“It’s always nice to kick people in the face that are trying to hurt me.”
Interview by: AJ Hoffman
Daniel Delgado put on one of the most explosive performances of the night at Cage Combat 5, knocking out James DeHerrera in mere seconds. Unfortunately, as soon as he dropped DeHerrera with a head kick, he loaded up and punted him in the head. It looked like a Shogun Rua soccer kick from the Pride days. Here in America, though, it isn’t legal. Delgado was disqualified for kicking a downed opponent, and what appeared to be the knockout of the night, was instantly turned into a loss. He looks to redeem himself at Cage Combat 6, when he takes on Team Bailout’s Dat Nguyen.
TCD: OK. First things first. Let’s talk about the last fight against James DeHerrera at Cage Combat 5. Talk me through what happened, and talk me through what was going through your head during and after.
Delgado: Well let me start by saying I’d heard he was a bad ass boxer and undefeated in MMA. I had no intention of playing rockem-sockem robots with him. So I specifically worked a lot of head movement and a lot of takedowns because I anticipated it going a lot longer than it did. Lucky for me he threw a feeler kick, I caught it and returned the gesture a little higher and harder. He fell and I instinctively went in for the finish. Problem was my foot was closer than my fist and my mind was half a second behind both.
TCD: Did you take any positives away from that? Even though it is an L at the end of the day, are you able to go back and say, “At least I crushed him before I f*cked up?” Or do you just look at it as a loss?
Delgado: Gotta say the most positive part about it was I didn’t get hit. It’s usually a good thing to not get hit during a fight. Aside from that it’s always nice to kick people in the face that are trying to hurt me. Plus I can watch the fight like ten times in a minute, so that’s pretty cool.
TCD: Did you feel like maybe he was out before the kick? Did you put up any kind of fight to try and have the ref say he was out before the foul?
Delgado: I didn’t have time to think. That fight was all reflex. Like I said, my mind was about a whole half second behind my body. Pure action and reaction. The millisecond before I made contact on the second kick it registered but it was too late and I knew I just gave him the fight. It didn’t matter if he was still conscious or not, he was a downed fighter and I shouldn’t have done what did. Just gotta work on being more cerebral and calming my emotions down.
TCD: Talk about your training camp for this fight. What have you been focusing on coming into this one?
Delgado: What’s a training camp? You mean like 8 weeks out focus on strength and base cardio, then 6 weeks out do more fight specific exercises, then 4 weeks out straight technical drills and hard sparring , etc etc? I didn’t do any of that. I thought I was gonna just watch Ashley Meza’s fight this weekend. Then last week I heard there was an opening in my weight class. I figuredmy medicals are good, plus it’s cheaper than buying a ticket. Besides I stay ready. If I have a fight or not I’m sparring at least 2 days a week. I’m rolling at least 2-3 days a week , I’m doing bag work or mitt work at least once a week. Conditioning I do when I get bored or restless. Everyday I’ve got to run myself out like a horse or I can’t sleep.
TCD: You guys have a great new crop of amateurs at Paradigm, and obviously a ton of great pros. What do you think it is about your gym that has you guys so prepared?
Delgado: Hmm 135-170. We have a lot of good quality people and 95% of us fight between 135lbs to 170lbs. It also helps that we are all hungry.
TCD: Talk about your opponent, Dat Nguyen. Have you seen any film on him or heard anything about him? What are you expecting from him coming into this fight?
Delgado: Dat Nguyen. I actually know very little about him. I understand he’s debuting and trains in College Station with Team Bailout. Other than that I could be mistaken but I believe Nguyen is a Vietnamese last name. I expect him to try to beat me up but fail in the process.
TCD: I saw you after the DeHerrera fight, and you were wrangling a whole crew of kids. How do you find the time to balance kids, work, fighting?
Delgado: Yeah, I’ve got three amazingly awesome boys. Wanna talk about cardio try playing tag in a McDonald’s play place for an hour. Right now I’m mostly a weekend warrior when it comes to my kids. They stay with their mom. I take them to school in the mornings before I go to work. Then on the weekends I conjure up something for the 4 of us to do. As far as how I balance the time, there is always time for what you make time for. If it’s important to you , you will find a way.
TCD: What is your prediction for Friday night?
Delgado: If I can help it I’m gonna try not to kick him at all. I plan on kneeing him in the face like Ernesto Hoost would and if that doesn’t knock him out then I might grapple with him. I haven’t really got to use any wrestling or jujitsu since I’ve started training it . So it would be nice to see how I’ve progressed.
TCD: Anyone you want to thank?
Delgado: I’d like to thank Darkside BodyArt for my ink. Terry and Big Rob do awesome work with a tattoo gun. Gotta thank Eric Garcia with Cage Combat for letting me fight in his promotion. I’d like to thank all my training partners at Paradigm ; Colin , Jason Friedman , Juan , Edgar , Ashley , Rev Bart , Brian , Mike B , Lee , Reed , Lester ,Chop , Yan , Tyler , Jarred Pratt , Rashon , Rexroad ya bully , Coach Frank , Igor and everyone I rolled with from his class , Hossan , Solomon , Coach Alberto and all his wrestlers , Corrine , and everyone else who I’ve had the pleasure of hitting in the face or rolling with. I’d also like to thank Jason and Joe Soliz , Lance Findley , Ryan Faber , Derek Fury and everyone at 3rd Coast MMA. Another awesome gym I’ve had the pleasure to train at. Oh and gotta thank my folks for my awesome genetics and my mom and step dad for raising me how they did . Can’t say that enough. Also gotta thank my homegirl Carol Leva for being an awesome friend.