I've had the pleasure of working with Tuff N Uff for quite some time and now that I've come back into the writing business, they've still welcomed me with open arms. Up and coming fighter, Rudy Garcia will be fighting on their upcoming card, Tuff N Uff: Mayhem in Mesquite VIII this Saturday, March 12, 2016. Rudy trains out of Las Vegas Krav Maga and fights at 125 lbs with a 4-2 amatuer MMA record. Rudy will be taking on fellow 125 pounder, Erik Van Der Lee in what looks to be an amazing fight. Rudy quickly accepted and completed our Q&A to share a bit of his life with us… Let's learn a bit about who El Matador is! Ole!
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 your life growing up (family school, friends)?
I was born in Northridge, California and moved out here to Las Vegas at the age of 6 and have been living here since. I'm the youngest of 3 so as usual I was picked on by my older brothers. I went to Robert Lunt elementary from 1st-4th grade and Sunrise Acres for 5th grade, attended Dell H Robison middle school, and graduated from Desert Pines High school. I received my AA at CSN then transferred to UNLV to get my Bachelor's in Criminal justice.
Were you involved in any sports as a youth in or outside of school?
I played soccer when I was young from 6 years old until 12, aside from that I played basketball and football for fun.
What is your favorite child-hood memory?
Favorite child hood memory was when I was playing soccer and I was going in to score a goal and my mom was screaming, she was excited and I ended missing the shot and then I turned to my mom and told her to not cheer because it makes me nervous. It something I remember and still laugh about it.
Any interesting child-hood stories and/or fun facts?
When I played soccer I scored 7 goals in one game.
Also I made 7 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and I was not able to eat them.
Getting involved in MMA:
How did you get involved?
I first started watching the UFC back when Chuck Liddell was fighting against Tito Ortiz. I was hooked from the get go, from there I would always tune in but it wasn't until 2 years ago that I started training.
What discipline did you begin with and care to share a bit about your early experiences learning the sport(s)?
I started off with wrestling in high school I wrestled half the season my junior year and the entire season my senior year. What I learned from wrestling aside from technique was how to cut weight, mental strength, and that determination is key.
At what point did you know you were ready to step in the cage for the first time?
I knew I was ready when they called from an organization 2 weeks before the fight and I was excited instead of nervous. My mind set was right and I was comfortable with how I was physically. It also helped that my coaches believed 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?
First thing that came to my mind was "here we go, this is what we worked for lets get this work in." I won my first fight via unanimous decision and in the process taking fight of the night award. It was a great debut not just for me but for my gym as a whole.
What are 3 things you've learned while being involved in this sport?
3 things I've learned is
1) I learned the love I have for this sport. I know I love this sport because of my dedication to the sport. It is a rigorous sport but I enjoy every little thing about it from the good to the bad.
2) I've learned that the people that you surround yourself with make all the difference.
3) I've learned prioritizing is essential to have success in mma. When you have a million things going on from family events to fights and everything in between you have to learn how to efficiently manage your time.
What gym are you currently fighting out of?
I train out of Las Vegas Krav Maga.
What is your current record (ammy/pro) and at what weight?
Amateur record is 4-2 and I fight at 125
Do you currently have a nickname in this sport? If so, what is it and why?
My nickname is El Matador, because I make people miss, my coaches joke how each time I make them miss we should scream OLÉ!!!
If you could improve one aspect of your game, what would it be and why?
Everything. I'm only 22 years of age and 2 years in this sport, the improvement is everywhere from striking to clinching to grappling. It is important to never stop improving on yourself because there is always something to learn and improve on.
What is your most memorable experience as an MMA fighter?
Most memorable experience was my debut, for myself it was something I wanted to do for a long time. Once I was in there I opened up with a left head kick and for me that was me letting my opponent and everyone else watching, that LVKM is here and we come to fight.
Any interesting stories to share or learning experiences whilst fighting you would like to share?
Interesting story goes again back to my debut, while we were in the back warming up there was some people dressed up as ninja turtles and we started taking pictures with them. This was literally about 10 minutes before I had to go out and fight, some of the people looked at us like "what are you guys doing?" "You do know you have a fight right?" It was funny a moment that reminded us not to take ourselves too serious.
If you could offer one bit of advice to an aspiring fighter what would it be?
Even though I'm young and have 2 years in I would say to make sure to always have a proper mind set, if your head is not in the right place do not take the fight no need to risk any injury especially at the amateur level.
Would you like to give a shout out to any sponsors individuals who have supported you?
Shout out to my coaches Donavin Britt and Thom Jackson for putting all your time in helping me get better. Big thanks to the LVKM family for the support helping me get ready for fights and always being there for me on my wins and my losses I love you guys.Big thanks to Gor he has been a huge help in my improvement as a fighter. Shout out to Kombat Crew coming in and helping me get ready as well thank you Dewey Cooper, David Hayes, Wesley, Fes, Moe, and Keith. Of course my older brothers Tato and Alex sisters in law Rosa and Mayra. Shout out to my closest friend Junior for always being with me in sauna doing the weight cut with me and everyone on Facebook and Instagram showing love and support thank you. My girlfriend Edelia for putting up with all this madness for the last two years, it is a hard thing for you to deal with and I'm very grateful of you being with me on this ride. Finally my mom of course with out her I would not be here, she is one of the reason I fight to give her a better life, I thank you much mom I love you.
What are your goals for the future in the sport?
Being a champion, breaking records, and being one of the GOATS. I want to leave a legacy when it is all set and done.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the sport and where it's headed?
I think the sport overall is doing great, I think it is one of the best sports out there, but it is definitely not a sport for the light hearted.
If you could change one thing in the sport, what would it be?
If I could change one thing it would be making it legal in New York, it needs to happen.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I see my self in the UFC, holding UFC gold in 2 or 3 divisions, I'm striving to be the best, and I don't plan on stopping until my goals are reached.
Food is steaks, pancakes, and ice cream
Favorite type of Music:
Hip-hop if you listen to 50 cent,TI, Young Jeezy then we can be friends, and being the Mexican that I am I have to have my corridos.
Of all time is Scarface.
Favorite TV Show:
Favorite TV show is The Walking Dead
As said by Anderson Silva "I am not the best, but I have the potential to be something great."
Do you have any children? Do you plan on having any/more?:
No kids yet, eventually I would like to have kids, but that will be in the distant future.
Best day of your life:
Best day of my life was when I became the godfather of my nephew.
Interesting/Unknown Fact about yourself:
I played the alto saxophone in middle school. I'm a huge zombie enthusiast, we travel to horror nights every year to do the walking dead maze.
Play video games, hang out with my friends, and when I'm not cutting weight eating food. As well going to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the UFC fights with my girlfriend.
Who is your favorite super hero and why?
Although not consider an actual superhero, BATMAN because he is better than Superman.
Facebook Page/Fan Page:
Facebook is Rudy Garcia
Twitter: No Twitter, but I have an Instagram which is @elmatador_mma
Manager Contact (for sponsorship/fight inquiries):
Contact Donavin Britt at 702-743-2997
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
All Images Courtesy of Ray Kasprowicz
Website (Print Ordering/Contact): www.UltraVista.com
Facebook: Ray Kasprowicz Photography
Prints of Rudy Garcia can be purchased at the following links