Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Jarrell Hodge Interview
Photo Credit: Hex Linc Photos
In his last fight, Jarrell Hodge went in as an under dog against Cody Garbrandt. Few, myself included, gave Hodge much of a chance. After two close rounds, Hodge proved those people wrong with a highlight reel knock-out of Garbrandt. Next up is Tyler Saltsman at Fight Night in the Flats. Saltsman is a highly regarded fighter with several impressive wins himself. A win for Hodge would have to put him at the top of the list of contenders for this years amateur series title.
Q: Last fight you got a KO over Cody Garbrandt. Going in, not a lot of people gave you a chance. Did you feel disrespected or like you had something to prove?
A: I didn't feel disrespected. I do feel every time I step in the cage I have something to prove. I didn't feel disrespected till I read the comment on your site.
Q: Which comment?
A: You asked his prediction and he said "he isn't gonna last till the third round" and said he was gonna knock me out. Then he called me a kid and that got me kinda mad right there.
Q: After the win, you were obviously excited, what did that win mean for you?
A: That win meant a lot. Everyone was I guess scared to face Cody, he was a top prospect. I went in their focused and did what i had to to do win.
Q: He is a popular local, with all the people pretty much rooting for him, can that get intimidating?
A: No, I mean, being a wrestler, I went into situations where you aren't the favorite to win and you go into someone else's home territory and fans rooting for them. Its just you and him in the cage, not them.
Q: You have Tyler Saltsman next. Where as Cody is known more as a striker, Tyler is known more as a wrestler, does that make you change how you train?
A: Oh yeah. I watched a couple of Tyler's fights and watched his game. I am preparing for him different than I did for Cody.
Q: You expect that he will try and take it down as soon as he can?
A: Yeah, what I see from his fights, is he tries to take them down and ground and pound. I am preparing for that and working on my defense for that.
Q: He fought Cody, and Cody won a decision. Can you watch that and maybe learn from what Cody did to help with this fight?
A: Yes and no. I have talked to Tyler a couple times and see he is boxing down there at Penn State and getting his hands together. That was a year ago and a lot can change in a year.
Q: His striking has improved, do you hope at all that he will stand with you?
A: Yeah I am hoping. That's where I feel my strongest at, my standing. My background is a wrestler, growing up all I did was wrestle, so I am comfortable if he goes down. But hopefully he will stand.
Q: So if he does take it down, you are confident you can hang with him?
A: Yeah I am confident in my wrestling.
Q: Is there a key for you to win this fight?
A: Just watch out for the shot. Key thing is defense for me. Every time he fights someone he takes them down and wins a decision. So I am practicing my defense.
Q: He does take it down and grind it out, and opponents tire late, you didn't seem to gas late against Cody, does that give you an advantage that other opponents haven't had?
A: Yeah, I work every day on my cardio. I have good trainers and partners that work with me in the morning and night. I ain't worried about running out of breath.
Q: Fight Night in the Flats is the NAAFS's biggest card of the year, does it mean anything more to you to be on that card?
A: Not really.
Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: No, no prediction. I don't like doing predictions. Fight of the Night, that's all I want it to be. Everyone get their money's worth. My people come have a good time, and everyone who comes to support a fighter has a good time and everything goes well.
Q: If you win this fight, wins over Cody and Tyler back to back, does that put you at the top of the contenders list for the amateur series title?
A: Yeah, in my mind. Already in my mind I am at the top. I am gonna keep working hard and try and get the belt. In other peoples minds, they might not think I am, and maybe think Cody is at the top and it was a fluke win, but in my mind I am at the top.
Q: After this, any idea what you want next, or are you just focused on this?
A: I focused on this. Tyler is a good fighter, so whatever is after Tyler I am ready and hopefully I get a title shot like you said.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: I'd like to thank Bulletproof, Brickhouse, my family, my girlfriend Alex, my little man Jase, the fans, NAAFS, and God.