Q&A with Muay Thai Prodigy Steven “Put Them To Sleep” Walker ahead of his Lion Fight Debut
By: Nick Portella
What’s good fight fans? Today I had the chance to sit down with Muay Thai fighter Steve “Put Them To Sleep” Walker. Steve is 14-2 as an amateur and will be making his professional debut at Lion Fight 37 on June 28. He is also a full-time father of four and is a youth violence outreach worker. Steve is very involved in his community on many different levels and works to help people in need of insurance, jobs, or counseling for many different things. Let’s have a seat with Put Them To Sleep and find out a little more about him.
Nick: What does it mean (to you) to be a fighter?
Steve: It’s to be a role model. My whole background goes back to the inner city. I have been fighting all my life through poverty, life struggles, and stress. When I found this new outlet to let go of stress and pain it felt good to me. I never thought this was going to be a career. I did it to get in shape. Now I am a role model in my community. I have made mistakes in life and never let them hold me back. I hope that people realize that it’s never too late to make a change. I want to give back to the upcoming youth.
Nick: At what age did you begin to train martial arts?
Steve: I began three years ago so when I was 28
Nick: What camp do you train out of and how long have you been with them?
Steve: Hyde Park Hard Knocks Muay Thai and MMA. I have been with them for three and a half years. When I first started off I trained at gyms when I used Groupon for classes. Hard Knocks felt right when I began there. They welcomed me in and it was a warm feeling. It was close to home which was only six miles so I could jog there.
Nick: What do you think your best attribute is as a fighter?
Steve: Everything I do I give it my all. I am not a quitter. Even if I get hurt in a fight I keep fighting. I have that drive to keep going and I dig deep to get it done. I don’t mind being in the deep water when the fights go on.
Nick: Your nickname is Put Them To Sleep which must have a great story behind it. Who gave you that name and why did they give it to you?
Steve: I was fighting my fourth fight at ECS in New York. They gave me a paper to fill out all of my information and nickname was on the paper. I didn’t have one and a fan told me to put down put them to sleep. It rolled off the tongue well and my coach told me not to use it. I had already turned the paper in so it was announced that way. It has stuck ever since.
Nick: Would you transition to MMA?
Steve: I have thought about it. I’m sure down the road I would like to give it a shot. I had four Muay Thai fights that were actually in the cage.
Nick: There is obviously a great respect between fighters in the Muay Thai community which is a phenomenal thing. I assume it is due to the culture and origin of Muay Thai in general. Can you elaborate on why you think the respect level is so high?
Steve: One thing people don’t know about Muay Thai is it is also very spiritual. You have to be in touch with your spirit. If you come out with an arrogant spirit you will never get to your full potential. If your spirit isn’t clicking with life it will never be great. You could hate your opponent but you will bow before and after the fight. You have to remain humble and respect each other.
Nick: How awesome is it to be on the Lion Fight card?
Steve: I very excited. It’s still like a dream to me. I went from watching all these fights on television and youtube and now it is happening to me. Lion fight is a huge stage with all the top fighters. I always asked myself is it possible to turn one of my idols into a rival. It’s a huge step for me in my career and my life. I’m hoping it paves the way for me to be internationally known. It also gives me a chance to promote myself because I will now be a brand on the world stage.
Nick: Is there a chance that you could face one of the fighters that you currently look up to?
Steve: Marcus Simon, Tyrone Spong, and Rico Verhoeven. I have been watching these guys and taking bits and pieces from them. I will see something that they do and add it to my toolbox with my own spin on it.
Nick: July 28 at Lion Fight 37 you will be facing a tough opponent in Lewis Rumsey. Prior to entering the ring how much do you know about your opponent?
Steve: I always try and study my opponent. I know he has done MMA and has a good wrestling background. I also know that he has really good cardio. I will study and try to capitalize on his mistakes and pick him apart. I will try and chop him down from the ground up. I also have learned that he isn’t very big on catching body kicks and will eat them. I definitely will not sleep on him though because he is a very skilled opponent.
Nick: Do you have a prediction for your fight at Lion Fight 37?
Steve: Of course I plan on coming out with the win. Deep in my heart, I think it will end up being a decision he has a lot of pro fights and this is my debut. In my head, I want to go for a TKO.
Nick: Who is the fighter that inspired you to compete in combat sports as a career?
Steve: It would definitely be Ken Shamrock. He was a monster and the tap out king. I remember watching him brawl in the first UFC events when weight classes and rules didn’t really matter.
Nick: What one tip can you give to the up and coming generation of fighters?
Steve: Run, run, and run. You have to have great endurance. Your body is the car and your cardio is the gas. If the car doesn’t have gas it can’t move.
Nick: If you could have one dream fight with anyone, who would it be and why?
Steve: Joe Schilling because he reminds me of myself. We have the same fighting style and it would be an honor to fight him and then hang out afterward. He also seems like he has had a troubled past. I don’t know that for sure but the guy has the best attitude. He can get through anything in my eyes. I would fight him out of respect. It would be a fight but more like heavy sparring.
Nick: Steve have you submitted to the takeover?
Steve: This is Steve “Put Them To Sleep” Walker and I have submitted to the takeover.
Steve would like to thank his friends and family for supporting him on his journey. A big shout out to all of his sponsors and fans who have followed him throughout this journey. Lastly huge thanks to Prime Elite Management (a division of Prime Athletics Corporation and their financial partner Northeast Financial Strategies) for representing him.
I would like to thank Steve for taking some time to talk with me while he is in preparation for his fight. I wish him all the best in his upcoming fight and beyond. He is a great guy and it would be hard to not like him. Also, give him a follow on Instagram at @stop_sleeping to keep up to date with all the things he will be doing. Signing off for TheMMATakeOver.com this is Nick Portella. @NickPortellaMMA