SWC veteran Brandon Smith to face off against Hantz
interview by Matt Little
- What gym are you training/fighting out of?
-Star Jiu-Jitsu is primarily my home. I have spent some time over the last month and a half also training with some of the guys over at Mezger’s Combat Club.
- How long have you been training/fighting?
-I have been training about 5 years with the majority of it at Star Jiu-Jitsu. I have only been fighting for about 15 months now. The ground has always come natural to me so I have focused on boxing the last 6-7 months to help my game become more well rounded. Overall, the majority of my time is spent working nogi. I spend about 20% of my training in the gi.
- What got you into the sport of MMA?
-Honestly it was to lose weight. I was overweight and out of shape. I was never a confrontational person growing up. People that don’t me well today that knew me growing up are often surprised to hear that I fight due to my nature as a kid. Throughout early training, I realized that it helped build self-confidence and that I enjoyed it a lot.
- What is your current occupation outside of fighting?
-I work for the City of Frisco as a crew leader for the street department. We spend all day repairing streets throughout the city and I have worked at this position for 7 years now.
- You are on a pretty good streak of 3-0. How do you feel coming into this fight?
-I feel very confident. My record and experience at this point has helped fuel my confidence.
- How has your preparation been for this fight? Has it been different as opposed to previous camps?
-There has been a bigger focus on cardio. From what I know about Clay Hantz, he has very high cardio levels so I have prepared for a war if it goes that way. I have been training with different guys like Will Florentino to help replicate a taller, bigger opponent. I’ve also worked with different sparring partners than before between Star Jiu-Jitsu and Mezger’s gym. I think it will be very beneficial come fight time.
- It seemed like you and your opponent had some injuries that prevented this fight at SWC 10. Are you healthy now coming into this fight?
-I am 100% healthy this time around. We were supposed to fight earlier this year and Clay suffered a broken nose shortly before the fight. I also had some injury issues as well so it was a no go.
- Without looking too far ahead, what are your long term plans and/or goals?
-I never really thought about doing this as a full-time job. I look at this more as a hobby that pays money. I enjoy training, fighting, and the friends I make along the way; even my opponents. I simply hope to stay healthy so that I can continue to train and fight. This is an outlet for me in life.