Sunday, July 7, 2013
Summer Bradshaw Interview
Photos 2-3: FightFan.net
Summer Bradshaw has quickly risen the ranks and after just a few amateur fights is already in everyone's top five in her weight class. After a decision in her first fight, Summer has stopped her last three opponents. When she turns pro, Summer is definitely someone to keep an eye on to make an impact in the division.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started training for the sport?
A: My history was Tae-Kwon-Do and I had competed in tournaments and that is when I really discovered a passion for competing. I had a series of traumatic events that kind of catapulted me into the MMA world. I needed to switch it up as far as training went. I went to a couple gyms around town and found a gym where I thought I could fight in three months. My goal was to fight in three months. After trying to throw Tae-Kwon-Do into what all these guys knew, I was getting choked out it seemed like every three seconds. After that, I realized that there was no way, there is too much to this, I need to train as long as I needed to and trust the people there to tell me when I was ready. That was a little over three years ago. That had to break down all my habits from Tae-Kwon-Do and retrain me, so it has been a long process, a long road to get where I am now.
Q: So the plan all along was to fight?
A: Yeah! I wouldn't have said I wanted to cage fighting right away, I love Tae-Kwon-Do. I kinda fell into it. Drew Lawrence at Pariah MMA really gave me the time and attention and it turned out I was pretty good at what I wanted to do. They hovered over me and kept a close eye on me.
Q: Did any family or friends have a problem with their daughter or friend getting in a cage and fighting?
A: As far as my family, my dad was the best support I had. The rest of my family was not so supportive, they didn't think I should be in there. My mom was worried about me getting hurt, my sister said I was too pretty to fight, I had a lot of comments. With my daughter, from my history, I would be supportive on what she chooses to do but I would make sure she is safe and has proper training before she gets in the cage. All my family has come around because of the improvements and how good at has been for me physically and emotionally. I think there is a huge positive to fighting and what it can do for somebody.
Q: Recently you had two fights a month apart, you beat Cynthia Vargas in April and Brandy Cobos in May, was it hard to peak for a fight and then turn around and do it again so quick?
A: With the weight fluctuations, yes, because I have always had that time where I can rest for a minute. I wasn't quite ready, I hadn't trained my body to do those that close together. I put myself through a weight fluctuation where I should have been more disciplined in. Mentally, you have to be ready for that. It was a rocky road on the second one but it was a learning experience. I needed to go through that with me coming to a pro venture eventually. If I had my choice, I would space it out more, but if that is the way it falls, I know I can do it. Next time, I would be completely disciplined on the weight area.
Q: Is there one of your wins that stands out to you or you are most proud of?
A: I think everything is just a learning experience. My first one, because of everyone hyping up who I was fighting and saying she was number one in Colorado for my weight. That one, I listened to much to the hype and got too nervous and didn't perform that well. It took awhile to warm up and in the third round I got to it. I have huge respect for her. My second opponent took it on last minute, I under-estimated her. She was a lot stronger than I realized. The third one, she was brand new and very disrespectful. The fourth one was more solid. Me working through not having everyone there that I usually have, was probably for me the best learning experience. I had a fever and was sick before I walked into the cage. I had to dig deep on that one. So I would say the last one. I learned more about myself, she was a tough opponent, she could take a punch. That is probably the most memorable for me.
Q: Everyone pretty much has you top five in your weight class, did you expect that kind of recognition so quick?
A: I did not, no. I was just talking to my sister about this. I had no idea I was gonna catapult so quickly on the rankings list. I had a lot of people come in when we were training and I got some attention that people saw that in me. They were good about uplifting me and congratulating me and they wanted to meet me and know more about me. I didn't realize it back then. How it has gone has been a little bit of s shock but I am realizing I know where I can go and wanna take it as far as I can.
Q: Is it hard to not let it go to your head?
A: With some people, and I have seen it with a couple guys I started with, it went to their heads right away. I try and hold myself back, coming from Tae-Kwon-Do and that respect and keeping humble, I have been built with that since I was ten years old. You don't wanna make yourself out to be more than you are. That is my goal, to stay me. I am a single mom of two kids and I want them to be proud of me. They don't know everything I do, they have seen me train but they have never seen my fight. I have to keep a level head for them. I don't want them to watch me get too big of a head. This is life, somebody is gonna come up who is bigger and better than you. I think it will take me a lot farther.
Q: How hard is it to balance training with being a single mom?
A: That is the most challenging thing I have been through in my life. My kids are the most important thing to me and I want them to be proud and see me succeed in everything I do. That is another goal I am trying to accomplish with the fighting. It takes a lot of time, I have had both girls go through medical things that takes me away from training. They come first and then I can get my training in. I have friends who help, but it is tiring. I am trying to get everything right with my diet, taking it all on is a challenge but completely worth it. They are the ones who are gonna be proud of me and with me the rest of my life.
Q: Is there anyone you like to watch and try and pick things up from?
A: I have always looked up to Cyborg. Her fights don't last to long so it is hard to watch. Her persona and how she portrays herself, that is a huge role model for me, to be that confident in yourself. She is my number one. There are a couple other girls. I concentrate more on myself anyways.
Q: Have you given any thought as to how many amateur fights you want to have?
A: Originally this was gonna be my last. However I had one offer for Jessica Zomcik and I really wanted that. Things didn't work out but I am about to sign a contract for an eight person tournament in Las Vegas and Jessica and other huge names are supposed to be there. Vegas is the best place to be with P.R. and all that. Then if everything works out you will see me in one of the big shows soon.
Q: Invicta is coming up, what will be fight of the night?
A: Cyborg, I cant wait to see that one. That is the only fight I have seen with her going the distance. I am excited to see all the fights. I flew out to see the last one. I look forward to watching. Good luck to all those ladies. I don't like to predict cause you never know what is gonna happen.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: My gym, Pariah MMA. Drew Lawrence for always supporting and believing in me. Vincent O'Donnell, my original coach. Scott Cleve is a huge help to me. Leonard Thierry for finding me fights and all my training partners.