Friday, August 19, 2011 – Xtreme Knockout is scheduled to return with their next event in Arlington in just a few weeks on September 3rd at The Gym. The upcoming show is headlined by Dallas Jawbreaker Roy Spoon taking on experienced veteran Anthony “Mad Dog Macias and also features many familiar fighters from the North Texas area.
We kick off our coverage of XKO 12 by speaking to returning fighter Hayward “The Hybrid” Charles.
The last time we spoke to Hayward this past March was just prior to his pro debut against J.J. Holmes. In that interview, Hayward spoke about his beginnings in martial arts, beginning in his first discipline (taekwondo) at seven years old and ultimately moving on to BJJ, Muay Thai, Boxing, Wrestling.
Finally stepping into the cage for the first time this past April, “The Hybrid” suffered a loss in his first bout to Holmes before rebounding with a submission victory over Steve Hess at a ‘Caged Cowboys’ show in Ponca City, Oklahoma the veery next month.
It seemed to be full steam ahead from there for the young fighter until he ran into a tough and ready Josh Foster at Xtreme Knockout’s last event. By his own account, he underestimated Foster at XKO 11 and that loss still stings. Now he’s looking to remedy that sore by taking out his next opponent Michael Craycraft in Arlington.
We spoke to Hayward prior to this bout to get his roundabout thoughts on his last loss, his upcoming fight, and life in general.
Hayward, thanks for taking the interview before XKO 12. Before we talk about MMA, let’s talk about life in general. How have things been going for you lately?
No problem Sir. Life is pretty decent for me, for sure! Right now the only thing I’ve really been doing is trying to keep my weight low and body healthy for this upcoming fight!
What are things like for you outside of competition? Do you have any other obligations?
My obligation right now is fighting. Outside the cage, I’m just focused on my diet and being healthy. This is the first time I’ve gone to 170 so that’s the main priority?
How do you find time to balance life outside the cage with training? I mean, how do you make time for a social life?
It’s pretty easy for me to balance my life outside the cage. I’m focused on winning this fight! I’m really a loner. I don’t worry about trying to go out and party or anything like that. I’m either training or at home trying to recoup from training. That’s my life.
Since you’ve entered the sport, what’s been your proudest accomplishment so far?
My proudest accomplishment so far I suppose is that I’m blessed to be a part of Professional MMA and all of my martial art victories in all the disciplines I practice.
What’s your training regimen like now as a professional fighter?
My training regimen is basically eating healthy and drinking healthy. To get better at the “mixed” part of it, I listen to specific coaches for different aspects of the game and their views on their particular sport or area of expertise. Then I drill what they tell me to and I spar a lot to make sure it all kicks in. It’s all about the basics. That’s what I focus on.
What do you feel are your greatest strengths are right now and what areas do you feel you need to get better at?
My strength is my jiu-jitsu. Along with that, I feel that I need to get better at everything! I feel my striking is underrated but that will change.
We talked a little at the Europa tournament recently but for our readers, take us through your last fight with Josh Foster at XKO 11. How did it go and what did you take out of it?
The fight with Josh Foster stabs me in the chest. He came in a little overweight. I should have made him cut but it is what it is… I’m too nice sometimes. Regardless, I hate losing. But hey… he caught me with a beautiful shot that took me out of my head a little bit right off the bat. From there, my ground wasn’t where it needed to be… I beat him before in a grappling tournament so I was also underestimating his ground… He caught me with a kneebar and won the fight. I hope in the future we can get a rematch. Josh was kind enough to say ‘yes’ back stage.. But we’ll see what happens in the future.
Looking ahead to XKO 12, you’ll be fighting Michael Craycraft. What do you know about him?
I know Michael Craycraft is a black belt in Pancrase. I’ve seen him fight. I know I can beat him.
You lost your last fight and stand at 1-2. How important is it for you to get your record back to .500 in this fight? Do you feel any added pressure at all?
I’m not going to lose twice in a row here anytime soon… Or ever YAH willing. Yes, coming off any loss at all adds pressure to win!
Are you doing anything special or different to prepare for this one?
The only thing different is my ] diet. I’m pretty much eating all fruits and veggies, limited meat, 100% juices, and water. No crap food anymore for me. <laughs>
If everything goes according to plan, how are you going to win this fight against Michael Craycraft?
I’m looking to win this fight by KO or TKO to prove my strikes are legit! But, if does go to ground it’s not a secret what I’m going to try and do. Jiu-jitsu works nice for me.
If you had to give last words to your opponent before this fight, what would you tell him?
If I had to send a message to my opponent before fight, it’d be to tell him good luck and train hard because I want to beat him at his best. If he’s real cool, I might even get a beer with him afterwards!
What’s next for you after this fight?
What’s next for me after this fight? I’m going to keep fighting and I’m going to keep moving up the ranks. I want to be considered pound-for-pound the best at some point in time. If that’s not your goal, then why even be in this sport.
Anybody you want to thank before the fight?
I want to thank my Mom and Dad. Without them I wouldn’t even be here to compete in MMA. Also I want to acknowledge all the dudes who help me from day to day up at the different places I train. They know exactly who they are! Thank you for this interview TXMMA. HalaluYAHUAH!
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