Continuing our support of Tuff N Uff's upcoming event Mayhem in Mesquitte VIII, we were given the opportunity to learn a bit more about another fighter on this card, Vance Elrod. Vance will be taking on Cameron Olson on Saturday March 12, 2016 at 135lbs.
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)
Normal child hood, Las Vegas, did a little taekwondo then moved straight into sports like football. Highschool… I was younger and smaller than most, so practiced a lot of football but never got to shine. That’s when I switched to jiujitsu on and off when I was 15. Have a close group of family members and a group of friends that have been around me since the 7th grade.
Were you involved in any sports as a youth in or outside of school?
Football, Wrestling, Track.
What is your favorite child-hood memory?
Competition was always my favorite, whether I was playing football or winning my first NAGA I loved it completely. Meeting and learning more about my family and heritage always made me proud.
Any interesting child-hood stories and/or fun facts?
I have been fighting my whole life, loved running around in my diapers punching and kicking anyone or anything. Family members always remind me of times I was on the beach for hours punching waves or soccer kicking shins.
Getting involved in MMA:
How did you get involved?
Always was interested in fighting. Watched a lot of boxing growing up then Mixed Martial Arts really caught my eye. Started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu because a friend told me Id learn how to punch and kick from really crazy stances kind of like capoeira then showed up and was relieved of my ignorance. When I was 20 I caught up with my friend from school Shai Lindsey and started to train with the team I have now.
What discipline did you begin with and care to share a bit about your early experiences learning the sport(s)?
Starting with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu I learned early on how important technique was and how it conquered the matts. Watched young kids make grown men panic and become flustered in situations really opened my eyes. It was a rough start for sure with a whole lot of naps… learning to tap was next.
At what point did you know you were ready to step in the cage for the first time?
I took my first fight when I was 19. I only had been doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and wasn’t ready at all but I’ve always known I had what it takes to step inside the cage.
Looking back that’s something that reassures me I really do have what it takes.
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?
Nothing really I like to go in and let my body take over. All I remember is thinking be first and breathe. The rest came naturally. I pushed myself to the limits and came up short but reacted well. Had the armbar at the very end flattened out but didn’t have enough pressure to finish it.
What are 3 things you've learned while being involved in this sport?
Position, timing, and technique trump all inside and outside of the cage. If you’re in the right place at the right time, and know what to do, nothing can stop you from succeeding. Staying consistent and persistent holds conviction. Believing in myself.
What gym are you currently fighting out of?
What is your current record (ammy/pro) and at what weight?
1-2 at 135.
Do you currently have a nickname in this sport? If so, what is it and why?
Not yet but I have heard a few catchy ones. Let me know if you guys hear something
If you could improve one aspect of your game, what would it be and why?
Everything. There is nothing I feel is completely perfect and I plan on improving every aspect and that will be my answer every time. Lately it has been my striking.
What is your most memorable experience as an MMA fighter?
Winning my first fight as the main event for a charity event in the first round.
Any interesting stories to share or learning experiences whilst fighting you would like to share?
No matter what you share a bond with whoever you’re fighting that lasts. After that last bell rings I am grateful they were there and helped participate in what I love to do. I have kept up with most guys and the gym doors are always open to them whenever.
If you could offer one bit of advice to an aspiring fighter what would it be?
Don’t fear success or failure. Just this past weekend two underdogs came out on top, anything can happen so just go in and enjoy yourself. There are no shortcuts to getting better. If you want something put in the hours for it.
Would you like to give a shout out to any sponsors individuals who have supported you?
Green Care has been a tremendous help and they also put in great work as a company.
What are your goals for the future in the sport?
To be the best fighter I can be because the best fighter I can be is the bantamweight and featherweight champion of the UFC and pound for pound the greatest.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the sport and where it's headed?
Its only up from here and we’re in the golden era right now but lets stop this weight cutting nonsense. Hydrated fighters perform better anyways.
If you could change one thing in the sport, what would it be?
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Training, finishing up my career with the UFC at the top and sitting pretty with my family and friends. I don’t know whats after my fighting career but I’ll continue training and learning until I can’t anymore.
Sushi and BBQ
Favorite type of Music:
Everyday it something new but I really like all music.
Favorite TV Show:
Dragon Ball Z
Excellence is not something you do, it is an attitude.
Best day of your life:
Hard to tell, I don’t have bad days. Usually my worst days have taught me something important so I consider everyday a good day. I guess some just take longer to get through than others.
Interesting/Unknown Fact about yourself:
Like to watch animals and steal things from them like their posture or mechanics.
Just training mostly, it’s that great to me.
Who is your favorite super hero and why?
Hard to pick.. Deadpool had me crying so maybe that guy I don’t know
Manager Contact (for sponsorship/fight inquiries):
All Images Courtesy of Ray Kasprowicz
Website (Print Ordering/Contact): www.UltraVista.com
Facebook: Ray Kasprowicz Photography
Prints of Vance Elrod can be purchased at the following links