By: Nick Portella
What’s good fight fans? Today I had the chance to sit down with pro-MMA fighter Ozzie “The Outlaw” Alvarez. Ozzie is 7-4 as a professional fighter and looking to extend his winning record. He will be stepping into the cage again July 27, 2017, at Combate Classico in Miami, Florida. Let’s talk with Ozzie before this powerhouse event takes place.
Nick: What does it mean (to you) to be a fighter?
Ozzie: It means being true to myself. It brings so many positives to my life. Self-defence, health, success, and the will to go on. Then there is the competitive aspect to it. I get to test my best against someone else’s best. between training, fighting, taking care of two kids, and everything else in life it allows me to be the best version of myself.
Nick: At what age did you begin to train martial arts?
Ozzie: I did Judo and Jiu Jitsu growing up when I was in grade school. Once I got into middle school and started playing sports like soccer, baseball, track, etc I kind of fell off of doing martial arts. I got into a bit of trouble and didn’t finish college. I was trying to figure out life. I had always loved to compete since forever. I moved out to California when I was 21 and picked up a quick easy job and was getting my personal training certificate. I decided to pick up a weekend job as a bouncer at a nightclub since I was new to the area so I wanted to be on the scene. I made some friends with other bouncers and they did recreational Jiu Jitsu and some cool stuff. I ran into some pro fighters making a good living from fighting. That lit a spark in me again to chase the competition and made me want the dream to be a pro. I jumped into this head first. I skipped amateur and went right to the pro level at 25 years old.
Nick: How long have you been with Kings MMA?
Ozzie: I was training at another gym prior to Kings MMA. I was being pressured to sign with their management and I already had a manager. There was some shady stuff going on and I didn’t like how things were handled there so i went to Kings MMA for about a year before moving to San Francisco I reached out to Jake Shields and he was doing a session with D.C., Luke Rockhold, and some other monsters. Amazing guys doing big things. I would commute to go train over there. I also got to train at El Nino with Gilbert Melendez. It has been humbling and rewarding at the same time to learn from these guys. When my wife finished grad school I moved back and jumped right back into Kings.
Nick: What do you think your best attribute is as a fighter?
Ozzie: My will to give it everything I have. I’m mentally tough, athletic, and determined.
Nick: They call you The Outlaw. How did this nickname come about and who gave it to you? Why?
Ozzie: I originally got that nickname after my first fight. I wasn’t a big fan of it. I had been arrested the day before weigh ins. I was released the morning of and made it on time. I tried to kill the name but the local circuit knew the name. They just rode it out and even had it on Sherdog. The name was born and it has stuck with me ever since.
Nick: This event is in the middle of a huge week in Miami. It’s a monster MMA card followed by the biggest soccer game on the planet. It’s also in your own backyard. How excited are you to be part of such a legendary event and weekend?
Ozzie: It’s a blessing to be a part of it all. I never thought I would ever be able to fight in my home town. Living out in California now I have tried but it didn’t make sense to fly out. The promoter for Combate’s has promoted local circuits in California. He knows what I am capable of, he has seen some impressive wins from me, and he knows I am from Miami. I can fill the house. I grew up here, went to school here, and have long time friends and family that will be coming out.
Nick: Combates recently made a deal with ESPN and this event will be televised on ESPN 3. With everything else going on do you think this adds any extra pressure to the fight?
Ozzie: I dunno. There is pressure with every fight. If someone says there is none they are lying or not alive. It makes your blood boil and you get butterflies. I’ve fought in big shows and on live tv. There will always be pressure so I just roll with it.
Nick: You will be facing a tough opponent in Anderson Melo. He is a well-rounded fighter with wins via submission and knockout. How much do you know about your opponent prior to fight night?
Ozzie: I found out about 4 weeks ago who he was. I did my homework on him. You can never be over prepared. He is well balanced and is a Muay Thai fighter and has a good Jiu Jitsu game.
Nick: You also have won in every way possible. How do you think you match up style wise with your opponent?
Ozzie: In this day and age, the sport has evolved so much, you have to be well rounded. You need to be efficient in every aspect to be successful.
Nick: Do you have a prediction for your fight?
Ozzie: I’m going out there prepared for a war. Many scenarios could happen. There are no guarantees in life. I can say it will be a great performance and I will do what I do. We are both very good. This will be a phenomenal show but I do plan on taking home the win.
Nick: Who is your favorite fighter of all time?
Ozzie: I’ve looked up to many. Bruce Lee as a martial artist. I can’t say that I have a favorite. I respect so many fighters skill levels. DC is a great guy along with Bisping. They work hard and train hard. They are both good guys and family men. I also like what Conor McGregor has done for the sport.
Nick: What one tip can you give to the up and coming generation of fighters?
Ozzie: It’s not going to be easy. You have to want it more than anything. If you stick to it it will be worth it. It teaches you to focus, discipline, and how to be successful. You get really good life skills and it keeps you in good health.
Nick: If you could have one dream fight with anyone in history who would it be and why?
Ozzie: I would say Achilles. He was the best warrior during brutal time. His story was told for thousands of years. I would fight him for the glory of it.
Nick: With all the hype surrounding the McGregor vs. Mayweather fight who do you like in this one?
Ozzie: It really is a tough fight to call. Mayweather is getting older and Conor is determined. With all things considered I have to go with Floyd. This is his sport and he is the best at it.
Nick: Ozzie have you submitted to the takeover?
Ozzie: this is Ozzie “The Outlaw” Alvarez and I have submitted to the takeover.
Ozzie would like to thank God first and foremost. He wanted to give a shout out to everyone he trains with at Kings MMA. Luc Bondole who has been a training partner and personal friend. I have been doing extra work with him privately. His sponsors MRI Performance and Cryspot for supporting him. His wife for being supportive and helping him with every aspect from dieting to moral support. Thank you to all the people from So. Cal. All my friends, family, fans, and supporters I appreciate each and every one of you.
I would like to throw a big thank you out to Ozzie for taking some time to speak with me during fight week. I know he has been in camp and preparing so I do appreciate it. I also would venture to guess that this fight will be a barn burner. Keep your eyes open for The Outlaw and check him out on social media to see what he is doing. Signing off for TheMMATakeOver.com this is Nick Portella. @NickPortellaMMA