Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Dave Lastafka Interview
Dave Lastafka is coming off an impressive win over a very talented Steve Burton in which he won the NAAFS Amateur Series 185LB title. For reasons he will explain in this interview, Dave is dropping to 170LBS as he Main Events NAAFS Combat Challenge 19 against another talented fighter in Josh Lasich. A well rounded fighter, with good stand-up and a good ground game, Lastafka always puts on an entertaining fight, and against a tough opponent like Lasich, this fight is sure to be entertaining as well.
Q: Your last fight was a win over Steve Burton for the NAAFS amateur title. What did winning that title mean to you?
A: Every fight to me is like a title fight, I don't wanna lose any of them. When I first started the sport I did it just to have an experience, but that meant the world to me. The best part of 2011 was winning the title. Guys in NAAFS whether they have won titles or not have gone to the bigger level, so I figure having that under my belt is a nice stepping stone for when I go pro. It meant the world to me, I love the NAAFS.
Q: Does that title make you feel you have to work harder to live up to it?
A: Yeah and no. I feel like every fight I have to prove myself. A buddy of mine once told me "you are only as good as your last fight", so I feel like every fight I have to go out and prove I am the best.
Q: Along those lines, does it make your opponents work harder knowing if they beat you, they beat a champion?
A: I do feel it puts a little bit of a target on your back. But its a good thing, I wanna fight the best guys to know who is the best. So if I have to be the guy with the target on his back, bring it on.
Q: That fight was at 185LBS, but your next fight is 170LBS, why drop down in weight?
A: I was always pretty athletic, so I figured I could compete with bigger guys. I see guys at 185 and some are big and some aren't. I feel like I have the potential to do greater things at 170. As long as I am dieting right and training right and around the right people, I feel its the proper class for me to further my career in the best way possible.
Q: To drop down have you had to change anything training wise?
A: Yeah normally when I was at 185LBS I would walk around at 200-205LBS and started dieting a month out. This fight I started dieting about fourteen weeks ago. Basically making a lifestyle change, helping compete at a lower weight class but also being a healthier guy.
Q: You are fighting Josh Lasich, what do you know about him?
A: I've heard he is a wrestler like a lot of the guys at Evolve. He is a purple belt under Ricardo Pires so he has a good ground game. I saw him fight Rick Borowski, that was an interesting fight. He trains with Ryan Madigan so I know he has some stand-up. I expect him to be well-rounded. I will bring the fight to him and see how we match up. It should be a great fight.
Q: Coming off a fight with another Evolve fighter does it make you change anything up so you aren't the same fighter they just experienced?
A: I figure, I am never the same fighter,each opponent is different and you have a different game plan. My game plan is if it goes to the ground it goes to the ground, it it stays standing, lets brawl it out.
Q: Does being the main event have any importance to you?
A: Yeah its real huge to me. I've been in the televised fights which is awesome, I was first, second, third fight. But you have more people there watching and that's why we do this. People love to watch the sport, two guys throwing punches. So being the main event shows you I have put in the hard work and hopefully I am the main event of a lot of shows to come.
Q: I have had different fighters say different things, liking to fight early, or the middle or late. Being the main event means you will be sitting awhile, does that bother you at all?
A: It doesn't really bother me. I figure once I get in the cage I am ready to go. Fighting early is awesome because you get to relax and watch the fights. But we get in this sport to be the main event and have people watching you. I like having the spotlight on me.
Q: When you fight you have a big support system, and so does Evolve. SO there will be a loud crowd. Does that excite you more when you fight?
A: Yeah man, I love having the people there, cheering or booing me. I just want to put on a great fight for the fans. My last fight was a good fight, it had crazy positions, and I am happy I got the win, but I really like to finish guys and that's what I look to do each time.
Q: Is there a key to you winning this fight?
A: Not really, just be more technically sound and well rounded. Try and beat him up, whether for three rounds or it ends in the first round. Go in there and win.
Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: I am coming out on top, I can tell you that much. I would like to finish it in the first round and enjoy the rest of my night, but if it takes three rounds, as long as I come out with the W,, which is whats gonna happen.
Q: Any idea what you want next, or are you just focused on this fight?
A: Right now I am just thinking about this fight, but I have thought about going pro. Gonna travel to some gyms out of state and train with some good fighters and see what they have to say. I am young in this sport, so I just wanna do whats best for my career. Listen to the guys who have been there and get good advice. Maybe one or two more amateur fights, not sure yet though.
Q: Before we finish, anyone you want to thank?
A: First and foremost I wanna thank God, he gave me the strength and my talent. All my friends, family, and teammates. Strong Style has helped me out, Vanyo Fight Team is my home. I wanna thank Ray, Nick, anyone who has ever been there and helped me out. Also, Intimidation Clothing and my new sponsor Thick As Thieves and Cage MS.