Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Rebecca Gruitza Interview
Rebecca Gruitza will step into the cage for the NAAFS on September 15th with Tecia Torres. With a win, Rebecca will get to fight for the 115 pound Amateur series title. After losing her first fight, Rebecca has rebounded with two straight wins. With the title shot looming, she is not in any way looking past Torres in what looks to be an exciting bout.
Q: In past interviews we have talked about how you got started training. So this time, let's talk about how and why you decided to fight?
A: I'd always done kickboxing tournaments and grappling tournaments since I started training, but never stepped in a ring or cage. A year ago I wanted something to kick up my trainign a little bit. So I thought I would try a kickboxing match.It wasn't the best weight class for me cause I was still losing weight. I wanted to start fighting and test myself and see if I could do it. Then I wanted to try MMA, and I liked it better than kickboxing, cause I can utilize my ground skills. I had been training so long and I had the experience, so it was time to put it to use.
Q: You lost your first fight, and lost pretty quick. Did that hurt your confidence at all?
A: No it didn't. I was nervous for the first time. Nervous I was going to to use my hands and feet and know what to do. When I got in there, I was able to do exactly what I was telling myself to do, I just got caught. I hate using the phrase "I got caught", but it can happen to anyone. I was in a position I shouldn't have been and once I got caught I panicked. But until that point, which was only about a minute, I was controlling the fight. It didn't shake my confidence cause anyone can make a mistake and get caught in a bad spot. If anything it helped my confidence.
Q: You won your last two. What was different about you in these two fights?
A: My confidence. Each time I got more prepared, cage time helps, you can train all you want, but when you get in there and fight it is the best experience you can have, and cross training with people you don't normally train with helps. I am calmer and smarter. I don't think I am different physically just a little sharper a little smarter.
Q: You are fighting Tecia Torres, what do you know about her?
A: Not really too much. I know that she is a fairly decorated kickboxer which should be fun cause I like to stand. I don't usually like to do too much in depth research on opponents, cause how she fought her last opponent may be different than how she fights me. I don't stalk my opponents so to speak. She won her first and only MMA fight. I am not taking her lightly, she will be my toughest yet. I look forward to it. She is a kickboxer and has some ground game so it should be fun.
Q: With her having good kickboxing, if it is a three round stand up fight, are you confident you can stand with her?
A: Yeah! I am confident my stand up can go with her regardless of height and reach difference but I am 5'9" and she is 5'1". I am not worried about it. Like I said, I am not taking her lightly, it will be a good fight, she wont be easy.
Q: Is there a key for you in this fight?
A: I think the one thing that is key, and has been key, the past couple months I have had a lot going on in my head and personal life. It affects what you do on the mat. I think keeping my head together and calm against someone with her experience, only one fight but a lot of kickboxing experience, is key. Keep my head straight, do my best, and there wont be any problems.
Q: If you win, you get a title shot, is it hard to block that out and focus on this fight?
A: Not really. Everyone keeps jumping the gun with the title shot and not treating this fight like it should. I have to win this so I have no problem blocking it out. I wont take her or this fight lightly.
Q: This will be the biggest crowd you fought in front of. Will that have any affect on you?
A: I don't think so cause I tend to block that out. We will see when I get there haha.
Q: Do you have a prediction on how it ends?
A: I have no idea how it ends. Usually shorter girls wanna go to the ground, we stand and they go back to the ground. This girl is the best kickboxer I ever fought, but she has some ground game. I believe she is a Blue Belt in BJJ. I will be interested to see her game plan. I have some plans of my own, but we will see how it pans out. None of my fights have ended how I thought they would, so I am ready for anything.
Q: You are from Pennsylvania, but have become friends with the group of Ohio female fighters and trained with them. Does that make Ohio feel like your home when fighting?
A: Absolutely! I mean, I live in between Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Its an hour to Pittsburgh and an hour to Cleveland. I do not know one female fighter from Pittsburgh. They are all from Ohio, so yeah. I train in Ohio, so yeah.
Q: One of those girls you have trained with is Jessica Eye, who is ranked number 10 in the sport at her weight. How has that helped you?
A: Significantly. I haven't gotten to as much as I would like to. We have plans to do it more once her cut heals and she is back. But Jessica and the time at her gym and sparring, is great. It emulates an actual fight. You get nervous but each time it helps you in your fight. No disrespect to anyone I have or will fight, but they aren't Jessica Eye, so training with her prepares me for anything.
Q: Assuming you win, is there anyone you would want to fight for the title, or is it whoever they put in front of you?
A: There has been names thrown out, but I am not sure. Whoever they find. Nichole (Long) has done a good job, been fair, each one is tougher, so whoever she finds would be good. I cant think of anyone I wanna call out necessarily. Whoever she finds. She knows what she is doing.
Q: Anyone you want to thank or mention?
A: Absolutely. I think this interview more than others has caught me at a time in my life where I have made some changes. I am no longer working at the company I worked for, looking for something different. Going through personal things and changes. Its been a roller coaster. They say it takes a village to raise a family, and I believe it takes a village to raise an MMA fighter haha. I wanna thank my teammates and coaches at Team Bundy, my family for sacrificing there time and watching my little ones, a lot of friends not in MMA that have been super supportive and that's hard to find. My friend Allana who runs with me and keeps my head on straight, my friend Sarah, and in the MMA world, my teammate Ashley Hawkins, Jessica Eye, and this is your interview Jason, but Jason Adams for helping with my diet, this is a hard weight for me to get to, so I appreciate that. The NAAFS as a whole, Nichole Long who is a great matchmaker, person and one of my best friends. My sponsors, my primary sponsor had been Scrap Soldier, and I thank them for their support. We made a little switch and Foundation Fight Company is now my primary sponsor, and the owner Kody has been supportive and kept my head on straight. he does my mouth guard, and I like pretty teeth cause I am a girl. And Sun City Tanning has been great, its nice to be tan. People in general, the energy from people in my town, I moved back here a year ago, some people come, some cant cause they have families and are busy but they are supportive. People are always asking about it regardless of if they come.