MMA in the DMV: DCBFit - James Kellaris
Friday, February 14, 2014
Name: James Kellaris
Weight Class: 175
What is your martial arts background? Have you ever competed in combat sports before?
I've been doing martial arts since I was a little kid. I did traditional Kung Fu at first, then I got into Jeet Kune Do. I took a few years off, met Jerome, and I started doing boxing and Muay Thai. Even though I did martial arts before, I hadn't competed in combat sports before.
What's your fighting style (ground and pound, wrestling, striker)?
Mainly Muay Thai and kickboxing. I don't do MMA and I don't do jujitsu. Kickboxing allows me to use my boxing which is my speciality. I think kickboxing is fast pace and more entertaining for the average viewer and allows me to use my boxing which is my speciality.
Where do you see yourself going in MMA (casual, fitness, fun, professional)?
I've been doing martial arts for my whole life. I will be doing it until I die. Because of the UFC, people see it and think that a guy goes into a gym and starts doing MMA. I started in the 90s and I come from that era. When I started, I never expected to go professional. I've known about a lot of these martial arts for a long time; the first time I heard of Muay Thai was in 93. I do this casually, but I like to test myself once a year. Given my age, the other guys are more important. I see myself as more of a support role and helping them train and go pro. Training
When is your next fight?
February 8, World Kickboxing Association: CSC 38.
How do you prepare for a fight (what is your diet? How do you train? How do you mentally prepare)?
I train everyday regardless of if I have a fight. When I am preparing for a fight, I train twice a day, increase my anaerobic activity, and I eat healthy every day, but eat really healthy. I cut alcohol out and get 9 hours of sleep. The big difference is that my sparring regimen goes up. I do 30 rounds of sparring a week when normally it's 15-20. The key to success is making sure that very little changes. Some guys like to go completely off their training regimen, but I don't do that.
Does cutting weight affect your strength and stamina the day of the fight?
I cut a normal amount. I walk around at 195. Hard work and training gets me down to my fight weight. At 34 years old, I don't like to cut 20-30 lbs. I'm confident in my power and speed. If you cut gradually, you will retain your strength and speed.
Who has your toughest opponent been so far?
Last guy I fought, Dustin Medlin. I won the fight, but it went for all 3 rounds. I dropped him and kept dropping him, but he stayed in the fight. I thought I could put him away in the first round but I ended up tiring myself out, and he kept going all 3 rounds.
Why do you get in the ring as opposed to just training?
I train casually but like to test myself . MMA/ DMV
How do you feel about MMA today? Do you think it is becoming more popular? Less popular? Too saturated?
I'm not as interested in it. I watch it because I watch all combat sports, but I mainly watch kickboxing. I watch Glory World Series. I'm not a grappler so that's not as much my thing, but there is always a value in watching different forms. I think all combat sports benefit from the UFC, but many people don't know the difference between the different martial arts. If people were to watch kickboxing, I think they would like it much better.
Who is your favorite fighter in the major organizations (UFC, WSOF, Bellator, etc.) and why?
Tyrone Spong and Gokhan Saki because they are both extremely technical and they also violent in a smart way. Before and after the fight they are gentleman, and I respect that. Know when to be aggressive but also know when to turn it off.
Do you have a favorite fighter from the DMV area?
Mark Deluca, from WKA: CSC 88 in the main event.
Do you think the DMV area is underrepresented in the MMA Community? If yes, how are you trying to change this? And how can the DMV MMA community change this?
No, I don't think so. It's early in kickboxing, and it is starting to explode. We need about 12 months before Glory World Series is a household name. It's a bit too new.
What is the atmosphere at the gym like?
This gym is great. We're a fight gym and we train quite a bit. We have a zero ass hole policy. If someone comes into a sparring class and goes hard and is too aggressive we make sure they don't come back again. We don't do anything bad, but we just make sure they don't come back.
If Bruce Lee or Muhammad Ali were in their prime and training in MMA, do you think they would be great or nothing special in the cage?
I think Muhammad Ali would never do MMA, I don't think he would be interested. It's too much out of his realm. I think Bruce Lee would be the first MMA fighter. He was studying legitimate grappling. If it existed at the time he was training and alive, he would be the meanest 135 in the sport. He would be a legitimate fighter and really help to evolve it.