Shonie Carter is a legend in the sport of mixed martial arts. The 45-year-old competitor has fought close to 100 fights (on record) and is known for his flashy dress, colorful vocabulary, outlandish personality and use of the spinning backfist in competition. He is most vividly remembered for his stunning knockout of now UFC Hall of Famer Matt Serra back at UFC 31.
Tony Reid – When did you know that you were “Mr. International”? When did that persona officially take over?
Shonie Carter – “I made a living of being a big fish in a small pond. I knew that at an early age. A lot of fighters get stuck thinking they are tough here in Chicago. Chicago is a big city, that’s fine if you want that but I’m trying to do things on a global scale.”
Shonie Carter – “That is always the most loaded question! I have had some epic battles that have never been seen. There were some that were overseas; some were knuckle dragging, bone breaking, concussion causing brouhahas. I can’t put my finger on just one.”
Tony Reid – If you can’t pick a favorite fight can you at least pick out a favorite walkout or ring entrance?
Shonie Carter – “Oh yeah, in Bellator Fighting Championship, I had 30 women dressed like the Pussycat Dolls, carrying belts, coming out to “That Chick’s Bad”. That has been done and will never be done again unless I can coordinate 30 women of different nationalities and they have fishnet stockings, open toed shoes and miniskirts. Can you even imagine that? The baddest walkout ever!”
Tony Reid – If you could fight anyone in any weight class who would you choose to fight and why?
Shonie Carter – “There are a couple of dudes, if I was about nine or ten years younger, and the weights were that same. I would love to fight Anderson Silva and I would love to fight Alistair Overeem. Alistair would probably punch the hell out of me, and I would try to grab him and throw him really, really hard. Now with Anderson Silva, like I said, me nine years younger and the height the same, we would have a funky time. It would be crazy. He would jump switch his stance, I would jump switch stances, he would kick, and I would roll it off my shoulder. That would be a bad ass fight entrance, too. If I lost, I would challenge him to a dance off after the fight.”
Tony Reid – I have to ask about one of the most famous moves in the history of the UFC, your spinning back fist against Matt Serra at UFC 31. It looked like he might have been winning the fight up until that point. What were your thoughts when you landed it and what are your thoughts looking back now after all these years and the response you still get?
Shonie Carter – “My thought then was “I got you sucka!” my thought after the second one landed was “I got you again, sucka!” I had the Speedos on doing the sexy dance. I actually got them from Ernesto Hoost, the legendary K-1 kickboxer. Now, its 12 years old. People still remember it. Now I say this with confidence, not cockiness but I am one of the architects, one of the innovators, one of the guys that changed the game. Whether it’s UFC, Strikeforce, Bellator, PRIDE, Pancrase, Shoot, King of the Cage or whatever, I am the guy who did it (the spinning back fist) first. It’s like I’m the Jackie Robinson of MMA. I may never get the full credit or accolades for what I have done. I don’t hold any bitterness. I just smile and know deep down in my heart that I was the first to do it.”
The game has changed drastically. Fighters are paid better, and supplemented way better than we were back in the day. I am amazed and proud to say that I am still competing, being the nut job that I am.
Tony Reid – What is the most amazing thing you have seen as far as the growth of the sport during your time there? Do you have a moment where you just said, ‘Holy Shit?’
Shonie Carter – “Here is something that is going to mess your head up. I was training and helping Miesha Tate get ready for her title fight (against Ronda Rousey) and we were rolling, and I was taking it about 60%-70% and she damn near caught me in a Peruvian Necktie! I had to Hulk my way out. Oh my God! You are not going to update your Facebook status about submitting me. We laughed about it. I was brought in to be the old eyes, the more experienced guy. People don’t even realize I coach. They think I’m some knuckle dragging, ball breaking old school fighter dude. I am a coach. I have been trying to help fighters.”
Tony Reid – What was the best and what was the worst thing about being on The Ultimate Fighter show?
Shonie Carter – “The best thing was being able to market myself and let the people know that I wasn’t acting. It was fun being able to act a fool without peeing on someone’s clothes or without stealing or breaking anything. I would do another Ultimate Fighter show. I was thinking about auditioning for another season just to scare people. I don’t think they would even accept me because they know the tomfoolery I have within my soul.
“The most awful thing was that the guys were nasty! They don’t know how to wash dishes, do their laundry, etc. Men are just nasty pigs. I am a Marine, so I am all about clean. So I am, in a way, like a woman in that sense, all about cleanliness. I hang my clothes up from darkest to lightest, stuff like that.”
Tony Reid – Do you regularly drink out of the Pimp Cup or is it just used for special occasions?
Shonie Carter – “I don’t do much drinking…wait, let me stop lying. I can’t even keep a straight face on that one. I bartend and bounce, so I had to have my own cup. I couldn’t be sharing cups with other people. If I go out clubbing, I take my own glass but if I’m working then no.”
Tony Reid – Floyd Mayweather has been repeatedly trashing MMA. You have a bit of history with him on the TV show the Iron Ring back in the day. What are your thoughts on him and his comments?
Shonie Carter – “I give him credit for being a world champion, I give him credit for being undefeated in boxing. I’m not going to knock him for what he’s done. He is a once or twice a year athlete. He beat on his woman; he made more money than Christ has clouds in the sky, so that means he has way more money than me. He’s ugly and he only has a pocket personality. He’s got this big entourage. Look at it like this…Can you go in the store and buy a Floyd Mayweather action figure? Have you ever seen a Floyd Mayweather autograph session? Do you see Floyd Mayweather training US Marines? I am a former US Marine. I am also a former UFC fighter. All jokes aside, if you were to take a boxer that’s better than an MMA fighter, the boxer wins. If you put Jose Aldo, who isn’t even as big as Floyd, in there against him, Jose is doing his thing. God bless him (Floyd) though.”
Tony Reid – If you could fight anyone outside the world of MMA, who would you choose to pick a fight with and why?
Shonie Carter – “Arnold Schwarzenegger is too old, so I would fight Jason Statham.”
Tony Reid – Is there one topic or question that has never been covered in an interview that you would like to talk about?
Shonie Carter – “I am about to shed a bunch of light here. News Flash, a Public Service announcement from Shonie Carter. People think that I am a pimp. I am not. I am a charming individual with a deep voice who dresses better than guys that make way more money than I do. I smile at a woman and look in her eyes. I am an opportunity maker. I do not put women on corners, I do not collect money from women on corners, in the club out of the club, none of that. I frequently have female company because I treat ladies like ladies. My shirt is tucked in, it has sleeves. It has cuff links; it has a collar. The tie matches the shoes and belt. I take the ladies on the dance floor, and we dance. They don’t drop it like it’s hot. We actually do enough that should put me on Dancing with the Stars, and I would represent MMA better than Chuck Liddell did. You see me with women from all around the world because I am intriguing; I am the MMA man of mystery. I may look guilty, but I am innocent (of being a pimp). I am natural; I am not chemically, pharmaceutically or artificially enhanced. I am n-a-t-u-r-a-l. By the way, when you print this make sure you use the picture of me with all my belts, so the kids know I used to win a lot.”
In July of 2008 Tony Reid launched an MMA inspired clothing line that he named Reid Fight Wear. He saw a need in the MMA clothing market for a more classic, clean and timeless design and less of the dated styles seen then. In the process of major life changes, Tony cashed out his 401(k), emptied his bank account and put his heart and soul into building the brand.
In August 2009 Tony began writing for TapouT and MMA Worldwide Magazines. There he created Rattling the Cage, an MMA specific news site and home for all of his work.
In May of 2012 Reid began writing for Ultimate MMA Magazine, launching an MMA Legends and MMA Officials Series.
Also in May of the same year he started appearing regularly on ESPN 92.3 WVSL as the MMA Insider.
In early August of 2012 Reid was named General Manager of UFC Fighter Tim Boetsch’s Barbarian Combat Sports in Sunbury, PA.
By December 2012 Reid started contributing to Fighters Only Magazine. “The World’s Leading MMA and Lifestyle Magazine” is sold in over 30 countries around the world and has the largest reach of any international magazine of its type.
In May of 2013 Reid became a monthly segment host on Sirius XM Radio. Appearing the first Thursday of every month on TapouT Radio on SiriusXM (Sirius 92 XM 208) in a segment he created called “On Blast!” where he puts people in the MMA world on notice.
In June of 2013 Reid began writing for the UK based MMA Uncaged Magazine.
In August of 2013, Reid launched “Rattling the Cage with Tony Reid” a talk radio show he hosted on ESPN 92.3 WVSL “The Valley’s Sports Leader”. The show aired over 100 episodes and featured some of the biggest and brightest stars in the world of combat sports. It was one of the most successful shows in the station’s history.
In May of 2016 Reid became a feature writer for FloCombat.
In September of the same year Reid began writing for ONE Championship, Asia’s largest global sports media property in history.
Reid is happy to now join the team at MyMMANews as a contributor.