AMARILLO, TX, March 19, 2013 – Fighters oftentimes have to travel far and wide to compete in their chosen sport of Mixed Martial Arts. It’s better now than it was in the old days but it’s certainly still a challenge for those than want to compete. For West Texan native Gabriel “Big Tyme” Vasquez, that’s always been the case. He fought four times in 2012 but had to travel as far as Tulsa and Hinton Oklahoma to do so. The rest of his career looks the same – a mix of fights around West Texas and across the border in the Sooner State. This weekend will mark a first for him when he travels south instead of east to fight in Corpus Christi’s Rock’s Xtreme MMA 2 as one half of the main event opposite hometown favorite and BJJ black belt Hector Munoz.
According to him it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. The guy has lost 3 in a row and 5 out of 15 overall but he just can’t seem to turn out down a good opportunity to get a scrap in and test his training in combat.
“I consider myself a martial artist and not a fighter,” he says. Teaching kid’s taekwondo and jiu-jitsu at the MAAC (Martial Arts Athletic Center) in Amarillo, his focus isn’t so much trying to make it into the UFC as much as it is trying to be a role model to the kids he teaches. Looking a the fight this weekend against Munoz, he definitely wouldn’t be considered the favorite and yet he wants to go out there and put on a show.
“I took the fight because of the time I had to prepare and of course the belt helped my decision a lot.”
Having had the opportunity to fight for a title before in those Oklahoma fight promotions, Vasquez relishes the thought of being considered a champion. Not only that but he wants to earn it against guys who should be considered the favorite.
“My mind is set on the XCP lightweight belt. I want to win this belt. Plus my opponent has a good record and I like to fight good guys not hands-picked guys. I think this is going to be a great show. Then afterwards maybe I can get my SCS title back and rematch (Josh) Pulsifer for XFL title and get my record even. I’m not done in this thing yet.”
“I’m not done yet. I train six days a week, two or three times a day. I’m doing a lot of strength and conditioning plus cardio. Training for this fight is totally different than any other fight I’ve trained for. The diet and weight cut is the best and easiest I’ve had. I don’t like making predictions for my fights but I’m not going to lose.”
I’d like to say thanks to the MAAC Fight Team, JD Tires and Wheels, Taste of Thai, my sponsors and my family. Thanks to everyone making the long drive to watch me and thank you TXMMA for the interview! – Gabriel Vasquez