This Friday night, Nov. 6, 2009, Gameness Fighting Championship returns to the Sports Arena at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds in Nashville, Tenn. Headlining the event will be Nashville MMA fighter and GFC Bantamweight Champion Dustin Ortiz taking on Peak Submission / Shootbox Academy’s Sean Barnett, fighting out of St. Mary’s, Ohio.
We have been following Dustin’s training camp for this fight through video blogs we have been posting here at ProMMA.info courtesy of his coach Ed Clay. Dustin joined heavyweight teammate Dave “Pee Wee” Herman and traveled with their coach to Brandon Vera’s Alliance Training Center in San Diego, Calif.
It was at Alliance Dustin was able to train with some of the sport’s top athletes, get some private instruction time with Master Lloyd Irvin, and experience what it is like to be in the midst of some of MMA’s greatest fighters, each training for their own upcoming bouts. You can’t put a price on that type of experience.
We caught up with Dustin this week to talk about his unique training camp, his opponent for GFC 5, and what the future holds for one of Nashville’s most beloved fighters.
PROMMA.INFO: First of all Dustin, thank you for taking the time to speak with us at ProMMA.info. How are you feeling right now with just a couple of days until your fight? Any nagging injuries or anything?
DUSTIN ORTIZ: I am feeling great, just adjusting to my schedule now that I am back from Brandon Vera’s training camp in San Diego. Everyone has injuries from extensive training.
PROMMA.INFO: We’ve been posting Ed’s video blogs of you guys training at Alliance Training Center. Tell me what that experience was like for you. I saw you working with Dominick Cruz and some other guys. How good was this camp and that experience for you?
DUSTIN ORTIZ: My experience at Alliance Training Center was a great opportunity for me to see top level guys train and how they train. The camp was a great experience for me because I got the chance to work with top level guys that are my weight class like Dominick Cruz.
PROMMA.INFO: What would you say you took away most from this camp?
DUSTIN ORTIZ: Knowledge.
PROMMA.INFO: Was that your first time training at Alliance? Have you trained at many different camps? If you have, what are some of them and how do they compare to Nashville MMA?
DUSTIN ORTIZ: Yes, that was my first time training at Alliance, as well as my first camp.
PROMMA.INFO: I had heard your original opponent pulled out. Do you think those videos caused your opponent to pull out, maybe he saw what kind of great training you were getting and got a little nervous?
DUSTIN ORTIZ: Haha, Im not sure of his reasons for dropping out.
PROMMA.INFO: So who are you fighting now, and is it still a title fight?
DUSTIN ORTIZ: Yes, I will still be defending my title for 135lb. My new opponent is Sean Barnett.
PROMMA.INFO: What do you know about your opponent, have you seen any of his fights, and how do you think you match up? How do you see the fight ending in your mind?
DUSTIN ORTIZ: I don’t know much about him. I’ve seen one of his fights. I think it’s a good match up for my experience. I see the fight ending with my hand raised.
PROMMA.INFO: What is your record now Dustin, and where do you see yourself at in your career? How far are you away from turning pro and how big of a deal is becoming a professional fighter to you?
DUSTIN ORTIZ: My record is 6-1. I’m at the beginning of my career, I have much more to learn and experience. No less than a year to becoming pro. Professionally fighting is my career and I embrace it.
PROMMA.INFO: When you think about the top pro 135-pounders right now, who do you look up to, who are the guys you like to watch? How badly do you want to get in there and mix it up with those WEC guys?
DUSTIN ORTIZ: I look up to all the fighters and the versatility in each fighter. I like to watch not only the WEC fighters but the 135-pound boxers too. When my time comes I’ll be ready to mix it up, but for now I like to concentrate on the fight in front of me.
PROMMA.INFO: We here at ProMMA.info wish you the best of luck this Friday. Is there anyone you want to thank?
DUSTIN ORTIZ: Nashville MMA and all my teammates, Alliance and everyone at Brandon Vera’s training camp. Ed Clay for making the trip to Brandon Vera’s possible.
By: Jack Bratcher