Thursday, July 28, 2011
Joe and Sammy Callari Interview
Q: Can you start out talking about how you got involved with fighting?
J: I got started when my coach now, my Jiu-Jitsu coach, came up to me, we were talking about the GSP and BJ Penn fight, and asked me if I ever trained and I said no. He told me to stop by his house one Saturday and made me tap out for the first time, and that's when I fell in love with the sport
S: I have kind of a funny story. My first fight was scheduled before I even got into Mixed Martial Arts. I believe it was in December, this past December, my brother had just got my cousin Sam a fight and me and Joey, we work together, I saw him at work that day and said "Joey, can you get me a fight, what if you train me?". He called the promoter, we were scheduled to fight for Dan Bobish, he called him up and he said he could use a fighter for April 9th. Eve since that phone call 7 months ago, Joey's been teaching me, been my best friend, my hero, my right hand man and taught me everything I know about this sport. Looking back it was one of the greatest decisions I ever made. Joey's pushed me and the results are showing.
Q: Everyone has teammates, but what are the benefits of having a brother as a teammate?
S: I'll take Joey over anybody else. Just cause your brother knows you, he has been living with me my whole life. Its a weird brother bonding way to beat the crap out of each other. It has paid off because we live in the same house, when we aren't in the gym we train together in the basement, wrestling or boxing. Even at work together we talk about fights and go over strategies. Its the little things that matter, we are constantly doing something, always around the sport and talking about it. Pushing each other is one of the greatest things I have done in my life.
J: We are both competitive so that helps a lot. Always seeing who hits harder or taps the other out first.When we first got into it, rolling with Sammy was easy, not I am lucky to make him tap out once. We know each others strengths.
Q: Joe, describe Sammy as a fighter?
J: Hard hitter and someone that doesn't give up. The first fight he had, he had three months of training and had to get down twenty pounds, and that was hard cause he wasn't used to cutting weight. He didn't know anything about his opponent and the opponent came out south paw and broke his nose, and he just made it a battle. The second fight against a pure wrestler, he never gave up and in the third round got a nice guillotine on him, and even though the kid got out, you could see as the round went on, Sammy had the hear to push through.
Q: Sammy, describe Joey as a fighter?
S: He's what I want to be. He's got everything, the work ethic, the discipline, seeing him in the cage, I would not want to be the opponent. The only way to take him out is kick him in the groin. He works his butt off, when I am at work and come home, he is working out getting better. He is always striving to get better and never admits he is at his peak or his best. Always getting better, always watching fights. His boxing is tremendous. I have a broken nose because of it. His ground game is underrated. We haven't really seen that in his fights yet, but when the upcoming fight goes to the ground, people will see that. He is what I am trying to be just like.
Q: Joe, you fight Bob Bianchin in this next fight. Do you know anything about him?
J: Ya know, I always do my home work on every fighter, but its also a good thing not to know to much about an opponent. I know his wins, his losses, his strengths and his weakness. But that's all I need to know. I wanna put on a good show for the fans. If he takes me down and not do a lot of action, I will look for the submission. Most likely I wanna beat him at his strength to make a point. I want to put on a good show.
Q: Is there one thing you have to do to beat him?
J: Well, in my head I always say knockout, but I want to get a submission on my record.
Q: How does the fight end?
J: I'm liking the gogoplata from mount or a key lock.
Q: Sammy, you are not fighting due to the injury. You still didn't have an opponent. Does that get frustrating, training with no opponent?
S: I don't think its frustrating at all. Nichole Long does a great job. NAAFS is well known and puts on great shows. We are so happy to be a part of it. I can see a fighter getting frustrated but I don't care who my opponent is. I just don't care. We work our butt off every day. My last two fights, with my weight cut I did a horrible job and it showed. I was dehydrated and starved. This time I took a different approach and ate super healthy, still building muscle but losing fat. Till yesterday I felt great, she could have given me anyone, I got to fight, not just stand up, not just wrestle. So not having an opponent is no big deal. She could have given me someone the night before and I would have taken it.
Q: Does knowing Nichole is so good at what she does, knowing she will find someone, make it easier?
S: Yeah I think it does. We only fought for two promotions. Both matchmakers named Nichole. Nichole Long puts in the hours to find good fights. After my last fight I said I didn't feel comfortable against a wrestler, with no wrestling background. Now I thought about it and that's the easy way out. I want a challenge. I feel confident in who Nichole gives me and my brother. We are always up for a challenge
Q: Assuming you come watch Joe, is now not fighting going to make it harder to sit and watch?
S: No! I sat through two of his fights already. Me being next to him the weeks prior, right no, I m still training, just really careful. It's not gonna be an issue. I will wrap his hands, be his corner man. I am very confident in him. Not hard at all.
Q: Are you guys more nervous for your fights or your brothers fights?
J: I get more nervous when Sammy is about to fight cause generally, I like to get hit. Even practicing, people get upset, but it brings a smile to my face. It's rare I will get knocked out so when Sammy is about to fight it is nerve racking but also amazing knowing what you helped create in a short time.
S: With me, I don't get nervous when I fight and don't get nervous when Joe fights. I remember my first fight, I was actually nervous that I wasn't nervous. I was fine and calm. I think the credit goes to God for putting that in me to always trust him, and Joey and our team that we work with, that the prep they give me is calming. I am never nervous when I fight and can't get nervous when he fights. I know he will do a great job.
Q: Are there any fighters you enjoy watching and learning from?
J: I really enjoy watching Cody Garbrandt. He did a great job against Saltsman and his take down defense and hands. He is a good friend of mine so that was nice watching him. Brian Rogers, he fought on one of my cad. Me and Sammy drove to Columbus for his Strikeforce fight, he is impressive.
S: I am the same as Joey. We know a lot of Strong Style guys a lot of GriffonRawl guys a lot of Evolve guys. Seeing them and their success preps us for our training and what we accomplish.
Q: Two years from now, where do you see yourselves in the sport?
J: I see myself going pro. I think that if I can put enough amateur fights in and be comfortable in the cage. Fighting amateur is a disadvantage for me because I fight with a lot of head kicks and knees. When I turn pro it will be better cause I am a Muay Thai guy so will have tricks up my sleeve.
S: I don't necessarily see myself going pro, but helping Joey go pro. Always sticking around MMA. Every sport since I did MMA bores me. So sticking around, fighting in amateurs. I have only done this 7 months. With no background. The sky is the limit. I put in the work and have the heart. But my goal is to see Joey succeed. If it happens that I have a chance to go pro, then we will think about it. But in two years I see myself pushing Joey and making him better.
Q: Is there a reason you like fighting for NAAFS?
J: Yeah, the fights are on Sports Time Ohio, its a big name. I had an opportunity to train in Florida and people there knew it. So when Florida knows NAAFS its saying something.
S: Like he said, NAAFS is huge, you see guys taking off, Jessica Eye, Brian Rogers, Stipe Miocic, Donny Walker. Everyone who fights goes on and puts in the work and goes to new levels. I can see Joey doing that for sure. It's growing and not gonna stop growing.
Q: You guys are both very humble. Is that something you make an effort to do?
J: Yeah, as we progress in the sport, its always good to be humble, be the quiet guy. If you walk down the street and someone says you look like a fighter, that's is not a good thing. Don't be the guy looking for fights. Help others and improve others.
S: Yeah, I thank God. He allows us to be humble. I thank our parents. They raised us well, very respectful, putting others first. We don't go around saying we do this and you don't. Pride always come before your fall. Keeping that in our heads will make us better. We see the goals in front of us and wont let over confidence stop us from those goals.
Q: Anyone you want to thank or mention?
J: Thanks to God first off, our parents, Sammy, cause we push each other. He is my greatest motivation. Dan Buell my Jiu-Jitsu coach, Scott Smith to help with wrestling, and Mark Erickson my Muay Thai coach.