Another HYPE sponsored fighter. Dave works with some of the best up and comers, so I’m excited to work with Josh Shaver, an Amatuer Middleweight Fighter out of WV. With a record of 1-2 and looking to turn things around for the better. Let’s do this!
Jason Przewoznik: Good Afternoon Josh! Glad to have you here and thanks for reaching out to me this week. I’ve worked with Dave over at HYPE and he knows what he’s doing with his fighters, so I know this can only go well, haha. I’m sure you’ve seen what we do, I try to let the fighters speak their stories before I get into the rapid fire of questions. So with that long drawn out introduction — care to tell us a little bit about who Josh Shaver is?
Josh Shaver: My full name is Joshua Mark Shaver, I’m 6’3″ tall, weigh in at 215, but cut to middleweight for my fights. Graduated from Valley High School (which had no wrestling program) in a small town in West Virginia. I moved to Wheeling, WV at age 22 and found MMA a year later. Now at 25 I have a record of 1-2 in the cage with mediocre training due to the sport’s lack of popularity in my area. But, back to growing up. I was from a town with football pride so that’s mainly the only thing I did other than run track. My mom raised me alone until I was 9 when she met my step father, but she is definitely my backbone and support through everything. Grew up from age 9 with an older adopted stepbrother, younger step sister and later on a younger half brother. The little brother is in a wheelchair now from a surgery accident, but was always up to help me train even tho he was only 11 at the time.
JP: Nice man, very interesting background. I must say I relate to being close to my mother and her being my backbone, hats off to those great mothers out there! haha. That’s also great to see your brother being involved at his age and condition… So you played football, ran track – obviously your cardio must be strong; other than that, what actually pushed you to train in MMA? Did you start with a discipline or did you just dive into the mixture of the arts?
JS: My cardio is the best it has ever been, probably better than when I was in high school! But I started of with strictly no-gi jiu-jitsu and incorporated muay thai in the equation later on. I’m actually going to Thailand to train at gym 301 for a week and kick a few banana trees around with the locals.
JP: Haha nice, like Jean Claude in “Kickboxer”!?
Would you say you’re more of a technical fighter with your jiu jitsu or do you prefer slugging it out with a nice muay thai clinch?
JS: Just like Jean Claude, only better! Haha. Except for the fact that I’m getting in a cobra pit while in Bangkok! I’m great with both, but if I had to choose it would definitely be a slug fest with huge knees from the clinch, for sure.
JP: Haha, I think you just challenged Jean Claude Van Damme!
So you have a record of 1-2 in the cage; How has the experience been for you in the cage? Was it what you expected when you first stepped inside and they locked the doors?
JS: Haha, it’ll be blood sport all over again! I’ve loved every minute in the cage, the rush I feel is unexplainable and even though I have a losing record I’m still very humbled for the opportunities. My first cage fight was a mix of adrenaline and butterflies especially since I was fighting an undefeated fighter; I lost, but will never forget the moment right before the ref gave us the signal to fight.
JP: He gave you the signal, can you explain the feeling? Or was it just a mix of that adrenaline/butterfly feeling?
JS: It was a flashback of all the training and gym time I put myself through, all of that for one moment in the cage was exhilarating.
JP: Nice, experiences like that you can never forget, nor recreate! So how often do you train now? Any news on when you’re stepping back in the cage?
JS: I just recently lost on November 25th by KO, but I’m training 3 times a week with 5 days on the weights. I’m suspended until January 25th, but am trying to have it waived so I can fight in January… in Columbus, Ohio.
JP: So you’re anxious to get back in the cage. coming off a loss and the fact you’ve stepped up your training – are you feeling more confident coming back in?
JS: I’m going to be a totally different fighter, a complete 100% turn around. My confidence levels are sky high since I switched gyms. Skraphouse MMA in Columbus, Ohio welcomed me with open arms and put forth just as much effort as I do.
JP: That’s awesome to hear; care to share anything about Skraphouse? Training Regiments or changes you’ve experienced?
JS: Well I’ve only trained with then once, but they welcomed me with open arms without even knowing me. They [skraphouse] opened the gym, wrapped my hands, and cornered me all on short notice when I dropped my trainer. I’ve never seen so much support and motivation in one gym in my career! I’ll be training with them on a regular basis starting next weekend, so I’m pumped!
JP: So a new gym walking in with high hopes and an open mind have you prepared to turn your record around! I think we’ll need to wait until you have a set date for your next fight and have been at skraphouse a bit and we’ll definitely touch base again to see where you stand – hoping that this new mindset puts you ahead of the game!
But before I let you go, I want to branch over into your sponsor, HYPE. Care to share a bit about what they’ve done for you and your relationship with them?
JS: I’m actually trying to set my next fight date for January 20th in Columbus, Ohio for the Amateur MMA festival. My sponsor HYPE is the first to give me a chance and I am forever grateful. The amount of motivation and support just through phone calls and text messages has been unreal and has def sent my confidence through the roof! Dave (HYPE) has set me up with his full line of apparel and I couldn’t be happier with it!
JP: That’s great, Dave is very involved with his guys and he has a great philosophy as a sponsor; he’s going somewhere and so is anyone who is under him! I hope to see you in the cage in January! I’m also sure we’ll connect again either prior or post-fight to discuss the actual event!
Got to throw in the trademark question; who is your favorite childhood superhero and why?
JS: Captain America, the dudes a beast… and thanks alot for this opportunity!
JP: Not a problem, [generally, a why is more than just a one word answer…If I was grading this, I’d take some points off!]
I swear this is the LAST one before I let you go; is there any special thanks or shoutouts you’d like to give?
JS: Haha! I’d like to thank my parents, little bro Drew, Greg, Marsha, Brooke, Breanne, my sponsor HYPE and Skraphouse MMA! Special shout out to my dude Luke Norman for sticking with me at the gym, helping corner at the fights, and sitting in the sauna while I cut weight.