As a part of the ongoing “A Fighter’s Perspective” series, NDBJJ/MMA fighter Kris Bickham interviewed Ryan Larson as he puts the finishing touches on his preparations for the Strikeforce Challengers 14 event in Cedar Park. Kris is the XFC Middleweight title holder and is an assistant instructor and purple belt under JD Shelley.
Only in this state…can it be 80 degrees outside until then the world stops for a weeklong freeze. While most of you are playing xbox or watching movies at home- these two fighters’ worlds revolve around the preparation for war. On the 18th of February one of our very own will be representing Texas in Strikeforce Challengers 14. This is good for Texas, and even better for BJJ Brown belt Ryan Larson, as there is a lot to gain, fighting in such a popular production. Larson faces a 10-2 Erik Apple. Apple has powerful strikes, and I don’t mean just hands, as well as quite a few wins by submission. On Friday I had a chance to ask him a few questions about the upcoming bout.
-Are you still training with Rodrigo and Pete Spratt? Is there anyone else you’d like to thank for this camp?
Rodrigo’s gym is my base in San Antonio. For this fight I will have spent 2 months training at Jackson’s MMA in Albuquerque. Also, thanks to everyone who has worked with me over the years training partners, coaches, and friends.
-Not too long ago, you were promoted to brown belt. How has training in jiu-jitsu been going , any plans for competition?
A little over a year ago, I received my brown belt from Rodrigo Pinheiro. For the mean while BJJ training/competition is on hold, as MMA training has been my primary focus.
– Do you like to watch film of your opponent? What do you know about your opponent thus far?
Watching tape is always something I do. Erik is a well rounded veteran fighter that has a powerful style.
-How do you feel about stepping up to a production as popular as (Strikeforce)?
Having the opportunity to compete in an organization like Strikeforce is very motivating. This is the big leagues, and I feel it has some of the best fighters in the world.
-With this opponent in mind, have you deviated from your regular training at all?
I was already out in New Mexico when I was offered the fight, so I continued my stay here. This camp has been the most focused for me, and I am excited to see the result.
-Who do you see as the biggest competition, fighting in the new promotion?
There are so many guys in the division, but right now Erik Apple is my only concern.
-Do you feel that you have improved since your last fight? Absolutely, in every way possible.
-In your mind, how do you see the fight going, and how do you think your skill set with play with your opponents?
I am expecting a high pace with a tough opponent. We have seen his tendencies, and we are confident that I can win this fight several ways.
-Is there anything you’d like to say?
Come support this show in Cedar Park (Austin) Feb 18th. Help bring more shows this caliber to Texas! Thanks to my sponsors, friends, and family.