FORT WORTH, TX, July 23, 2012 – Premier Fight Series 1 is fast approaching with the event set to take place this Saturday at the Ft. Worth Convention Center.
The main event for the initial offering by Jesse Rodriguez Promotions features undefeated wrestler-turned-top featherweight MMA prospect Chas Skelly taking on Luis Vega, another prospect fighting out of South Texas.
We spoke to Chas Skelly last week to get his thoughts on the main event.
Below is our conversation with Brownsville’s Luis “The Law” Vega as he prepares to take the cage against Skelly this coming Saturday night.
Interview – Luis Vega (Team Pound)
I feel great mentally and physically. I have done all the necessary training to get the win on the 28th. I am on target with my weight and this should be a smooth cut to 145lbs. My training has been tough so in my mind I am convinced I should come out victorious. For sure, this bout means a lot, because a lot is at stake. I have heard of rumors if Chas should be victorious, he might be looking to get a shot in a possible contract with the UFC. I will not let that happen. After this fight, you can change my name to “Da Outlaw,” because I will be stealing his shine and taking his name.
Before we talk about this fight further, take us back through your career up to this point.
I’ve been doing Jiu-Jitsu for the past 9 years and training in MMA and striking for around six. I’ve been being fighting for 5 years altogether. I have trained in boxing, Muay Thai, Judo, and some wrestling. I am basically open to learn from any respective discipline and don’t just rely on one or two to get the job done. I focus on my weakness rather than what I’m good at. My record speaks for what type of fighter I am. I have submitted, TKO’d, KO’d, and won decisions in my fights. I can do it all, GNP, stand-and-bang, and I can grapple. Wherever it goes, I am well aware on how to handle myself. I know Chas is a great wrestler, so I expect for him to try to put me down. Anyhow, I always show up to fight, win or lose I will put on a fight!
Any particular moment stand out so far in your career?
My most memorable one I would say was the Bellator gig. I have fought all types of fights but the Bellator fight against Sonny Luque was where people witnessed on a bigger scale how dominant I can be. I wasn’t respected much as a fighter before but after that I started to get some respect in the RGV. Now it’s time to earn that same recognition in Dallas/Fort Worth area but I have a tough test ahead me with Mr. Chas Skelly.
Do you have anyone that’s helped guide you so far?
I’d have to say Mr. B. (Luis Benavidez, Team Pound) I remember the day I emailed him about training because I had interest in fighting. I showed up and he straight up told me “this ain’t BJJ.” I was an unfit, lazy grappler at that point. Over the years under his guidance I understood the overall game of MMA and learned other aspects of the fight game. Grappling has always been my strong point but striking has been a skill I have been using well. Mental toughness and a hard work ethic is a must when training at Team Pound. Outside of fighting I turn to the older and wiser for advice or guidance. I’m kind of an antisocial individual in a way so I don’t have much in the way of friends outside of martial arts.
With my kids man. I live a busy life with training, teaching and trying to make ends meet. I have 4 kids, and a step daughter. My Wife just gave birth on July 17th to my first boy. I sacrifice so much time to try to give them a better life but yet I don’t give ‘em enough of my time. I’m very passionate when it comes to my kids. I have an 8, 6, 7 (stepdaughter) and 5 year old daughter that mean the world to me. Now my newborn is just one more reason to succeed in life.
What other sacrifices have you had to make to succeed in MMA?
The hardest thing I had to overcome was depression. A year and a half ago I split from the mother of my daughters that I was with for 9 years. I was lost and with no motivation to train or fight. It was one of the hardest parts of my life, just trying to adjust to a massive change like that. Thankfully I found my new wife, who also gave me my newly found motivation to pursue my career in MMA. 7 fights later and you can tell motivation was off the roof.
Tell us about your last fight. How did it go?
My last fight (vs. Sonny Luque, Bellator 62) was good for my career. I got the fight on 9 days’ notice and it went exactly as planned. You can say it was almost flawless and our game plan worked to the tee. I learned that if I believe in myself, anything is possible.
What about this upcoming fight with Chas; How have you prepared for it?
I won’t go over what worked on much but I’ve trained jiu jitsu, wrestling, and I’ve worked on my takedown defense. I try to be sharp anywhere and everywhere. I’m going into this fight with one thing on my mind, and that is to win. So much sacrifice for nothing is not an option. I need to feed my kids… ain’t no one stopping me from doing so!
How does this fight end?
With my hand raised right before I embrace my opponent and thank him for the opportunity. …A kiss on the head if it’s a finish. I don’t care how I get it, all I know is that it’s all business and I am not going to travel 9 hours for anything less than victory.
After this I will take a couple of months off to help with my newborn, teach Vega MMA at Gracie Barra RGV, and heal my body after training so hard for this. If the opportunity to fight in any major organization though, I will rise to the occasion and give it a try. Win or lose, I want to test myself against the best out there. I want someone’s belt. I know Legacy doesn’t have a 145 champ and I’m down to fight anyone to claim it. If they give me a shot late the year I’m down to scrap. UFC, Bellator or Strikeforce can give me a call too and I won’t say no. Also, I’ll get some more BJJ tourneys out the way for the fun of it.
Any last words before this Saturday night?
I wanna thank my familia, my wife, my coach Mr. B and my training partners for everything they do for me and their support. Everyone who always support me and makes it out to my fights, thank you from the bottom of my heart. And I want to thank Mr. Chas Skelly for the opportunity. I saw how much support he gets and I know I will probably get booed. I don’t mean no disrespect but I will steal your shine away and take your name home with me. JK… After that, an outlaw will be born! And how can I forget, thank you Mr. Mike Calimbas for the interview. Without you guys reaching out to us the fighters, we will never get the exposure we need.