Interview: Ricardo Talavera

“If Rashon expects to see the same guy that fought Jeff, he’s making a mistake.”

Ricardo Talavera

Interview by: Lance Edwards

TCD interviewed Ricardo before his last fight with Jeff Rexroad. He returns to the cage again with Legacy Promotions to take on Rashon Lewis at Legacy Fighting Championships 8 on September 16th. We took the opportunity to catch up with Ricardo and find out his thoughts on this fight and his recent training in Pittsburgh where he is currently living.

TCD: Ricardo, what are your thoughts on your upcoming fight?

Talavera: Well every fight I’ve taken is a tough fight; my fight with Rashon will be tough as well. He is an athlete, a really fit person. I’ll have to keep myself on point. He brings some heavy hands, he’s explosive and he has great conditioning. It’s going to be an exciting fight, win or lose, we’ll put on a good fight. I know I’ll fight my heart out, so win or lose, it’ll be great. I’m coming with a vengeance.

TCD: Your last opponent, Jeff Rexroad, is one of Rashon’s training partners. Do you think having him help game plan for you gives him an advantage?

Talavera: If Rashon expects to see the same guy that fought Jeff he’s making a mistake. I’m not the same fighter. I hope that seeing the fight with Jeff, he realizes he’s going to really have to put me down to get rid of me. I’m not a surprise for Rashon, that’s fine, he can be aware. I’m cool with that. I’ve adjusted. Everything will be different.

TCD: Is there a particular aspect of your training that you tend to focus on more?

Talavera: I train everything. That’s what it’s all about, so I have to train everything. Cardio is so important. It doesn’t matter how strong or technical you are if you don’t have good cardio, because you won’t be able to use you strength or skill and you can’t make the most of your ability. I’m getting there in my preparation. There’s always something you want to improve, something you want to get better at.

TCD: Have you found a place to train since you made the move to Pittsburgh?

Talavera: I’ve been training with Team Junqueira with Professor Junqueira.

TCD:I’m not familiar with him. I assume he teaches Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Talavera: We do BJJ, but we do everything there. You have to.

TCD: How does the scene in Pittsburgh compare to Houston with regards to MMA?

Talavera: It’s not as big as in Houston. In Houston there are so many academies and gyms and it’s hard to go wrong there, regardless of what team you are from, you are part of that family. I’ve been blessed and lucky with the team I have found here. The training here is pretty much the same. MMA is such a huge growing sport and a lot of martial arts schools have tuned into that. Some schools focus more on BJJ or Thai boxing but because MMA is so huge, they accommodate. Elite MMA in Houston was Jiu Jitsu based, but the school was so big there were the other arts there. It’s the same here. To compete with others schools they have to add the other arts to balance what they have. They have to add boxing or kickboxing. It’s the same idea, but not as big.

TCD: Do they have active promotions there?

Talavera: I’m too new to the area to really know. I’ve been lucky to be with Legacy. It’s such a greatpromotion, and I’m happy to fight there so I haven’t looked. Work is busy and I have my family. There are fights around, like in New Jersey, but I haven’t looked. I might find out what’s around at some point.

TCD: Do you think you’ll be moving back to Houston again soon?

Talavera: I moved here with work, and I don’t know how long I’ll be here. I can see myself moving back, butyou never know with work. Maybe it will be after I am too old to fight anymore. I’m thirty-six now, and there are youngsters coming into this sport, so I don’t have many years of fighting ahead of me.

TCD: Anyone you’d like to thank?

Talavera: I’d like to thank my wife for putting up with my crankiness, schedule, and mood swings from cutting weight. Also Prof. Junqueira, Mike Miclot, Mike Linza, Simon Arias, Josh Butia, Kevin Goodwin, Carl Galley, Brian Butler and Chris Spraat; also my old coaches at Elite, Eric Williams, Hai Nguyen and David Campbell. Also Brett Boyce. Brett welcomed me into his team of fighters with Made To Win. There are others too, they know I mean them well.

I’m ready to F@#k $#%t up! I can’t wait to be down in Houston and see my old friends and family. Also it will be good to see the competition. I’m looking forward to being there.