MMA Interview with Paul Rocha 04/11/2013!

Paul tell us about yourself. What's your background?

I used to do a bit of amateur boxing years ago but I wasn't very good and never properly got myself fit for the bouts that I had. I also did a bit of Thai boxing just for fitness but playing football was always my main activity. I used to play every week for a local team.

How and why did you end up MMA?

When I had my first son I stopped playing all sports and put on loads of weight. After seeing a photo of myself I realised how out of shape I was and decided I needed to get fit again. I started Thai boxing again for fitness, then after a while the gym I was going to was starting MMA lessons with a guy called Jeff Lawson. I'd been watching MMA for years and loved the sport and heard he was a good fighter & trainer so I went to his first lesson and have been training with him since.

Are you training to become a professional fighter or just for fitness and fun?

Although I do hold one Title belt which is nice to have, MMA has always been just a hobby of mine. I love to compete and enjoy the training but it's never going to be more than for personal satisfaction and fun.

Do you have any sponsors?

I used to have a clothing sponsor called Frontline Fighter.

Who was your toughest opponent so far and why?

I've had plenty of tough opponents but the toughest was probably Michael Johnson. The guy seemed massive and cut down a lot of weight, felt like I could hardly move him when in the cage.

Who do you want to fight and who would you think twice about fighting?

There is no one I really want to fight. I have always just fought whoever is put in front of me by the promoters and am happy to go up against anyone.

Are there any rules you would change in MMA?

I wouldn't really change the rules of MMA, I like them the way they are. The one thing I would probably change is the day before weigh-in, people cut so much weight these days as the weigh-in is day before the fight. I think if it was the same day, people would fight at much more there natural weight and I think would give a much better fight.

What’s your favourite move or combination?

Don't really have any favourite moves as such, theirs a couple of choke holds that I get people in training with a lot though.

What type of training have you been doing lately for your workouts?

Training is a mixture of everything. I've been doing conditioning fitness first and then onto technical lessons and sparring. As I work full time I only train in the evenings and train for roughly 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. I've also squeezed in some 1-1 sessions with a couple of the coaches which has been really beneficial.

How do you motivate yourself?

Just having a fight arranged is good motivation. You have to really be on your game going in against anyone so it helps push you with your training.

Do you follow any special diet?

When training for a fight, yes, I have to really watch what I eat. I'm given a rough plan from our strength and conditioning coach Kane Evans which is really good, it's hard to do initially especially when its so nice to eat junk but you soon get used to it and feel so much better for it.

Do you use dietary supplements?

I use protein powder and some protein bars. I usually use Maximuscle stuff. They are a bit more expensive but I've always found it to be good stuff and easy to use and when you bulk buy it works out reasonably priced. I also take additional vitamin tablets along with my food too.

What's your methods of cutting weight?

I never used to cut much when I first started competing but guys are cutting more and more so I'm having to drop weight now. I usually try and do most of the weight loss by diet but also have to cut water as well. Hot salt water baths are what I tend to use and I usually aim to lose 5-6 kilos by it.,

Do you plan to learn any other martial arts?

No, I think I'm happy just doing the MMA training that I do.

Why do you use Ippon Gym?

I've learnt under Jeff Lawson since he started teaching in the Bournemouth area. He's an extremely genuine, friendly and good person and one of the best coaches around who has a PROVEN track record in a variety of martial arts. Too many people out there claim, and think, their good as they've had a couple of fights where as Jeff has actually been there and done it all since a very young age. All the coaches at Ippon are genuine, friendly people that properly know their stuff. The gym itself is clean, modern and has everything you need. It also has a really friendly atmosphere where egos and attitude are not welcome. I helped Jeff when starting Ippon Gym and am extremely proud to be part of it.

Who is your idol?

I don't really have an idol as such. I do like George St Pierre and Anderson Silva just for the fact that when on there game their pretty untouchable. I've got full respect to anyone that can fight so well at that level.

What's your advice to people who have just started MMA?

My advice is just to keep going with it and enjoy it, MMA is such a great sport. If your are doing it because you want to compete in it then I'd say don't rush it. There is so much to learn. It's a lengthy process that won't happen overnight. Realistically, it takes a good couple of years of training to make sure your ready.

Paul is fighting on Shock A Awe on the 9th of November against Jason Cooledge at Portsmouth's Mountbatten Centre.

You can watch one of Paul's previous fights here: