Sunday, September 11, 2011
Donny Walker Interview
After long deserving it, Donny Walker finally got his shot with the UFC. He lost a close decision to Jeff Hougland. Next week, he gets his second UFC fight, against Ken Stone, a match-up the is really good for Donny. This is a shot for one of Ohio's best to make his mark nationally and show everyone how deserving he is of his UFC contract.
Q: Can you start out just talking about how you got started in the sport?
A: I got started like a lot of people. I started watching the UFC at a young age, 8th or 9th grade. Jason Dent brought in a video and said "Hey watch this stuff", and I started watching it with him, and was like "why that's pretty cool". So that's how I got started, just watching it on tv and being amazed. It was back in 1993 when we got into it.
Q: When you started training, was there something you picked up quicker than the rest?
A: I have always been a hands on kind of guy, so with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I caught on pretty fast.
Q: How long did you train before your first fight?
A: That's hard to say. Technically, once I got a fight, I was like "OK, let's do it", you know what I mean. I didn't really train. Now, these days MMA is a sport where you do have to train, beforehand I just went in and had fun. Now you do have to train, train to be the best.
Q: You had a lot of success with NAAFS, and a lot of people saying you deserved your shot with someone like the UFC. Where you surprised it took so long or expect it sooner?
A: I think it's one of those things, right place, right time. I think everything happens for a reason. When it came, I was excited, I was like "Finally". I didn't know when it was gonna be, knowing that i tried out for the Ultimate Fighter, I knew there was a reason I didn't get on the show. I ended up going straight to the UFC.
Q: Looking back, was it a good thing you didn't get on the Ultimate Fighter?
A: I guess at this point in time, I will say it's a good thing. If you look at it, it would have been good publicity, get your name out there more, because everyone watches the show. Since I didn't get on, oh well, hopefully I can make a name just fighting for the UFC.
Q: For that first UFC fight, how helpful is it to have someone like Jason, who has been there before, going through that with you?
A: Very helpful, and another big helpful part was just Jason being friends for so long. We have been training buddies, we walk around at about the same weight. Its good to have someone like that, that can push you, knows what you are doing, wrong and right. When he came back from the Ultimate Fighter, he brought back a lot of good things, and just helped me improve my game. That's why I made it to the UFC I think.
Q: In that first fight, you lost a decision to Jeff Hougland. Where there any nerves, especially in the first round?
A: You know, I was kind of shocked, in my mind when I fought I thought I won that first round, now I watch the tape, yeah, I lost a close first round. I don't think I was nervous, more like "wow, I am actually here", more shocked and excited. I was too relaxed when I went in there instead of how I usually go in.
Q: Along those lines, the third round was all yours, were you more settled down at that point?
A: Yeah exactly, I settled down, and Jason came to me and said "You lost those first two rounds", and I couldn't believe it, I thought I won the first round. So I knew I was gonna try and finish in the third, unfortunately, I am more conditioned for five rounds, but you only get three rounds. Pretty much, I learned a lesson, give it all you got all three, you can't leave it to the judges.
Q: Looking back, can you pick one thing that cost you the fight?
A: Yeah, that first round. I think I should've been myself more. I remember getting kicked and thinking "Wow, that's all he has". I was shocked I guess, being in the UFC, I figured he would hit harder, and when he didn't I was like "wow, cool".
Q: The next fight coming up is Ken Stone, what do you know about him?
A: Four time collegiate wrestler. he has fought two of the best guys, Eddie Wineland and Scott Jorgensen. He has been knocked out by them both to. He is with American Top Team down in Florida. He has really good hands and is a south paw. A lot of good things and I will have to come out there and be better than him, and I know I can do that.
Q: Is there something from the first fight, you can use for this fight?
A: Yeah, pretty much start out heavy handed. Let him make the mistake of shooting in, and if it goes to the ground, good, if it doesn't I will knock him out in the first round. I am not gonna think in the back of my head, what about the 2nd round, what about the 3d round. I know my body can handle 2,3,4,5 rounds, so just give it everything I got in that first round.
Q: Whats the key for this fight, just keeping pressure on him?
A: Exactly, keep more pressure. He is a south paw and I do good against wrestlers and south paws. The only time I had losses or close wins is against Jiu-Jitsu guys. So being that he is a wrestler I will match up really well with him.
Q: What is the big difference for you between 3 and 5 rounds?
A: Five rounds gives me more time to work. I am more conditioned, I can feel the person out in round one and two, and by the third round I am ready to go and throw. I am trying to be more aggressive in the first round. I usually let them come at me with everything they have, they think they got me and exhaust themselves, its like a chess match.
Q: How does this fight end?
A: I am gonna have to say I will submit him at the end of the 2nd round.
Q: You train at GriffonRawl, one of the top gyms around here. What are the benefits of being there?
A: The benefits is we got some of the best of the best up there. We got good, well-rounded guys who push me day in and day out. We got Jason Dent, George Comer, who is a state wrestling champ. A lot of guys I can roll with and ask questions. We also got Jeff Starr, a Relson Gracie Black Belt. He has brought a lot to my game that will help me in this fight I think.
Q: Before we finish, anyone you want to thank?
A: My manage and training partner, Jason Dent. Training partners, Dave Osborne and Chuck Shilling. My sponsors, Tim Misny, Clinch Gear, Pro Fighting Fans, Miguel Defina, Intimidation Clothing, Dans Ark, Reets Auto, Dr. Franklin and Equine Specialty Hospital. Also, my wife Breanne and can't forget God for all the blessings he has given me.