Interview: Eric “Da Monster” Thompson

“I am the baddest blue belt in Houston.”

Eric “Da Monster” Thompson

Interview by: Barry Laminack

 

If you have ever been to a Houston area MMA amateur weigh-ins, or perhaps you wondered back stage into the lockers at a show, you probably noticed Eric “Da Monster” Thompson. Eric isn’t your typical fighter when it comes to dressing for the occasion. This self-described “dapper” dressing fighter out of Silverback Fight Club is very Tim Kennedy-esque when it comes to dressing up for the non-fighting part of a card.

Most often you’ll find “Da Monster” dressed to the nines in a 3 piece suite complete with tie and dress shoes; but don’t let the slick styled Silverback fighter fool you. Much like his pre-fight wardrobe, he’s all business once he steps into the cage.

I had a chance to talk with Eric as he gets ready to face Ralph Garcia (Relson Gracie Galveston) at Cage Combat 6 on Friday Nov. 4 at the Humble Civic Center. (Tickets available here).

TCD: When did you first realize you wanted to fight?

Eric: About three years ago, I started training in Muay Thai at Elite MMA. My old coach, Eric Williams, told me that he was starting an MMA fundamentals class. Within weeks of training I showed tremendous progress, especially on the ground. I was offered a fight at the Lonestar Beatdown against Weapon at Hand’s Corey Stringer but the fight didn’t happen.

TCD: How would you classify your style in the cage?

Eric: I am a well rounded fighter. I will stand up and bang with you like my favorite fighter Yves Edwards, but if you slip and we go to the ground, that’s when “Da Monster” comes out. I am the baddest blue belt in Houston.

TCD: Yves Edwards! That’s my favorite fighter too! What was it that turned you into an Yves fan?

Eric: A few years ago I saw one of his highlight videos on YouTube. I’ve been a fan every since.  I saw him a few times at Elite back in the day. He’s a very cool and down to earth person, or as us country folk will say ,”good people”.

TCD: Now lets back up for minute. Why don’t we see “the baddest blue belt in Houston” rolling more at the local BJJ tournaments?

Eric: If the tournaments are during my training camp I don’t want to risk getting hurt.

TCD: Fair enough. So how long have you been at it? It being MMA.

Eric: Well I have been doing it for three years. I have trained at Elite for a year.  Then I went to Hoger MMA and waited for an opportunity to showcase my talent, but when I met “pops” [Silverback Gym Owner/Head Coach Tony Orozco Sr.] at Silverback, he pushed and pushed and pushed me mentally and physically to become a better fighter known as “Da Monster”.

TCD: So your nickname is “Da Monster”? Man, that sucks! I thought it would be like “Snazzy E” or “Jazzy T” or “Mowtown Philly” (you might be too young to get that joke) or something like that; mostly based off the way you dress at weigh-ins and pre-fight. So why “Da Monster”?

Eric: Everyone knows what happens when you make Bruce Banner mad; he turns into the Hulk. The same things goes for me in the cage. Once I see a little sign of weakness, here come “Da Monster” seeking to devour you.

And I know about Motown Philly! It was Boys II Men’s first single on their debut album. As a matter of fact I wrote the song.

TCD: Well, I’ve said several times that you’re the best dressed fighter in Houston MMA, but I gotta ask, why do you do it?

Eric: I just love to look my best, and I am a representative of Silverback Fight Club. I dress dapper so I can help clean up the falsely tarnished image of Silverback FIght Club. I’m Silverback’s Public Relations Agent.

TCD: Since you work P.R. for Silverback I gotta ask you, why do you think you guys get a bad rap?

Eric: Well there are a few variables to consider. First, it’s sad to say this but you have some people who are just followers. They just want to go along with the crowd. If a person says something bad about Silverback then here comes a slew of people who want to jump on the band wagon and bad mouth us. By spreading all kinds of slanderous accusation such as,”They always start fights” or “They’re are Ghetto” and so on. To the people who call us “ghetto”, here are some facts on the term: the term became more widely used for ghettos in occupied Europe in 1939-1944 when the Germans reused historic ghettos to confine Jews prior to their transportation to concentration and death camps during the holocaust.

The other issue is that people can’t distinguish between Silverback fighters and Silverback’s fans/supporters . Just because they have on a Silverback shirt on doesn’t mean they know how Tony wants us to conduct ourselves like professional at the fights. It even happens when you go to football, baseball, or basketball game. Fans get out of hand sometimes.  Should the team get penalized for it or the individual who is responsible for their unruly conduct?

Lastly, we are always the underdogs and who likes the underdog?

TCD: What are you expectations going into this fight?

Eric: I’m expecting to get this win on this ghost. I say that because he is supposed to have a good record but I cant find any film on this guy. Its going to be a dog fight!

TCD: Prediction?

Eric: My prediction is that John “Chile” Rodriguez, Ignacio “Nacho” Martinez and I are going to put it all on the line to get that win!

TCD: Well good luck man, this has been fun. Anybody you want to thank?

Eric: First and foremost I would like to thank Jehovah God who made it possible for me to train hard without getting physical injured. My family, my church (Hiram Clarke M.B.C.). I want to say Thank You to my Silverback family too. To my pops Tony, my brother from another mother John “Chile” Rodriguez, lil’ Tony, Larry Hopkins, Larry Crowe, JT, “The Black Beast”, Daivd, Nacho, Jacob, Kolton, Romiro, Leroy, ACE, JP, Ruben, Skinny, Christina V, Drake, Cindy, Terri, Kim Patterson and last but not least Twinky. Also thank you to TheCageDoor.net!