EAGLE PASS, TX, August 19, 2012 – If you’re never heard of Paulo “Clover” Alcozer, it’s probably not for his lack of skill or MMA potential but because he hasn’t had an opportunity to be exposure the general masses just yet.
That’s the message we got from Legacy matchmaker Collin Cantrell in advance of Alcozer’s featherweight title fight at next weekend’s Legacy Amateur Series 9 event, scheduled for Saturday, August 25th in Houston.
A brown-black belt in the Kajukembo style of fighting after originally moving over as a boxer, Paulo first got exposed to the MMA-style of fighting through fighting in a series on unsanctioned fights in East Texas MMA, a promotion that holds their events on an Indian reservation – outside the jurisdiction of the TDLR with fights never end up on the official record.
Despite the relatively obscure setting, it was there at East Texas MMA that Alcozer caught the eye of Legacy’s Cantrell. According to Collin, Paulo may be the next decent fighter to come out with that background after several other fighters with similar beginning in Charlie Ontiveros, Ryan Hollis, and Chris Rose.
Paulo is now (unofficially) 3-1 and ready to show what he is made of at Legacy Amateur Series 9.
Interview – Paulo “Clover” Alcozer (Martinez Martial Arts)
Paulo, tell us a little bit about yourself so the Houston fans can get to know you a little.
My name is Paulo “clover” Alcozer, I’m a brown-black belt in the Kajukembo style of fighting. Before martial arts was just a trouble making boxer. I’d train and I was really dedicated to my training but I just wasn’t 100% sure if I wanted to box for a career. Then I got challenged, I got invited to MMA and a 14 year old boy tapped me out 3 times in less than one minute. I said never again will that happen after that! I’m 3-1 now.
As a person I see myself really blunt yet caring. I’m really over protected of my families, that meaning biological and martial arts family! I have really old fashion and simple ethics. You see Mike, I was in the Marines, so I appreciate all the small things regular fighters don’t, that including my team as well. Having the proper equipment and mats is a huge luxury that fighters take for granted nowadays. What also built my character and I probably owe my status today to is that I’m adopted! My biological mom and I had a difference, that difference led to me being left with my dad. My pops conceived me at an age of 59 so he was 74 when he wanted to get custody of me. The court said he was too old so that’s where my best friend’s parents came in the picture. They’re my foster parents. By me not having my blood parents by my side, it made me realize that there’s a lot of great things in life that come from negative feedback sometimes.
As a fighter, what goes through your mind when you step into the cage?
Whenever I’m inside the cage I’m not going to lie, I’m human and I’m thinking “oh crap.” But after that, it’s like I’m s mini-hulk and I’m angry at the other person for challenging me and trying to take my dream away! I love fighting, so I wouldn’t mind dying inside the cage doing what I most enjoy!
How did your last fight go and what did you learn from it?
My last battle I fought a guy from ATT. He weighed in at 150 after cutting but I wasn’t going home without getting in the cage! I can honestly say his knees and punches were the strongest ones I’ve ever felt! We went all 3 rounds and I got the match probably by luck because it could have gone either way.
Ever since I fought this last fighter, I’ve say I’ve improved at least a good 50% in all. I don’t ever want to feel like I’m the verge of losing and letting down my coach and my team so I always try to keep getting better! My victories feel best when I see my people happy, fighting inside the cage for me is a victory itself for me.
Tell us about your fight at Legacy Amateur Series 9 and what you know about your opponent.
I’m fighting Gracie Barra’s Kody Williams for the 145lb Legacy (amateur) belt. With all due respect Mike, I know nothing of this person, I don’t want to know, and I don’t seem to care! My coach is the one in charge for the game plan. After our fight then I can meet him. For now I just want to knock his head off.
How have you gotten ready?
My fight details for this fight are simple, all worst case scenarios. I train to fight year round. I always like to be fight ready so just minor adjustments are being made for this one! Everyone thinks Clover has no ground but I have two first place metals in big grappling tournaments. I hardly ever get submitted and I am ranked in BJJ with the Carlson Gracie’s under Tim Monteiro. I don’t know how this fight will end but all I want is to bring home the belt. But I do hope he has a good defense because I will break any bone if possible, in a competitive way of course.
“Through Christ all things are possible; because of Christ I’m taking home that belt.” May God be with us both inside the cage!
What’s next for you after this one?
This fight will determine a lot of my future, I have my promoter Stephen Lawhorn behind my back seeing what’s next and I just need to give him some new tools to work with! New tools being that belt!