The West Coast Fighting Championships return to Sacramento’s Jackson Sports Arena at McClellan Park on Friday, January 18. Local fighters Dave “Badman” Huckaba and Max “Pain” Griffin headline the fight card. Training at Marinoble’s Martial Arts gym in Roseville – where pro fighter Uriah Faber once trained, I sat down with Max Griffin for an interview.
Griffin is known for his appearance on Dana White’s The Ultimate Fighter TV show on FX. Nicknamed Max Pain, Griffin is 27 years old. He was born in Santa Barbara, California, but calls Sacramento home. With an amateur record of 22-1, and a professional record of 4-1, the 5’11”, 170 lb. welterweight has a trove of sponsors and is confident he can successfully step up to the UFC soon.
AA: What is your favorite pre-fight ritual?
MG: I go to Denny’s in the morning and have a Grand Slam breakfast. Then I go home and relax all day. I don’t think about the fight. I just keep my headphones on.
AA: What songs or artists pump you up the most?
MG: Reggae. I like listening to reggae. I also like the music they played at Mandalay Bay in Vegas when I fought there, the UFC theme song, “Face the Pain.” I listen for about 20 minutes before the fight, and then it’s go time.
AA: Do you have any favorite MMA fighters?
MG: I like Anderson Silva, John Jones, you know, vicious guys.
AA: Are you familiar with Sirius XM satellite radio host Jason Ellis, and his crew, Tully and Raw Dog?
MG: Yes! I like Ellis. I’d love to fight in Ellismania. Those are crazy fights. Tully’s a bestselling author, and there’s the Wolfknives.
AA: The Wolfknives are awesome. How about Mayhem Miller?
MG: He’s cool. He plays a lot these days. Didn’t he run around naked or something? I don’t know.
AA: I guess you’ll have to listen to Sirius XM channel 41, Faction, from 12-4pm pacific to find out. Are you a fan of sports other than MMA?
MG: I like football and basketball. I like the Oakland Raiders, and college bowl games. The Oregon Ducks, they’re good! They score points.
AA: As a Duck alum, you just won big points from me. What’s your favorite training routine or exercise?
MG: I like bad situations, 2 on 1 full contact. Come in dizzy, start choked out, you know worst situation possible. I like being in trouble. I tell people, train like you’re in trouble.
AA: Train like you’re in trouble, words to live by for sure. Ok, so what’s your favorite thing to eat that’s no on your diet?
MG: Roundtable Pizza! I love Roundtable. I came in [to Marinoble’s] weighing 235. I’m now 170. The rest was all pizza.
AA: And now I bet you burn’em off faster than you can eat them. Have you ever killed a man in a fight in your dreams?
MG: Yes! I kill’em all the time. It’s nothing personal. I bury them. We’re not friends. You’re training to beat me up.
AA: Do you dream of fights in the cage?
MG: They’re not in the ring or the cage, just on the street and in space. You know, street clothes, no soul, that sort of thing.
AA: What fundamental arts would you say are most important to successful MMA fighting styles?
MG: Wrestling, and any basic martial art. I have a black belt in Bok Fu, but lots of guys know Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Karate, and other arts.
AA: White Tiger style, cool. If you had to break something in a fight, what would you want it to be?
MG: An arm, definitely an arm. Break a leg, you’re done. You can’t kick out.
AA: And torn off?
MG: Knee, for sure. You can get a fake leg from there.
AA: With Ronda Rousey making her historic debut in the first-ever women’s UFC bout in UFC 157 next month, what do you think about female fighters and mixed gender MMA fights?
MG: That will be a good fight. I have female students. There are fighters with no arms, no legs. If they want to go, let’s go! It is what it is. Fighters are warriors; it’s not about male/female or anything like that.
AA: According to the Mayan calendar, today is the end of the world (note: original date of interview). If it was going to end for sure, what one thing would you absolutely go out and do?
MG: I have a wife and kid. I’d go be with my family. I don’t know.
AA: iPhone or Android?
MG: iPhone! I had a droid, but I switched.
AA: how about social media, can your fans find you online?
AA: I am! Facebook/Instagram/Twitter, I’m quackarazzi, or @quackarazzi.
MG: Makes sense, Ducks.
AA: Absolutely! So your last fight was on The Ultimate Fighter show back in July 2012. You were at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. I’ve seen the highlight video. The show aired on September 14 on FX, and there were replays on FUEL TV. It looked like Dana White and Shane Carwin were surprised you didn’t win.
MG: Yeah, I heard that. I can only look forward though. My goal is to get to the UFC. First, I have a fight to win.
AA: Speaking of which, what can you tell me about the next fight?
MG: There’s a website, and there are posters and flyers. It’s January 18.
AA: I’ll get the details online, and I’ll see you at the fight. Thank you for your time.
MG: Thank you!
Details about the January 18 West Coast Fighting Championships can be found online at www.westcoastfighting.com.
General admission tickets are $40, VIP seating is $65, front row seats are $100, and VIP Platinum seating (inside the barrier) is $200.
The fights begin at 6pm, doors open an hour before the first fight begins. Fight cards are subject to change. There are currently 12 fights planned. Max Griffin will fight Richard Rigmaden, and Dave “Badman” Huckaba will fight Carter “The Beast” Williams in the heavyweight championship bout.
The Jackson Sports Arena at McClellan Park is located at the Jackson Sports Academy, 5209 Luce Avenue, Sacramento.
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