Monday, April 16, 2012

Nathan Bryant Interview

Nathan "Bamm" Bryant returns to the cage for the NAAFS in West Virginia on April 27th's Caged Fury card. Bryant made his pro debut at the NAAFS last West Virginia card. After winning round one, Bryant says he got cocky and it led to being knocked out in round two. This time out Bryant will be fighting Adam Milstead, a fighter who had a great amateur career and lost in his only pro fight. This time Bryant promises to stick with the game plan in what could be one of the night's most exciting fights.

Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the sport?
A: Really, I did Wrestling in high school and then college football. After football I wanted a way to keep competing. I always enjoyed Wrestling and was passionate about it. MMA is the closest thing to it as you can get without being in an athletic program. So I went the route of MMA. After my first two fights I really liked it and stuck with it.

Q: A lot of fighters have nicknames, but you are one of the few who is more known by the nickname than your first name, where did the name come from?
A: It came from my high school wrestling coach. It was joke at first, he said I looked like Bamm-Bamm from the Flintstones. Him and the other guys were calling me Bamm-Bamm and ripping on me about it. I started doing well in wrestling and it stuck and wasn't a joke anymore.

Q: You have two young kids, is it hard to balance training with raising them?
A: Oh my God, its extremely hard. I have to work full-time,so I don't have the luxury of working part time or like some fighters taking time off work and focus on fighting. I have to have an income to provide for my wife and kids. I would love to say "screw work, I'm gonna focus on this". You've hard the stories of fighters living in their car and barely having money for food and living off the bare minimum and working at the gym to pay gym dues. I can't do that, I have a wife and two kids, I have to provide for them and find ways to get my workouts in. A lot of times I get up at 3:00AM or 4:00AM to go running and lift, then work an eight to twelve hour shift and then go to Jiu-Jitsu or Boxing, and then come home and spend time with the kids before they go to bed.

Q: Your last fight was your pro debut against Rick Day. You were controlling the fight, was it a case of just getting caught?
A: Its more than I got caught. I did get caught, but in the second round I got cocky. The game plan was in the first round to keep the pressure on him and stay inside, get it to the ground if I can cause we knew I had better grappling. The second round, honestly, I strayed from that plan and looked for the knock-out. I saw the goose egg on his head and was like "this guys done". So I strayed from the game plan and you should never do that. I got over confident.

Q: Does that fight make you feel that with this one you have something to prove?
A: I think every fight you have something to prove. If you don't feel like you have something to prove then you aren't fighting the right people. I don't fight "bums" or whatever. I fight people like Adam Milstead, as an amateur he only lost two fights and me as an amateur I am 8-6. We are both 0-1 as pros, but he has a pretty solid amateur record. you should never have easy fights, always move up the ladder and fighting better competition.

Q: Outside of his record, what do you know about Adam Milstead?
A: I look at it as he is a more athletic version of me. He isn't particularly great at any one thing. If it goes to the ground he is o.k. on the ground, if it stays standing, he is o.k. standing. He is comfortable in both situations just like me, I don't care where the fight goes. I don't stand-out in one area, I am o.k. on the ground and o.k. standing. He's a 205LBS version of me coming up for a heavyweight fight.

Q: Whee would you say you have the biggest advantage?
A: I think on the ground. He is fairly decent on the ground but I think I have a little higher level Jiu-Jitsu. Even in stand-up, I feel its probably pretty equal. He isn't a crazy striker but he isn't a sloppy striker. I don't feel I am sloppy but I am not the best striker in the world. On the ground I feel I have slightly better Jiu-Jitsu.

Q: Where does he pose the biggest possible threat?
A: I think he has outstanding cardio. Looking at his fights and talking to people, they all say its his cardio more than anything. When opponents tire out, he takes over fights. I think his cardio is the biggest threat and that's why I am working on mine.

Q: So does that make it important to not come out overly aggressive and gas out?
A: Definitely! I try not to do that. The one time I came out overly aggressive I paid for it in a major way. It was two fights ago against Jeff Hughes. The first time I fought him I wasn't aggressive enough and it went to a decision, I felt I fought not to lose instead of fighting to win. So the second time I went out to give it my all and came out overly aggressive. Eleven seconds inI came out throwing punches and he steps inside and hooks me and knocks me out. So I don't plan on being overly aggressive. Jeff Hughes fight showed me not to do that.

Q: Whats the key to winning this fight?
A: The key is sticking to the game plan as long as its successful and if its not, change it on the fly. We have watched a lot of film and have a solid game plan. With my last fight I messed up coming out over confident instead of sticking to the plan.

Q: Does fighting basically at home put more pressure on you?
A: It's a whole lot of pressure and stress. Its one thing if you are not a father and husband and just trying to get people to believe in you. But I got my little ones looking at me and you don't want your kids to view you as a loser. So it puts more stress on you.

Q: Last fight there were so many people behind you and yelling for you, do you try and block that out?
A: No, I try and embrace it. That kind of pumps me up. I told some people before last fight that it would be different, in Ohio no ones knows me and I get boos. It puts a damper on it. I don't like to feed of hatred or take things personal. People behind me motivates me more than boos. It is like I have the power of the people so to speak.

Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: I am not really one to make predictions, but I am going for the finish in the second round. His cardio is too good to do it in the first round but I think I can finish him in the second.

Q: Any idea what you want after this?
A: What I would like is I read Bellator is coming to West Virginia in June. I know NAAFS co-promotes with Bellator from time to time. I would like to get on that card, which I am sure has a lot to do with whether I win this fight. I would like to keep fighting for NAAFS.

Q: Why have you enjoyed fighting for NAAFS?
A: They treat me well. Greg (Kalikas) has been great. If I have problems I can call him, where as other promotions you cant get ahold of them, its like pulling teeth. Nichole (Long) has been great to work with. They treat fighters great.

Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: My sponsors, Morgantown Fire and Security, Mountaineer Contracting Inc., Mountain State Medical Specialties, High Life Lounge, Foundation Fight Co., Kody has been there from the beginning, and Remember the Miners, which is a non profit I am associated with. My family, wife and kids. My wife goes through hell and is here by herself and its got to be rough. My friends, coaches, and everyone who supports me. My sponsors stand behind me as a person not me as a fighter and that's neat. The guys from my gym Ground Zero and also the guys from Bullpen who let me come up from time to time. I am probably forgetting people, but thanks everyone who has been behind me.

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