Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Diana Rael Interview
Photos 1-2 Julian Gonzales
Photo 4: Will Fox
Photo 5: New Mexico MMA
On October 13th Diana Rael will take on Darla Harris. Rael is coming off losses to Michelle Waterson and Stephanie Frausto which as she says, makes a win here more important. Rael's list of opponents shows she has fought a lot of tough competition and always puts on an exciting performance which she will tell you is very important to her, she loves to entertain the fans.
Q: Coming off your losses, go back to the Michelle Waterson fight, looking back, anything you wish you had done differently?
A: I feel with Waterson I dominated the fight. I should have stayed a little closer to the mount. I feel like the stand-up portion I did really well. I am the one who took her down, I just need to stay a little closer. She jumped on that little bit of space and got the choke in. Props to her, I am not taking it away from her at all, it was almost magical the way she got it haha.
Q: Is it frustrating, I mean would you rather lose a fight by getting dominated than lose a fight you feel you dominated and almost just get caught?
A: Yeah it is. I never knew the term "all fighters get caught", what it meant. I was like "what do you mean fighters get caught?" Now I completely understand that term. To train your butt off for something and for the outcome to be so quick, it is definitely not the one I wanted obviously. It is definitely heart-breaking. All my family said they could see the disappointment in my face. It is much worse to lose that way, but you just got to accept it and move on. You cant dwell on things, it poisons your body. Learn from your mistakes and better yourself for your next journey.
Q: Last time we did this you mentioned how important it is for you to entertain the fans, and anyone who has seen you knows you do, but can that sometimes backfire, make you do something you shouldn't do?
A: You know, it does. I am working in the gym on not getting caught in that moment. I definitely will always fight to entertain the crowd. People don't pay to see shows with someone laying on them. As a fighter I don't think that is entertaining and people shouldn't have to pay to watch that. So, it can backfire, but it depends on where your heart is and what you want in the MMA industry. You can have a thousand wins laying on somebody or you can have a thousand losses and entertain the hell out of the crowd, who is gonna be remembered?
A: October 13th you are fighting Darla Harris, what do you know about her?
A: Well, she just fought one of my teammates, so I know she likes to lay on ya haha. Pretty much, her wrestling is there, if it's properly defended it shouldn't be an issue. She is an all-around fighter, a little brawler. We will see how well it goes on the 13th. I am excited to get back in the cage. As far as what I know about Darla, she is another 115 pound chick from Colorado that I am yet to get my hands on.
Q: Coming off the losses, does that make a win more important?
A: It does, it really does. The Stephanie Frausto one I am very bitter with. That was a great battle, we both had a lot of clinch work and stand-up. I got kicked in the groin and my legs went underneath me and I fell horribly. I actually picked up a new sponsor from that fight, which is Rino Sport Galleri, a wrestling gym. Being kicked in the groin and not having the instinct to shoot made me think about it. She got the mount and what I felt was an illegal elbow fractured my orbital socket, so I couldn't see nor feel my face in the fight. She got the armbar and I couldn't fight it because the fact I seriously thought I was gonna be paralyzed or have a stroke. You talk about the different ways of losing, you can lose trying to be entertaining and you can lose in terms your don't think were fair, there are different ways, but it is how we come back. To dwell on my losses is not good for me as a fighter, I've had those weeks as a fighter. You are your worst critic, you sit and dwell and see what you could have done differently, but you just need to change what needs changed. For me, to be back in the cage is really exciting because I had a recovery after my fight and am excited to be back. I went weeks without being able to lift anything because of my eye, so it is nice to be able to spar and do things again and be myself again.
Q: You train with Lacey Schuckman who also has a big fight coming up. Does that help to train with someone who also getting ready for a fight?
A: It does! You train with your partners and teammates and it is a different intensity. The mental, fighting mental, is there for both of you. You can go hard and know there is no hardship. You know you are preparing each other to go to battle. It is different because of the mental aspect the two training partners have. It is very beneficial. Lacey is feeling super strong, it is nice to have someone you can fight and be like a real fight and be into it and get full MMA on. It is nice to have that same mental aspect, a great feeling.
Q: Is there an aspect where you feel you have the biggest advantage with Darla?
A: My stand-up and clinch work is gonna give her a few problems. I have a feeling she is gonna go one, two, shot, like she usually does, so we will have some knees and elbows ready for that.
Q: On the flip side, where could she pose the biggest threat?
A: She likes to lay on you and in Colorado takedowns and laying, it is weird, they love their wrestling, they love the lay on you style. To me, it isn't a challenge, but it is one of her strengths.
Q: In a situation like that, where you know what she is gonna do, do you spend more time working on what you want to do, or more time working on sprawls and things to negate her strengths?
A: You work on what you lack at that time. If I feel my sprawl is bad I will work the hell out of it, if I feel I need to work my clinch work, I will work it. For each fight it is different. It depends on if I am fighting a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, I have to spend a six week camp working on that. With Darla, she is an all-around fighter. I remember one or two times with Jen Berg and I, we used to train way back, and I helped Darla learn a rear naked choke. As far as where she is at in the game, she is still really fresh and an all-around fighter. I am training what I train. Upping my wrestling with Rino, Doing Muay-Thai with my team Serial Boxe, my Jiu-Jitsu with Mr. Peterson.
Q: Is there a key to winning this fight?
A: I don't think so, I really don't. My hunger and urge is far to deep.
Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: An entertaining fight, that's for sure.
Q: After this, any idea what you want next, or just focused on this?
A: Just focusing one fight at a time. I am really enjoying all I learn at Rhino. After the last loss I got my spark back. I found the fire, that urge and want that I had as an amateur. It is exciting for me and I cant wait to sue it in the cage.
Q: 105 isn't the deepest class as far as not having as many girls at that weight, is there a part of you that wishes you were maybe a little bigger and had a bigger pool of potential opponents?
A: You know, I do, but you know one thing Jason I have noticed, Stephanie Frausto is a perfect example, they are coming down. They have figured out how to cut. Stephanie was 115 and now 105, Lacey 115 to 105, Michelle Waterson 110 and now 105. They are coming. It is a matter of their bodies adapting to it. One thing I am having issues with is I am truly a 105 fighter and I have these big girls. The difference in weight between Angelica Chavez and Stephanie Frausto was night and day, I could feel it. That is my challenge, I gotta do what you do Jason, I have been lifting and eating like a horse. The class will get bigger. If I thought about it I could name more. Our next issue is we have to go up, so we can be fair at the weight class.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: My team Serial Boxe and trainer Ben Schissler. My sponsors Rino Sport Galleri, Revolution Chiropractic, Performance MMA, InkSmith, Jack-N-Grill, Salon Static, Typhoon Kennel, Archangel Fightwear, RPM Automotive, warpradio.com, and Gurl Fytrz.