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Posted by Mika Frankl
Anthony Birchak is ranked the top Bantamweight in the Southwest who is not signed to a top promotion. Birchak re-enforced his top status with a TKO victory over Matt Leyva at the Jackson’s MMA series X main event. Recently I spoke with Anthony Birchak to relive that fight and see what the future holds.
MF:In the spirit of the holiday season, got any big plans?
AB: My brother’s back in town he plays football out in Washington he’s a division 1 football player. This was his first year being away from home so we’re throwing a big big Christmas party at our other brothers house whole family is going to get together grub down on a few hams.
MF: Sounds great don’t want to take up too much of your time then, let’s get to talking about that last fight. Coming off a big win, 3rd consecutive by knockout. How does having this much momentum building feel?
AB: Electric man, everybody got really good energy in my gym, everybody’s got fights and just feeling like everything is coming together for me. I feel strong and powerful, my speed, my wrestling everything is melding together and I really feel I’m becoming a true Mixed Martial Artist.
MF: That’s great to hear that evolution and last time I talked to you, you had said a focus of yours was to work of transitions, how do you feel that process is going?
AB: I think it worked very well; I had Matt was afraid of the take-down so much that any slight level change I made, it would put him in a defensive mode and I think that was a big key to the knockout I got. I used a leg kick jab and then gave a slight level change when I throw my two and it landed right on the button and put him down.
MF: In the fight you got a take-down Matt answered back from attempting an armbar that you got out of that easily and started striking again and Matt caught you with a right hand off of missing a flying knee Matt Jumped in with, did it effect you even though you did get and immediate take-down out of the sequences?
AB: No, not at all and you’re like the tenth person that has asked me, like oh he rocked you did you get a flash. I didn’t get hurt at all. The thing that happened was it was such an awkward combination of strikes like the flying knee to a full side right hand. It more pushed my head back then he actually hit me, to like it was a small whip lash pretty much and I just spotted my take-down off of that.
MF: Matt threw a short right and you came over that, did you see it developing as it happened?
AB: I landed a couple of good solid jabs and as soon as I felt where the jab was and where he was in comparison to his punch, I knew my range immediately and knew was going to play a big part. As soon as I started landing that lab and emptied that overhand and threw it over the top I knew it was going to land.
MF: Now off the big win we had talked about it being your first main event, how did you feel about the experience and how it will benefit you in the future?
AB: It was awesome, I went into hostile territory and there was a lot of screaming going on before the fight and a lot of hostility and verbal attacks while I was in the staging area you know but the limelight- the spotlight- was on me and Matt. I think I handled it pretty well, not nothing overwhelming I was very calm, very collected and I think that’s the kind of pressure that brings me together actually.
MF: How did this hostile environment compare to your Bellator experience in Yuma, Arizona, which you had said was pretty hostile itself?
AB: The thing was in the staging area before you walked out, there was two or three guys that were there and I assumed they were Marines, and Matt ‘s a Marine hats off to him, and the thing was these dudes were literally yelling non-stop, these guys didn’t stop to take a breath; Albuquerque, 505, Matt Leyva and repeated that over and over again and obviously there were some expletives in there that I won’t repeat and these guy would not stop to the point where my corner was laughing and saying chill or get that guy an air take he may pass-out. Walking out there was boos and seeing all these great fighters like Cub Swanson, Andrei Arlovski, Clay Guida, and Diego Sanchez and I thought that may have played a mind game with me but I know what I had to do, what I wanted to do, and got in there and executed perfectly .
MF: Overall how would you rate the Jackson’s MMA series and the coming to Albuquerque experience?
AB: I’d say a 10 man it was cool, Matt Leyva was a gentleman and he wasn’t anything like a Nick Diaz or Nate Diaz type of fighter. I really appreciated him taking the fight and I had fun it was and one of the best fight of my career.
MF: So on the commentary if you listen to it you go on youtube there’s two different channels that have the fight up from different angles and from the 2 it’s like 600- 700 views getting you some more exposure. In the video with commentary it points out that you’re the number 1 ranked Bantamweight in the Southwest not signed to a major promotion, so off of now 3 TKO victories in a row what’s next?
AB: I don’t know. You know I’ll gladly wear that title of the best 135 pounder in the Southwest and I would even push as far as I’m the top unsigned 135 pounder in the nation, I’d like to see someone send me a Sherdog of any other 135 pond-er that’s finished 8 of 9 fights. Right now I’m kind of taking it slow enjoying the holidays with my family but I definitely have my sights set on a major world title whether it be UFC, MFC, Bellator I want to get in there and I want to push myself to the limit and fight for a major world title someday.
MF: You brought up MFC and they’re kind of interesting to me because of seeing them put on event in the ring and in the cage, do you have any feelings on how this differs with your liking and having a wrestling background?
AB: Yeah, the ring poses a big problem for me because of my wrestling you know, but I think all in all its Mixed Martial Arts, I’ll have to adapt and overcome. Will cross that bridge when we get to it. Obviously I would prefer the cage.
MF: You also mentioned Bellator and you’re a Bellator vet, what would you think of being in a tournament and possibly fighting 3 times in 3 months?
AB: I think that’s awesome man. I’m used to wrestling 3 or 4 times in a day- granted I’m not getting kicked or punched and no one is trying to rip my neck off. At big tournaments like Nationals you’re wrestling 5 or 6 times a day and 5 -6 times the next day. I have been brought up in the tournament style. I would love to be in a Bellator tournament, I think it be really cool and a great experience.
MF: So with that what should we expect in 2013 form Anthony Birchak?
AB: You can continue to look forward to big shows, I like to be an exciting fighter, I like to be a showman, and I just want to continue to please my fans and family. Just keep putting everything together and become a total package.
MF: We know you’re representing Apex MMA out in Arizona, can you tell us about any fighters out there that we should all be looking out for?
AB: A fighter you haven’t heard of, we got two amateurs that are killers- Rick Foster and Dillon Rooney, as well as my girlfriend Mercedes Whit who is also the owner and creator of luteeltiemma.com. She’s going to be looking to be fighting again and she will be the next big thing for women’s MMA out of Apex.
MF: Close it up with a few Bantamweight questions for you. You know there’s two big title fights upcoming in that division. Got Barao vs. McDonald, who takes it?
AB: Barao is too much for anyone in the division right now.
MF: In the other fight we got two teammates in Bellator Galvao vs. Dantas, who takes that?
AB: I think Galvao has way to much momentum, I think he’s way more seasoned and I think he’s going to look to exploit the striking, like Tyson Nam did to Eduardo.
MF: Got to thank you for the time and insight. Let you send some shout outs.
AB: I want to wish you a merry Christmas and happy New Year. To all my friends, family, and fans thank you guys for supporting me. I wouldn’t have been able to do half the things I did this 2012 without you guys. My great sponsors Contract Killer, Gamma Labs, Outlaw Fight Stand, and of course luteelitemma.com. Lute Elite sports management.com, Mercedes White and everybody, I really appreciate you all.
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