Xtreme Couture Amatuer MMA fighter Corey Conay will be stepping in the cage this Saturday, March 12, 2016 at Tuff N Uff: Mayhem in Mesquite VIII. In this Q&A, Corey shares with us his experience in life as he's made his way to Las Vegas from Guam at the age of 7 to the developing fighter he is today.
Images in this article are courtesy of Ray Kasprowicz.
Photographer information and links to purchase images from included galleries at bottom of Q&A
Tell us a bit about yourself, where did you grow up and what was life like growing up? (Family, school, friends):
My family and I are originally from Guam. It's a small island in the Pacific Ocean. We moved to Las Vegas in 2003 when I was 7 years old. Of course at the time I thought moving was the end of the world because I was leaving behind almost everyone I knew, but I wouldn't change what happened because I found a great gym here in Vegas.
Were you involved in any sports as a youth in or outside of school?
I played baseball from as early as I can remember up to about age 9. I loved playing the sport but I stopped playing because it's not fun playing outside in over 100 degree weather.
What is your favorite child-hood memory?
Most of my favorite memories from when I was a child are whenever I would go back and visit family in Guam. Hanging out with family that I hadn't seen in years was always something I looked forward to.
Getting involved in MMA:
How did you get involved?
In high school, my friends and I would grapple each other in a corner of the school where we thought there were no cameras. I did good against other people who hadn't trained before, like myself. Two of my friends were taking grappling/jiu jitsu classes and they tapped me out every time. I felt like such a scrub whenever I grappled them and I wanted that feeling to go away. I found out about Xtreme Couture and started training there.
What discipline did you begin with and care to share a bit about your early experiences learning the sport(s)?
I didn't start with one particular discipline, I trained in MMA, grappling, wrestling, boxing, kickboxing etc. from the start. The part of MMA that I gravitated towards when I first started was grappling. Neil Melanson was the head grappling coach at XC at the time and he formed the XC grappling team. It was a group of talented grapplers who trained together to prepare for grappling competitions. Those team practices were some of the toughest experiences I've ever had.
At what point did you know you were ready to step in the cage for the first time?
I had been training on the amatuer team for a while, and my training partners started asking me when I was planning on fighting. At that point I felt I was ready because they felt I was ready.
When the cage locked behind you in your first fight, can you recall what went through your mind? How did your first fight turn out?
The only thing I was thinking about was what I had to do to win the fight. My mind was as clear as it had ever been and I was able to focus only on what was important at the time, which is probably a big reason why I pulled off the win. I knocked my opponent out 5 seconds into the fight.
What are 3 things you've learned while being involved in this sport?
1) Although you're the only person who can affect the outcome of the fight when you step into the cage, you're nothing without a great group of teammates and coaches.
2) Its important to stay in shape even if you don't have a fight lined up in case an opportunity presents itself on short notice
3) Waiting to fight is the worst part about fighting
What gym are you currently fighting out of?
What is your current record (ammy/pro) and at what weight?
4 wins 3 losses as an ameteur. I mainly fight at 135 but also have competed at 145 several times.
Do you currently have a nickname in this sport? If so, what is it and why?
No nickname has stuck with me yet
If you could improve one aspect of your game, what would it be and why?
I'm always working on improving my wrestling. More likely than not the fighter with better wrestling controls where the fight takes place. If I'm getting out classed by a better striker I have the option to take the fight to the ground where I have a better chance of winning. If I'm winning the stand up exchanges then I can feel comfortable knowing that I can keep the fight standing.
What is your most memorable experience as an MMA fighter?
My most memorable experience was winning my first fight by knockout in 5 seconds. It was the last thing anyone expected to happen. At that point I had been known as primarily a grappler, so everyone expected me to win the fight by submission. Once the bell rang, my opponent immediately rushed me and I landed the perfect punch when he was coming in and ended the fight.
Any interesting stories to share or learning experiences whilst fighting you would like to share?
I had to learn the hard way to remember to bring everything you need for a fight, especially if you have to travel far. My second fight was in a small town in Washington, and I realized not long after I got to the hotel that I had forgot my mouthpiece back in Las Vegas. I had to buy a new mouthpiece but of course I couldn't mold it to fit properly. For the entire fight I had to bite down extra hard on my mouthpiece to keep it from falling out if I got punched. Luckily it didn't keep me from winning by decision.
If you could offer one bit of advice to an aspiring fighter what would it be?
Train with people who beat you up all the time, it's the best way to get better.
What are your goals for the future in the sport?
My goals are to win my next fight, win the Tuff n Uff 135 pound title, go pro, and win the world title.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the sport and where it's headed?
It's a great time to be involved in the sport. MMA is becoming more and more popular and I'm excited to be a part of the fastest growing sport in the world.
If you could change one thing in the sport, what would it be?
I would change weight cutting. If fighters didn't have to deplete their body of nutrients and starve themselves the day before their fight, they would be able to perform much better.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
A successful professional fighter fighting in the top MMA organization
Favorite Food/Dish: Chipotle
Favorite type of Music: All kinds
Favorite Movie: Step Brothers
Favorite TV Show: The Office
Favorite Quote: "I'm not surprised motherfuckers" – Nate Diaz
Do you have any children? Do you plan on having any/more?:
I don't have any children and I feel like I'm too young to even be considering it
Best day of your life: The day I won my first amateur fight
Favorite Hobbies: Biking, hiking, anything outdoors
Who is your favorite super hero and why? I'm not into super heroes
Facebook Page/Fan Page: Corey Conway
Email Address: email@example.com
All Images Courtesy of Ray Kasprowicz
Website (Print Ordering/Contact): www.UltraVista.com
Facebook: Ray Kasprowicz Photography
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