As we approach the ending of 2013, we were lucky enough to form a bond with the men behind the Tuff-N-Uff promotion. While we've all experienced some losses in the community; as a family we stand strong and continue to support them on their mission to help fighters on the rise. In conjunction with Tuff N Uff, we have offered to produce interviews to learn more about the fighters on their cards as well as get their take on the event that's coming up. Decker Duran was our first responder and I'm glad to have went through with this interview. You can see Decker and plenty of other fighters January 24th on the Tuff-N-Uff card in Las Vegas or catch the IPPV at tuffnuff.com.
In memory of Barry Meyer (1970-2013)
Jason Przewoznik: Hey there Decker! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us about your story and your upcoming fight on the Tuff N Uff January card. I usually begin my interviews by getting to know where the fighters roots are and get a sense of direction from there. Let's begin. Tell us about Decker Duran; how was life growing up and where did you begin your journey?
Decker Duran: I had a very tough childhood, a lot had to do with my father being in prison. My mother was a single parent and did an amazing job with me, even though I was a knucklehead. I ended up in juvenile corrections off and on from the ages of 13 through 18. At 16 though a very crucial time that I remember is Going through a boot camp like facility, called Rite of Passage, Ridgeview Academy. In this place I met a man named Greg Townsend, he was such an inspiration to me, made me realize the athlete that I truly am. Being released in 2008, I haven't been in contact with him much since. Also in 2008, a very rough time for me occurred. My mother unexpectedly passed away, took me a few months just to stop being a hermit. I always told my mom that I would never ever give up my dreams of being a well known fighter in the world, she was so proud of what I had become from ROP. Now I am doing this for myself and her, not ever gonna stop trying to succeed. I want everyone to know that no matter what, through hard work and dedication comes success.
JP: Oh man… Definitely some rough times and sorry to hear of your loss. I find throughout the fighters I've interviewed, a life turned around to be one of the biggest motivators. You mentioned that it was your dream to be a well known fighter… What was it that introduced you into combat sports?
DD: In ROP I ended up wrestling, I was very good. So when I got out I tried out boxing, was really talented at that also, sparred with the likes of David Medina a highly touted fighter in the boxing world. My mom always told me her father was a professional boxer. The Coconut Kid was his fight name. So guess I wanna follow in his footsteps and inspire people.
JP: That's what I love to hear.. Those taking harsh times and turning them into inspirations for others… With a background in wrestling in boxing, what was your plans at the time? Was it straight into MMA or did you pursue something of those disciplines?
DD: I started off with those, then I pursued Jiu Jitsu. I want to become dangerous in all aspects of it! I did a few boxing matches.
JP: How was your experience in a competitive combat sport for the first time when you ventured into boxing? …and what was the deciding factor on moving into Mixed Martial Arts as a career? Were you a fan of the UFC or Pride or any early local promotions as a youngster?
DD: It was definitely the most exhilarating thing I've done! So freaking exciting, I was a huge fan of UFC, I've been compared to Diego Sanchez! Guess our styles are very similar. Just bang!!! Decided going to MMA when I landed my first head kick in practice (haha). Was the greatest feeling ever.
JP: Hahaha. So about how long have you been competing in MMA? Do you have a home gym that you've been at for a while?
DD: I've been training for 5 years brother! Fight out of Alvidrez Combat Grappling.
JP: There we go… Now were on to the good stuff. What is your current record? And do you have any stories or fun facts you'd like to share about your journey to the cage with Alvidrez Combat Grappling?
DD: My record is 3-2, all my training partner's are amazing, we have a brotherhood that is unexplained. They keep me grounded, David Vigil, Santana Sol-Martinez, Gabe Gonzales, David Vasquez, Teo Alvidrez!!!
JP: That's awesome. I feel with a tight circle of training partners and team mates you get that much more moral support drive when you're out there going to war. Having a 3-2 record… Do you have anything you'd like to share?
DD: I really ended up liking my opponents, they were super respectful and humble. You can't win em all, but you sure as hell can try!
JP: Ha. The truth. And that's what separates this sport from the "blood sport" in the eyes of those against MMA; Sportsmanship. That's a quality I look for on fighters I work with… When you're able to put all your blood, sweat, and tears on the line and shake your opponent's hand regardless of the outcome. This sport is about discipline and respect. …Speaking of respect.. You have a fight coming up January 24th in the most respected Amateur show in the states, Tuff N Uff. …What's your take on being a part of their 2014 kick off? What's your confidence level against Steven Hoffman who will be joining you in the cage?
DD: I feel great! I'm super confident that I'm gonna prepare myself for a war, Tuff N Uff is a great company with so many awesome people running it and it's reporters:-) I'm truly honored to put on a show for them!!
JP: I'm sure they are honored to have you. Do you have any words for Tuff N Uff, your opponent or the fans for January 24th?
DD: Thanks again for the awesome opportunity Tuff N Uff! To my opponent, let's give a fight to remember! God bless!!! To the fan's, you may purchase the whole seat, but you'll only need the tip of it when I come out to fight!
JP: Haha awesome man.. Just a few more brief questions and then I'll let you get back to training. At the present do you have future plans for your career? Do we see the switch to pro in your near future?
DD: Definitely after this fight, I'm gonna go pro. Looking to start fighting full time, always looking for sponsor's I'd be proud to represent them to the best of my ability!
JP: Great man. Hopefully this interview will help get the word out. Do you have any words for up and coming fighters who are trying to get their shine?
DD: Just follow your dreams and no matter what……. NEVER GIVE UP!!!
JP: Definitely man. Well, now its time to give you the floor… Any special thanks or shout outs you'd like to do; feel free to say whatever your message is!
DD: First and foremost I wanna thank God! Through him all is possible, also like to thank my sister and grandpa for all their support. My babies for giving me my inspiration, Tuff-N-Uff for this amazing opportunity! You for interviewing me, your definitely amazing brother! I'd also like to thank Just Clownin Records for their amazing sponsorship, Brawlin Combat Gear, J & S Liquor Store and my father for being here as much as he can now. HUGE SHOUTOUT to everyone that supports and believes in me!
JP: Great brother! …and yeah..I am pretty amazing (haha) ….Last question and I swear I'll let ya go. If someone were to want to contact you for sponsorships or fight contracts who can they reach out to? Any fan page or twitter you'd like to share?
DD: They can just contact me personally. My cell # is (719) 468-6400. I have a fan page on Facebook, under Decker Duran so I am looking forward to plenty more likes!
Sponsors – I will represent your brand/logo with dignity, self respect, and most important the motivation to excel us both to the next level!
JP: And we hope to see a fan and following reaction from this interview as well as your upcoming fight January 24th in Las Vegas!
Be sure to check this out either in person or IPPV – information about the upcoming card can be seen at www.TuffNUff.com
You can view our interview with his opponent, Steven Hoffman: HERE.