Everybody Has a Game Plan ‘Til You Get Hit: The Anthony Macias Interview Part 3
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 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Everybody Has a Game Plan ‘Til You Get Hit: The Anthony Macias Interview Part 2
Everybody Has a Game Plan ‘Til You Get Hit: The Anthony Macias Interview Part 2
Part Two of Three: Facing The Beast… and the Biggest Fight in the Locker Room
By William Colosimo | email@example.com
William Colosimo: At a press conference before UFC 4, they used bingo balls to determine who was going to fight who. Prior to getting matched with Severn- did you have any kind of game plan before the fight? “Well, if I have to fight Dan, this is what I’m gonna try to do?”
Anthony Macias: No (laughter). No, I was just gonna go out of there and fight, man. Everybody has a game plan ’til you get hit. Okay? (Laughter)
WC: The first time I saw your fight with Dan, I thought if you were landing a couple more of those elbows- I couldn’t see how that wasn’t gonna start seriously affecting him.
AM: Man, I was nailing him with those. He told me after the fight, he said he’d never been hit that hard. It made me feel better, you know- for a little 160 pound guy. He was a great guy.
WC: He was a good… I don’t think they lied about his weight. I think he was 260. That’s a good hundred pound weight advantage, that’s craziness.
AM: He was a very powerful man. And I’m gonna put out a secret here, ’cause they made this rule after I did it- knowing that I was gonna fight Dan Severn, right before the fight- I put baby oil all over my body.
WC: That was my next question. After your fight, when Dan got interviewed- they cut this off the VHS (Video Home System) tape, but he said something like, “He was really oily, I couldn’t get my hands on him.” That was totally legal though, there was no…
AM: Yeah (laughter). Well, do you want him grabbin’ you dry? (Laughter)
WC: Oh God, no (laughter). So the secret with the baby oil- you rub all that down, right before the fight? It soaks in and you start sweating and then you get oily? How does that work?
AM: No, I had it caked on. Look at me and… I take the towel- because I’ve got it on me so much, I’m like, “I’ve gotta wipe my hands, I’ve got baby oil all over my hands.” So I take the towel and I wipe my hands (laughter).
WC: (Laughter) Oh, that’s funny.
AM: Have you ever tried (laughter) to catch a greased pig?
WC: (Laughter) So yeah I’m glad you brought that up ’cause he did mention that. And then after that whole event- UFC 4- when it was all said and done, you saw the first three, you participated in the fourth one: what were your feelings on the UFC in general? What did you think about the show or NHB fighting?
AM: You mean the show as far as production and W.O.W. Promotions?
WC: No, not so much that, so much as fighting NHB, any-
AM: Man, I’m gonna tell you right now, they were great. It was the best experience I’ve ever had with the UFC- them and Pride (Pride Fighting Championships). I put those two up on the top. ‘Cause those two- man, they treat you like you’re the kings, brother. It was awesome. Now, as far as NHB- I was hooked whenever I went and watched it live, so… that was already answered (laughter).
WC: At UFC 4, before the show or right after the event: did you talk to Severn or Al Snow at all?
AM: It was after everything happened. It was after the whole event and everything was gone. Remember they had a little after party always after the event- and we all went, had drinks and everything, and photos and all this stuff, so it was then- if I’m not mistaken. There was no correspondence between him and I after the fight. He was still hyped up and I wasn’t tryin’ to get in his mojo, you know what I mean? (Laughter)
WC: After UFC 4, you moved down to Dallas- were you training out of Mezger’s gym with Guy and Oleg?
AM: Yeah, we were training over there at Mezger’s when it was off of (U.S. Route) 75 in Dallas. Training with those guys, and still keeping my face around with Oleg, and going to UFC 5 with him and helping him out- and so was Guy and everybody.
WC: So you met Oleg most likely in Dallas before UFC 5.
WC: With the Lion’s Den- did you ever go to California and spar with Ken there, or did he go to-
AM: No, I never went out to California.
WC: At UFC 5 when you knew Oleg was gonna be matched up with Severn, what did you think before their first fight? What did you think about how that would go down?
AM: Oh, man- you know, back then it was a toss-up; you didn’t know that Severn was gonna be in the finals. But when it got to that, I was like “Oleg’s gonna go to the ground.” I just thought Oleg had a better knowledge of it, but the cage and everything- that didn’t play into his favor because he was trying to reach underneath and grab the back leg with the arm bar and got some knees dropped on him.
WC: You were there at UFC 5 cornering Oleg- were you ready to be an alternate in case they needed one for that show?
AM: I think they had their alternates already, if I’m not mistaken. But yeah- I would’ve fought. I was training, I would’ve been ready. And those are usually the best fights, ’cause you don’t have that build-up or that anxiety, or the “Uh… I gotta fight.” You know what I mean?
WC: Exactly. You don’t have time to think about it or stress out about it.
AM: Yeah- it happens.
WC: UFC 6- was it difficult for you to get that alternate spot on the card? How did you get into that show?
AM: Buddy Albin. That’s all I gotta say (laughter).
WC: How long before the event did you know that you were fighting “He-Man” Ali Gipson? Did you know who it was, or did you have a few weeks’ notice that you were gonna be in the event?
AM: Yeah, yeah. Let’s see. Ken, Dan… Dan got there early. We got there at Casper (Wyoming) a little over two weeks early- you know because of the elevation.
WC: Ken had told me the Lion’s Den was pretty notorious at that time for basically holding NHB fights between team members- they would fight each other (Anthony laughs). Did you see anything like that training in Casper before UFC 6 or was it too close to the fights, where they didn’t want to risk injury?
AM: No… well, here’s the thing: working out with Ken and all those guys- man, the workout is a fight. You’re not just working out- you’re fighting. That’s how it was back in the day, we didn’t have stations to do different… we just worked out, beat the hell out of each other- kinda how it went. Trial by fire.
WC: On the UFC 6 PPV, broadcaster Bruce Beck mentioned that you had trained with Guy Mezger, Andy Anderson, and some judo people leading up to this show. Is that accurate?
AM: That’s accurate.
WC: Did you meet Gipson at that point?
AM: No- I didn’t meet him or know anything until we had met in the cage, man.
WC: Did you have any interactions with him after the fight?
AM: A little bit, at the party.
WC: The Gipson fight- even though they only showed clips of this on the PPV, I thought what they showed looked amazing. What we saw was the clinch, takedown, you bridge from underneath, you got the mount, then you threw some head butts and some elbows to finish him. Can you take me through that fight, play by play as much as possible?
AM: Oh, man. He was a big’un (both laugh). They always are, man- I don’t know what happens. Man, yeah we just started to strike, hit a couple leg kicks, hit him with a couple of straight lefts- and then he tried to throw a couple punches and I clinched with him immediately. And then we kind of tussled. I tried to throw him- he ended up on top of me, ’cause he was a big’un. And then I got him turned over- I swept him, I think. Hit him with some elbows and head butts and that was the end of it.
WC: Steve Armstrong, he put up one of your fights on YouTube. He’s got all of Mezger’s fights-
AM: (Laughter) Yeah, is that the one where I got disqualified for leg kicking?
WC: Yes. That was a kickboxing fight from ’95. That’s why I was asking you earlier about if it was Thai rules that you were doing- because of the low kicks.
AM: Well here’s what happened (laughter), I’m gonna tell you what happened. See, I did that to make a point. The promoter- he came to UFC and said “Hey, here- sign the contract.” I said “Okay, but it’s leg kicks, and if you can’t throw knees- that’s fine, or no elbows- but we’re doing leg kicks.” I wrote it in the contract: “Leg kicks.” And, we get there and he’s like “No, no leg kicks.” I was like, “Dude, I just flew all the way. I’ve got a contract that says right here in my handwriting: ‘Leg kicks.’ Somebody’s getting leg kicked in the head” (both laugh). Back in the corner, they were like “Man, you’re beating him! Come on man, don’t- what are you doing? You’re beating him!” I’m like, “Yeah, I know.”
WC: I gotcha. The UFC 6 alternate fight- I think usually the UFC would send everybody tapes of their fights. You’ve got a tape of that one?
AM: I didn’t get it from the UFC, I got it from… what is his name? Charlie Anzalone. Great guy, Charlie.
WC: He’s originally from Buffalo, New York.
AM: Yeah, exactly. He’s from Buffalo. ‘Cause I was up there and we’d done some stuff with him. We went up to Buffalo a couple weeks early for the Oleg-Ken fight.
WC: Oh, UFC 7.
AM: There we go.
WC: Okay, then after the UFC 6 prelim fights, for the semi-finals- now this is a little weird because Patrick Smith was supposed to fight Oleg, he stepped out due to stomach cramps, they said, and then-
AM: That’s exactly what he said in the back.
WC: He did the same thing, I think on the Ultimate Ultimate ’95 when he was supposed to fight Severn- he left the day before because of stomach cramps or something.
WC: So anyway, they had mentioned on the PPV that you were the first alternate to go. Now, Joel Sutton- another Buffalo guy- fought the other alternate fight in UFC 6. They showed him in the crowd and Beck said that even though he won, he was unable to continue for some reason. He didn’t look like he had damage. Do you know why Joel couldn’t fight him?
AM: I do not. I didn’t know if he got injured or what the deal was.
WC: And then they had mentioned on the PPV that Guy was an alternate, but understandably he didn’t want to fight Oleg. And then I heard later, I think Maurice Smith might’ve even been at this show and they were trying to talk to him about jumping in at the last second. Was Maurice Smith there?
AM: Maurice was there. The whole crew was there, bro. Scott (Bessac) was there. Pete (Williams) was there, I think. Yeah man, it was a big crew there.
WC: Let me run this rumor by you and see how accurate it is. David “Tank” Abbott had won his semi-final fight, so he was going to the finals. Buddy thought Oleg would have the best chance in the finals, and wanted him to go in fresh- so you were threatened by Buddy Albin that if you didn’t let Oleg win, you were done in NHB. Is that accurate?
AM: Yeah, pretty much, dude (laughter). You know- pretty much.
WC: So, I’m assuming he probably wasn’t your manager after that fight.
AM: That’s correct (laughter).
WC: When Albin told you that you had to lose to Oleg- can you tell me was anyone else in the room at that time?
AM: No, that was me and Buddy in the bathroom.
WC: Now how did that go down? Did he call you in there, and you could kind of tell something was up?
AM: I was already in there. He came in, and it was just one of those… Oleg was supposed to win UFC 5, is what he said to me. He said, “We’ve got a lot of money invested in this, and if you fight him- then you’ll never fight for me or anywhere else again.” It wasn’t that word for word, but that’s basically what the conversation was.
WC: Then after that UFC, did you have any opportunity to talk- not through Buddy- to the actual UFC brass?
AM: I’ve sent them some correspondence, but I’ve never received anything back.
AM: Buddy had me on some ten year contract shit, I don’t know what it was. It was some sixty-forty (laughter)- I get sixty, he gets forty, ten years, all that. So…
WC: Is that something you signed when you were 14 or so years old?
AM: (Laughter) Well, I was young. I wasn’t that young, but I was probably 19 or 20.
WC: And that covered not only your kickboxing, but also your NHB fights too?
AM: No, oh- he penciled that in (laughter).
WC: (Laughter) Holy shit, didn’t even use a pen. So then after-
AM: Well no, he penciled it in and then he copied it- so it looked like a pen (laughter).
WC: (Laughter) He doesn’t sound like he was too much on the up and up with you.
AM: You know, I did a couple more things with him after that. The IFC- I did an IFC tournament with him, John Lober was in that. Yeah, I did a couple things with him.
Everybody Has a Game Plan ‘Til You Get Hit: The Anthony Macias Interview
Everybody Has a Game Plan ‘Til You Get Hit: The Anthony Macias Interview
Part One of Three: From Kickboxing to The Ultimate Fighting Championship
By: William Colosimo
Former kickboxer Anthony “Maddog” Macias began his no holds barred (NHB) fighting career in the early days of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). After his stint with that organization, among other accomplishments Anthony competed in and won several eight-man NHB tournaments- each one requiring him to defeat three men, sometimes much heavier- in one night. This interview provides a closer look behind the scenes of the early days of mixed martial arts (MMA) in the United States, whether it be in the UFC or other NHB/MMA organizations.
William Colosimo: To start- are there any early fights, say from 1997 and before, that aren’t on your Sherdog.com record?
Anthony Macias: Oh, man. Well yeah, they have those things called smokers back in the day. We’d just go to gyms, and Buddy Albin, the little weasel he was, manager (laughter), always managed to find a fight every couple months. Plus, I was doing a lot of kickboxing with Buddy, so that’s where it all originated.
WC: The smokers you’re talking about though, this wasn’t so much NHB; this was kickboxing?
AM: No, it was more NHB. Like I did one in Atlanta one time for… who was that? Oleg Taktarov fought Renzo Gracie.
WC: Yes, at MARS (Martial Arts Reality Superfighting).
AM: MARS, that was it, yeah. They did a couple smokers before MARS to see who all they wanted to get into the tournament, and the whole package that they had. ‘Cause they had a little thing before that. It wasn’t the pay-per-view (PPV) event. They had another tournament that was like a smaller group of guys, or lower tier guys. (Editor’s Note: Earlier that night of 11/22/96 right before the PPV event aired)
WC: I think Mark Hanssen won that eight-man tournament that was never on PPV. From Pat Miletich’s team, I believe.
AM: Yeah, I think so.
WC: And so, were you part of that event?
AM: I was part of that. I’m almost positive it was Amir (Rahnavardi) that got me. The damn guy got me in a leg lock (laughter). I had him in an ankle crank, and I made the rookie mistake of crossing my legs. Caught me with it underneath. Grabbed my heel, and pushed my shin against my calf and… yup. Good guy though. Yeah, there were a lot of people in that tournament. I mean, there was so much stuff before Sherdog was even created, man- you know once UFC started in ’93, there was just… mayhem (laughter).
WC: When you fought Amir- was that the quarter or semi-finals for your tournament?
AM: Oh… that was the first- I think it was a sixteen-man tournament. It was either eight or sixteen. I guess something had happened with Amir, and they wanted me to fight Gene Lydick again (Editor’s Note: They had previously fought in the International Fighting Championship [IFC] 2, on 8/23/96). But, here was kinda my thing- they wanted me to fight him, but they didn’t want to pay me the win money for the other fight- which I didn’t win, but they were wanting me to advance. So, I told them I wanted some compensation for fighting again.
WC: So, then you couldn’t come to an agreement and you didn’t go into the next round.
AM: Correct. Against Gene Lydick- which I had already beaten.
WC: Okay. I remember that from an early IFC, I think.
AM: Yeah, correct.
WC: On the UFC 4 PPV Bruce Beck introduced you as having a 31 and 1 kickboxing record, and said you were a two time high school wrestling champ in Oklahoma. Was the UFC pretty accurate with that stuff?
AM: No, no, man. I took second in state one year, my very first year I wrestled in… I think it was ninth grade (laughter). That was Buddy Albin fluffing the whole… now though, the kickboxing– yeah I had… hell, I probably had 40, at least 30 kickboxing fights by then. I started back in ’84, kickboxing.
WC: So that would have made you somewhere around 13, 14 years old?
AM: 14, 15. Yup. Started taekwondo when I was 10 years old.
WC: Buddy Albin- how did you meet him? You said he was your kickboxing manager?
AM: Yeah, that’s how I met him- through some fights up here in Oklahoma. Let’s see… I just went to go watch a fight, and one of the guys backed out, and I took a fight, and won it, and that’s kinda how it started. I’d already had a couple kickboxing fights before him, up in Bartlesville (Oklahoma), and here and there through just little gyms, and smoker type crap. But I was a kid, so I don’t… that was (laughter) 30-some years ago, dude.
WC: So how did you first hear about the UFC, and did you go to any of those first three UFC shows?
AM: Yeah, I went to UFC 2.
WC: Number 2, okay. So did you see 1 and then thought you had to go check it out live for 2?
AM: Yup. Did that, and then, let’s see- I did the application, I think it was through Black Belt Magazine and Buddy Albin. And, I got picked. I’ve still got the acceptance letter from W.O.W. (War of the Worlds) Promotions. I still have it in a frame.
WC: I heard that you might have gotten in because- correct me if I’m wrong- Buddy Albin was somewhat the local promoter for UFC 4. So you kind of had an “in” on that card. Is that how you got on there?
AM: I don’t know. I don’t know what strings Buddy pulled as a manager or whatever he was doing, but I just know that I got my acceptance letter and I was ecstatic, so- I wasn’t gonna question it. Then of course, I get Dan Severn in the draw.
WC: That was a raw deal. When you went to UFC 2- did you meet Ken Shamrock or any Lion’s Den guys there?
AM: No. I was just in the crowd, man. Just watching the fights, dude.
WC: Okay. Then when you saw UFC 1 through 3, what were your thoughts in general on the show, and how did you think you stacked up compared to what you were seeing in those early events?
AM: Oh , man (laughter). You know, that’s a tough question. I mean, the show was great, completely, the whole shebang there. I thought that was just awesome . As far as stacking up against all the other fighters, of course back then- you think you’re invincible and you’re ready to fight anybody. Like Dan , I’ve met him right in the middle and started throwing, but- that did no damage (laughter). You know?
WC: What made you decide to make the jump to NHB from kickboxing?
AM: Oh… you know that was the next step off of… ’cause see, here in Oklahoma they wouldn’t allow you to do elbows to the head or the body. So you could throw knees to the body and the head, and leg kicks and all that- but you couldn’t do elbows. For me, that was the next progression of fighting , I guess.
WC: So in the kickboxing league you were in, you were able to throw kicks to the lower body?
AM: I was, yeah. Well Buddy Albin, I don’t know how much this is true – but I have world titles or belts from Buddy Albin that have the WKA (World Kickboxing Association) and the WKKC (World Karate and Kickboxing Council) on the title, so I’ve won a couple of Muay Thai world titles through those two organizations. I don’t know if you remember them or if they’re even still around.
WC: The “Maddog” nickname, where did that one come from?
AM: (Laughter) You know, I don’t know. Growing up, I was always like “quick kick.” ‘Cause I had fast feet. And people, once I started fighting- people just got “Maddog,” and it stuck.
WC: You already answered my question on if you had any matches before UFC 4- sounds like those smokers at the gyms though. The smokers that you were talking about, were those before UFC 4?
AM: Yeah, all those. Well- are you talking about NHB or kickboxing?
WC: The NHB ones.
AM: No, that all started after– it was after like 5. After UFC 5 was when all the… I guess everybody was like, “Okay. It’s gonna be here to stay,” and people started getting into it. And like now, there’s so many organizations, just everywhere- it’s crazy.
WC: How much notice did you have when you got your acceptance letter? How long before UFC 4 did you know you were in that show?
AM: Maybe a month and a half. I’ll tell you right now, I had pictures of two people- ’cause Buddy gave me a folder of all the people that were in the tournament. And there were two pictures that I had pulled out separately and put ’em on the mirror. And one of them was Royce Gracie, and one of them was Dan Severn. I said I did not wanna fight either one of them (laughter) right off the bat. I mean, Royce, you just… that would have been an interesting fight- he would have gotten hold of me of course. My submission knowledge at that point in the game was very, very limited, so…
WC: I remember back then very clearly, he had that air of invincibility. But that was my next question, you just kind of went right into it. Before UFC 4, what kind of experience did you have with submission? Any judo training, anything like that?
AM: I did some judo with some guys up here. Let’s see, Sensei Pat Burris, he had a gym up here. I’ve been there a couple times, but it was nothing steady- no submission. Back then I was focused on my Muay Thai, my striking game. I didn’t… it was the whole thing- remember? It was karate vs taekwondo, vs jiu-jitsu vs you know… so, (laughter) I was in there to be the Muay Thai guy, not really focused on the submission as much. I had a little bit of wrestling background, but that was it.
WC: Okay. So basically, your training for UFC 4 would have mostly been Thai boxing- that’s what you were sparring.
AM: Yeah, Thai boxing, a little bit of… I tried to do some NHB with, hell- anybody that would show up at the gym, dude. We had these little bitty ass gloves. Me and my wife, about, back in… ’96, we went to Century Martial Arts- ’cause I’ve known Mike Dillard a long time, since I was a little kid. Went up there and said “Hey, we’re trying to make these gloves- is there anything you could do?” We went back in the factory and he’s like, “I don’t know, I don’t know if we could try to do that,” or something like that. And that was back in ’96. I’m thinking, “Damn it, I wish we would’ve stuck with it with him,” (laughter) ’cause now they’re everywhere, man.
WC: Absolutely, that would have been a great investment. You were saying when you were training for UFC 4, you would get whoever would come in to the gym. Did you have any kind of a steady regimen or steady training partners for that show?
AM: I had a couple of guys that did kickboxing with me and had a little bit of knowledge, but nothing to the effect of what the sport’s become.
WC: Did you know Guy Mezger before UFC 4?
AM: Yeah, I’d known him. He’d come up and done some kickboxing with Buddy Albin, and I had known him a little while.
WC: Okay. Ken had told me that you had trained a little bit with the Lion’s Den back then. I didn’t know if you got introduced to him through Guy.
AM: Yeah, that’s who it was. It was down there in Dallas. After UFC 4, me and my wife moved to Dallas. Down there where Buddy Albin was and where the gyms were. Trying to stay in the game, man.
WC: Then at UFC 4, they said you were 25 years old, and they had your height at 5’10”. Was the age and the height accurate?
WC: The weight seems like it might have been a little high; they had you at 190. Was that-
AM: (Laughter) I was 160 pounds.
WC: 160, okay. I’ve heard from a few fighters that back then, you would just tell them whatever weight you wanted to. They never…
AM: Yeah. You know what? Man, even now, there were, hell, five years ago, six years ago, may have been longer- I fought Chad Cook, and I couldn’t make the weight. I was underweight for the 205, I was under 190. I put ankle weights on, and a 10-pound weight in my pants- and weighed in. Because the commission was there- and still is- in Louisiana, I had to be within that certain amount of weight to fight him.
WC: Holy Cow.
AM: I arm barred him in like twelve seconds.
WC: For UFC 6 also, because we’re on the topic, were you about 160 at that point too?
AM: I was bulking up a little bit. I was probably about 170.