Angelo Reyes’ knowledge of combat sports is intimidating, and I mean that in the best possible way. The man is a machine comprised of years of boxing, kempo-style karate and a, now, four-plus years in MMA. Discussing the sport with him, you have to go in with your A-game or you will miss either a casual name (that he will entirely expect you to know) or catch you off-guard with his occasional transition from boxing-jargon to mixed martial arts. Even dropping the Duane Bobick-Ken Norton reference didn’t phase him for even a second.
Ahead of Frank Mir’s upcoming fight against Fedor Emelianenko for Bellator’s World Heavyweight Grand Prix, Reyes sat down with me to discuss the fight as well as his past experiences with Ana Julaton and Manny Pacquiao. After an hour of chatting with him off air, I felt confident that I could hold my own with him in the history of the sport.
We talked about expectations of the heavyweight division and it quickly dawned on me that the words ‘heavyweight’ and ‘submission’ don’t get put in the same sentence often. After all we seldom expect heavyweight fights to go deep into the rounds, let alone ending with choke holds or armbars. But that is exactly what Frank Mir has done more than half-a-dozen times in his career. His opponent, Emelianenko has ended more than twice that via submission.
In the latest interview with the SFLC Podcast, Reyes went in to similarities between Mir and Julaton, as well as keys to success for both Mir and Fedor. We used baseball terms like sabermetrics and home-run shots. We challenged the fans of the upcoming bout to question whether the winner would be considered the greatest heavyweight submission artist, and if either of these fighters could stand toe-to-toe with UFCs current heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic. We also discussed the reporting of negative aspects in MMA (Bellator numbers following Julaton-Heather Hardy fight) rather than the positive stories. Why does it seem that negative stories attract more attention than the good this sport does?
This man could have talked to me for days, while I sat there trying to absorb his years of stories and experiences, but we only had an hour. Check out this in-depth discussion of Mir-Emelianenko ahead of Bellator 198 in Rosemont, Illinois on Saturday, April 28.
In this interview, Reyes goes in depth about:
- His transition from boxing to MMA.
- The state of the heavyweight division.
- How Sabermetrics applies to MMA.
- Fedor’s fighting style.
- How Frank Mir’s vaunted ground game could lead to a victory in the Heavyweight World Grand Prix.
- He also mentions how fans can meet both Frank Mir and Chael Sonnen ahead of the fight in Rosemont.