By: Nick Portella
What’s good fight fans? Today I had the chance to sit down with Lion Fight Muay Thai fighter PJ Sweeda. PJ last appeared in the ring at Lion Fight 36 fighting an absolute war in the ring. Let’s have a seat with PJ and see what his plans are moving forward.
Nick: What does it mean (to you) to be a fighter?
PJ: More than I probably let it off to be. It’s made me who I am today. Which I’m sure a thousand other fighters would say the same thing when asked that question, but it really has. If you ask anyone from back “home” the path I was on before martial arts took over my life, you’d understand. Behind the sarcasm, jokes, and donuts I’m a pretty decent human I’d like to think. Some may argue. So it means the world to me.
Nick: At what age did you begin to train martial arts?
PJ: I was a late bloomer. I didn’t get started in martial art until I was about 18 or 19. Before that, I played all kinds of sports because there was no martial arts school in the area I lived in.
Nick: What disciplines have you trained since you began in combat sports?
PJ: Jiu-Jitsu was my first love. I was a grappling junkie. Then came mixed martial arts. 7 years into that an injury held me back from rolling anymore. I was only able to work on my striking which led me to Muay Thai. I fell in love.
Nick: What camp do you train out of and how long have you been with them?
PJ: I train out of Rami Elite in North East Philly. Bossman (Rami Ibrahim) has been kicking my butt for about 9 or 10 months now.
Nick: Most fighters get branded with a nickname at some point in their career. Do you have one? If so who gave it to you and why?
PJ: I’ve been giving so many nicknames over the years, but nothing really stuck, so I never used any. I’m a firm believer you CAN’T pick it yourself either. It has to be given to you. Lately, Rami and some of my teammates have been calling me “Donut Man”. It fits oh so well too.
Nick: What do you think your best attribute is as a fighter?
PJ: My pressure. Always has and always will be. Might not seem it after my last bout though.
Nick: Have you ever thought of crossing over to fight MMA?
PJ: That’s funny you asked that. I already have. In my second pro-MMA bout I tore my UCL. It’s held me back from rolling to this day. Sometimes it’s hard to stay active as a pro-Thai boxer so I took a few MMA bouts in the past. Not my smartest of ideas while my only focus was striking for the past few years.
Nick: April 28 at Lion Fight 36 you faced a tough opponent in Eddie Abasolo. It was a war in the ring which was amazing to watch. Unfortunately, you did not come away with the win which happens. Going into the fifth round how close did you think the fight was?
PJ: It wasn’t close. Going into fifth, I knew I had to finish Eddie if I wanted to pull off the win, which obviously didn’t happen. All those body shots that weren’t hurting me in the earlier rounds added up just like my coach told me they would. Completely my fault. I was so worried about what not to do, I didn’t do anything. I know that shit can happen to anyone when they step up and fight WBC champs. My finger was on the trigger the whole fight, I just never pulled it.
Nick: What was your current amateur record?
PJ: I have had zero amateur Muay Thai fights. Once you go pro in one combat sport, you have to apply for pro in others. Completely fair in my eyes. Some Goon’s go over to Thailand, fight a pro bout or two and come back to the states and compete as an amateur again. Excuse my language, but I think that’s a bitch move.
Nick: What is your current professional record?
PJ: 2-2 with Lion Fight Promotions.
Nick: Do you currently have a fight scheduled or in the works?
PJ: Nick, I fight every day. It’s the biggest fight of my life. Obesity. Muay Thai fight? Unfortunately not. Hopefully, I can squeeze in two more bouts before I head out to Thailand later this year.
Nick: Who is your favorite fighter of all time?
PJ: My Mother. She is currently kicking stage 4 breast cancers ass.
Nick: If you could have one dream fight with anyone, who would it be and why?
PJ: Oh, I have one alright, but if I say who, it would stir up some things. I can say it was one of my previous coaches who handled a situation like a little girl.
Nick: PJ have you submitted to the takeover?
PJ: This is PJ Sweeda and I have submitted to the takeover.
Honest interview from an honest guy. I wish PJ all the best in whatever he does. Also, safe travels during his trip to Thailand. Huge shout out from the staff of TheMMATakeOver.com to his mother. Wishing her all the best while kicking ass. Signing off for TheMMATakeOver.com this is Nick Portella. @NickPortellaMMA