Luis Oliva is the subject of part IX of our amateur MMA interview series.
Luis is from Dumas, Texas and was nice enough to take the time to tell us a little about himself and what it’s like to be an amateur MMA fighter.
We’ve been following you on Twitter for a long time now. We always admire how you approach each day with a great attitude. That’s what made us want to interview you. So tell the world a little something about yourself. What is your current record? Any fights coming up soon?
LO: Officially I’m 0-0 but if you count my unsanctioned fight, then I’m 0-1. I should be returning to action in February.
So you’re still new at this. Nice to see you didn’t give up after a tough loss. Many fighters would have quit.
Anyway, Mixed Martial Arts is clearly not for everyone. At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to become a competitive Mixed Martial Artist?
LO: When I was a Senior in High School back in ’05. I didn’t want to do anything but become a MMA Fighter.
Have there been any challenges you’ve had to overcome in order to get where you are today? If so, how did you overcome them?
LO: I was an alcoholic back in High School. Obviously it was a self-destructive pattern and I couldn’t go on living that way. I wouldn’t have gone very far in life. But when my best friend showed me MMA for the first time I was hooked. I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. It really motivated me to stop drinking and train hard.
Where do you train? Care to make a shout out to any of your instructors or training partners?
LO: Training is hard to get here in Dumas. However I’d like to send some shout outs to coach Rob DeCillis and Mike Dolce. Rob is a great strength and conditioning coach out of New York. Check out his blog at http://combattrainer.com.
You all probably know Mike Dolce from his time on The Ultimate Fighter 7. But he’s also an amazing nutrionist who’s helping me cut down to 155lbs.
We know Rob. We did a blog post with him not too long ago. He seems to really know what he’s talking about and is a great coach.
Has your fighting style evolved since you began training or have you stuck with a specific style throughout?
LO: You know, it has actually has evolved. My standup is a lot better than what it was before. I’ve made tremendous gains in that area. I’m also improving my wrestling on a daily basis.
Awesome. It seems a lot of amateur wrestlers lack wrestling backgrounds. That’s great you are improving it.
The mental aspects of MMA training are often overlooked. What you do to prepare mentally?
LO: Mentally I just remember myself that not only am I fighting for me but for my pride, my family, and my future.
Is there anyone you would like to thank for helping you get to where you are?
LO: Lets see…My family, my girlfriend and her kids, my friends (both from here in town and from Twitter.) I also have to thank God for giving me a dream to achieve and BORN STRONGER for interviewing me so people know a little more about me.
What advice would you give to other people looking to get into MMA, or any competitive sport, for that matter?
LO: Dream big and never quit. You’re always going to go through good and bad times. All you can do is move forward with your head up and smile.