Sunday, April 17, 2011
Rosanna Garcia Interview
Once in awhile I get to see a young or new fighter in one of their first fights and can tell they are going to be a star. I recently saw Rosanna Garcia fight in person. I didn't come away saying she is going to be a star. I came away saying she is going to be a SUPERSTAR. Even though she won fairly quick, I saw a ton of potential and have no doubt their are big things in her future. It took me two minutes to say "I am a Rosanna Garcia fan".
Q: First, Rosanna I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thanks so much. Means a lot that you wanted to interview me.
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself?
A: Sure. I'm a 25 year old Cuban-American raised by the hardest working parents I know. I grew up in Maryland my entire life but yearned to escape (I HATE the cold). I ventured to Tampa, FL to go to college at the University of South Florida. There I received my B.A. in Psychology and a Master's in Public Health. While in grad school I came back for a summer to do an internship and my brother told me about a gym that was having a college student special. I entered Evolve Academy, threw one punch, and realized that this was what I had been missing. I was planning to live abroad, go back to Florida, or move to San Diego after grad school, but after training at Evolve Academy I accepted the fact that I'd have to face winter again and decided to stay.
Q: Were you especially athletic growing up? Play any sports?
A: I played a lot of sports growing up. Basketball was my first love but I couldn't throw straight to save my life (I'm left handed but I do some things right handed). I did track and cross country in high school and played pick up football in college. Pick up football in college is where I started to get my aggressiveness out again. I played with guys that were twice my size and had no shame in tackling anyone. However because of that I ended up cracking my skull open and subsequently getting banned by the guys, but that's another story in itself.
Q: What initially got you started training for MMA?
A: I wanted to do the most difficult and scariest thing possible. I wanted to be beaten down just to see if I would get up again.
Q: Was the training something you picked up fairly easy?
A: Yes and no. I trained for 6 months and thought I was picking things up perfectly until the first time I got punched in the face. After that I realized that while I might be able to pick up a move easily, putting it into practice would be much more difficult and require more dedication and practice.
Q: How long did you train before your first fight?
A: About a year.
Q: Was fighting something your family and friends supported?
A: Absolutely not. I got everything from: You're going to get brain damage. You're a girl! You're going to have a career why do you want to fight? Even if you win, you'll still fail. Why do you want to fight? Some people thought it was an interesting thing to do, but for the most part the consensus was that I need to finish school, get a job, and forget fighting.
Q: Where do you train at now?
A: I train at Evolve Academy in Gaithersburg, MD. It's an affiliate school of Team Lloyd Irvin.
Q: Can you give your overall record so far.
A: 3-0 MMA; 1-1 K-1
Q: Since you started training, what would you say is the one thing you are most proud of?
A: Going to school full-time, training part-time, and working full-time while I was training for my first fight, and somehow completing everything.
Q: What would you say is your biggest strength and the one thing you most want to
A: I think my biggest strength is not thinking I have a biggest strength, that way I don't let myself slack on anything. And the one thing I would like to improve the most is my ground game. I hope to go to Brazil and train in BJJ down the road.
Q: Name the one fight you have seen that you will always remember?
A: I loved watching the Frankie Edgar/Gray Maynard fight. I love Frankie Edgar's style and you can just see his heart and soul pouring out in that fight. He was giving it his all and not backing down from anything.
Q: Are there any fighters you are a fan of or love to watch?
A: Frankie Edgar and Cris Cyborg
Q: In your opinion, who are the top five female fighters in the sport pound for pound?
A: I've only seen a few female fights, but out of the ones I have seen I feel that Cris Cyborg and Kerry Vera are outstanding fighters.
Q: Do you ever see a major U.S. women's only company being viable?
A: I honestly wish this wasn't even a question. I think that there should be company's that host male and female fights because they are equally as entertaining to watch. We shouldn't have to have a women's only company to have female fight cards. We should have female and male fights in every company because we work equally as hard, and equally put out outstanding fights that crowds love to watch.
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 there's a feeling that we have to prove that we have a right to be there. So there's not only the extreme urge to win as much as there's only the extreme urge to show that women can be just as tenacious and aggressive in the cage as men.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about female fighters?
A: That there's a difference between female and male fighters. We're all training hard, cutting weight, trying to support ourselves while we chase our dreams. We're all going through blood, sweat, and tears just to get to that one second where the ref raises your hand while the crowd's going crazy and makes everything you went through worth it.
Q: If another woman told you she wanted to train for the sport, whats the biggest piece of advice you would give her?
A: A lot of people are going to tell you no, and when they do ask yourself two questions. Have they tried it, and who is anyone to tell you to walk away from your dreams.
Q: Outside of training and fighting, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: Outside of training and fighting I am working full time and also in the process of training to start a business venture. In the little free time between that I try to get out and explore DC and go on other random adventures with my sensational boyfriend.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Rosanna Garcia.
A: Wake up and do cardio. Go to work. Finish work and catch the metro and the bus straight to the gym. Train for a few hours. Come home. Eat. Shower. Sleep. Repeat. (Exciting I know lol)
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: Most people don't believe that I'm an MMA fighter until I show them pictures on my phone.
Q: Describe Rosanna Garcia in five words.
A: Do not ever say impossible.
Q: So whats next for you? Any idea when you will be fighting again?
A: Right now I'm looking to buy a house so I'm figuring to do some BJJ tournaments and then fight again in a few months.
Q: Anything you want to take this time to plug or promote?
A: I want to definitely thank Master Mike Moses and Evolve Academy (www.evolveacademy.com) for giving me the opportunity to fight for the gym. Also Soldierfit (www.soldierfit.com) for helping me with strength and conditioning. I also got my first sponsor LeveilleHIC, Inc.(http://www.leveillehic.com/) so that's been a blessing as well. One of MMA Instructors from our gym, Zach Davis, is on The Ultimate Fighter this season so we're all excited about that and hope that everyone watches the show this season. And at the end of the day God, because he's definitely carried me through times I didn't think I'd be able to stand again.
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so, how can they reach you and what are they getting in Rosanna Garcia the fighter and person?
A: Always. I have my own website it's www.rosannagarcia.com. There's a contact tab on the site where they can send me a message and reach me that way. On what they are getting in me as a fighter: they are getting someone that is going to put on a great show and never going to give up. As a person they are getting someone who aspires to be a role model, focuses on staying humble, and is genuinely excited to be given the opportunity to have someone believe in supporting my dreams.
Q: Rosanna, I want to thank you for doing this. Any last words before you go?
A: Smile when they tell you no, smile when you prove them wrong.