Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Kelly Warren Interview
Kelly Warren is coming off two tough losses. A loss to Aisling Daly where Kelly actually controlled most of the fight until getting choked followed by a decision loss to Jessica Eye, where even in defeat, Kelly impressed. While some may take an easier fight just to get back to winning, Kelly is jumping right back into it with a fight on March 30th against Tara LaRosa. With the long term goal of getting into Strikeforce or Bellator, a win over someone of LaRosa's caliber would go a long way in helping her reach that goal.
Q: Can you first talk about how you got started in the sport?
A: I have done martial arts since I was six. I was doing Karate for ten years and then took a break. I found this place called Dragon MMA where I started doing kickboxing in 2008. I took my first amateur fight at the end of 2008 and lost to a standing guillotine so I decided I should probably practice Jiu-Jitsu haha. I just progressed from there.
Q: Recently you were with Jackson's but came back to Michigan, what was the reason you went back there?
A: My family is here and my son, he's eight. Out there I was trying to get things set up to bring him down there with me. Unfortunately I couldn't financially do it. I was there six months and it was the hardest thing to be away from him.
Q: Before we talk about the next fight, I want to go over your last two here in Ohio. First, you lost to Aisling Daly. You were controlling that fight all the way till the end. How frustrating is it to be in control of the fight and then in that one second get caught?
A: Oh my gosh, that was the worst feeling ever. I put myself in a bad situation, but it was a good fight for me because mentally I was struggling not knowing how my skill set was. Knowing she was ranked in the top ten and had a lot of wins, going in standing up I felt good, and most of the time I get caught up in a clinch game or on the ground. I was happy to be able to stand up more in that fight.
Q: Afterwords are you able to look at it and say "this girl is in the top ten and I was controlling her, so I must be pretty good"?
A: Yeah it was definitely a confidence booster. Also it made me realize that I needed to start training Jiu-Jitsu more to because I was working on stand up for awhile and lost track of my ground game. I went back to my old gym at Dragon MMA and it is a great school and it is starting to come back.
Q: After that you lost a decision to Jessica Eye. Afterwords she gave you respect saying you were tough and knew how to fight her. Is that a fight you can walk away from with your head held high?
A: Definitely. I was just talking about that fight, it was the funnest fight I ever had. I was planning to take her down cause I knew her stand-up is good and she was skilled there. I know she has a good ground game but I was hoping to show my ground game as well. She made it hard, she moved a lot and I didn't feel comfortable trying to shoot in on her. I had more fun standing up, it made it a very fun fight.
Q: A lot of people come here and fight her and don't realize how much the crowd gets behind her. Does that make it intimidating?
A: Kind of. They are gonna cheer the home town girl. But mentally I felt o.k.. When I first met her at weigh-ins, we shook hands and she was right there and I could tell she had respect. It wasn't one of those "I hate this girl" battles. She was one of the coolest girls I have met so far in female MMA.
Q: Those two are fighting in April, how do you see that going?
A: I think Jessica is definitely going to dominate Aisling. She wants that belt. I think she knows how to fight her.
Q: March 30th you fight Tara LaRosa, how has the training been going?
A: Excellent! I haven't stopped training since my last fight, I was right back in the gym that week. My conditioning has only improved, and I have a grappling tournament this weekend so I have been working on that to. I never let the training drop. I went to Integrated Training Systems last night and am getting in some really good sparring sessions, so I hope this is a really good fight for me.
Q: How do you feel you match up with Tara?
A: We are completely different I feel like. She is super strong on the ground. I think stand-up wise I am more energetic and move around more. I think she will try and stalk me down. But she has been out for awhile and people's games change.
Q: Coming off a couple losses do you see this fight as extra important to get a win?
A: Yes and no. I am fighting high caliber people who are very talented. I feel like I learned from those losses and will be a different fighter my next time out.
Q: Some people would lose two and take an easier fight, which you are obviously not doing. Why jump back into it with someone like Tara?
A: I feel the more active I stay and more goals in front of me, its easier to stay focused. I like to stay active, the longer time off, I feel worse mentally about my skills and fighting.
Q: What would a win over a name as big as Tara LaRosa do for you?
A: It would do a lot for me. Like you said, she is a big name. Win or lose, its really gonna do a lot for me. Just being in there with her, she has been around a long time, she was a girl who when I started I said "I wanna be her". Its an honor to be able to say I got in there with her.
Q: Is there a key to you winning?
A: Stay moving. A lot of footwork and stay away from the clinch. Just be me.
Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: No, honestly I don't. I am hoping we will go to war and have a good three round fight.
Q: Awhile back you had a fight were you missed weight, and some people still get on you for it. How frustrating is it to keep having to defend yourself?
A: Its very very frustrating. I know a lot is my fault cause I am not very vocal. I let people talk and hope they realize I apologized and it will die down, but it really hasn't. It came up after the last fight, I apologized and realize I cant make 115 anymore. I killed myself trying to make weight. Its not like I haven't fought at 115 and that's why it was so frustrating. I had made it before so why wasn't I then? It was being sick, stress and adding more muscle mass. So 125 is better for me.
Q: Long term is the goal Bellator or Strikeforce?
A: Definitely. I cant wait to fight for one of those organizations. I have to stick to what I am doing and not be broken down mentally.
Q: Anyone you wanna thank or mention?
A: First off, you for giving me a chance to talk. All the fans, my coaches and the guys I train with. They have been pushing me and its good to be home in Michigan. My family, my fiance Justin and our boys Matthew and Max.