Monday, June 11, 2012

John Hawk Interview

Photo Credit: Hex Linc Photos

On June 22nd John Hawk steps back into the Bellator cage looking to continue his trend of making things harder for people. He did so first when he went to the home town of Roger Hollett and while not getting the decision, it was obvious to most that Hawk won the fight. Then recently he welcome Marcus Vanttinen into the Bellator cage. Vanttinen had just been announced as being in the next Bellator light heavyweight tournament. Hawk won the decision in that fight. In fact, it seems Hawk is at his best when people under estimate him. Some are under estimating him in this upcoming fight with Terry Carpenter, which could be very bad news for Carpenter.

Q: Your last fight against Marcus Vanttinen, it was pretty clear to me you easily won the fight. When you heard that first judge scored it 30-27 for him, what went through your mind?
A: When I heard 30-27 for the first time I thought it was a replay of my Canada fight back in November when I fought Roger Hollett. I was like "am I getting screwed again?" I don't, know, lately with everything going on, even the Pacquaio vs Bradley fight, I don't think judges are really qualified. I have been a big advocate of it. I don't think judges like me anyway. Look at my scores, look at everyone elses. I don't know if they are not qualified or not watching, watching a fight in the stands and not my fight. I think they need to get versed in scoring or have some regulation system. My last couple fights, Jason, you've seen my fights, even the Pacquaio vs Bradley fight, and a lot of other fights, I don't know what judges are looking for. You can't have it where a judge who is a boxer and one is a wrestler, you need an MMA ref and MMA judge. Someone who is qualified and can see someone is a wrestler but is just laying there. A wrestling judge will give him credit for laying and praying. So I thought I was getting screwed again.

Q: We've talked about this before, you would rather have the judges be people who have fought before wouldn't you?
A: Oh I would love it. Forrest Petz is a good ref, he is a great fighter and has been there and done that. I always think with refs and judges, if they have done it, they know what to look for. They have first-hand experience. Some of these people have no background, they might have a background in Karate, and it's like "you have a background in Karate, congratulations you can be an MMA judge". It doesn't work that way. Judges will hate me and think I am disrespecting them, but I think eighty percent are not qualified. Maybe that's why they score bad for me, but I will speak the truth like I always do.

Q: Going in, they had him slated for the tournament already. Did you take that as an insult or motivation or both?
A: I took it as both. I thought it was a slap in the face that Bellator would do that. The week of my fight they announced it. I love Bellator don't get me wrong, but they say "Champions are made here", but how is the champion made when this guy has never even fought here. It's looking past me. I am used to that, my whole career I have been the under-dog, which is crazy to me, but it's fine, I wanna be the under-dog. So it's a slap in the face and motivation. I am no ones stepping stone, I am no ones bitch. Just like they are doing to me against Tim Carpenter. I will just keep on winning and prove everyone wrong.

Q: How happy where you with your performance?
A: I was pretty happy. Not to many people knew I was injured after the first round. I couldn't lift my arm. I don't use excuses, everyone knows me, I fight through injuries. I don't know if I stressed out my shoulder or what, but I was in pain. I usually have a good pain tolerance. I stuck to the game plan. He is a tough guy, but I was gonna bring it to him. He didn't wanna get hurt or cut so he could make that tournament. So I took the fight to him and it worked. I thought I easily won two rounds and maybe all three.

Q: What do you know about Tim Carpenter?
A: He is a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu, he is a good judo guy who likes to stand and bang. He made it to the finals in the first season and lost to the champ. I don't get into studying I fight my game plan.

Q: His last fight was his first ko or tko since his first fight, does that indicate to you that you can fight your stand and bang style and not worry about getting caught or knocked out?
A: Yeah of course. I never worry abut that. My whole thing is, I like to stand. I don't wanna go into his world. I have a feeling after feeling my punches he will try and take it down.

Q: If it does go down, you are satisfied you can hang with him?
A: Oh yea, I am not worried about getting submitted. When someone is good on the ground why would I want to be in his world? I could defend, but would rather inflict punishment, tie him up and get it back to the feet.

Q: What is the key to winning this fight?
A: The key is follow the game plan. Movement, stick the jab and look for the power right hand shot to end the fight.

Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: This one, I am looking for a tko in round two. The first round will probably be feeling each other out, and in the second round, go for the attack.

Q: Last fight you had a couple teammates on the card, in this one it's just you. Is there a pro or con to that?
A: I guess I have done them both and it's good to train with teammates and fighting with people going through the same stuff. When I fought by myself the tension is all on me. I like them both, doesn't matter either way, I just wanna fight and prove what I can do.

Q: This is your sixth fight since May last year, safe to say that you like being that active?
A: Yeah definitely. I would like to fight five or six times a year till I get a bigger paycheck. It's not all about the paycheck, but at the same time, living as a fighter, it's how you make a living, so I take whoever is in front of me.

Q: Safe to say that after this you want to stay ready in case their is an injury and you can get into the tournament?
A: Yeah, after this fight it's gonna be rough. This is an alternate fight for the tournament, so I gotta stay ready for the next two months. If anyone gets hurt I will be ready, and if no one does, I am beating my body up for no reason. There are always fights out there for me, and I am always helping my teammates like Stipe Miocic, Brian Rogers and Nick Duell, and they all help me. We are family at Strong Style.

Q: With the success Stipe is having in UFC and the attention, does it give you more motivation?
A: I'm happy for Stipe, the dude works his ass off. Now people realize that he is no joke. When he fought locally people thought he was a joke and ran their mouth, now look at him whooping ass on a national stage. He helps me all the time, he is spending extra time helping me out, coming in when he doesn't have to. That means a lot. We all try and help each other.

Q: When he, or any teammate is fighting, do you get a sense of pride when he wins?
A: Of course. I am more nervous when a teammate fights than when I fight. I am on the edge of my seat sweating. It's having no control. When I fight I can control it. I want all my teammates to win, it's better for us and the team. I want Strong Style to be known as one of the best in the country.

Q: Is Strong Style close to being known as one of the best in the country?
A: It's up there. With Stipe going to train in Denver and California and Brian in Denver, and when Bellator came here and Eddie Alvarez and all these guys, they look at our gym amazed. These are the top guys and they come to our gym in awe. Soon, just like everything else little by little. More people will understand what Strong Style is about.

Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: My sponsors, John P. Lennon, Intimidation Clothing, Tru Assassin Fight Gear, AKI Fight Gear, Cal Crowell Diverse Training Systems, these guys have been there for me. My brother, he is always with me through fights and I love him for that. My girlfriend Taylor, it's not easy dating a fighter, but she has stuck by me.

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