Getting my feet wet at Huntington Beach – with Interviews, not water

When Nathan Majurski, head of Bound By Blood Management, invited me to the Huntington Beach Ultimate Training Center, I jumped at the chance. I recently met Nathan after he became the manager of a good friend of mine, Curtis Hembroff. I was going to watch Curtis meet and train with some of the other fighters in the Bound By Blood crew: Jeremy Petruncio, Luc Bondole and Ozzie Alverez.
As I have only recently moved to the West Coast, it was exciting in itself to be in Huntington Beach, a “Mecca” of Mixed Martial Arts training. The facility was quite impressive, I was thrilled to see the likes of Rampage Jackson and Michael Bisping hung on the wall. It made me feel like I was on the set of The Ultimate Fighter.
First I met Luc Bondole, fighting at 185 and Jeremy Petruncio, a super heavy weight who happens to be ranked 17th in the nation for arm wrestling. He actually showed me a few tips – I had no idea arm wrestling had such a science to it. Luc and Jeremy would be frightening to meet in a ring, but very nice to a little lady looking for an interview. Both guys are looking forward to fights on September 24th in El Monte. After exchanging some pleasantries with Luc and Jeremy, I then met Ozzie Alverez, currently 2-2 in his pro record, and a very impressive athlete.
The guys got right to it, they starting jogging around on the mats, then switched to side stepping and worked on double under hooks – basically getting warmed up. I set up with my photographer, Ashley Niblett, and Editor in Chief Anthony Dominguez. We watched as Luc and Ozzie sparred in the cage. As they tossed each other around, you could tell they weren’t working at 100%, but they were not doing a light work out. Luc would take down Ozzie, and then Ozzie would do it back. I thought to myself, that is one tough work out – that is until I realized this was still only warming up!
Getting to watch the guys train was cool, but I wanted to know more about them. My first question for Ozzie was a no brainer, “Do you want to brawl?” and though he seemed a little surprised, he agreed to get in the cage with me. He showed me how to stand so that I had a good center of balance, how to deflect a jab and then answer with one, followed by a cross with the left. The southpaw fighter was a great teacher and I have been shadow boxing since I left, practicing the new moves he showed me.
The one thing I am finding, the more I surround myself with Mixed Martial Artist’s, is how deep, passionate and interesting each one is. After their work out the guys were hanging out for a while, talking about why they love fighting, things they care about aside from fighting, like arm wresting and football, even spirituality. All these guys were very different, but each has a very strong and unique character. It was such a great experience, I couldn’t be happier to have had the chance to meet these fighters – Thanks so much to everyone at Bound By Blood Management, The Huntington Beach Utimate Training Center and for being a part of my first MMA Interview.
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We would like to thank Bound by Blood Management and Huntington Beach Ultimate Training Center for everything.