Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Josh Burr Interview

Josh Burr has been a competitive athlete for his entire life, and in the last year has taken it to the next level by introducing himself into the MMA community. Burr currently holds a MMA record of 1-2 and looking to confidently add another win to his record this Saturday for NAAFS Combat Challenge 18 in Akron, Ohio.

You train out of Team ATA, can you explain a little about that?

Well it’s American Taekwondo Association. It’s Taekwondo, and I train in Mentor so both of my coaches are 6th degree black belts and they train in Jiu Jitsu with Relson Gracie in Cleveland, but their main background is Taekwondo, since they own a Taekwondo school but they teach MMA a little bit but I‘m the only one that fights out of their entire school so I train all week but it’s just me and them.

So your base is Taekwondo, and Jiu Jitsu… do they teach you your standup/boxing as well?

Yeah, well I have wrestled for 15 years, and have done Taekwondo for two years. I was our two time sparring state champ, and that is when I got into MMA because I missed wrestling. Taekwondo is not as competitive as I hoped. I wrestled for 15 years, and then graduated high school and I chose not to wrestle in college.

Is there any reason why you did not wrestle in college?

I just wanted to focus on school and keep my grades up and things like that. I just wasn’t sure, I was kind of planning on wrestling my sophomore year but I decided to just focus on school.

So you’re kind of smart then, huh?

Yeah, I figured that would be the smartest decision, I don’t regret it.

What made you make the transition into MMA?

Basically it was the closest thing to wrestling that I could do without you know since I wasn’t wrestling in college. I don’t have much of a reason, my friends never put me to it, or never talking of doing it…. Just one night I was laying down watching T.V. and just figured I might as well give it a shot and the next day I filled out my application for NAAFS and a couple days later Nichole called and scheduled a fight. About almost a year ago in March.

How long were you training before you took your first fight?

Umm, probably like 4 or 5 days. I probably had about 2 hours in the gym with coaches, and other than that I basically did everything by myself. Yeah, about 4 days.


Your record is 1 and 2 and I believe your last fight was against Brian Brooks. Is that correct?


Are there any changes that you’ve made since then in your training?

Yeah, everything basically. I’m training a lot more cause with work and school and things, and at one point I didn’t have a vehicle for the longest time so I could never get out to train. My last fight with Brian Brooks I had zero hours in the gym for training camp, it was all just conditioning by myself. I had no time, I had no boxing, no wrestling, no Jiu Jitsu in that whole entire training camp. And now my time, I can kind of space my school and stuff like that out so I have more time in the day and I train as much as I can, and condition and work out every day…I diet, and everything’s changed. It’s much better now , I’m like 100% prepared, more than any of my previous fights.

Do you do an 8 week fight camp, or space it out into any special time frame?

Yeah, about 2 months. Right when I schedule a fight I’ll start the following Monday. I’ll eat a lot of healthy foods, and then I’ll lower my diet to a strict diet within like 4 weeks of the fight. I don’t count calories or anything like that, you know just 5 meals a day, small meals, protein dinners, and fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Nothing spectacular, but it works for me.

Do you get the opportunity to cross train with any other gyms?

I’ve been up to Griffon Rawl a couple times, but one of these times I’d like to have the opportunity to go up to some like Evolve or Strong Style or something and train with those guys for a couple days.

You’re fighting Zack Forrester on the 21st, he is also 1-2, what do you know about him?

Yeah, well he fights out of Team Brawlers, I’m not too sure how much of a camp they are I think they just fight all around. There’s like 4 guys from that team. I found one of his fights umm he’s basically just a stand up guy. I think one of his fights wasn’t for NAAFS, I’m not sure where it was for but he basically like no technique he just like is swinging for the fences. Basically, and he’s fought in West Virginia for those tough man boxing matches.. I’m not sure. I’m pretty sure they just drink beer and punch each other, I’m not sure all about that stuff. But I found all of those on You Tube. Basically he just closes his eyes and swings for the fences.

What is your plan for this fight, do you plan on taking him to the ground, or any specific game plan?

My stand up improves every day, I actually have pretty good stand up. Like when I fought Brian Brooks I was definitely winning on my feet and you know I’m a good wrestler and I can stuff takedowns but I mean I got taken down and I went to escape and I got caught in an arm bar. But anyways, I can stand up I’m very technical I’m not a wild puncher at all. I do have like a crazy overhand right which is what I used to knock my opponent out for my only win but I’m really technical which is going to play a big fact in with his crazy style. But basically just a hit and move, and when I feel comfortable just to take him down. My game plan is to make it a ground fight, cause I’m really really confident from that position.

What is your prediction for this fight?

I don’t know…a win. Any way you look at it I think I can guarantee a win. I’ve been working really hard, I’m actually going in for the first time ever with confidence, so I can guarantee a win, but any way I can get one.

What do you want to do next, anything you want to accomplish in your MMA career, or any goals?

I take it one fight at a time and once I schedule a fight, training camp I just focus on that fight and then I go from you know there. But my all time goal is just, right now, make sure I graduate college, and get a good career. I just enjoy MMA, I just do it on the side. I’m not, you know, I do go to school, I’m not putting all of my cards into maybe one day going into the UFC. My ultimate goal is to get an education and graduate from college. I just enjoy MMA, win or lose I just enjoy the sport. I enjoy the training, the hard work, the weight cutting, and the mental side of it any everything. I just enjoy it, I just do it just for the fun of it.

Do you only fight for NAAFS, if so, what do you like about them?

Everything, I mean, it’s a great organization. I really like Nichole. I fight technically Independent. I don’t have like experienced guys that have fought for NAAFS so all of the questions I have I have to ask her, I don’t have coaches to ask. She’s great about getting opponents, it’s just very well ran, and they’re very popular too.

Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you, your fighting, your gym, etc?

I think that’s it, I’m just an average guy you know just work hard and keep my head straight and focus on my priorities. I’m very prepared, and mentally strong in my opinion.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank?

Yeah, my Coaches: Jason Gehring, and Jason Ratay. I’d like to thank my family and my girlfriend Alicia and anyone who has contributed to my training camp and all of the support.

Facebook : Josh Burr

I appreciate you doing this interview, and look forward to seeing you fight Saturday. Best of Luck!

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