Gino Ghalehpardaz bested Nate Ledger via first-round rear-naked choke at BTC 14: Clash. This went down at RBC Place in London, Ontario on March 5th.
I spoke with Ghalehpardaz after the win and excerpts from our chat are below.
Going through a myriad of bout cancellations and this fight popping up short notice
“To be honest, I didn’t really think about it. Like if you asked me what I was doing this time last week, I was drinking and eating pizza. I had my wedding thing where we try out all the food. I tried one of everything including dessert. But I always keep my weight low. I always train. Once I saw things were kind of up in the air for their fight, I messaged my coach. I was like stay ready. Who knows what’s gonna happen and sure enough it came together. Coach Josh called me and said hey, how’s your weight? I was like, yeah, it’s really good. Only 10. I lied a little bit.”
“It was a little bit more. Not too much more but I lied a little bit. Because I really wanted this fight. My coaches stuck with me, I dropped the weight. This was the opportunity, I just needed a shot. I kept getting so close. It kept falling apart and I was like please. I looked up to the good Lord in December and I’m not really a religious guy. I was like give me a shot please. What have I done? Have I not done enough? For it to come five days before I was like, of course it would have to happen this way. But maybe that’s just the way it was and that’s the way it is.”
BTC 14: Clash
If opponent Nate Ledger did anything that existed outside of Ghalehpardaz’s preconceived notions
“So he and I have competed against each other in jiu-jitsu. He’s fantastic, like he’s very awkward. Actually, one thing I didn’t anticipate was a lot of guys are tight and technical, he is very long and long range. Honestly, you’d be surprised how much. So it was kind of a little bit difficult to catch that timing a little bit.”
“We clashed a couple of times and I mean, he brought it. I could see he had a reach advantage. I noticed it right away. But I just had to stay patient and find my range. I know he has longer arms than me. I got longer legs. So once I saw that the arm range was gonna be a little bit tough, I started kind of trying to adjust to setup the kicks.”
The reasoning behind his nickname The Heel
“Sometimes you being the good guy, everyone’s just you know. Sometimes you’ve got to be the bad guy. Inside maybe I look nice but it’s just a disguise because I’m candy coated poison.”
Parting thoughts for Gino Ghalehpardaz
“I just want to thank all my coaches at Vision Quest, Scott Macovi. Josh Hill, my teammate who just won Liam Gallagher. My other teammate Isaiah. My coaches at Adrenaline (MMA); Mark Hominick, Jessie Gough, big Doug Ronson. Not Tom Doyle specifically. Make sure to put that on record.”
“(Chris) Horodecki, Sam (Stout) and all them, they’ve kind of been there and just kind of guided me through the little stuff. Coaches at Bora (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu). My mind was running at a million miles a minute. Kyle and Matt McDonald, so I appreciate you guys. I appreciate everyone. We’ll be back Monday training. Trying to be better. Every day, 1% better.”
I’ve been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I’ve hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I’ve been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I’ve provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I’ve worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.