Sunday, March 17, 2013
Sarah D'Alelio Interview
Photos 1 and 5: Jerry Chavez
Photos 2-4: Invicta FC/Esther Lin
In her last four fights, all in the Invicta cage, Sarah D'Alelio has gone an impressive 3-1 including wins over title challenger Vanessa Porto and most recently Amanda Nunes. Coming off a loss, the victory over Nunes was a big one and really established her as a title contender.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started training for the sport?
A: There was a gym across the street from the place I worked. It was a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym. I saw it for two months straight and said "I wanna go in there and try it, I wonder if they fight over there." I went in the first day and I don't think I skipped a day for six months. It was just fun.
Q: Did you know when you started that you wanted to fight?
A: Oh yeah! I told them right when I walked in. I asked them "do you guys do fighting here or just do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?" They said "we do fighting" and laughed at me and said "we gotta a live one". He told me that later, he didn't wanna scare me off cause they didn't know the kind of person I was.
Q: Where did the "Monster" nickname come from?
A: I was doing a tournament in Washington. I went against this girl, she was a Blue Belt and I was a White Belt. It was the week after a fight so I was still in fight shape. I kind of smashed on her a little bit. It was a competition so I wasn't nice, when I roll I roll nice but in a competition there is nothing nice about it. She left after we rolled twice and was dejected and went back to her corner. I went to shake her hand and they were consoling her and saying "it's o.k., she is a monster". I was like "I don't know what that means" and I went back to my corner and was like "they called me a monster", and Robert Owens said "we found your new nickname Sarah" and I said "I don't know how I feel about that" and he said "you cant choose so it's sticking", and it stuck. That was four or five years ago.
Q: Your last fight, you beat Amanda Nunes, overall how happy were you with your performance?
A: I was extremely happy. I was fighting to win, and coming off a loss, I couldn't make mistakes. You make one mistake and you pay for it. My main concern was not making mistakes and doing what my corner told me to. I told my coach before the fight "whatever you tell me to do, I am doing it because I have to win this fight." Obviously I wanted to finish but Amanda is smart and has survival instincts and wasn't leaving anything out there for me to grab and sub or TKO her. I did what my coach told me to so I was extremely happy.
Q: You clearly won pretty much every minute of every round, did you expect it to be that dominant for lack of a better word?
A: When your main goal is not to make any mistakes, planning on using wrestling to win a fight, yes. Had I screwed up, I would have ended up on my back underneath her. In a perfect world, I would have won that way. I am not trying to sound cocky, but the plan was for it to be exactly like that. So yes, I was more hoping than expecting, but that is how I was hoping it would end up.
Q: That win made you 3-1 with Invicta, is there one of those wins you are most proud of?
A: The one with Vanessa Porto because that was a crazy back and forth fun one. I have all the respect in the world for Vanessa. Taking myself out of it and just watching that fight, I don't remember anything, it was just "go with whatever happens." I like those kind of fights, a crazy scrap. It was fun. It was a good fight on both sides and entertaining for everybody.
Q: The Invicta coming up, Amanda is on the card, and Vanessa is in the title fight, do you at all feel overlooked?
A: No, I don't feel overlooked. Other girls deserve a chance to fight to. They are building the 135 pound division. They have a number of them on this card. I have fought on every Invicta card. They are making room for girls. They are still flying me out to see the show.
Q: Safe to assume that long-term, you would like to fight for that title?
A: Oh yeah, absolutely. Every fight is not the same, but I go into every fight like a contention fight. I see them all as contention fights whether for a title or not.
Q: As you said, you are still going to be there, as a fan, are there any fights you are looking forward to seeing?
A: Miriam Nakamoto vs Jessamyn Duke cause Miriam is my teammate. She and I train together regularly and are really good friends. She is like my sister. I believe she will win that fight. Every single main card fight, particularly Leslie Smith vs Sarah Kaufman, I am always rooting for Leslie. Jessica Penne vs Michelle Waterson is a good one to. I feel bad naming just those fights cause I look forward to the whole card.
Q: At some point down the line considering how the first one ended, since it really didn't end, do you want another shot at Ronda Rousey?
A: Yes, of course I would. I have been waiting for someone to just say that. Nobody has just flat out asked me if I wanna fight her again. Of course I do, every loss I have I want to fight again. Not all at once of course, but yes, I absolutely do. I am signed with Invicta right now. Everyone also asks if I wanna join the UFC. People, I am signed with Invicta, I can't just go fight with the UFC. Invicta takes such good care of me, I wouldn't jeopardize that for one fight. I am quite loyal to them. They picked me up from the dust and revived my career so I wouldn't jump ship.
Q: Speaking of Ronda, UFC announced the coaches for the next Ultimate Fighter, what do you think of the format, do you like it with men and women or would you prefer all women?
A: I think it is more real to life than just all women or all men. Any gym I have gone to has men and women training together. There are cameras all over the place. I saw Dana White say that, you cant go to the bathroom without someone watching so it isn't as much of a recipe for disaster as people are making it out to be. Fighters aren't idiots, there are cameras everywhere.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: Always coach Fitzgibbons, he kept me going and kept me here training. Everyone at CSA, my gym brothers and sisters, Brawl and Maul, they always support me immensely, and my family for being constantly supportive