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Cole Escovedo Interview

    Tue, 2004-09-07 07:49 — Cole Escovedo

    At just 20 years old, undefeated up and comer Cole Escovedo out of Pacific Martial Arts in Fresno, California, will be stepping into the ring at the Morongo Events Center at UA Fighting 2: The Gathering to take on Christian Allen, a fighter out of Colorado making his debut.

    At just 20 years old, undefeated up and comer Cole Escovedo out of Pacific Martial Arts in Fresno, California, will be stepping into the ring at the Morongo Events Center at UA Fighting 2: The Gathering to take on Christian Allen, a fighter out of Colorado making his debut.

    "I'm hoping that having that advantage of experience in the ring for this sport will give me a leg up," said Escovedo. "And this being his firstfight, I don't care what his coaches tell him, I don't care how psyched up they try to make him. I know the fear he's going to be feeling. And I'm going to use that to my advantage."

    At a young age, Escovedo began his martial arts training in Karate. "I wanted to be the Karate Kid. I thought [that movie] was the coolest thing on earth."

    In 1996, Matt Smith opened his own school, Pacific Martial Arts. Escovedo, who had trained in Karate under Smith, continued his training at Pacific. In addition to Karate, Smith decided to expand the types of martial arts taught at his school. By then, Escovedo was a black belt in Karate and wanted to try out another discipline. He chose Jiu-Jitsu. "It was a new sport," he says. "I tried it, and I turned out to be pretty good at it. Why not do something you're good at?"

    After years of training in Jiu-Jitsu and competing in tournaments, Escovedo went to an IFC event held just outside of Fresno, California. "I saw it and I was like, 'I can do that. I may not be the best at it, but I know I can do it.'" He told Smith of his desire to fight in the cage.

    After complementing his Jiu-Jitsu with boxing and kickboxing, Escovedo was set to make his MMA debut in IFC Warriors Challenge 15 in Oroville, California. However, his opponent didn't show up, and the promoter couldn't find a replacement in time. A little over a month later, Escovedo finally began his MMA career with a quick win over Terry Dull of Team Fresno in World Extreme Cagefighting 2. Backstage before the fight, Escovedo was apprehensive about stepping into the cage.

    "I was watching my opponent in the back warm up, and the guy outweighed me by a good 10 or 15 pounds. He was way taller than me. And he intimidated me, just warming up alone. I looked at [my cornermen] Jason [Hannen] and Dan [Camarillo] and said, 'This guy is going to knock my head off. I'm not sure if I want to do this. But if I don't it's going to look bad for the school.' So I did it."

    And he did it impressively, catching Dull in a triangle choke in just under two minutes of the first round. As he tapped out, Dull rolled in an awkward way and seriously injured his back. While lying on his back being attended to by the referee and physicians, Escovedo paced nervously around the cage.

    "That almost stopped me from wanting to fight again. I really thought that that could be me one day, or that he has a family and kids. I didn't want to be the one responsible. I thought I had crippled the guy. I was really afraid that I had just put someone in a wheelchair. That was scarier than fighting someone. That had to be one of the scariest feelings I've ever had."

    Earlier this year, Escovedo made his second appearance in the ring in UA Fighting 1: The Genesis, taking on 5-1 Bart Palaszewski. Again, he finished his opponent quickly, locking on a triangle choke and finishing with hammer fists from his back.

    "When you feel that triangle lock down around his neck," said Escovedo about the fight, "and you can see that look in his eyes that the reality hit him that 'I'm not in a good spot. This guy is about to hurt me, he's about to finish me.' It's a good feeling. It's like animal instinct. It felt good to see that fear in his eyes; it felt great to know that he was afraid. And I feed off that, I love it."

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