Houston’s Prater and Larson Added to Strikeforce Challengers 14

Photo Copyright 2009 FighterPortraits.com – Used with Permission

Strikeforce has added two more Houston names to it’s Strikeforce Challengers 14 card that is taking place in Cedar Lake, Tx on February 18, 2011. First, it was Urban Jungle’s Lee Higgins who inked a deal to fight Ryan Couture; now it’s Paradigm’s Carlo Prater (24-8-1) who is scheduled to fight Brian Travers (12-2) in a 160lb catch weight fight.

Another fighter with Houston ties appearing on the card is Ryan Larson. Larson (5-2-0) was born in Houston but now fights out of Austin, TX. Larson’s last fight was a title fight against Derrick Krantz in August 2010. He lost that fight via rear naked choke late in the first round. Larson will be facing Eric “Bad” Apple (10-2-0).

The updated card now looks like this:

Lyle Beerbohm (15-0-0) vs. Pat Healy (20-15-0)
Erik Apple (10-2-0) vs. Ryan Larson (5-2-0)
Carlo Prater (25-10-1) vs. Brian Travers (12-2)
Ryan Couture (1-0-0) vs. Lee Higgins (2-0-0)
Thomas Diagne (0-2-0) vs. Aaron Lanfranco (1-0-0)

You can view the official card over at MMA.tv.

TheCageDoor.net’s Lance Edwards talked with Prater to get the low down on the fight and what he’s been up to since his performance at SC 6 back in October of 2010.

Written By: Lance Edwards

Not only is Carlo Prater a real gentleman of the Houston MMA scene, he’s also one of Texas’ greatest MMA fighters. Houston’s only practitioner to hold black belts in BJJ, Judo and Luta Livre, Carlo has been active in MMA for over a decade. I took a moment to chat with Carlo about his upcoming fight on Strikeforce Challengers 14 in Cedar Park, TX.

TCD.net: So how have things been going?

Carlo: Good, I’ve been training, doing my thing, keeping in shape waiting for the next fight.

TCD.net: You were down in Brazil for while. How was it?

Carlo: It was a good time, plenty of family time, and of course it was good to see old friends. I got some training in, but a lot of it was about spending time with the family, I trained with the RST guys, the Luta Livre guys. I also got to see Julio Pudin, who is my long time BJJ instructor, he’s a great coach.  In December, on the night of the Penn Edgar fight, he was driving home after and got car-jacked. Three guys got in his car, a fight ensued and he was shot in the face, the bullet lodged in his spine. At first he was a paraplegic, but he’s gradually getting his movement back. He’s a real life example. Despite being in a  wheel chair he goes to the gym everyday to check on his students training in downtown Brasilia. It was good to see him and give him a hug, and see that his spirits are still high. His brother was over from Porto, Portugal, where he has a BJJ/ LL school, he was one of the figures on theVale Tudo scene in Brazil before the UFC, and it was good to get a bit of training in with him.

TCD.net: So you’re on the Strikeforce Challengers card?

Carlo: That’s right, I fought for them before they did MMA promotions, and I found out a week and a half ago.  It’s great to have something to train for. Everything’s coming together, and I’m still a month out.

TCD.net: Who are you fighting?

Carlo: Brian Travis.  It’s a catch weight fight at 160. He’s fought at 170 and 160 before and fought his last fight against Pat Healy in that show, which he lost. He’s been around a long time, and is a good opponent.

TCD.net: How’s Paradigm since you got back?

Carlo: It’s good, everyone’s getting ready for the local Legacy card.  The guys have all put a lot of work in, and they’re looking really sharp.

TCD.net: I interviewed Jeff and he said you were cornering him.

Carlo: That’s right, Jeff likes the way I corner.  He’s a good guy and I’m pleased to be there to help him.

TCD.net: So what’s up next after Strikeforce?

Carlo: I don’t know, I’m looking at getting on more cards this year, but I’m just looking at the fight in front of me, and then I want to fight regularly. I haven’t fixed on what weight class I will fight at.  I can move between 155 and 170, although I’m most comfortable at 160.

You know I’m a fan of them introducing more weight classes, I think the current weight classes are a bit limited, and I think it would open up more competitive matchups for example 140, 147, 155 and so on. You’d see more interesting matchups and it’s something I’d like to see a promotion do.

TCD.net: You seem to travel around a lot, are you looking to go anywhere this year?

Carlo: I like to train with different people at the top end of the MMA game.  There are loads of places I’d like to go, like the east Coast. I have some people I know in Europe, there are people I’d like to train with in Brazil, I’d even go to Africa. If it’s combat and there’s adrenaline, I love it.

TCD.net: Are you planning on teaching again?

Carlo: Not at the moment, it’s something I like and I will do eventually. After going to Brazil, I’m really focused on my career. Of course I’ll always give private instruction, but I don’t want to commit to a group class. I have big plans, and want to be hyper mobile like I used to be. It’s hard to get the best training and fighting opportunities when you are responsible for people’s learning. As I said I have big plans this year, I want to regain recognition, credibility and respect.

TCD.net: We wish you good luck at thanks again for the interview.