By Felix Rodriguez | Photos by Mike Calimbas and Jeff Sasser
Houston Area Trainer and USMC Combat Veteran Gears Up For Last Fight of Career
HOUSTON, TX, January 28, 2013 – Jeremy Mahon (4OZ MMA: 4-4) has been a part of the Houston MMA scene since before it could even be called a scene proper. The decorated combat veteran and former U.S. Marine Corps member is a co-founder of 4oz Fight Club, and along with Bob “The General” Perez, they are part of a formidable coaching duo responsible for grooming some of the most exciting names in Texas MMA today, like Daniel Pineda, Derrick Lewis, Alex Black and many more. If IV ounce Fight Club members are stepping into the cage somewhere in the Lone Star state, Mahon is constantly there besides them guiding them to victory.
This Friday January 31st, the tables will turn a little bit at Legacy Fighting Championship 27 when Mahon finds himself sitting on the fighter stool as opposed to coaching the person who is resting on it between rounds. And this fight, Jeremy’s ninth, will be a bit more special than the other ones because it will be the last time that he steps into the cage. He will face James Gonzalez (Pro MMA: 1-2) during the preliminary portion of the Legacy Fighting Championship 27 fight card. TXMMA caught up with Jeremy to discuss how preparations for his last MMA fight are going, what his plans are for life after fighting and much more. Check out what he had to say and make sure to cheer a little louder and a little longer during his walkout if you’re at the Houston Arena Theater for the fight.
Legacy FC 27 Interview – Jeremy Mahon (4OZ Fight Club)
TXMMA: How long have you been involved in the sport of MMA?
JM: I trained a little jiu-jitsu all the way back in 2001 with Chris Brennan in Irvine, California and would go watch my [USMC] squad leader and mentor Adam Lynn fight for King of the Cage and Gladiator Challenge out on the Saboba Indian reservation in California. This really was the beginning of modern day MMA in the U.S. I believe.
TXMMA: How has your past experience as member of the USMC helped your career as a pro MMA fighter?
JM: The Marine Corps taught me all about discipline and how a strong mind and the will to survive can be our strongest weapons, to never quit and to never stop attacking. These are just some of the basic things the Marine Corps teaches that help in all aspects of life.
TXMMA: You are known as a solid Muay Thai guy, but you also train diligently in the Gi, what is your rank in BJJ and who did you receive your belt from?
JM: [I’m a] brown belt [under] Forrest Flannery (Classy Grappler).
TXMMA: You’ve been in the fight game for a while; what has the ride been like and is this your last fight?
JM: It’s been a fun ride. I have always enjoyed fighting and competing. After coming back from Iraq I needed to fill a void, MMA was perfect. This is going to be my last fight but I will stay involved in the sport, this is my life, it’s everything to me. Now is just the time for me to close this particular chapter and what better way to end it than for an organization like Legacy?
TXMMA: You are one of the Legacy Fights pioneers, having fought in their second event (then Lonestar Beatdown). What does it mean to you to get to finish your career under Mick Maynard’s promotion?
JM: Man, Mick is I great human being. To be honest there is no place I would rather finish my career than with Legacy FC and Mick Maynard.
TXMMA: Having been with Legacy since it’s second show, can you briefly describe to our readers how the promotion has changed and grown over the years?
JM: When I fought on Lonestar Beatdown 2 it was held at a bar in College Station, Texas called Hurricane Harry’s. [The] place was loud, rowdy and full of cigarette smoke. Now [Legacy FC’s] grown to probably the number 2 organization in the U.S., maybe the world and is televised live around the world on AXS TV, its mind blowing. I have seen guys go from their amateur ranks all the way to the UFC. I am proud to be a part of Legacy’s history.
TXMMA: Can you share one of your favorite experiences as a mixed martial artist?
JM: Just watching this sport grow and evolve here in Texas and being part of it is awesome. Seeing the impact that MMA can have on people is just amazing.
TXMMA: Who was your toughest opponent or your favorite fight that you’ve been in and why?
JM: I really enjoyed my fight with Ali Ileiwi. He was a very tough fighter who has been around for a while. He hit me harder than I have ever been hit. By the second round we both just bit down on our mouthpieces and came out swinging. It was back and forth but I got the TKO late in the second.
TXMMA: What do you have planned for your life after fighting?
JM: Just more time with my family and being involved in my daughters’ lives.
TXMMA: Let’s talk about your gym for a little bit. What is your official capacity at 4OZ fight club
JM: I am the founder of 4oz fight club.
TXMMA: You and Kru Bob are really doing it big; 4oz Fight Club’s roster of fighters is something scary. What are you guys doing different that so many fighters are being recognized by the biggest promotions?
JM: We are all very serious about what we do and wanting to constantly improve. I think that is the key, constantly striving to get better, as individuals and as a team. We have also traditionally been a home for the lighter weight classes. Many gyms had 4-5 fighters but all in different weight classes. I think locally we were the first team comprised of guys all in the same [divisions] or near one another in weight classes. Besides Hurricane Ike I think the heaviest guys we had were both 155 (Jesus Rivera, Kris Kyle). Our original team was sick, really set the standard for the next future generations of 4oz fighters.
TXMMA: How bad does it suck to get kicked by Kru Bob?
JM: It sucks to get kicked by him. I have a “check every leg kick ” policy and Bob and I both have some pretty tough, hard, sharp shins so it’s pretty bad when it happens. I remember back in the old days when he would just randomly kick you while you were shadow boxing or while doing abs, those were the worst.
TXMMA: Who are some of your teammates to watch out for in the future?
JM: I have a whole crew of amateurs who are very talented. If I had to give you just one pro and one amateur I would say Domingo Pilarte and Jordan Carmona.
TXMMA: Let’s talk about your walk out shirt, it has a cannon and the phrase “Molon Labe” on the front, is this a political statement or the theme of your fight camp?
JM: It’s just a flag I have always identified with. My grandfather is a Texas historian so I grew up hearing about the different battles in the Texas revolution. The “come and take it” state of mind has always resonated with me.
TXMMA: Who is your opponent and what can you tell me about him?
JM: I am fighting James “Tank” Gonzalez. He is strong and very athletic. He throws hard punches and is pretty aggressive.
TXMMA: You were supposed to have your retirement fight against Nate Garza last year, but that fell through, why didn’t the fight happen?
JM: Nate Garza (…) pulled out of the fight. He has pulled out of 2 rematches with me now.
TXMMA: Do you want to make any predictions for your fight against Gonzalez?
JM: This is going to be a tough fight. I am expecting a war so I have prepared my mind and body for battle.
TXMMA: Is there anyone you’d like to thank or anything you’d like to say to our readers, your fans or your family?
JM: Just want to thank my wife Amanda for standing by me all these years and encouraging me to follow my dreams, The General, Macaco, my teammates and all my sponsors – Barks5th AVE, Acefit, Cre8avision, Mike Calimbas Photography, Marlotte Technical Solutions, My Fight Shop and Aariosti Rehab Clinics.