“Going against tough guys and being able to hold your own gives you a lot of confidence.”
Interview by: Lance Edwards
One of the dark horses on the upcoming Legacy card is Evert Gutierrez. Evert is known locally more on the grappling circuit than for his MMA. His opponent is well known on the local amateur scene, Corey Allmand, and we are definitely in for a war in this fight. I took the opportunity to find out a little more about Gutierrez.
TCD: Evert, how long have you been training?
Evert: Well I started in martial arts at thirteen when I started boxing. I boxed until my late teens, when I got into Tae Kwon Do as well and was training both. I then stopped competing in boxing at around the age of eighteen but I continued to compete in Tae Kwon Do regional and state tournaments.
TCD: So how did you make the transition to MMA?
Evert: Well I was introduced by some friends, and started dabbling in Jiu-Jitsu. A friend got me a fight in Louisiana in October ’08, and that was really the beginning. Since then I’ve messed around a bit with Muay Thai, and been training Jiu-Jitsu. I’m 1-0 in MMA and have had a couple of Muay Thai fights as well.
TCD: Where are you training at the moment?
Evert: Well mainly at Paradigm. It’s an excellent gym, with some of the top guys both locally and in the state. I don’t need to tell you the guys who are there, you already know; guys like Mike B, Brian and Jeff, there are a lot of experienced guys who win fights, and get fight of the night when they do fight. It’s a great place to train.
TCD: Where are you most comfortable in your training?
Evert: Well my strength is actually the ground. It seems funny as I spent all that time doing standup, and have been training that longer. Texas doesn’t have a lot to offer in terms of standup competition, so I really focused on my grappling so I could compete. I’m sure if there had been kickboxing competitions monthly locally, I’d have done that instead, but there are far more opportunities in grappling.
TCD: You’ve been active in grappling competition for a while.
Evert: Yes, I’ve competed in Grapplers Quest, the Pan Ams, NAGAs, as well as local competitions like Fight To Win. You know, it is a different game to MMA, but a lot of my grappling that I’ve used in those competitions is relevant, and I’m pretty confident in my grappling abilities, I’ve competed against grapplers who are known nationally, and done alright, so I’m confident in my abilities.
TCD: Are there any achievements in grappling that stand out for you?
Evert: Well I won NAGA at state level multiple times, and have placed in Grapplers Quest. Going against tough guys and being able to hold your own gives you a lot of confidence.
TCD: Do you train much in the gi?
Evert: Well I’ve trained at Bam Bam a long time, and we did a lot there. Over the last year I’ve been doing a lot of no-gi, but I still train in a gi twice a week.
TCD: How has your preparation for this fight gone?
Evert: I’ve trained with Brian Melancon a lot, and he’s really brought all my game together. I don’t just do standup and ground, I can transition between the different aspects, and it’s Brian that’s taught me that, and put it all together. Brian’s great at what he does, and very knowledgeable.
TCD: Do you really think people are regarding you as the underdog?
Evert: I think so. People don’t really know me. People who do know me know me as a grappler; I actually like being the underdog. That suits me fine.
TCD: How have you found the weight cut?
Evert: I usually do a small cut when I compete; right now I’m walking at 175lbs. The last couple of fights I’ve had I had at 185lbs, so this is the first time fighting at 170 for me. I feel great, it seems to suit my frame better. I haven’t lost any of the strength I had at 190, but I’m much quicker.
TCD: Do you plan to go pro?
Evert: Eventually, but I don’t want to jump the gun. When the time’s right I’ll talk to Brett Boyce who gives me good advice, and is kind of my manager, and see what he says. I’ll see what happens Friday and take it from there.
I’d like to give a shout out to Paradigm, and the guys there, and everyone who has helped me. Special thanks to Reed Shelger for taking me in, and of course I thank God for letting me do what I love.
TCD: I look forward to seeing the fight, good luck