By TXMMA Staff
Jeff Rexroad takes on new role as head MMA coach in Millennium Martial Arts
PASADENA, TX, April 14, 2014 – The sky was to be the limit for Jeff Rexroad following his September 2012 submission win over Lucas Pimenta. With that win he finally achieved his goal of winning Legacy FC gold, a goal he set for himself years earlier. After that he could have went to the UFC like his longtime training partner Brian Melancon. Other fighters from Houston have gone on to do that same thing but everybody’s path is different. With two young kids at home and a fresh promotion at work Jeff could no longer train at the level required to compete at the highest level. Instead he has to focus on being a great father and a great detective. No regrets for him in that regard and yet he still wanted to remain involved with MMA.
The good news for Jeff is now he gets to do just that after taking on the role of head MMA coach at Millennium Martial Arts. Accepting the role with former training partner Angel Huerta means Jeff Rexroad will get to remain in the trenches. He won’t be prepping for his own fights but he’ll be helping others follow that same MMA dream. And he’ll to do it closer to home where it won’t impact his other life priorities.
We recently caught up with “The Executioner” to talk about his new role.
Interview – Jeff Rexroad (Millennium Martial Arts MMA Coach)
Jeff you retired a champion with Legacy FC before transitioning to coaching. How do you compare the two (fighting and coaching)?
I think it’s a little bit like comparing apples to oranges. My personal MMA career was focused on me being the best I could be. I had complete control over how hard I trained, how often I trained, what type of training I would do, and how prepared I would be for the fight. The goal of my MMA career was to first win the Legacy FC title which I accomplished. Anything after that would have been a bonus. I had several opportunities to fight for the UFC however, I made the decision after having my second child that training MMA while having a family and full-time job just took too much time away from my wife and kids.
As far as coaching goes I’m no longer focused on my own training…I’m focused on providing the best training possible for other aspiring fighters. I feel that there is more pressure in being a good coach than there is in being a good fighter. I’m responsible for giving other people the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. I always get more nervous when I corner one of my guys than I ever was when I fought. I knew the outcome of my fights were up to me…when I’m cornering I have no control over the fight and have to rely on him using the tools and techniques correctly to come out victorious.
I will say this though…I take a lot more pride in one of my guys winning that I did for my own victories.
A lot of trainers don’t have the competition perspective that you might have. How do you think that helps?
I think it helps because I’ve been in just about every situation you can be in during a fight. I’ve had quick finishes, grueling battles, had my butt whooped and made a comeback, etc. Being in those positions I know exactly how it feels and what I needed to do to get out of bad spots.
I know which techniques work in MMA and which ones don’t. While everyone has a different style there are certain things that just don’t translate into MMA. Knowing what works and what doesn’t allows me to simplify the training to where it’s easier to understand and apply in real fight situations.
Why did you choose to join Millennium as part of their coaching staff?
After I left Paradigm, Angel approached me about teaching at his school. I wasn’t sure at first because I wanted to take some time off to spend with my family. I visited the school a few times and attended a few classes to see what the environment was like. I was very impressed with how family friendly and professional the school was run. All the students are very eager to learn and soak up knowledge like sponges.
Also, the school provides some Traditional Martial Arts and kickboxing programs that allow my wife and daughter to attend classes and have some fun. That means my family could be an active part of my affiliation with Millennium Martial Arts.
I taught a couple grappling classes there to get a feel for it and I was very impressed with what I saw. There are a lot of young people there who are new to grappling and very excited about a grappling / MMA program being instituted at the school.
I think with the combination of my MMA / grappling knowledge and Angel’s knowledge of the striking arts we have the potential of building a lot of good quality fighters in the future.
It also didn’t hurt that the school is very close to my home which allows me more time at home.
Do you expect to take more fighters to the HOU MMA scene soon? How long do you think it will take?
Obviously Angel Huerta is the owner of the gym but he’s been in the HOU MMA game for quite some time. Charles Cheeks followed me from Paradigm to Millennium. He was already coaching kickboxing and strength and conditioning at Millennium while coming to Paradigm for his MMA training. Charles has already put on two great fights here in Houston against Alex Black and Ray Blodgett. I have no doubt he will continue to put on exciting fights in the future. Charles is an athletic specimen has the rare ability to learn new techniques very quickly and apply them with precision.
As for new fighters, I think we definitely have the potential to create some very good fighters based on what I’ve seen so far. There are a lot of good athletes at the school who just haven’t been exposed to MMA yet. Plus, once we get the program running and word of mouth starts to spread I have no doubt that even more potential fighters come to the gym ready to learn.
I definitely won’t rush anyone. I won’t put anyone in the cage until I know they are ready to make that step.
Why should people train with you guys over there?
There are many reasons. The school offers a wide range of classes and programs for people of all skill levels, physical abilities, and goals. You can come train straight Traditional Martial Arts, take cardio kickboxing classes to get in shape, kickboxing and advanced striking classes to hone your striking skills, and now we offer grappling and MMA classes to round out the skill set. There is something for everyone so it’s not just limited to people just wanting to fight.
The members of the coaching staff are highly knowledgeable and willing to work on every last detail of a technique with their students. We all strive to help our students become the best they can be at whatever art they are training.
Also, Angel, Danielle, and Kris Huerta run a first class school that is very family friendly and openly welcomes anyone who wants to become part of the Millennium team.