â€œDonâ€™t give me an inch, come out there and give it all you have. Â Donâ€™t let upâ€
Interview and Photos by: Richard Burmaster
Hossan Walker is not like a lot of people. Many people like it when no one is looking, and they can take it easy for a second, relax for a minute, put their hands down to their sides and just breath. Hossan goes at the same intense pace whether or not anyone is looking. I have watched Hossan train inside of a big gym with 30 other fighters around him, and I have watched him wear himself out inside a gym no bigger than 10 mats long when he thought no one was watching. There was no difference in the effort he gave no matter the crowd. He always tries to outlast you.Â If there is no one else in the gym, he will push himself till he physically canâ€™t give anymore.Â Then, he will make himself do another round. There is no quit in Hossan. He is consistently the smallest guy at his training gym Extreme MMA where he is usually outweighed by at least 60lbs. That type of trial by fire creates a very dangerous opponent for anyone. On Saturday Hossan will take on Craig Gardner for the 170lb Lonestar Beatdown title at the Arena Theater in Houston Texas. I was able to pull him of the gym for a few minutes to talk with me.
TCD.net: How did you get started in MMA?
Hossan: Well, when I was in high school there were three things I wanted to accomplish before I turned 30. One was go to Japan, another was own my own house before I turned 30, and I wanted to participate in MMA. After about five years of BSing around I decided I should just go ahead and do this, so here I am today. I actually met my trainer at a Gamestop.Â I was looking at this big tough looking guy, and I asked him if he was a fighter? He said yes and that he had a gym, and he invited me to come over and check it out. I went out there, and man they were beating the crap out of each other.Â I thought it was great, and I said lets do this.
TCD.net: How long have you trained here at One to One/Extreme MMA?
Hossan: I have been here about two years.
TCD.net: What keeps you here at Extreme MMA?
Hossan: I have gone to a few other gyms, and I got the feeling that they were there just for the reputation and not for the love of the sport.Â I didnâ€™t feel that they could give me the dedication I was looking for. Now donâ€™t get me wrong I love sparring at other gyms, itâ€™s a great way to gain experience, but Iâ€™m staying right here.
TCD.net: Which do you prefer to stand and bang or to take them down and grind it out?
Hossan: If you look at my last two fights, they said I had great takedowns and ground and pound. Iâ€™ve never really considered myself as a ground guy, always thought of myself as a striker. Because of the situations in the fights my coach told me to take them down and beat the living crap out of them. Apparently, Iâ€™m really good at it. (Laughs) I really want to say Iâ€™m a stand up guy, but itâ€™s looking more and more like Iâ€™m a ground guy.
TCD.net: In your last fight you had plenty of explosive takedowns, was that the game plan going in?
Hossan: It was more of a reaction during the fight. Once I had him on the cage, the situation just screamed take me down! Iâ€™m not trying to talk trash he was a stand up guy, but when it came to his ground defense it wasnâ€™t really that great. I just took what he gave me.
TCD.net: Why do you fight?
Hossan: I like fighting. Truth be told I got beat up a lot in junior high, and itâ€™s not because I didnâ€™t like to fight or that I was scared to fight back. It was because I didnâ€™t want to go back to my parents house and hear my parents nag me about it. So I would rather get my ass kicked than have my parents nag me about. Now that Iâ€™m a grown manâ€™ and Iâ€™m in college, Iâ€™m here sparring with these guys who hit like mfers here, and I just like it. I just like fighting.Â Itâ€™s what I want to do. I want to just hit someone as hard as I can and get hit back as hard as they can.
TCD.net: What was it like your first time in the cage?
Hossan: I was scared man. Not going to lie.Â I had the mentality that I knew I was going to win. Then, we got in the cage, and when, I saw the guy across from me all I could think was that Iâ€™m going to murder this guy, plain and simple. When they said go, I remember walking really fast towards him, but they said I ran at him.Â I just started swinging on him.Â A couple of shots landed, and we stepped back and took a short breather.Â He threw this lazy right, and I rushed in and took him down, over and over for three rounds I took him down.Â It was exhausting. It was fun
TCD.net: Taking someone down wears your opponent down as well as takes a toll on you. How do you build up that deep gas tank to continue the takedowns?
Hossan: For me, I try to run three times a week. I try to run forty five minutes to an hour each time ither on the treadmill or the track. When on the treadmill, I do an exercise called the running man. Its different intervals of times at different speeds each time it gets faster and more intense with each level. Itâ€™s very intense.
TCD.net: Your next fight is for the 170lb Lonestar Beatdown title against Craig Gardner, have you seen much footage of Craig?
Hossan: No, I have actually never seen him fight. I met him once at another fight, but besides that I donâ€™t really know anything about the guy.
TCD.net: If you win the title are you going to go pro or defend it?
Hossan: Iâ€™m going to defend it a few times.Â Once youâ€™re the champion you have to defend it once to really be the champion.
TCD.net: Anything you would like to say to your opponent?
Hossan: Donâ€™t give me an inch, come out there and give it all you have.Â Donâ€™t let up.
TCD.net: How do you see this fight ending?
Hossan: I want to say KO. I donâ€™t feel like going four rounds again. F that. I know he comes from a school thatâ€™s predominately known for its ground game, so I suppose that he is good at Jiu Jitsu.Â Iâ€™m just going to try to knock him out standing.
TCD.net: Who are your favorite fighters?
Hossan: I like to watch Rashard Evans fight, even though he is known for his wrestling. Â I like his boxing style, and I also like BJ Penn.Â BJâ€™s boxing is bad ass.
TCD.net: Anything you would like to say to family and friends?
Hossan: Thank you for all the love and support that I have gotten from all of them. Especially from everyone here at the gym, all my training partners, my family who didnâ€™t even know about this till about a month later, and all who believe in me.Â I thank them .
TCD.net: Do you have a motto you live by?
Hossan: Go out there and whoop some ass!