SAN ANTONIO, TX, August 9, 2012 – Next up in focus for our interview series surrounding next week’sLegacy Fighting Championships 13event scheduled for the Europa Get Fit and Sports Expo in Dallas is San Antonio’s own Ray Rodriguez aka “The Judge.”
An accomplished fighter in his amateur days while fighting as an active duty army member out of the Fort Hood Fight House, Ray recently finished up his active duty this past summer. It was then that he moved to San Antonio to begin his MMA career in earnest. Training with Marcello Bergo Salazar at Brazilian Top Team amongst some other facilities in the area, Ray took his first pro fight at UWF 4 this past June and won an impressive unanimous decision against Daniel Lucas.
Campaigning to get onto the Legacy 13 fight card, he’ll now look to go 2-0 when he takes on a familiar face in Joseph “Black Rooster” Salas – who also made his bones while fighting as an amateur around San Antonio and beyond.
Judging by their style and background, this contest has all the makings of a barnburner.
Here’s what Ray had to say about the upcoming fight.
Interview – Ray “The Judge” Rodriguez (BTT San Antonio)
Ray, to begin can you give our readers a little bit of your MMA history?
I’ve been fighting for a little over five years now and have been able to travel all over the world with the military and been able to train in all the places I’ve been to. I studied Dutch kickboxing for two years in Belgium and Holland and have been around the Modern Army Combatives program for a long time. We actually had a pretty good MMA gym when I was deployed to Iraq; We had about 10 guys dedicated to the sport who I trained with on a daily basis. It wasn’t much just a small stretching area in the back of a tent but we managed to turn it into our own little MMA training center.
What moment sticks out most to you so far in your fighting career?
My pro debut would have to my best memory; I won the fight pretty decisively with two judges scoring the fight 30-26. That was my first time getting out of the first round in a fight and I was able to prove to myself and others that my gas tank is fairly large and I have no problem keeping a high paced fight for at least three rounds.
What about outside the cage, what’s life like for you?
If I’m not at practice I stay busy with my little princess Leighton Rae, who just turned two months old. She’s my heart man, it feels great to be a pro fighter but nothing compares to be a DADDY!!!! This has been an amazing year for me; I’ve accomplished a lot of goals that I set out for myself. I won an amateur title, won my pro debut, and have become a father. 2012 is still young though and I have many more goals to reach and will do everything in my power to get what I deserve and just so you know, next week’s win is on the list.
Aside from your daughter what else drives you towards success?
I don’t like losing man, better yet the thought of losing makes me completely sick, and so I train everyday like I’m training for the last fight of my life. I’ve been watching Joseph (Salas) for a long time; he was actually the amateur champ here in San Antonio before I won my title this year. I always knew me and him were going to cross paths and look forward to the matchup next week.
What’s one thing not a lot of people may know about you that’s interesting?
I’m pretty much a fatty!!! If I’m not in training camp getting ready for a fight you should have no problem finding me in the nearest pizza parlor, Mexican restaurant, or my grandma’s spot enjoying some good ole’ home cooking!
I know you were chasing this opportunity when it came up. How do you feel about getting on this Legacy card against somebody you’ve had on your radar for a while?
Its amazing man I know Dallas has some amazing fight fans and some great talent, I’m just happy to be part of the whole thing. I’m trying to talk Mick into bringing an event here to San Antonio though, we have a lot of talent out here to just waiting to get noticed and I think an event like Legacy would shine some light on the River City fight scene.
What can fans expect in this upcoming fight with Joseph Salas?
It’s going to be a great fight. He’s gonna come forward guns blazing and so am I. I know he’s a striker like me but we picked this fight up for a reason. I never look for anything less than a finish and plan on finishing him on the 17th. One thing I can tell you guys is that there is gonna be a standup war so get to the fight early, get some popcorn and a good seat and enjoy the show.
Are you doing anything special to get ready for him?
Nothing’s changed bro, a lot of sparring, rolling, mitt work and wrestling. My camps tend to be fairly similar to each other. A lot of blood, sweat and tears go into every fight camp. It’s been successful for me in the past and I don’t see it going any other way for this fight.
Any predictions for this fight?
Its gonna be a great fight, Joseph Salas is a tough opponent but I’ve put my heart and soul in this camp and don’t plan on coming home with anything less than a victory next Friday.
Any last words or acknowledgements?
I would like to thank all of my sponsors; I have an amazing supports system and couldn’t pursue my dream if it wasn’t for them. Big thanks to Furious Brand, MyFitFoods, Geared Up Nutrition, Johnny’s Paint and Body, Remax Vista, Xmedia, Bexar Care Home health, and the fightclinic.tv. Also Big thanks coach Roland, Marcello, Smitty and Quinn from Brazilian Top Team The muscle factory and Ramos boxing for pushing me to the limit on a daily basis.
Huge thanks to Mike Calimbas and TXMMA for the interview also. Mick let’s get a Legacy show in San Antonio. We have some amazing fans down here and plenty of talent!!!!