By: Nick Portella
What’s good fight fans? Today I had the chance to talk with amateur MMA fighter Diego Bautista. Diego is 3-2 and looking to extend his current win streak. He will be stepping into the cage again on June 30 for Valor. Let’s have a seat with Diego and get to know him a little bit better.
Nick: What does it mean (for you) to be a fighter?
Diego: I don’t consider myself a fighter. I see myself as a martial artist, but being a martial artist means everything to me. It’s something I truly love to do. Without it, I am no one but simply a person without a passion.
Nick: At what age did you begin to train martial arts?
Diego: I started karate at the age of 6 with my dad being my instructor at The Dojo.
Nick: What inspired you to pursue MMA as a career?
Diego: Martial arts was first forced upon me. My mom made me do it and so did my dad. I did not like it really. I was the typical young kid that was lazy, wanted to play video games, and just have fun. It was not until the age of 13 when I first watched a UFC fight and I think it was Chuck Liddel fighting. I just remember thinking I wanted to be like him. Ever since then, I decided I wanted to MMA as a career.
Nick: How long have you been with Team Dojo?
Diego: I have been with The Dojo for 16 years and my other team Knuckle Up for 3 years.
Nick: With your fighting style do you prefer to keep the fight on your feet or take it to the ground?
Diego: I am a martial artist that adapts to a situation. My style changes according to the fight. Whatever my opponent’s weakness is, that becomes my preferred style. For example, if my opponent is good at boxing, I will wrestle him.
Nick: With cutting weight and fighter safety always being a priority. What methods of cutting weight do you use? How much weight do you usually have to cut before a fight? Do you feel the weight cut has a major impact on your strength before a fight?
Diego: My methods of cutting weight are eating healthy and wearing a lot of clothes to sweat. As the fight draws closer I use the sauna. I usually cut 20 pounds before a fight. I do not think the weight cut has a major impact on my strength. The week of the fight I lose about 7 pounds so it’s not too crazy.
Nick: If you could offer one piece of advice to someone just starting their amateur career what would it be?
Diego: Perseverance. In any dream you are trying to achieve, there will be ups and downs. Many people can keep chasing their dream of becoming a world champion when they are winning and having no setbacks, but very few can keep going when they face adversity and the road becomes hard and long. So perseverance is the best advice I can give because it is a huge factor in achieving success.
Nick: June 30 at Valor you will be facing a tough opponent in 4-1 Jakob Clemons. Prior to this fight how much do you know about your opponent?
Diego: I only know Jakob Clemons from watching his fights online. He is a great champion. Hasn’t lost in 4 years in Thai or MMA fights. Every fight it’s like he is a new fighter, but there are tendencies that I see in every fight and I will be prepared for them when they come.
Nick: Do you have a prediction for your fight?
Diego: I do not think I will be able to finish Clemons because he is so tough, but I do believe I will dominate every single round of every single second. I see myself winning 30-26.
Nick: Should you get the win on June 30 do you have plans to make the transition to the pros?
Diego: I plan on turning pro next year. I want to fight the Valor Bantamweight champion later this year in a super fight, whoever that is, as well as defend the belt. When I do these things, it will be time to turn pro.
Nick: Who is your favorite MMA fighter?
Diego: My favorite fighter is George St. Pierre. He has constantly evolved every fight and his mindset is truly amazing. That is why he remained champion for such a long time.
Nick: Diego have you submitted to the takeover?
Diego: This is Diego Bautista and I have submitted to the takeover.
I appreciate Diego taking time from his training schedule to talk with me. I wish him all the best of luck in his upcoming fight. Signing off for TheMMATakeOver.com this is Nick Portella. @NickPortellaMMA