By TXMMA Staff // Tony Trammell // photo: Charles Nguyen
Originally a street fighter on the west coast, Steven “Ocho” Peterson has come a long way
ALLEN, TX – It’s late Friday night at Siam Star Muay Thai & MMA, and the air is humid and smells like sweat. The gym is full of hopefuls that dream to one day break into the UFC. Amidst them is someone very close to that dream, 12-4 MMA pro Steven “Ocho” Peterson.
Currently riding a four-fight win streak, Peterson is part of the ‘cream of the crop’ in Legacy FC’s bantamweight division. With a penchant for finishing fights, he’s a fan favorite as well and as is such, he’s one half of the main event for Legacy Fighting Championship 46, scheduled for October 2nd in Allen. He will face off against undefeated Blackzilian Irwin Rivera (4-0), a fighter out of Florida who should be a stout test. Before “Ocho” can even think about making the jump to the UFC, he’s got to get past Rivera first.
Needless to say, it’s a big fight and winning this one could have a lot of ramifications for Peterson’s bright-looking future. With a win in his next fight, he is hoping to propel himself to the next level by receiving a call up to the UFC.
Here’s more from Steven Peterson ahead of his upcoming main event bout at LFC 46:
TXMMA Interview – Steven Peterson (Octagon MMA)
So we have to ask, how did you get the name “Ocho”?
I think that is the number one question I get asked! Well, I had moved to McKinney, Texas during my sophomore year during high school. I didn’t know anyone, and I was playing on the football team. My jersey number was 8. One of the older kids was picking on me and started calling me “Ocho”. Of course this started a fight and after that, everyone was calling me that.
How did you get involved in fighting?
I grew up in L.A., and that was just a way of life there. If you didn’t like the way someone treated you then you got into a fight.
Did you ever do any traditional martial arts before finding your way into MMA?
No, it was just a lot of street fights. On Friday nights, kids from the neighborhood would come over. We would put MMA gloves on and have fights. It was a fun thing for us.
What got you interested in training MMA?
On one of the Friday nights, I fought a kid that seemed to have an answer for everything that I did. After our fight, I found out where he was training and signed up. It only took me 30 days to take my first amateur fight. I lost that fight to a decision, and I realized that if I was going to do this; I had to get serious about training. I started spending any extra time I had in the gym. I wanted to do whatever it took to be a professional fighter.
Being a fighter isn’t the easiest profession in the world. What motivates you to get up and do this every day?
My son, for sure, and the fact I feel like fighting is my destiny. It is very clear to me that I am here for a purpose and fighting is exactly what I am supposed to be doing. I need to be an example for my son by achieving my goals. I also like to inspire other people to do better.
Where do you see yourself being within one year?
My goal for the rest of 2015 is to be in the UFC bantamweight division before the end of the year. I believe with a win over my next opponent, there is no doubt that I will achieve that goal. In five years or less, I see myself becoming the UFC champion.
Which team are you currently training with for this fight?
I have been training with Octagon MMA with Coach Sayif Saud. I train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Professor Pedro Mello at Atos North Dallas. Muay Thai with Arjan Carlos Moreno at American Muay Thai Association. All of my strength and conditioning comes from my Coach Dave Masi at Crossfit .380.
How important is your strength and conditioning to your training regimen?
My strength and conditioning has a lot to do with my game. Conditioning is the number one thing you can control in the fight; this is what allows me to push the pace in my fights. If you are not conditioned, you don’t have any reason to even step inside the cage.
What does it mean to you to be a fighter?
It is a way of life. When you are hit with adversity you have to hit it head on. You have to keep moving forward no matter what. I apply these same principals to my everyday life by taking my problems head on. Sometimes, just like in fighting, you have to just roll with the punches and not take things so hard. In the end, everything will turn out alright.
What holes do you see in your next opponent’s game, and with a win over him; would you want to fight for the Belt?
There are too many to mention. I’m going to dominate him in all aspects and make him look bad. When I win this fight, I expect a call from the UFC. I call myself the uncrowned Legacy Fighting Championship Bantamweight King right now. I should have been the champ a long time ago, but that belt is just a piece of hardware.
What do you think separates you from every other fighter in this division?
I have a captivating personality, I am headstrong, and I have a never say die attitude. I have the ability to look my opponent right in the eyes and break him before the fight even starts, because I am confident that I will win. I always have exciting fight. Never have you seen me not put on a great show, and that is exactly why I am headlining Legacy Fighting Championship 46. I see a lot of fighters just doing this sport because they think it is something cool to do. I know this is what I am meant to do. Again, this is my destiny; to be one of the best fighters in the world.
Is there anyone you would like to thank?
Octagon MMA, Hutchins BBQ, Crossfit 380, Wartribegear, Line One Nutrition, Texas Cryofit, Chiropractic 360, Precision Windows, John Pavle Allstate, Not Your Average Operator, DFW AllStars, AMTA, Healing Response Acupuncture, Title Boxing and Poyzen.
And I want to thank you Tony for doing this interview and Mike Calimbas and Charles Nguyen at TXMMA for all the coverage the give us fighters.