Everybody Has a Game Plan ‘Til You Get Hit: The Anthony Macias Interview
Part Three of Three: The Gracie Hunter, The Janitor, and Fighting on the Side Shows
By William Colosimo | [email protected]
William Colosimo: That fight at UFC 6 obviously strained your relationship with Albin- but as far as Oleg is concerned, you came back at the next UFC to corner him vs Ken- so that match you had with Oleg didn’t hamper your relationship with him at all?
Anthony Macias: You know, he didn’t speak a whole lotta English when he was here then. We didn’t pal around like every day and stuff, it was just in the gym, and we’d hang around every now and then- but we weren’t really close friends. No, it didn’t… not from my point of view- I had a little animosity towards him- but that was my own fault, you know? I should’ve told Buddy to screw off, and… well, you’ve seen me fight Dan. And then, you’ve seen me fight Oleg. So, you tell me. Did I fight Oleg? (Laughter) It’s pretty obvious if you’ve ever seen me fight.
WC: So basically what you’re saying is if you’re willing to fight Severn, who’s a monster- why wouldn’t you be willing to fight Oleg, or put up a better fight against him, or-
AM: Well, not only that- he had a knee injury. Oleg had a knee injury, and he had that cut on his eye from UFC 5- which was only about three months prior to that- so yeah, yeah, I could’ve… I trained with him a little bit, so I already knew a little bit about his style, what he was gonna try to do. Dan- it was just… never seen the man, except for at the press conference- and just went in there and fought. So yeah, I would have fought Oleg.
WC: Oh, that makes a lot of sense- you knew his weakness with the damaged knee and the cut.
When you trained with Oleg, he was known for that tuck under knee bar and a guillotine- were there other techniques that he had that he was really good at that he never got to showcase in those early fights?
AM: Yeah, man- well, his ankle crank- he’s got a really, really good ankle lock. Not a heel hook or a toe hold, but a regular achilles ankle lock. The day that he fought Ken Shamrock in UFC 7- we were all staying in the hotel together: me, Buddy Albin, and Oleg- we were all staying in the same hotel. It was like a suite- it had two different rooms, or three different rooms. And he gets me up at like five in the morning- he’s like “Anthony, Anthony- let’s wake up and exercise like morning workout.“ I go, “Okay.” He gets me in a leg lock, and he will not stop cranking on it. My ankle goes “pop, pop”- I go “Oleg, Oleg, stop!” And he just kept cranking on it. So, yeah he had a really, really good ankle lock. That’s exactly what he was going for whenever Renzo up kicked him.
WC: He got Dave Beneteau with that in their second match too, now that I think about it.
AM: Yeah- he’s got a really good ankle lock. But his rolling knee bar was beautiful- I learned that quickly.
WC: You went on a tear right after your UFC stint- you were in three different eight-man tournaments, you won all three of them; that was all in ’96:the Oklahoma Free Fight Federation (OFFF) 1 and 2, I think, and then IFC-
AM: Yeah. Okay, well- let me get the record straight here. They’ve gotten a couple of tournaments, but what they’ve forgotten is, for Dale Cook- I fought on a Thursday- (Editor’s Note: 3/21/96) I fought an eight-man tournament on Thursday, which they didn’t get in Sherdog. Won an eight-man tournament there, then I went to Enid (Oklahoma) on Saturday, and won an eight-man tournament there. (Editor’s Note: the OFFF 2, held on 3/23/96)
WC: Where did you win the second one on Saturday?
AM: Enid. The first one was in Lawton, Oklahoma.
WC: Oh, okay.
AM: That may be on Alex Andrade’s fight (record), but it’s not on mine for some reason.
WC:I’ll have to check that out. So then, were both of those shows the OFFF?
AM: They were… it’s the “Freestyle Fighting Federation,” is what the organization was called. It was Tony Holden and Dale Cook.
WC: And was that March of ’96?
AM: Yeah, it’s March, I believe, of ’96.
WC: Okay. That was March, and then-
AM: Two days right before that, I’d fought another eight-man tournament down in Lawton, Oklahoma.
WC: And do you remember any of the fighters that you had fought in that one?
AM:Oh man. I do, man- I’ve got them on tape I think, somewhere. But it’s some VHS shit (laughter).
WC: It looks like here on the Sherdog record, they’ve got you for one of the eight-man tournaments in February of ‘96. March ’96 was the other Oklahoma one. And then they had IFC 2. So you had the one that was uncredited, you said- and then it looks like those other three. So it might have been fourdifferent eight-man tournaments you won in 1996.
AM: Yeah, I did a little bit of work in ’96.
WC: At this point was this your career? Did you think this was what you were going to make your living at? Were you dedicated to the NHB at this time?
AM:Well, I didn’t know because… let’s see, ’96, there still weren’t any weight classes yet, I don’t think. You’re talking to a 180 pound guy by the time now, I guess, and I’m 180 pounds- against Mark Kerr? (Laughter) You see what I’m saying? So, I never got a call back from UFC or anything. I just tried to stay on the side shows, and I do a little work here and there. Had a little fun.
WC:And then after you won those four different eight-man tournaments, you went to Extreme Fighting 3 to fight Allan Goes. That was a frustrating fight, because he kept cheating.
AM: Yeah, dude- I don’t know why he didn’t get disqualified. I do not understand that. The commission was there. I could have bit his ear off just as easily.But I ain’t like that, that’s just, I’m not… I wasn’t brought up that way, brother. I’m not that kind of sportsman. “Aw damn it, you beat my ass, good job, hell yeah, let’s go again later.” You know what I mean?
WC: Unless I heard it wrong- it sounded like after he fouled you for I think the third time, you had tapped-but the referee was coming in to stop it anyway. Did he tell you that he was gonna disqualify him, but you tapped first?
AM: No, he didn’t say anything. I said”Get this mother f-er off of me”- because he kept cheating. He already head butted me a couple times, and fish hooked me. And so I said, “Get this mother f-er off me,” and I guess that was the verbal submission, so…
WC: I gotcha. I didn’t know if the ref was stepping in to stop it because of the disqualification or what.
AM:I’ll tell you the hardest I’ve ever been hit was by Vladimir Matyushenko in IFC. Dude, he hit me so hard I woke up next year.
WC:Is that the finals of the eight-man tournament you fought him in? That one?
AM: Yeah, that’s one of them.
WC: Okay. I remember the second one was pretty quick due to- I think- a cut over the eye?
AM: Yeah. The same eye that he dropped a knee on two months before- which I was stupid to take the fight; I should have waited six months and let my eye heal. And yeah, one punch cut it right back open- same eye.
He hit the hardest. And I’ve been… hell, I’ve ducked down into kicks before. And dude, that boy could hit (laughter). He didn’t knock me out, but I realized after the fight… me and my corner guys are standing there at the end of the cage- most people are leaving, and I’m like, “Where’s my bag?” And they’re like, “It’s in your hand.” And right at that moment, I woke back up and I don’t remember anything in between him hitting me the very first punch, and that moment of me standing there just saying “Where’s my bag?”It started coming back as time went on, but I didn’t remember anything right at that point. I was like “So… what happened?” (Laughter)
WC: So in that third fight of the night, you were basically on automatic pilot once…
AM: Yeah. Good guy though, he’s a nice guy too.
WC:And then a little bit after that, you had the Kazushi Sakuraba fight. Now Sakuraba, a lot of people considered him possibly the greatest of all time. You had a great back and forth fight with him. It seemed like his gas tank might have outlasted yours a little bit.
AM: Man, I took that fight on two weeks’ notice.
WC:Who contacted you about that one?
AM: Okay, there’s this little circle called Andy Anderson, Buddy Albin… (laughter) and if you’ll remember, Andy Anderson was at almost all of the IFC’s- he was the referee.
WC: I wanted to ask you about Andy Anderson. He fought on UFC 5, and then after that it seemed like every PPV you could always catch him in a crowd shot in the audience. Basically, what was Andy’s role in the NHB world? Did he become more of a promoter or a manager?
AM: Yeah, promoter, manager, kind of event coordinator… I know that the IFC that they did in Kiev, Ukraine- he basically paid for that entire show.
WC: What was your relationship with him? I know you said he was a training partner at one point.
AM: I had a great relationship with Andy. I worked for him for eight and a half, nine years- I managed about four different strip clubs- he owned a corporation, he owned different clubs. And I managed four of those clubs for him. We were real good friends, up until the point he went to jail.
But I guess he got contacted by… was it “EC”? Is that who does that, or…
WC: As far as who did Pride at the time?
AM: Yeah, yeah, I wasn’t for sure who it was.
WC: It was this company called KRS (Kakutougi Revolutionary Spirits) I think, for the first four shows, and then they got sold- and I don’t know what they were called exactly after that. (Editor’s Note: Dream Stage Entertainment)
AM: I met a bunch of different people, but I know none of them owned it. (Laughter)
WC: But anyway, Sakuraba… you guys were- in my opinion- pretty darn dead even in that first round. What are your thoughts-
AM: Man, he is a master, brother- he is a master.
WC: That he is. That’s what I wanted to ask you, now that you were in the ring with him- what were your impressions of him? Do you think he was the greatest, or one of the greatest of all time?
AM: Well, you know, definitely one of the greatest- of course. I don’t know about the greatest. Anybody could be: Anderson Silva, Royce Gracie at different points in their career- you know what I mean? But yeah man, he is definitely one of the greatest for sure. Strong guy, stronger than I thought he’d be. Doesn’t have the physique for the strength that he has. He’s got a… you see a country boy doesn’t look real big, but you know he’s been throwing hogs all day, or tipping cows, so he’s strong as shit. He’s got that strength. (Both laugh)
WC:How hard were his strikes?
AM: They were pretty solid, they were good. They didn’t have a lot of snap on them, but they were thudding. They were more thudding punches.
WC: What did you think was your downfall in that fight? Do you think more gas, because it was too short notice?
AM: Oh definitely more gas, and I had… let’s see, he was like a black belt and I was like a yellow belt (laughter) in skill level, you know what I mean?
WC: I gotcha.
AM: That’s how he made me feel. You know he was baiting me for shit with doing one thing to try to get me to do something else- and I was like, “Oh, we’re gonna play chess.”
WC: So he was really good with the feints?
AM: If you notice we were kinda talking back and forth throughout the fight. Neither one of us could understand each other, but we’re, you know…
WC: Oh- was he trying to taunt you, or trying to get into your head?
AM:No, I was like “Oh, good shot,” or “Oh no, you ain’t getting that,” whatever- stuff like that, just stuff you do through the fight.
WC:Did you have anything that you wanted to get out there? Anything I didn’t cover?
AM: No, man, I think we got everything straight, dude.
WC: All right. Anthony, I appreciate your time so very much.
AM: Hey, no problem brother.