By: Nick Portella
What’s good fight fans? Today I had the chance to sit down with pro debut fighter Solomon Renfro. While he has not had a pro fight he has made his mark in the amateur ranks sporting a 10-1 record. With a record like that, I had to know what made him decide to go to the professional level now. Solomon said, “I should have gone pro a few fights ago.” He wanted to win a national title before taking that step. He went out and won the King of the Cage title which made his decision easy. Apparently, he was told from many people that he had no shot at the belt and dominated his opponent.
I wanted to touch on his one amateur loss. Solomon told me that “I lost my third fight to a guy that was going into his seventh fight.” He had more experience at the time and I have learned a great deal since then. His fourth fight was against a seasoned fighter who was 19-5 and he won with ease. “I am now on an eight-fight win streak going into my professional career.”
Solomon trains out of WNYMMA in Buffalo, New York. He has been there since the beginning which was only three short years ago. With only three years training MMA and a 10-1 record there had to be some more background to him or was he just gifted. He believes that it is a little of both. When he was younger he boxed and did some kung fu. While in high school he played football and wrestled. He admits that football was more for his father than him.
He said, “ I remember watching GSP win the title at a young age and knew I wanted to be a fighter.”
Solomon had offers from several regional promotions but chose to sign with Maverick MMA. I asked what set them apart from the other promotions that helped him make the decision to have his pro debut with them. He said. “The other promotions talked to me like I was a nobody. I know that you have to earn your way, but I wasn’t exactly new to the game. I had 11 fights and am a student of the sport.” Maverick approached him the way he thought he should have been approached. They were polite and easily accessible. “It;s hard to work out a deal when it takes two weeks to get a reply to an email.” At Maverick everyone is accessible from the owner to the matchmaker. He had a pleasant experience working things out. He had meetings face to face and was always in the know.
Solman told me that he has a strict training regiment. He trains 3-4 times a day and is well rounded in the cage. While he fights MMA he does fine tune skills in separate sessions. “If I want to work on boxing I train it in the am and MMA at night.” That goes for all the things he trains. While not holding any belts in any disciplines his skill level reflects something different. He rolls with brown belts in jiu-jitsu and is able to tap them. Solomon said, “A belt doesn’t do anything but hold up your pants.”
July 1 at Maverick MMA 2 he will be stepping into the cage with undefeated Andrea Velasquez. Andrea is 6-0 as an amateur and is also making his pro debut. I asked what he knew about his opponent and he said nothing. Once the fight was signed he started to do his homework. He knows that his opponent is undefeated and has not fought since 2015. “I don’t pay much attention to records because they could be padded once you dig deep enough.” I then asked what his prediction was for his upcoming fight. Solman quickly replied, “I plan on finishing him in the first round. Standing up or on the ground, I’m like water. I will adapt to the situation and take it from there.”
We also touched on his weight cut and possible effects it could have. Solomon stays close to weight all the time because you never know when you will be fighting. He is currently walking around 15 pounds out with time on his side. He says that a clean diet and hard training keeps him where he needs to be. His goal is to be 20 pounds over roughly two months before a fight. Cutting weight from there doesn’t have an effect on his strength or power because it’s a clean cut. He does admit when talks of a fight start he goes right into training camp. “I can start talking about a fight at 11pm and I’m in the gym at midnight working out.” Day or night the training is always in progress.
He has become somewhat of a local celebrity at this point. He gets paid to show up at clubs because people want to see him. While he doesn’t drink, smoke, or party he does make appearances. Speaking about celebrity status I wanted to know who his favorite fighter is of all time. Solomon said, “It has to be Johnny ‘Bones’ Jones.
Solomon would also like to thank all his training partners, coaches, friends, family, supporters, and haters. Everyone has played a vital role in his success up to this point. I was honored that he thanked me for taking the time to interview him before his professional debut. With that being said I had my final question. I asked if he has submitted to the takeover. He said, “This is Solomon Renfro and I have submitted to the takeover.”
You have to like a guy with this much charisma and a winning attitude. I wish him all the best of luck in his upcoming fight and his career. We will be there to cover the event live so stay tuned for up to the minute reports. Signing off for TheMMATakeOver.com this is Nick Portella. @NickPortellaMMA