SUGAR LAND, TX, May 22, 2012 – Moving along in our preparations for this Friday’s Cage Combat 9 event being put on by Garcia Promotions, we speak to Sijin Kurian of Sugarland MMA.
The 26 year old is currently undefeated at 1-0 in amateur MMA competition after outpointing Dominque Pittman in his debut at Elite Amateur Combat 1 this past December, He’ll now look to bring that streak to 2 in a row this Friday night at the expense of Bushi Ban’s resident luchador Hugo De la Fuente.
Here’s what Sijin had to say prior to the bout.
Interview – Sijin Kurian (Sugarland MMA)
Sijin, how are you feeling heading into this Friday?
I feel terrible. This week’s training has consisted of binging on chili cheese dogs and ice cream. Granted, those are two delicious things. However, they don’t mix together well. If I was 12, that might be a different story, but I’m not.
Sounds like you’re learning the Burmaster style very well. What do you do for fun when you’re not training or binging on chili cheese dogs and ice cream?
Reading, playing video games, watching TV shows/movies, listening to music, rubbing dirt on myself, riding elephants and auto rickshaws–pretty much everything your average guy in his 20s would do.
Nice. So tell me, what’s your motivation when it comes to fighting? Why do you like this game?
I just enjoy it. I fell in love with wrestling in high school, and I had missed training and competing. When I became exposed to MMA, it reignited that passion and desire to be the best. I guess I feel like I hadn’t accomplished what I had wanted to do in my wrestling career, and now I feel like I can accomplish and exceed those goals in MMA. That might be a part of it, but really, it all comes down to enjoying the sport. You can’t be motivated if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing.
How does your family feel about you being an MMA fighter?
My parents don’t like it. Heck, they didn’t really like me wrestling either. However, all of my cousins, uncles and aunts think it’s pretty cool and are supportive.
What do you think makes you be the person you are today?
Wrestling helped me have confidence in who I am. I was just some little quiet nerd with asthma before that. It helped me discover that I could be a badass, because everyone’s scared of getting taken down by a little dude and having him hump you all day.
Do you follow a specific diet leading up to a fight?
Yes, I do. I try to incorporate a diet that’s heavy on liquids of the carbonated kind, with extra servings of coffee. I try to have at least one meal a day centered around a hamburger. Three days out of the week are set aside for a steak dinner, I have enchiladas for lunch every other day, and I usually go to bed after a couple of scoops of ice cream (though that may be changing after this week).
What is your occupation outside of being an amateur fighter?
I work at UPS every weeknight. In addition to that, I’m the editor for Legacy Fighting Championship’s website, and an Assistant Editor for the Spanish-English magazine Literal, Latin American Voices.
What’s the best advice you’ve given or been given when it comes to this sport?
I was taught by my wrestling coach and, now, by my MMA coach, that whenever you go compete, you may not always be stronger, faster, or more skilled than your opponent. You can’t necessarily control those things. However, you can always control your cardio. There may be times when you can’t knock out or submit your opponent. In those cases, you have to have cardio to pull you through. You can always rely on it. Assuming you can recover from the adrenaline dump. That thing’s a bitch.
Any thoughts on your opponent for this Friday, Hugo De la Fuente?
Hugo’s supposed to be some luchador, so I plan on unmasking in the cage, which I believe means he has to retire. I plan on finishing him, but I’m not sure how. The camel clutch, iron claw, Texas Cloverleaf, crossface chickenwing–there are so many ways I could finish this fight. Hell, I’d take him out with the Shining Wizard if it was legal.
Any last words or anybody you want to thank before fight night?
I’d like to thank my parents. Even if they don’t like me fighting, they still put up with me. I’d like to thank my amazing coach and friend, Rich Burmaster; my teammates Raul Rodriguez (who can’t spell to save his life, and will also be fighting on the card in what should be an exciting fight) and Victor Gonzalez; Chad Kight; all of the great people that have trained with me for this training camp from Sugarland MMA and from other gyms; my friends and extended family for their support; my friend George Garcia for doing the artwork for my fight shirt; Center Court Pizza & Brew in Missouri City for sponsoring me and hosting my after party; Mr. Ken for teaching me the Hurticane; Ol’ Dusty for passing his knowledge to me through the ether; Skittles, for letting me taste the rainbow; unicorns; coffee, for being awesome; and thank you, Mike, for this interview!