HOUSTON, TX, April 12, 2012 –The last fighter in focus for our Legacy Amateur Series 8 interview series is Hard Head Hitter’s flyweight fighter Ryan Hollis (2-1). He was last seen winning against Matt Thompson at Cage Combat 8, his first win back since fighting for the Legacy Amateur 125 lbs. title at LAM 7 this past January. He’ll be looking to continue climbing back up the ranks against Bushi Ban’s Hugo Delafuente tomorrow night in Downtown Houston. We spoke to him about this fight, what fuels his appetite to compete in MMA, and everything else along the way to this Saturday night.
Legacy Amateur Series 8 Interview – Ryan Hollis (Hard Head Hitters)
Ryan, let’s start at the very beginning. How did you end up being a fighter?
I got into fighting at a young age. I was smaller than everyone throughout school…got picked on a lot for my size and weight…was run over by a car on my 4th birthday…left my eyebrows and my inner left arm all scared up. The kids use to pick fun at me for my scar. They would call me snake or Kreuger (Freddy Kreuger, Nightmare on Elm Street) so I kept too myself. Eventually I started taking martial arts – Tae Kwon Do and Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. I had always watched the UFC, PRIDE, and K-1 events but I never expected to be in there myself. It kind of just happened. I guess you could say it was meant to be.
Do you have any other hobbies besides the sport?
Not a lot actually…all I do is train. I’ve been fighting 3 years now and I don’t think it’ll be that long before I take the next step up…so I put everything into this. I don’t work and I don’t party. I chill at home and flip through the Netflix most nights after training…but other than that I’m full-time in MMA.
What’s one quality you have that gives you an advantage in this sport?
My willpower…I always have people that doubt me. That’s what pushes me. All those people who think I’m gonna get beat up just because I don’t look like your typical fighter… I look young and I’m skinny so people assume I’m gonna get my ass kicked and that’s why I fight, to show people it don’t matter what you look like and that you can do whatever you want no matter how many people tell you you can’t.
What’s the near future look like for you in MMA?
Well first it’s to take out Hugo Delafuente this Saturday. Then I got a title fight with James de Herrera in May. After that I’ll probably go pro. Long-term, I want to fight in Japan one day before UFC. Everyone wants to make it there and that’s where I want to be too.
Any favorite memories in MMA so far?
My last fight was a lot of fun. I was so pumped up I was shouting while walking out and jumpin’ around like a spider monkey inside the cage. It was too quick for my taste though.
Who are you fighting this weekend? Tell us about your opponent.
I’m fighting Hugo Delafuente I know he fights for Bushi Ban. I seen him fight a couple times as well as watched his Jiu-Jitsu tourney matches. I hear he’s supposed to be scrappy. And I think he’s a ground fighter. And I seen he likes to wear a wrestling mask when he walks out…
How’s training been for this one?
Training has been awesome…I’m in the best shape I ever been. I train most of the time in Cleveland at the Hard Head Hitters gym with my bro Charlie Ontiveros. We go out of town a lot to train with ONE MMA at their gym also. It’s a great place too but Charlie and Mr. Charles help me get fight ready.
What’s your prediction for the finish? How are you going to win?
By TKO. I don’t think Hugo can do anything to me on the ground…and when he sees that he’ll try and stand with me… That’s when I feel ill use my long limbs too pick him apart and overwhelm him with flurries.
What would you tell him if you had to give him a pre-fight message?
I’d want him to know he better be ready because I have a lot of pent up aggression I’m lookin’ to unleash on him…and there’s no way I’m gonna take a loss with how hard I been training.
Any last words before the fight?
I would like to give some shootouts to sponsor southern district. Hit up southendistrict.com. Also shoutouts to ONE MMA, my mom & dad who are both in Germany, and my coach Mr. Charles along with my team. Charlie Ontiveros is the future 170 pound Legacy champ.