As we reported yesterday, a title matchup for the IXFA Flyweight Belt has been confirmed for April 23rd between top Texas 125’ers Humberto De Leon and Jimmy Flick. This fight is set to anchor what will be the first MMA event hosted by Nutty Jerry’s in Winnie, TX near Beaumont and will also feature a special guest appearance by former FC lighe heavyweight championa dn UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell.
I realize this is looking past IXFA’s Feb. 26th event in Houston (IXFA: Lewis vs. Hebert – a card we’ll review soon) but I wanted to talk to these two combatants to get immediate reactions to their upcoming bout.
These two are the best at their weight in the entire state on Texas. In fact, there may not be anybody else looming that can hold a handle to Flick and De Leon currently fighting in the state professional ranks at flyweight. More significant still is the fact that these two fought to a decision before (Bellator 20, video) and now look to settle the score once again with a conclusive victory in this rematch.
With that in mind, it stands to reason that the winner of this upcoming bout has the inside track on bigger and better things nationally as they’ll no other choice but go that route to keep progressing in their careers, and deservedly so.
Over the next two days, I’ll post my initial conversations with these title contenders to discuss their upcoming IXFA flyweight title bout. We start with Jimmy Flick as he shares his thoughts on training, his aspirations as a professional fighter, and his upcoming rematch with Humberto De Leon.
Jimmy, for fans that don’t know you, can you give them a little bit of your training background? How did you get into MMA? What’s your training background?
I was born and lived in Oklahoma for seventeen years. When I was a little my kid my dad got me into wrestling. I started wrestling when I was about 3 or 4 years old and wrestled all the way up to high school then we moved down to Corpus Christie and I started training under Hector Munoz, a black belt out of Corpus. I started doing my jiu-jitsu for about a year and after competing at NAGA, Grappler’s Quest, and some other events my coach told me to start competing (MMA) as an amateur. I started fighting on April 2nd of 2009. Ever since, I’ve just been fighting and training.
How about life outside the cage? If we were to ask people around you who Jimmy Flick was, how would they describe you?
I’d think they’d describe me as a nice guy, good personality. I’m really outgoing and like to help people when I can and do good deeds every time I can. I like talking to people, getting to know them, and hanging out with them. Other than that, I don’t really know too much.
What are your biggest hobbies outside of fighting man?
Actually, me and my brother, we like coaching. We got a lot of kids at our gym that we train at. We train there for free but we coach our students and its just awesome to go in there and teach those kids. They can make you laugh. They change your day up and make you feel real good. Then going out there and getting to watch them compete and coach them is an awesome feeling. We got a lot of kids that go to tournaments from ages five to twelve at Paragon Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Full Contact Fight Academy – we’re two gyms out of Corpus Christie that joined together.
Back to training – I saw you were recently training out at JD’s (J.D. Shelley of North Dallas BJJ) and the Jackson’s Camp out in New Mexico. What was that experience like and why’d you go?
Yeah I went up to JD’s camp. Actually they got a Muay-Thai instructor up there and JD’s a two-time world champion in grappling. Their gym is awesome. I was up there for about a week, learned a lot. I got to work with their Muay Thai coach and worked with JD on a lot of jiu-jitsu and then went over to Greg Jackson’s for my last fight because I was fighting over in El Paso which is 3,000 ft. so I wanted to train at altitude. I was t Greg Jackson’s for about four weeks training and it went really good. It was tough and the good thing was the altitude because it was hard to fight through. It was more of a mental training this time for me but it was cool because I had to push myself every morning – waking up and it was really cold… the altitude made it hard to breathe and my body didn’t have as much oxygen. Pushing through that really helped me with the fight. It was a really high-paced fight and the altitude and training helped. Donald (Cerrone) and Leonard (Garcia) have a gym out there in Edgewood, which is actually 1,000 ft. higher than where Greg Jackson’s gym is and I was able to train there as well.
Looking at your record, I see that you went 7-0 as an amateur and are now 2-0 as a pro. Pretty impressive. What are your goals with your MMA career?
Right now, I want to take it to the top. I want to take it to the UFC, hopefully at 125 if they bring that division. I’ve been training just to do that. My dad takes care of me just to help me train so my job is just MMA, that’s all I do. I train, I live, I sleep MMA, that’s it and I just want to be at the top and I want to fight in the UFC.
As far as getting there, how do you compare yourself with the other fighters around your weight in Texas? Who are the other top guys you would like to fight around here, or the nation for that matter?
In Texas, its good that I get to fight Humberto again. Even though I beat him in Bellator by decision. I still consider… If I’m considered number-one in Texas, I still consider Humberto number-two. That’s why I didn’t have a problem with taking the rematch with him because I still consider him one of the top guys in Texas. I don’t really know any more about who else there is actually fighting at 125 that have a decent record that I could fight here in Texas. Bellator was supposed to have me back and fighting against a high-caliber guy but they couldn’t bring nobody in from out-of-state to do it so that never happened. That’s why it took me a little while to fight but I got back in there and I’m ready to make 2011 my year.
Your IXFA title fight with De Leon is a rematch. Can you describe how that first fight went from your vantage point?
The thing with fighting Humberto… he likes to pull guard and I like to wrestle. The thing is, a lot of times, wrestling dominates jiu-jitsu if the wrestler knows what they are doing. I’m also a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and still working. I love jiu-jitsu and love wrestling. Our fight really didn’t say standing too much because any time of us would punch, I’d take him down or he’d pull guard. He likes playing off his back which works to my advantage, I think. If we fight like that again I have no problem with putting him on his back for five rounds.
What do you see as his strengths and weaknesses as a fighter different from the first time around?
I still see his strength as grappling off his back. This time though, he might throw a lot more leg kicks. Last time he threw a couple of leg kicks that didn’t bother me at all. That was probably the strong point on his feet was his leg kicks and off of his back, his jiu-jitsu, but I felt dominant on top. I love being on top and beating people up.
Any predictions on how this rematch will go?
Honestly, I want to win by knockout. I’d like to keep it standing. I don’t know if that’s what Humberto wants to do this time or if he’s gonna pull guard again. But if he pulls guard, I’ll beat him up for five rounds or try to finish him and then if I can keep it standing, I’d love to knock him out. Nobody’s ever finished Humberto. I’m the only one that’s beat Humberto at 125 and now I want to be the first one ever to finish him.
What’s next for you after this fight, especially if you win the IXFA title?
Honestly I don’t know. I’m gonna leave it up to my manager but I got to get past Humberto first before I can figure out what I’m going to do next. I have to go out there and go 3-0.
Any last words for your fans?
Thanks to everybody that supports me and I just hope I can out there and make everybody happy on April 23rd and go get this first pro title.