Interview – Bobby Peek talks about upcoming fight versus Paul Mead at ‘Cage War in Capital City’
AUSTIN, TX, January 6, 2013 – Though he was involved in traditional martial arts since the age of five, West Texas native Bobby Peek didn’t really get involved with fighting as a sport until he saw Dan Severn face off against Royce Gracie at UFC 4. “I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen,” he says about that first exposure to the sport he would one day consider his calling. “I was only nine then but even as a kid I would tell people that (fighting) was something I wanted to do.”
Growing up, it was more of the same with Peek’s path slowly but surely leading him towards Mixed Martial Arts.
“Martial arts was always been a very big part of my life and the only thing that has been consistent. I also used to have a bad attitude and got into a lot of fights growing up, way more than you would ever guess if you met me today. I wouldn’t say I went looking for fights, but I was definitely open to the idea and being in West Texas there was no shortage of opportunities. So between my willingness to fight and my love of martial arts and competition, MMA was a no brainer.”
Fast forward to 2013 and Bobby now lives, coaches, and trains in Austin, TX. He’ll be stepping into the cage for the third time as an amateur in his adopted city on January 18th as part of the ‘Cage War in Capital City’ event being put on at the new Crown Center facility on the south side of town.
We recently caught up with him to discuss his background along with everything else surrounding his upcoming fight.
Interview with Bobby Peek (Austin Muay Thai / John’s Gym)
Thanks for talking to us Bobby. Give us a little bit of your martial arts / MMA background. Also, how did you end up in Austin?
I was raised in Lubbock Texas, started Tae Kwon Do at the age of 5 and competed at the national and international level as a kid all the way until I was about 20 years old. It was there that I learned how far dedication, hard work and a great instructor can get you. I wanted to try something new and started training MMA about a year later in San Antonio and then began teaching a few years later until I made the move to Austin where I have focused more on getting back into competition for the past year and a half.
With a traditional background then crossing over later, how would you now describe your style on a whole?
I would describe my “style” as an aggressive fighter with bad intentions. Violent, dynamic striking and always looking do damage in every position.
What’s the most valuable piece of knowledge you’ve picked up for or through MMA?
I have learned so much since I have started living this lifestyle. This sport has changed me and humbled so much. I am still learning more and more about myself all of the time. The best experience I have had was spending almost two months in Thailand. Just being there with nothing else to do but train and witness Muay Thai in its purest form was amazing. Getting to meet people from other countries and form friendships with people who I never would have met had it not been for this sport was great. In the past 5 years I have met some great people who have all had some influence in changing me into who I am today. The dedication, sacrifice, mental toughness and discipline that is necessary to even stand a chance at being successful in MMA has transferred into my daily life and I have benefited from it greatly. I owe this sport a lot!
Daily life outside the sport – what’s that like for you?
Life outside of fighting is very hectic and busy for me. I teach kids Muay Thai at John’s gym. I am a full time college student and have a full-time job. Not to mention I have a pregnant girlfriend that I have to be around as much as I can to help out. So life outside of the gym is very busy for me.
This TFC card (Cage War in Capital City) is the first one to hit Austin in quite a while. How do you feel about it and what are your thoughts on your opponent?
I am very excited! My opponent (Paul Mead) is an experienced boxer with no losses as far as I know. He trains with some very good coaches and comes from a good team. Style-wise I think this will make for a very exciting fight for everyone watching. He is tough and skilled from what I have seen and that is exactly the kind of guy I want to fight.
How would you describe your preparation for this fight?
I train at the best gyms around – period. My teammates at Austin Muay Thai are great and both Elton and Tim lead us by example. People do not travel from out of town to get ready for fights at Austin Muay Thai for no reason. I do my striking and conditioning with there. He also coaches our MMA team there along with Tim Kennedy. As far as Elton Wells goes, he is Austin’s best kept secret. He is more dedicated and consistent than any fighter and leads by example, literally doing the workouts with us and even stays on a fighter diet. The tactics he has taught me are great and have added to my skillset but what made the biggest change in me as a fighter and person is what he has been able to teach me about myself and my mentality and for that I will be forever grateful.
Also I recently started training my grappling under Rodrigo Cabral at John’s Gym and he has made a huge impact on my technique and confidence going into this fight. Rodrigo is new to Austin and if you do not know who he is then educate yourself! Or go to John’s gym and find out for yourself. He is truly a world class grappler and coach and I am very lucky to be able to train under him.
This camp specifically has been a very long one and fight camps here are hell on earth and full of pain so I am happy to be able to finally get a fight. I had two cancellations before this fight which was also postponed another 3 weeks so I have been in fight camp for almost 5 months. Luckily I have had been able to do my fight camp alongside Tim Kennedy who fights a week before me. He brought in world class fighters to train with us like Andrew Craig who fights the day after me and Colton Smith who fought and won the Ultimate Fighter a few weeks ago. Not to mention the resident badasses at Austin Muay like my roommate Adam Schindler, Jack Hawkins, Roland Rodriguez, Matt Mazurek, Jon Hester, Ole Turley, Justin Brooks, Drew Pendleton and everyone else. Can’t forget about my boy Chris Lopez who is always in and out of that place when he has the chance so I have had no shortages on beatings this fight camp! Train hard, fight easy.
Any predictions on how this fight ends?
No predictions here. I would hate to have to eat my words and anything can happen. I respect anybody who has the balls to do this and especially to stay in fight camp and sacrifice over the holidays and not pull out when we got postponed so I want to say THANK YOU for staying on the card! Anybody that is willing to sacrifice the holidays to fight for free is a hungry fighter and that makes two of us. Oh yeah….. Loser buys the first round…. and I will have a Dos Equis with lime! (just kidding but seriously…)
Any last words before the fight?
I am ready to use my karate for evil! Thank you to everyone who has helped me get to where I am today, my family here and in the Philippines, Furious Brand for their continued support over the years, my girlfriend for putting up with me during fight camp and understanding that this is my passion, John Ramseier at John’s gym for making me a part of his gym and all of my teammates, coaches, family and friends that have supported and helped me get ready for this!
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