Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Tamikka Brents Interview
I recently attended the NAAFS show in Akron, Ohio. One fighter I came away very impressed with was Tamikka Brents. I was impressed by her striking, and then her ability to get a very nice takedown and totally control the fight on the ground going for submissions before finally getting the mount and using ground and pound to force the ref to stop the fight in the first round. She showed great poise in going for the submissions and great skill in getting the mount. In one night I became a Tamikka Brents fan. If you have not heard of Tamikka, I suggest you take the time to learn about her. I really believe she is a name you are going to be hearing a lot about in the near future. A rising star for sure.
Q: First, Tamikka I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thanks for asking me to do this.
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself
A: I'm a 22 year old chick that likes to punch people in the face. Pretty much sums it up. haha
Q: Were you especially athletic growing up? Play any sports?
A: Oh yea, anything with a ball or anything that had some kind of contact in it. I played softball, basketball, volleyball, soccer and ran track and played football in the park with the boys every Sunday.
Q: What initially got you started training for MMA?
A: My brother started training before me, but we use to watch it on TV all the time. Then one day while we were watching TV we started grappling and I started doing MMA moves and he saw that I kinda knew what I was doing and the next day he brought me into the gym and I started training.
Q: Was the training something you picked up fairly easy?
A: Well my brother taught me the basics a while before either one of us actually thought I'd end up training. So once I got into the gym I did pick up everything quickly.
Q: How long did you train before your first fight?
A: I started training right after high school in 2006, then I joined the Navy and was stationed in San Diego and found a gym there to continue my training. After I got out of the Navy I came back to Warrior Concepts and had my first fight in 2009. So all together, 3 years of training before my first fight.
Q: Was fighting something your family and friends supported?
A: I was always aggressive and tomboy-ish ever since I was little, so it wasn't a big surprise to many people and everyone supported me right off the bat.
Q: Where do you train at now?
A: Warrior Concepts out of Springfield, IL...217 yea!!!! haha
Q: Can you give your overall record so far?
A: I am 5-0-1, I say 6-0 because I feel I won that "draw" since my hand was raised at the end of that fight, but I am not one to argue once it's all said and done. So whatever!
Q: Which fight so far is the one you are most proud of?
A: I think it's a tie between my fight with Jessica Zomcick because that was a barn burning brawl and my 21 second KO because I got knockout of the night.
Q: What would you say is your biggest strength and the one thing you most want to improve?
A: I think my chin and my ground control are my biggest strengths and I want to improve everything. The day I stop learning and improving is the day I stop getting better.
Q: I just got to see you in person fight Tera Carper for the NAAFS. I was really impressed by the takedown and how dominant you were on the ground. Was the plan to try and go to the ground or is that just where it went and you decided to take over from there?
A: I wanted to keep the fight standing because I know she was a BJJ girl but I saw the opportunity for the takedown that if executed properly would land me into side control, and being that I love some good ol' ground and pound, I just took it there.
Q: At one point it looked like you were trying to secure an armbar. But looked like you gave up on it. Was that her pulling out, or did you just not think you had it tight enough to keep trying for it
A: I was going for a Keylock and the first time I had it I felt I didn't have it in well enough for her to tap. When I got it the second time I just wanted to use it as a decoy to either open her face up for punches or for me to get a better position.
Q: You ended up getting the mount and landing good strikes before the ref finally stopped it. Whats more satisfying, getting the tap or the tko?
A: TKO all the way, I think it's better for both fighters. The fighter who wins just showed their dominance while the fighter that loses shows they weren't going to give up.
Q: You were one of the fighters I have heard the most praise about after the show. Is that an extra source of pride, to know people were talking about you afterwards?
A: It's always nice to hear people praising my performance and yes it does give me and extra source of pride. Especially because most fighters fight for 2 reasons: 1. The love for the sport. 2. The love for the fans.
Q: Are there any fighters you are a fan of or love to watch?
A: I LOVE GINA CARANO!!!! That is all.
Q: In your opinion, who are the top five female fighters in the sport pound for pound?
A: Megumi Fujii, Gina Carano, Sarah Kaufman, Cris Cyborg and Rosi Sexton and not in that order...if you would have asked top 6 pound for pound...I would just add my name. Haha...maybe not right now but in the near future :)
Q: Do you ever see a major U.S. women's only company being viable?
A: If there ever was I think no other company would be able to have women pro fights. I like the way Strikeforce and Bellator put on their female fighters, although I would like to see a lot more women weight classes. As long as they keep doing their shows well there might not be a need for a women's only company.
Q: Often you watch a show that has one women's fight. Somehow that fight always turns out to be the most exciting fight on the card. Why do you think that is?
A: I think it's because women have more to prove at this point. Fighting is suppose to be a "man's" sport, and women want to prove to everyone that fighting is a sport...no men's sport no women's sport, but just a sport...period.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about female fighters?
A: We are not man haters nor are we all feminists.
Q: If another woman told you she wanted to train for the sport, whats the biggest piece of advice you would give her?
A: If you're going to do it and be serious about it, it's all or nothing. It's no picnic but it's very rewarding in all different kinds of ways.
Q: Outside of training and fighting, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I love to dance, not booty poppin' stuff but actually dance...America's Best Dance Crew type dancing. haha I love listening to all kinds of music, which is why I DJ at a bar and anything sports related.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Tamikka Brents.
A: Wake up. Eat. Go to practice. Go to work. Get off work. Go to practice. Eat. Chill. Go to work. Repeat. (Showering and all the other hygiene necessities were a given by the way)
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I am actually really nice...most are super surprised at that. I get called a big Teddy Bear once people get to know me :)
Q: Describe Tamikka Brents in five words.
A: Awesome, Goofball, Secret Power-Ranger by Night ("by" does NOT count as a word, just so you know)
Q: So whats next for you?
A: Whoever makes the call to my coach for a fight...that's exactly what's next for me. Coach tells me about a fight, I say ok and start preparing for that fight.
Q: Anything you want to take this time to plug or promote?
A: I love my team, Team Warrior Concepts out of the great 217! Thanks to Legacy Fight Wear for my awesome shirts and shorts. Thanks to my brother Bobby for getting me into this sport. Thanks to 5KnuckleMMA Management, and thanks to everyone who supports me and all the organizations that allowed me to fight in their events.
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so, how can they reach you and what are they getting in Tamikka Brents the fighter and person?
A: I m always looking for sponsors, it's a tough life as a fighter. They can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or look me up on facebook or contact my coach on teamwarriorconcepts.com
Q: Tamikka again, I want to thank you for doing this. I was really impressed and think you are going to do some big things in this sport. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you very much...hopefully I can keep impressing people, putting on great fights and try to help boost women's MMA. Thanks again.