Pat Barry THROWIN THUNDA @HypeorDie

Props: HypeorDie Youtube Channel

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Brock Larson and Travis Reddinger lead the way this Saturday at CFX 36: Brutaal Blood Bath

Brock Larson

Courtesy Sherdog.com Click for Source

This Saturday CFX will hold its 36th mixed martial arts event. One of the main attractions will feature 17-4 Bellator veteran Travis “The Hurricane” Reddinger as he looks to earn his way back into the big leagues. He faces a tough opponent in Justin Morrison of Adel, Iowa. This is a great opportunity for Morrison to compete against one of the top bantamweights from the Midwest. Reddinger is a finisher and a submission specialist with an ever-improving stand-up game. (If you haven’t seen his switch-kick to the liver against Floyd Hodges – check the 45 second mark here.) His time at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy is clearly paying dividends and an impressive win over Morrison this Saturday night may be just what “The Hurricane” needs to get his shot in the UFC.

The evening’s main event will see UFC veteran and grappling powerhouse Brock Larson take on the massive Marcus Sursa in a middleweight bout. Sursa, a Bellator and Shark Fights veteran, has faced six UFC vets in the past (Alan Belcher, Stefan Struve, Elliot Marshall, Trevor Prangley, Eddie Sanchez, and Logan Clark) but has come up short in each of those bouts. This fight will give him one more chance to prove he can beat a high level fighter.

Larson has a few things to prove himself. He opened his career with 15 consecutive victories (14 coming by stoppage). Then he got the call from the UFC and squared off against Jon Fitch, who was also making his UFC debut. Fitch won a unanimous decision and went on to steamroll the welterweight division en route to a title shot.

Larson was released but went on to win 6 straight fights outside of the promotion and returned to fight Keita Nakamura at UFC Fight Night 7. This time the decision went his way and Brock picked up his 22nd win in 23 bouts.

Instead of staying in the UFC, Larson wound up in Zuffa’s newly acquired WEC organization. There he posted back-to-back stoppage victories over Erik Apple and Kevin Knabjian before falling to the defending welterweight champion Carlos Condit. (Check the video highlights here to watch Brock in Beast Mode).

He finished out his WEC tenure with two more victories, including a highlight-reel knockout over Carlo Prater in just 37 seconds. Soon after, the WEC’s welterweight division was absorbed into the UFC and Larson came back to the octagon in top form, submitting Jesse Sanders and Mike Pyle – both in the first round.

Of course Larson is no longer with the UFC but a comeback has to be on his mind. With a booming overhand left and world-class grappling skills to his credit, Larson’s road back to the UFC could begin with a win over the always-game Marcus Sursa.

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Rose Namajunas VS Jen Aniano Rose

Rose Namajunas is a life-long martial artist who currently trains out of the MN Martial Arts Academy. If you are not familiar with her you will soon be hearing her name. She’s explosive on the feet and at only 20 years old the future is bright for Miss Namajunas. (More highlights of Rose)

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MMABurner Interview with Kaitlin Young

Kaitlin Young

Photo Courtesy of KaitlinYoung.com

This Saturday at Invicta FC 2: Baszler vs. McMann, knockout artist Kaitlin Young returns to action after battling to a three round draw in an incredible fight against Leslie Smith at the promotion’s debut event last April. This time around she faces former Strikeforce bantamweight title challenger Liz Carmouche. (Carmouche is also making her sophomoric Invicta outing, having knocked out Ashleigh Curry just two minutes into the opening stanza last time around.)

Young burst onto the MMA scene in 2007, knocking out her first four opponents (including a beautiful headkick KO over Miesha Tate) in just over seven weeks’ time and capturing the HOOKnSHOOT Women’s Grand Prix Championship in the process.

Young has a distinct height and reach advantage over her upcoming opponent Carmouche and a win here would do a lot in her favor. Defeating a woman the likes of “Girl-Rilla” and extending her unbeaten streak to four would put her near the top of the list at 135-pounds; when Invicta starts crowning champions, Young may get the call for the inaugural bantamweight title fight.

Thankfully Kaitlin took the time out of her busy training schedule for an exclusive MMABurner interview.

Patrick: (MMABurner.com): Kaitlin, when did you start practicing Martial Arts and how did you get into MMA?

Kaitlin Young: I started practicing martial arts competitively at age 14 in Olympic-style Tae Kwon Do. That eventually led to kickboxing fights, then I started in the Muay Thai program at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy at age 19. Two and a half years later, I had my first professional MMA fight.

Patrick: (MMABurner.com): Your opponent Liz Carmouche is a big name in the WMMA community and has fought some of the best in the world. What are your thoughts on this opportunity? And what are your thoughts on Liz Carmouche as an opponent?

Kaitlin Young: I have a great deal of respect for Liz. It is always a pleasure to have an opponent who you can count on to train hard, make weight, and put on a great performance with you. I am so happy to be fighting top competition in the top promotion for female fighters.

Patrick: (MMABurner.com): What are some of your long and short-term goals with your MMA Career?

Kaitlin Young: My short term goal is to be victorious in this upcoming fight against Liz. My long term goal is to become the absolute best fighter I can be, and at the end of my career to know that there is nothing more I could have done to maximize my potential. I want to be the best.

Patrick: (MMABurner.com): Is there a dream fight that you are hoping for down the road?

Kaitlin Young: I really want to fight everybody for the most part. I’d like to fight Kaufman eventually, if only for the excitement factor alone.

Patrick: (MMABurner.com): What are some of your hobbies?

Kaitlin Young: What are those? Haha. I have very little downtime between training others and my own training. I enjoy stand-up comedy, documentaries, and cute animals.

Patrick: (MMABurner.com): Who are some of your best training partners at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy?

Kaitlin Young: We have an incredible team. Its hard to call anyone the “best”, because they are great for different reasons. They are really a very giving group. We all have different strengths, and use them to help each other. This isn’t just the fight team, either. For the most part, everyone at The Academy is willing to pitch in and help out when you are striving for something.

Patrick: (MMABurner.com): What is your favorite movie? And what is your favorite Martial Arts movie?

Kaitlin Young: That is a tough one. I don’t watch a lot of movies. One of my favorite documentaries is Fog of War. It features Robert McNamara speaking very candidly about the Cold War, among other things. I am not a big martial arts movie buff. The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles might be my favorite martial arts film.

Patrick: (MMABurner.com): There’s no question your striking is world-class. Is it fun to put a whoopin on some of the boys at the MN Martial Arts Academy?

Kaitlin Young: Ha! Well, I take as many beatings as I give. We have a lot of really great guys in the gym.

Patrick: (MMABurner.com): What is your favorite (or biggest) moment thus far in your MMA Career?

Kaitlin Young: That is a tough call. I’ve been fortunate to have some very good opportunities come my way. My favorite moment was probably winning my first fight and realizing that MMA was going to be something I really enjoyed.

Patrick: (MMABurner.com): I really appreciate you taking the time to do this interview. Are there any sponsors you would like to thank?

Kaitlin Young: Absolutely! Gamebred Fightwear, MMA Chick, Intimidation Clothing, and Sterling Entertainment Group.

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Travis “The Hurricane” Reddinger and his Quest for the Big Time

Travis Reddinger vs Floyd Hodges

Photo Courtesy of Sandy Hackenmueller ---- Click image for more photos

A common misconception among the general public is that anyone who fights for a living is either A) a macho meathead or B) simply crazy.

Fight fan or not, take one look at Travis Reddinger and you may think the latter. But take a seat next to the man — who rocks a pink mohawk, an eclectic set of tattoos, and brightly painted toenails — and you’ll find out that “The Hurricane” is quite the opposite. He’s a father, a Registered Nurse and a business owner; in other words, a normal guy… Or is he?

Travis is a seven-year veteran of the sport, but he comes from a marital arts tradition that dates back centuries. You see, Travis Reddinger is a ninja.

Like all ninjas, he has been raised in the ways of awesomeness within a secretive clan. I am risking my life by telling you this much. If I were to reveal the name of this long-standing mysterious group, then I would surely be living in fear.

The number of ninja wars he has been in is unknown, but as a mixed martial artist “The Hurricane” boasts an impressive record of 17-4, and at 5’ 10” he is one of the tallest bantamweights in the entire sport.

As most ninjas do, Travis has a great aversion to long, drawn out battles, as evident in the fact that five of his wins have come by knockout and 10 by way of submission. Travis is a very intelligent fighter, another ninja quality. He takes a detailed approach to the fight game and has a knack for taking advantage of even the smallest of openings to get the fight-ending result he desires.

Though he prefers a quick stoppage, he has the conditioning to go the distance, an attribute he prides himself in, and has even gone five rounds to triumph over Zach Wolff at Brutaal Fight Night. (Yes, That’s how they spell it.)

In 2010, Travis was invited to participate in Bellator’s inaugural bantamweight tournament. In the quarterfinals he was paired with well-known grappling ace Ulysses Gomez. Despite coming from a wrestling background, Gomez has been practicing jiu jitsu now for more than a decade.

Gomez is a 10-time Grapplers Quest champion and a 3-time NAGA champion, but it was Reddinger who was the more impressive grappler that night. Gomez was able to take Reddinger down but not once could he pass Reddinger’s guard. He then spent the majority of the fight fending off Travis’ relentless submission attack. Gomez used his wrestling base well and stayed on top, but was nearly finished late in the fight when “The Hurricane” locked in an  armbar and then beautifully transitioned to a deep triangle choke.

The fight was razor close and ultimately wound up in the hands of the judges. One judge saw it in favor of Reddinger but the other two scored it for Gomez.

The heart of a true warrior is illustrated in the way Reddinger handles defeat. Since the loss to Gomez, Travis has continued to make advancements as a fighter. Traditionally known as a ground specialist, he showed off his improved striking in his last fight against another Minnesota prospect, knockout artist Floyd Hodges.

Reddinger used his reach effectively, throwing a number of kicks and straight punches to control the stand-up. He then worked his clinch game by throwing knees to the body and legs in round two to wear Hodges down. In the third round he finally put “The Hitman” away after he landed a big body kick and a series of punches against the cage.

Travis Reddinger has grown to be a big fish in the small pond of the local Minnesota fight circuit. It is time for “The Hurricane” to be given the opportunity to shine on a bigger stage. Support Team Hurricane.

Today’s article was written by Norman Harrison. Follow him on twitter @NormanLHarrison.

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Rose Namajunas Highlight – Destined For Greatness

Video Courtesy of MolesyMMA’s Youtube Channel -
Follow @rosenamajunas on twitter!

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MMABurner Interview with Jacob “Christmas” Volkmann

Jacob Volkmann vs Paulo Thiago

Volkmann vs Paulo Thiago - Courtesy of Sherdog.com - Click for Source

Jacob “Christmas” Volkmann, who holds a five-fight winning streak inside the octagon (longest active streak in the UFC’s lightweight division), looks to continue his quest for the title when he takes on Paul Sass at UFC 146 on May 26 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Jacob was nice enough to take time out of his busy schedule to meet up with me and discuss his upcoming bout and other various topics.

Patrick: (MMABurner.com): Obviously you’ve got a big fight coming up against Paul Sass on May 26 at UFC 146. Like yourself, Sass is known for his grappling skills, but he’s a guy who’s willing to pull guard and fight off his back. How do you train for a guy like that?

Jacob Volkmann: The thing about this guy is that I’ve actually put the Gi on. So, i’ve been training with the Gi and working with guys who do more triangles, heel hooks, and guys who are always moving on bottom. I actually watched one of his videos and he constantly moves. I don’t think he burns a lot of energy down there, so it’ll be interesting to see what he’s like in the second and third period because he hasn’t been there too often. As for stand-up it’s been my same routine. Every Tuesday & Thursday I’ve been working my stand-up and then after every Monday & Wednesday practice, I’ll do hands (hit pads). So everything else is the same. I run everyday but the key has been working with guys who are active from bottom.

Patrick: (MMABurner.com): You’ve been working with the Gi, that’s great. We know that Sass will be looking for submissions and considering your Jiu Jitsu is constantly improving, will we see you going for submissions if the fight hits the ground?

Jacob Volkmann: Obviously I will be looking for submissions if the fight goes to the ground. I just wont be opening up and getting reckless to try for one. Meaning I will not be letting any space between him and me, and I will be controlling his hips as best as I can.

Patrick (MMABurner.com): Good to hear. A submission win over a guy like Sass would be huge. Who have been some of your best training partners throughout the years?

Jacob Volkmann: Sherk with the wrestling and grappling, Nick Thompson, Nik Lentz, Derrick Noble, Zach Juusola, Nick Compton, you better put Jordan Parsons in there or he’ll throw a fit. Mike Richman has been a good training partner too. There’s more but those have been some of my best training partners. For this camp, I’ve been working with Dan Opsal, who’s a purple belt at the academy – This guy name Tex (Ryan Pogue), he’s a great scrambler from the bottom so he’s been helpful too.

Patrick (MMABurner.com): Alright, cool… What are some of your goals with your MMA career?

Jacob Volkmann: Long term goal would obviously be to win the title. Short term would be to take one fight at a time and I actually need to treat this guy like he’s the champ. He’s very dangerous and the first period is going to be the worst.

Patrick (MMABurner.com): Obviously you are one of the best wrestlers in the lightweight division. What are some of your wrestling credentials.

Jacob Volkmann: Well, I was a three time state champ in High School at 140, 145, and 152 lbs for Ottertail Central (Battle Lake/Underwood/Henning) High School. I’m originally from Henning. As far as College goes, I wrestled for the University of Minnesota and I was a Big Ten Champion one year and a three time All-American.

Patrick: (MMABurner.com): I actually read this morning you wrestled at 174 lbs your Freshmen year and you took fourth place in the individual tournament (top eight earn All-American honors). I know you eventually wrestled at 165 your Junior and Senior years, but I find it pretty amazing you wrestled at 152 lbs your senior year in high school and then you go on to earn All-American honors your Freshmen year at UMN at 174 lbs. That’s a huge jump in weight and quite the accomplishment. Would you mind talking about that? Did J Robinson (Head coach at UMN) have anything to do with that?

Jacob Volkmann: Yeah it was all J Robinson. We actually had a guy named Brad Pike, who was a senior and wrestled at 165 lbs – they wanted me to jump up to 174. I was actually certified my redshirt Freshmen year at 149 – so they ended up putting me on creatine to gain weight. It sucked, I hated it.

Patrick: (MMABurner.com): Yeah that doesn’t sound fun… So obviously in MMA you only fight a few times a year – It’s more difficult to develop rivals compared to wrestling because of all the matches throughout the season. Are there any guys that you considered rivals during your wrestling career?

Jacob Volkmann: I don’t know if I consider him a rival but the guy that I had the worst battles with was Otto Olson from the University of Michigan. That’s one guy I would not want to step in the ring with. He was just freakin mean. He took the skin off my face.

Patrick (MMABurner.com): Wow. Are you kidding me?!?

Jacob Volkmann: No, ha. I was 0-4 against him… Another guy would be Tyrone Lewis from Oklahoma State. He was a four time All-American and I went 2-3 against him. He was the #1 recruit in the nation (coming out of high school) at my weight. I had some good battles with him.

Patrick (MMABurner.com): Yeah I’ve definitely heard of Tyrone Lewis… Good stuff. So how long have you been training at the MN Martial Arts Academy?

Jacob Volkmann: I’ve been training with the Academy for almost five years now. I didn’t know MMA existed until I met Sean Sherk and Greg Nelson. They were pushing me into it, those bastards. Ha.

Patrick (MMABurner.com): Did you not want to do it? Do you have any regrets?

Jacob Volkmann: I don’t know, I was kind of hesitant at first. I’m glad I’m doing it now. It pays the bills, kind of.

Patrick (MMABurner.com): Okay, so what are some of your hobbies?

Jacob Volkmann: Well I collect coins. Ha. So, yeah if anyone wants to sponsor me with coins we can throw them right on my shorts, ha…Also, the UFC gave us an IPAD for Christmas last year and that thing’s addicting (the aps and games).

Patrick (MMABurner.com) That’s cool. I imagine you’re a pretty busy guy too. I know you’re a family man and I’m sure playing with your kids keeps you busy. How many kids do you have and how old?

Jacob Volkmann: Yeah they keep me busy. I have three kids – two boys and one girl. My girl is the oldest and they are 5 and 1/2, 3 and 1/2, and 1 and 1/2 years old. The halves actually do make a big difference. Don’t go telling my five year old she’s only five. Ha.

Patrick (MMABurner.com): Ha, that’s awesome… I saw one of your interviews after your escudero fight where you were asked how close you were to passing out. You described it on a number scale 1-10 – 10 being passed out and that you were at a nine. Did you consider tapping?

Jacob Volkmann: No. I remember looking at the clock and thinking, what the hell – what is this crap? I was very angry with myself… As soon as I felt him (in the first round) I was thinking this guy doesn’t have a prayer. I took him too easy. I made the same mistake against McKee. I was winning the fight and had a mental fart in the third round, and then he took me down.

Patrick (MMABurner.com) Yeah I suppose all it takes is one mental mistake… So I know you train with fellow UFC fighter, Nik Lentz. He obviously has a really good guillotine. How good is it and how would you compare his to Escudero’s guillotine?

Jacob Volkmann: Escudero’s guillotine has nothing on Lentz’. To be honest, I don’t know of a guillotine that’s tougher (referring to Lentz’). What Escudero should have done when I was on all fours when he relocked it up, he should have pulled rather than staying parallel with me because it would have brought my chin down. That would have locked it up better and that’s what Lentz does a much better job with.

Patrick (MMABurner.com) What’s your favorite Martial Arts movie and/or what’s your favorite movie? And why?

Jacob Volkmann: How about Gladiator? Does that count? I don’t have any Martial Arts movies that stick out to me. As for favorite movies… I like Braveheart. Oh shoot no, Zoolander, obviously Zoolander. I like Zoolander for many reasons but mostly I think Ben and Owen are great in any movie together. I’ve seen that one about 20 times. Ha.

Patrick (MMABurner.com) Ha, that’s great. I didn’t expect you to be a guy who liked Zoolander. Awesome movie… Alright, I wanted to take about your fighting style. I think your jiu jitsu has come a long ways. You came close to choking out all three of your last opponents – The D’arce choke with Castillo and then rear naked choke attempts against McKee and Escudero. What do you have to say to those who consider you “just a wrestler”?

Jacob Volkmann: Well right now I am just a wrestler. If they want to see my stand-up someone will need to stop my takedowns. The thing about the sport, at least for my situation, if I lose I’m cut. So I’m going to stick with my strength. I’ll never go away from my wrestling. I’m going to get cut if I lose so I can’t (go away from it). Plus I don’t want to get hit in the head too often because I’m a doctor. Ha. But if someone can stop my takedowns then I’m going to have to open up my stand-up. So, yeah I really don’t care what they say.

Patrick (MMABurner.com) Yeah I imagine you are not one to be on the internet reading what people have to say about you. I disagree with you in a sense because of your Jiu Jitsu skills. You were relentless with your submission attacks against Castillo… Anyways, do you really think considering you are on a five fight winning streak, a loss would get you cut?!?

Jacob Volkmann: Yeah I do. They’d cut me for sure.

Patrick (MMABurner.com) That’s bull s***. I really hope not… Who would you say is your biggest fan?

Jacob Volkmann: Biggest fan, hmmm… Well, it’s definitely not my wife, ha. She went to Las Vegas when I fought Martin Kampmann and she had to leave the venue because she passed out. She hyperventilated so she doesn’t watch me fight anymore.

Patrick (MMABurner.com) Oh, no! That’s too bad… Do you have a favorite fighter you enjoy watching?

Jacob Volkmann: I like watching Clay Guida and Sonnen is fun to watch too.

Patrick (MMABurner.com) Yeah I imagine you can appreciate their grappling skills. What’s your favorite Martial Arts to practice?

Jacob Volkmann: I love doing Muy Thai. I only started doing it a few years ago and it’s exciting.

Patrick (MMABurner.com) Alright, what’s the hardest you’ve ever been hit? Practice or a fight.

Jacob Volkmann: Ha. It was a leg kick by Derrick Noble (former UFC Vet) one day in practice.

Patrick (MMABurner.com) Ha, nice. Yeah I remember Derrick Noble – good fighter… Well to be honest that’s all I have Jacob. Anyone you want to thank?

Jacob Volkmann: Obviously I want to thank the Academy (MN Martial Arts Academy), Athens Archery, SEG (Sterling Entertainment Group), Heatwave, Headrush, VersaClimber.com, Volkmann Chiropractic, Training Mask, Infinite Insurance, and MMAOverload.com.

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The Rebirth of Nik Lentz

Nik Lentz

Courtesy Sherdog.com Click for Source

Nik Lentz, like many American fighters, began his martial arts training with wrestling. He was born in Texas but has spent the majority of his life in Minnesota where he wrestled for Bloomington Jefferson High and The University of Minnesota. While attending UMN, he started training in MMA, and as it turned out he’s pretty darn good at it.

He won his first five fights with four submissions and a TKO, and his pursuit of a pre-med biology degree got put on the back burner. He continued to make his way through the regional shows before finally making his UFC debut in 2009 with a 16-3-1 record and riding an eight fight unbeaten streak.

Entering the shark tank that is the UFC’s lightweight division is a difficult task for anybody. Even if you can somehow string together a decent number of wins, you could still be toiling in obscurity. Lentz managed to stay unbeaten in his first seven fights inside the octagon, including a spectacular come-from-behind submission-win against Waylon Lowe. Lentz managed to do all of this without even the slightest consideration for title contention.

Recently, Lentz has dealt with consecutive losses after dropping a decision to Mark Bocek and losing by TKO (doctor’s ruling) to Evan Dunham. Despite being stopped for the first time in nine octagon appearances, his fight against Dunham showcased his true potential in the first round. Lentz’ wrestling and ability to mix in kicks has always been sound, but it was his crisp boxing that affirmed his progression as a world-class fighter. Nevertheless, Lentz struggled with Dunham’s size, and after suffering back-to-back losses for the first time in his career, “The Carney” has decided to make the drop to featherweight.

With his new weight class on the horizon, Lentz has traveled to the golden state to train at 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu with Eddie Bravo. Bravo is the inventor of the rubber guard techniques and is one of the more renowned BJJ instructors from America. Though Lentz went there to specifically work on his rubber guard, Eddie Bravo isn’t one to teach you one move and usher you out the door. For two weeks, Lentz worked on every aspect of jiu jitsu under his temporary sensei.

Now with refreshed submission skills added to his ever improving stand up game and his relentless work rate, he looks to attack his new weight class without mercy.

This article was written by Norman Harrison and Pat Boerner from MMABurner.com. Please follow us on twitter @Normanlharrison & @MMABurner

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MMABurner Interview with Travis “The Hurricane” Reddinger

Travis Reddinger

Travis Reddinger – Bantamweight (16-4) Courtesy of Sherdog.com, Click for Source

Travis “The Hurricane” Reddinger is the top ranked bantamweight fighter in the state of Minnesota, according to MNMMANews.com. With a professional record of 16-4, the one-time Bellator vet has been flying under the radar for quite some time. He’ll look to move one step closer towards another shot at a major promotion when he takes on Floyd Hodges Saturday, April 28 at the Target Center for the Cage Fighting Xtreme promotion.

Thankfully Travis took some time to meet up with me the other weekend at the MN Martial Arts Academy to do an interview. It was a pleasure meeting him and he’s definitely a guy you’ll want to root for if you’re an MMA fan.

Patrick: (MMABurner.com): First question Travis, how did you get into mixed martial arts?

Travis Reddinger: Well, I started doing traditional martial arts (hapkido) as a way to get back in shape. I ran a lot in high school, played sports, raced BMX and once I got into college I was working and ballooned up to 225lbs. From there I found a gym and got into traditional martial arts. Eventually got my black belt in hapkido,  – It was just at a local Bally’s but it was a nice way to get back in shape. And I think it was around 2004/2005 when I got my first taste of grappling and MMA.

Patrick: (MMABurner.com): Where did you grow up and when was your first professional fight?

Travis Reddinger: I grew up in Pittsburgh and here (Twin Cities Metro, MN) when I was about 10 years old. I moved around a little bit but eventually ended up in Prior Lake, MN and that’s where I went to high school. As far as my first professional fight, we didn’t have the option to fight as an amateur when I started in MMA, but I believe my first fight was in September of 2005.

Patrick: (MMABurner.com): On to the fight – what are your thoughts on your opponent, Floyd Hodges?

Travis Reddinger: Well he’s a tough fighter. He’s got power in his hands and he’s a knockout artist. He’s been in there with some tough opponents and I’m looking forward to testing my skills against him. I’m a lot taller than him so I’ll have the reach but I’ll definitely be watching out for his his KO power. I’m ready for him and I can’t wait to get in there.

Patrick: (MMABurner.com): Awesome, well I’m looking forward to watching you fight at the Target Center. What would you say are some of your long-term goals with your MMA Career? Are you hoping to get your shot in the UFC?

Travis Reddinger: Yeah I’d love to fight in the UFC. I fought for Bellator and that didn’t go the way I wanted, but yeah it would be great to get a chance in the UFC. I’m realistic that I’m not going to be an 8-time UFC World Champion but I would love to get my chance, win some fights in the UFC and test myself against the best. It would be fun to showcase my skills and put on some exciting fights for the fans. I don’t want to look back and wonder “what if.” I want to go down swinging and basically do my best.

Patrick: (MMABurner.com): Definitely man, I know you’re capable of this. What are some of the highlights in your career thus far?

Travis Reddinger: Oddly enough my loss to Ulysses Gomez in Bellator kind of silenced some critics. It wasn’t my best performace and I obviously wasn’t happy with the outcome, but I lost a split-decision to a highly decorated guy. It felt good to know that I can go the distance and hang with a guy of his caliber. Also, my five round championship fight against Zach Wolff – a fight that went all 25 minutes of me dominating the fight, so yeah that’s another highlight as well.

Patrick: (MMABurner.com): How long have you been training at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy? How do you like it?

Travis Reddinger: I’ve actually only been here about 8 months or so and I love it. I mean, look at the place! I come in and there are guys from the UFC, Bellator, Strikeforce, Kaitlin Young and other top female fighters. We’ve got Greg Nelson who’s the head instructor, he’s awesome. Sean Sherk comes in here. We’ve got Nat McIntyre, Andy Grahn and some other really great coaches. We’ve got so many different guys skilled in Muy Thai, Boxing, and Jiu Jitsu. We’ve got guys who were in the Pan Ams just tearin it up. It’s great here.

Patrick (MMABurner.com): That’s awesome. Alright, who are some of the best submission grapplers you’ve ever rolled with?

Travis Reddinger: To be honest there’s so many… There’s Sean Sherk, Tom Schmitz, Nik Lentz, Jacob Volkmann, I mean these guys are amazing skill wise and there are so many others – So many different guys here that you get to learn from.

Patrick (MMABurner.com): Cool. What’s your favorite Martial Arts to practice?

Travis Reddinger: You know, I would have to say Muy Thai. I love practicing Muy Thai and no gi Jiu Jitsu. I’m practicing with the gi and it’s frustrating because I come from a no gi background and it’s no fun getting choked to death. So yeah I’d definitly say Muy Thai and no gi.

Patrick (MMABurner.com): What is your favorite Martial Arts movie?

Travis Reddinger: Ha, I have to go with Chok-Dee. It’s about a French Muy Thai fighter who at one point was in jail in France – He starts doing Muy Thai and goes to Thailand. For me like I said, I love Muy Thai and it shows him training in Thailand. It’s not what comes to mind for your typical Martial Arts movie like Bloodsport or Kick Boxer – Those are awesome movies though.

Patrick (MMABurner.com): Agreed. Who are your best training partners?

Travis Reddinger: Ben Locken and Kaitlin Young help me out so much. I try to do the same for them. They’re both great. Nat McIntyre, he’s in here every morning. To be honest there really are so many people around here at the Academy – that are always willing to help out.

Patrick (MMABurner.com) I recently saw your picture with Rich Franklin. I wanted to ask – how was it meeting him?

Travis Reddinger: Ha, he was great, super nice guy and down to earth. Fun guy to be with for sure. He’d give you all the time in the world if you needed it. Yeah, Rich is a cool dude.

Patrick (MMABurner.com): That’s awesome. I’m a big fan of him. Well I appreciate your time Travis and I’m looking forward to your fight. Is there anyone you’d like to thank?

Travis Reddinger: Yeah I’d like to thank my wife, my family, my friend Marill – she is one of my biggest fans, Obviously all of my other friends, training partners at the MN Martial Arts Academy, co-workers. I have an amazing support system.

Patrick (MMABurner.com) That’s right, I’ve heard about the #HurricaneWarWagon on Twitter. Any sponsors you’d like to thank? Fight fans make sure to follow Travis @TravisHurricane (Click the link then follow him)!

Travis Reddinger: Yeah, there’s Get Sum Fight Gear – I did a little help with getting him started, he’s been amazing, Renter’s Wearhouse is a big one, Twilight Tatoo, Cage Banner, SStar, Fitness 19 in Lakeville, MN, Leo South Motorcycles, Ansarri’s Mediterranean Grill, Taco Loco, and API Training Center in Brooklyn Park, MN. Like I said I have so many peope who have been helpful, I’m very thankful. Thanks for taking time to coming out the MN Academy.

This interview was conducted by Patrick Boerner. Follow @MMABurner on Twitter

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