MMA in the DMV: DCBFIT - Michael Parker
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Name: Michael Parker
Weight Class: First started: 205, Current:185
What is your martial arts background? Have you ever competed in combat sports before?
I started training with Jerome 6 years ago, before then I wasn't really doing anything. I always wanted to do it when I was little. When I first started, I was 300lbs. Now, I walk around at 200 lbs. I've been competing for 4 years, and when I'm not in the gym, I'm working at Banana Republic. One night, we had a fight night and were watching some fights, and Jerome asked me if I wanted to compete, and I said yes.
What's your fighting style (ground and pound, wrestling, striker)?
Muay Thai and kickboxing. I'm also known as a striker.
Where do you see yourself going in MMA (casual, fitness, fun, professional)?
I'd like to go pro. Hopefully by the end of 2014, beginning of 2015.
When is your next fight?
I'm in a WKA (World Kickboxing association) tournament in March.
How do you prepare for a fight (what is your diet? How do you train? How do you mentally prepare)?
I train, workout, lift weights, and spar. I cut out fried foods and no drinking or junk food. Mentally, I know that I am going to have to go in there and do what I have to do. I know that the competitor is going in there to hurt me and I will have to do the same.
Does cutting weight affect your strength and stamina the day of the fight?
At first, it did because I did it wrong, and I just stopped eating, and that does affect you. Now, I know how to do it the right way and it doesn't affect me.
Who has your toughest opponent been so far?
Myself. It's a challenge going in, getting yourself ready, and doing what you have to do. The first time going in, I had nerves. When I go in now, I know I'm only competing with myself.
Why do you get in the ring as opposed to just training?
I enjoy competing. I enjoy the sport. I enjoy getting in the ring and competing with someone. I just enjoy the competition.
How do you feel about MMA today? Do you think it is becoming more popular? Less popular? Too saturated?
It's very popular. They've changed things for MMA everywhere. It's recognizable and everywhere. Some people like it and others don't.
Who is your favorite fighter in the major organizations (UFC, WSOF, Bellator, etc.) and why?
I am more into kickboxing. So I love Tyrone Spong and Gokhan Saki in Glory World Series. I have others, but those are my two favorites. I also like Ramon Decker and Ernesto Houst. I like boxing too, so Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali, Bernard Hopkins. I started watching a lot of their fights. I love seeing how things were back then and comparing them to today.
(Michael was the very first fighter I interviewed at DCBFit - and technically the first fighter I interviewed, period - so while I was waiting to interview Jerome and the other fighters, I looked up the kickboxers he mentioned. I was definitely impressed with Tyrone Spong, he's a pretty awesome fighter! I would recommend looking him up if anyone is interested.)
Do you have a favorite fighter from the DMV area?
Not right now.
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?
I guess it is because no one really says anything about this area at all. No one knows about kickboxing or really any sport. When people from the area start winning, getting known, and getting in bigger organizations, that's when it will change.
What is the atmosphere at the gym like?
It's really fun. The people who come here are great, and you enjoy everyone's company. It's a really fun atmosphere. And everyone trains together. Your teammates are there to support you, train you, and help you to be better. They really push you.
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 if they were in their prime and training in it, they would be great. They put their life into what they did, so yes. They wouldn't be unknown - they would be known everywhere.