"I train hard for all my fights. I really didn’t feel a difference, but I feel sorry for the girl. That’s 5 minutes of getting pounded in the head. Even though it’s not constant punches like in boxing, but I’m going to be throwing punches and that is punches hitting something. It’s just longer rounds for the other girls to be pounded," stated boxing world champion Amanda Serrano, who talked about her upcoming mixed martial arts debut. Check it out!
PC: How are you doing Amanda?
AS: Everything is going good. How are you?
PC: Everything is going great, thanks. I know you have been putting in a lot of work for your MMA debut on April 13th for Combate Americas. How do you feel?
AS: Everything is going well. I’m gaining confidence and every day is getting better. I’m excited, I’m anxious and ready. I’m a little nervous, but I always get nervous before even my boxing matches. I’m just going to go out and perform and show all of my hard work.
PC: I was going to ask you that, given this is something new to you and although you have dominated the boxing aspect of combat, what are your nerves like the closer this thing gets?
AS: Yeah, but I always do. Even in my boxing matches though. To this day, I have over 30 fights and I still get nervous. It’s just going to be a different environment. It’s not going to be ring ropes, it’s going to be a cage. I’m a fighter at heart. I’m just going to go in and do what I do best and fight.
PC: Mike Afromowitz said that Meisha Tate was the person that told Combate Americas to take a look at you. It has to be an extreme honor to have such a pioneer speak on your behalf and vouch for you.
AS: She’s a great adviser and who better than a former Strikeforce and UFC champion. She knows the game in and out. She knows how it is to get punched in the face and to get kicked, so it’s good to have her on my side. She’s been a great adviser and she’s been giving me great tips.
PC: I like the fact that you aren’t one of these boxers that feels like you can just go take over MMA. You know your 20-fight boxing win streak and your 34 wins in boxing will mean nothing on April 13th and therefore you have taken this challenge super serious.
AS: Yeah, you have to take it serious and you have to have patience. It’s a different sport entirely. Its completely different from boxing. I can only take 20% of my boxing skills into MMA. You have to give these girls respect because it is a different ball game. I’m not going to go out there like a crazy girl and think just because I have boxing skills that I’m going to be able to handle them easily because it’s a different skillset. I’ve been working really hard on my grappling, my defense from being taken down. Of course my strikes are always going to be there. That’s never going to let me down.
PC: How about the 5-minute rounds? How did you prepare for those? Are you doing something differently than what you do in boxing?
AS: No, no, the same thing. I train hard for all my fights. I really didn’t feel a difference, but I feel sorry for the girl. That’s 5 minutes of getting pounded in the head. Even though it’s not constant punches like in boxing, but I’m going to be throwing punches and that is punches hitting something. It’s just longer rounds for the other girls to be pounded.
PC: How do the 4 oz. gloves feel to you?
AS: It feels awesome (laughing). It feels so comfortable. I’m able to close my fist more and just land more powerful shots. I can’t wait to land one on someone’s face.
PC: You are currently the WBO bantamweight champion. How do you plan on balancing the two sports? Is it going to be on a fight-by-fight basis?
AS: I definitely need to defend my title and maintain my boxing world champion status. So hopefully after this fight, if everything goes well, I want to break my own record and become a 6-division world champion. That’s what my promoters are working on right now after my MMA fight. We will be doing that. My goal as a fighter is to be a boxing champion and MMA champion at the same time, so I have to keep my boxing champion status. I gotta maintain that, so it’s going to be a fight-to-fight basis.
PC: Have you taken anything away from Ana Julaton or Heather Hardy on the do’s and don’ts of what to do and not do?
AS: Just not to look like them (laughing). No shade, but, I have to just think about myself and what I want to accomplish and what I don’t want to do. I don’t want to perform the way they did. I want to stick to what I know and just become a great MMA fighter like I am a boxing champion. I don’t want to pay attention to any other boxers who transitioned into MMA. I just want to become my own fighter. I don’t want to be in the same realm with those girls. I want to be my own fighter.
PC: What would be the perfect debut in your mind? To get rounds, quick finish?
AS: I would like for it to go for a round or two, but you know, the faster the better; I’m getting paid the same. I would like for it to go a couple of minutes just so they can see the skills and things that I’ve been working on, even if she tries to take me down. I’ve been working really hard and I just want them to be able to see the transition and how hard I’ve been working on everything, so it can all come together and of course ending it with a nice knockout.
PC: What has been the biggest change or adjustment you’ve had to make from a training standpoint?
AS: Definitely the stance. In boxing, my trainer always tell me not to be too square; be less visible to my opponent. In MMA, you have to be more squared up because you have to be aware of the takedowns, kicks, and you have to be able to be ready to sprawl as soon as possible. So the stance is different. And also the spacing. I have to be careful of the spacing. I don’t want to be too close to my opponent because they will be able to take me down and clinch and elbow and knee, so maintaining my distance and being patient. MMA training is extremely hard. You have wrestling and Jiu Jitsu and all of that good stuff and that’s not easy.
PC: I know you had other offers, but what made Combate Americas the place for you?
AS: We did get offers from other organizations, but Combate Americas stood out because they are all about Latinos and I am a proud Latina. I love and respect what they are doing for the Latinos. Who better to go fight for than Combate Americas?
PC: Absolutely! I wish you the best of luck, thanks for your time, and I would like to speak to you and see what your first experience in the cage was like afterwards. Is there anything else you want to add?
AS: Thank you for putting my story out there so people can read it. I want to thank my entire team for working hard with me and my sponsor Combat Legend and my promoters Combate Americas for all the great work that they are doing.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]