the weight coming on?
Weight is wonderful, I’m at 147 pounds right now. I’m in the best physical condition of my career at this point.
How excited are you to fight in MAXXFC in it’s return to San Juan card?
Oh man, it’s my dream. Just to be able to fight it’s my dream so, for this to happen again, this is what I do.
You’re not fighting for your MAXXFC lightweight belt at this event, you’re fighting at featherweight. Is it in your plans to stay at 145?
No, this is just a way to cut down to my strongest weight possible, which is 135 and 145, and since the title is regional I’ll move up to 155 when there’s an annual contender because you know there are not a lot of contenders out there for me right now.
We’re lucky to have at least one title at 155 which is the most stacked division right now competitively speaking.
What can you tell me about your next opponent, Ralph Acosta?
I know that he’s a wrestler but I’m watching his videos, probably has some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as well. Aside from that, I know he’s from American Top Team and that he’s coming here to fight.
In a recent interview I did with Ralph Acosta, when I asked him what he knew about you, one of the things he said was he was never worried about his opponent but that his opponents should be concerned about him. What are your reactions to that?
I think he has a game plan and it always varies with different camps and different fighters, so, he is obviously just confident in his game plan. But, I do believe all his weaknesses play right into my strengths.
I got a wonderful game plan laid out for him. I’m prepared to end this fight on the ground, on the feet, or grind out a unanimous decision.
From what he told me, he knows you are the “local hero” to put it in his own words, how much would you think “home court advantage” if we can call it like that, plays out on this fight?
You know, I think that depends on the fighter, to be honest. I feed off the crowd but I don’t have a problem going to someone else’s turf either and feed off their crowd too, so, that all depends on him.
Let’s see how he performs under pressure. I don’t think that’s going to be an issue, he’s fought in Bellator and has fought internationally so I think it’s just a question of who’s going to have a better night and who’s more prepared.
You mentioned that you think his weaknesses will play right into your strengths, in which way do you think you are a threat to him?
I think that he has a short reach for his height, I’ve been working out my Boxing a lot lately and my Muay Thai as well, so I feel I will be able to counter anything that he brings forward.
On the ground, he looks like he is a pretty good ground fighter but he doesn’t to avoid submissions very well, I mean, he’s been caught several times.
What’s your prediction? How do you think this fight is going to end?
I think this fight will end in a knock out, if the knock out doesn’t come and a submission is available, I think that that can happen as well but like I said, I’m ready to grind out three rounds no matter what.
Everybody will tend to fatigue a little bit but I want to show that I can go three rounds very solid and putting a lot of pressure.
Do you think it’s a little more pressing now that it’s a three round fight?
No, I feel it’s a lot less pressure actually. To prepare for five round fights you got to train for like ten MMA rounds. I’m not quite up there yet you know. I usually do ten to twelve rounds of Boxing or Muay Thai, but in MMA you have to mix it up with the grappling and adjust the body to that cardio so, for this fight I’m just a little more trained for the stand up, I’ll really try to keep the fight standing.
Let’s talk about the main event for a little bit.
You are the co-main event along with Ralph Acosta and we have Rafael ‘Kunta’ Moreno facing Elvin ‘El Bandido’ Leon Brito in the main event, how would you break down this fight?
You know, I’m actually excited to see this fight myself. I don’t really have a favorite amongst the two, I think it’s a pretty even fight on paper. I would have to say, in this case, it could go either way depending on who fights better.
I don’t think this fight will end in a knock out or submission, I’m pretty sure we are going to see a decision, possibly a split.
I think it will all depend on who wants it more. It would be nice for Brito to win, then I can maybe do a showdown with him for the title after this fight because the Rivera brothers told me the winner of this fight will dictate the number one contender to my title come around August or September.
I did an interview with [Elvin] Brito last week and he told me that a win for him in this fight would prove what he thinks people already know—that he is the best lightweight in Puerto Rico. How much would you agree or disagree with that and how much are you looking forward to settling that score?
I don’t agree with that, it’s just his opinion and I respect that, but in order for him to be number one here he’s got to fight me because I’m the number one fighter in Puerto Rico right now on paper.
I don’t want to just say I am a paper champion, I want to go up there and say it with my performance as well, to prove that I am the number one fighter here.
A lot of people I think don’t give me credit for it, I’m moving up to a division where I’m fighting guys that are natural 155, my natural weightclass is 135, that’s where I started.
I am the champion in this promotion, I actually stepped back so I could watch this fight myself because I really want to see it. I took the co-main event because I wanted to be cageside watching this fight.
Looking at it from a fanatic standpoint, how do you think the MMA scene in Puerto Rico is doing right now?
I think it’s developing fine, there’s just a lot of rumors and you can’t really trust rumors, you got to go with the facts and stay focused.
I haven’t had a problem with my training, my training partners, they come and go but you just can’t get distracted by the rest of the people say.
Going back to MAXXFC, what do you think of this event and the card as a whole?
I think this is the best show, the best card in the history of local MMA in Puerto Rico right now. The quality of the fighters I think it proves we are on that next level and that’s where I believe we are at.
I think that we, with this fight card right now, as a country and as a fighter myself, we will reach the next level of world class competition.
I really think we are moving in a very good direction, specially because of people like you that help create a fan base.
I really appreciate your words.
Again, I thank you for taking the time to talk to us, anything you want to say to all the fans in Puerto Rico and the people from The MMA Truth and El Octagono.com?
Yeah! Well, be ready because it’s going to be a packed house, so this is going to be an electrifying show, be ready for a very explosive night of fights.
I also want to say thanks to all my trainers, you all know who you are, specifically Freddy Roach, Omar and Carlos Vega, Pedro Acevedo, Luis Santiago, and to all the guys on our gym who are there on a daily basis.
Thanks for the support and thanks to all the fans.
We at The MMA Truth, El Octagono.com, and all of our friends and sponsors, wish the best of the best to Mike ‘El Terrible’ Erosa, both in his career and in life.
Thank you for reading.
Originally posted at The MMA Truth.
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