Sunday, December 9, 2012

Rebecca Heintzman Interview

Photo Credit: Landry Yankle

On December 15th at NAAFS Night of Champions, a fight with two rising talents in women's MMA takes place between Rebecca Heintzman and Rachel Sazoff, two women with solid ground games that has people expecting an exciting grappling contest. This fight is for an amateur title and can be a big stepping stone for the winner. Here is Rebecca's take on this exciting match-up.

Q: You are fighting Rachel Sazoff, what do you know about her?
A: I know she is a south paw, 4-2, and trains out of Ricardo Almeda so should have solid ground game.

Q: A lot of people expect that this is a fight that will see the majority of it take place in either the clinch or the ground. Would you agree with that assessment?
A: I think it is a fair assessment. That seems to be the 'comfort zone' for both of us. I wouldn't be surprised though if we both try and test standing to see who has the stronger 'weak' game.

Q: If the fight does go that way, does the fact that you are incredibly strong for that weight give you an advantage?
A: I like to think so :)

Q: You have a common opponent in Ronda Gale. Do you take anything away from the fact you got a finish and Rachel's was a decision?
A: Well I know all of her fights have gone the distance, which suggests a couple things. She has a solid jaw but most likely doesn't have KO power. On the ground she is patient, likes to think position before submission and ride to victory. Also, I don't expect her to be easy to submit at all, and to have great cardio.

Q: Is there something you bring to the table that perhaps Rachel may not have had to deal with yet in her career?
A: I like to believe she hasn't fought someone as rounded and as strong as me. However, her fights have been at multiple weight classes and against a range of opponents. I expect that she has at some point been the 'underdog' in terms of size, striking, grappling, etc.

Q: People may not know just how busy a life you lead, is it hard to balance that with making sure you get a lot of training in?
A: It is a constant struggle. But I think everyone has a hard time balancing life and training to a certain degree. I just try to take it one day at a time because if I think of everything I have to do I'll get overwhelmed.

Q: What would winning an amateur title with the NAAFS mean to you?
A: NAAFS is a very respected promotion so holding a title with them would mean a lot to me. Many of their former title holders (such as Jessica Eye) have gone on to have great careers. To be in their company would be a honor.

Q: Are you able to block the title aspect of it out and just focus on Rachel?
A: The title is extra motivation, but the focus is preparing for my opponent (Rachel) not a belt.

Q: Is there a key for you winning this fight?
A: Stick to my game plan and not fall into hers. As always, I want to fight smart.

Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: My hand raised. I always want to enter the cage confident.

Q: After this, any idea what you want next, or are you just focused on this right now?
A: This is my main focus, but if possible I want to fight a high level striker and really test that component of my game.

Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: Matchmaker Nichole Long for giving me this opportunity. Also, I want to thank Power of One MMA, my coaches (specifically Jason Porter), my training partners who constantly push me, my sponsors (Massimo's OIP and RCR construction) for helping with expenses, and my family and friends that support me while I chase my dreams.

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