Friday, September 14, 2012

Amber Ignatowski Interview

Photo Credit: GJG Photography

One of the words most used to describe Amber Ignatowski is "phenom", and with good reason. Having just graduated from high school, she has already had six amateur fights, winning them all until losing her most recent fight to Sarah McLeod in a fight that was easily the fight of the night. Amber is a well-rounded fighter, but is most known for having a really impressive stand-up game. On September 22nd Ignatoswki returns to the cage at NAAFS Combat Challenge 22 against a tough opponent in Rachel Sazoff.

Q: Can you talk about how you got started training for the sport?
A: When I was younger I did Karate and got my Black Belt in that. I wanted to start training for MMA and I moved to where I am now at USA Martial Arts. Then Mike, my coach, set me up with my first fight a few years ago and that's about it.

Q: A lot of parents may worry about their daughter getting punched in the face, were your parents o.k. with you wanting to fight?
A: Haha, no, my mom is a complete mess when I fight. She needs lots of alcohol. Usually I am pretty late on the card so by the time I fight she is waisted haha. She always freaks out but she has gotten better now because I this will be my seventh fight. The first three she was a complete mess for.

Q: You just graduated high school so you are very young, does it ever bother you when people talk about your age every fight?
A: It doesn't bother me very much. I am young in the sport. My first fights were in Michigan before I was eighteen. It doesn't really bother me.

Q: There has been a lot of hype around you, is it hard to keep it from getting to your head and staying humble?
A: No, not really. I hear a lot of people say things but I don't have time to acknowledge it so it doesn't get in the way.

Q: You are coming off your first loss to Sarah McLeod, the saying is that you learn more from a loss than a win, so with that fight what did you learn?
A: I learned a lot from that fight. Me and my coach have been working on a lot of head movement and different ways to circle the cage. She was so much taller than me. If I use the things I learn from that fight with a girl even my height, I will have an advantage. We have worked on a lot since then.

Q: You are fighting Rachel Sazoff, do you know anything about her?
A: I looked her up. There is not a lot written on her. There is a few videos of her in grappling tournaments so I know she has a solid ground game, especially where she trains at. There isn't much on her MMA career but I saw she has fought some legit girls, she beat Ronda Gale in her last fight. I know she will be tough. She is more my size and we have a similar record, so it should be a good fight.

Q: You are well-rounded, but your striking stands out. In her last fight her striking seemed improved, would you hope she is willing to stand with you?
A: Yeah, that is what I look for in an opponent. The majority of my fights were stand-up. I am comfortable there but also comfortable on the ground if it goes there.

Q: Do you think people maybe under-estimate your ground game?
A: I am sure that a lot of people do. I train most of my time on Jiu-Jitsu. Most of my fights never get to that point, but I do have it even though some people don't believe so haha.

Q: All her fights have gone the distance, so she is hard to finish, do you have to make sure not to gas out early?
A: Yeah, I am not really worried about that part of it, but I know all her fights have gone the distance. She has good stamina but so I do, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Q: Is there a key to you winning this fight?
A: I don't wanna give anything away, but I plan to come prepared.

Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: I really can't say that I have a prediction. There isn't much I know about her. I know my game-plan is. I can see it going all three rounds, I can see it being a quick finish, it depends on what her game-plan is.

Q: After this, any idea what you want next or one fight at a time?
A: Basically one fight at a time. My gym and another gym close by we do local Toledo fights. I may do one October 20th if we can bring an opponent down here but nothing solid right now.

Q: You mentioned fighting later in cards usually, and this is one of the main fights here, does that put any more pressure on you to have a good performance?
A: Not too much. A little more since it is for NAAFS. Four out of my six fights I have been the main event, so I know how to handle that. The hardest part is it is so late and I wanna get it over with.

Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: My gym USA Martial Arts, My coach Mike Gray, Todds Guns and Too Tuff Wear.

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