On Jan. 30, 2010, Strikeforce will hold its first event of the year at the BankAtlantic Center in Miami, Fla. It is a card stacked with talent, and while most of the MMA world is focused on the main card with the Cyborgs, the Lashleys, and the Walkers, there is some local Florida talent on the preliminary card that should not be overlooked.
Representing MMA Masters, and a BJJ brown belt under Daniel Valverde, Pablo “The Hurricane” Alfonso (5-2) will make his Strikeforce debut against undefeated American Top Team fighter Marcus “Parrumpinha” da Matta (7-0).
Pablo is coming off a triangle choke victory over Jason Goodall at “XFC 9: Evolution” last September, in a bout which earned him the XFC Bantamweight Title. Now just days away from the biggest fight of his career, Pablo knows his opponent well, and feels confident he will emerge the victor. Pro MMA Now (www.prommanow.com) spoke to “The Hurricane” this week about the upcoming fight and his career in MMA.
WWW.PROMMANOW.COM: Pablo, thank you my friend for taking the time to speak with us at Pro MMA Now (www.prommanow.com). How are you feeling right now as we are just a week away from the biggest fight of your career at “Strikeforce: Miami” – you getting excited?
PABLO ALFONSO: Yeah I am so excited to fight in Strikeforce, it is one of biggest shows in MMA worldwide.
WWW.PROMMANOW.COM: Now you’re from Jacksonville, Florida, right? Obviously, they wanted to get some local Florida talent on this card. How did this fight come about for you, and when did you find out you would have the chance to fight for Strikeforce?
PABLO ALFONSO: Well I find out two months ago. It is my pleasure to fight for Strikeforce. Also, I’m known in Florida.
WWW.PROMMANOW.COM: Is this a one fight deal for you, depending on if you win, or how is your contract set up with Strikeforce?
PABLO ALFONSO: So far, one fight contract. If I put a good show Strikeforce might get me extended, which means I get a good deal with Strikeforce contract.
WWW.PROMMANOW.COM: You had your first pro fight in 2000, and you won, but your next fight wasn’t until 2006. Why the long layoff and what were you doing during that time?
PABLO ALFONSO: I was taking my time during my career, which I was training a lot and improving my game. I felt I needed more time to train.
WWW.PROMMANOW.COM: Can you tell us about your MMA background and how you got involved with MMA?
PABLO ALFONSO: Started doing karate when was 5-years-old and then moved on to wrestling when I was 14-years-old. I got into MMA when watching UFC 1, Ken Shamrock prime. Also got into PrideFC, I used to collect DVDs. (laughs) I’m a geek when it comes to MMA. I started doing jiu-jitsu with world class world champion jiu-jitsu sensei Daniel Valverde. Also my striking coach is Master Cesar Carneiro that trained his first student, Miami hero Luis Palomino “Baboon”. He will be fighting Jorge Masvidal Feb. 4, 2010. I’m pumped to see that fight happen. I just fought in Xtreme Fighting Chamionship that show on HDnet Fights. I fought Jason “Good as Gold” Goodall. He had a 5-0-0 undefeated record and was holding XFC world championship. All his wins were TKO or KO. I was able to stop him in the fourth round by triangle choke and win the XFC world title belt. Now I’m a full time fighter. I train three time a day and six days a week. I love my job, this is my life. I thank Daniel Valverde and Master Cesar for helping me out during my career. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be a fighter. I represent my team MMA MASTERS. There are a lot of great fighters like Luis Palomino, John Kelly is 3-0-0, also he is fighting in Strikeforce, Danny Chavez is a hard hitting striker, and others. Now I’m a brown belt under Daniel Valverde and I’m doing well and continuing to improve.
WWW.PROMMANOW.COM: Where do you currently train, who are your instructors, and those helping you get ready for this fight?
PABLO ALFONSO: I train out of MMA MASTERS in Miami. My coaches are Daniel Valverde and Master Cesar Carneiro.
WWW.PROMMANOW.COM: You are fighting undefeated Marcos da Matta. How much do you know about this guy and how do you see yourself matching up with him?
PABLO ALFONSO: I know Marcos da Matta. I used to train with him back in the days when I was 18-years-old, now I’m 26. It’s a good match up cause I know his game and he knows my game also. It’s funny that we are buddies and we end up fighting now cause we are two of the top fighters in Florida. I never thought I was fighting Marcos da Matta. He’s a great coach, but is he a better fighter than me? No.
WWW.PROMMANOW.COM: How important is this fight for you and why – what does this fight mean to you?
PABLO ALFONSO: It mean a lot. He is a third-degree black belt and is known in Brazil. Also he is undefeated 7-0-0. Right now I’m his biggest fight for him, he’s never fought a well-rounded fighter like me. I know he’s nervous. I will finish him in the first round.
WWW.PROMMANOW.COM: There are some great matches on this card. Aside from your fight are you excited about watching any of the other fights – which of the other fights do you want to see most? Why – and who do you think will win?
PABLO ALFONSO: I like Nick Daiz, he’s gotten a lot better than his past fights. His boxing looks a lot better. He will win. Cyborg – wow a monster, I cant wait to see her fight again.
WWW.PROMMANOW.COM: Pablo, thank you so much for taking time to talk with us. Is there any sponsors you want to thank or do you have any shout outs?
PABLO ALFONSO: I would like to shout out my sponsors Brawl and Maul, they’ve been helping my career, thank you guys, and also thank you Jack Bratcher.
By: Jack Bratcher
Here is a highlight reel of Pablo “The Hurricane” Alfonso: