Tim Galluzzi, a 22 year old native of Memphis, Tenn., comes highly recommended by his peers in Memphis and the Southeast.

When I did a story on John David Shackelford of The Fight Clinic, (The Ultimate Fighter 9) a few months back, I asked him who I needed to be watching.  He didn’t hesitate and said, “Tim Galluzzi.”

Tim is an artist when it comes to MMA.  He is very well liked by everyone who meets him and represents his gym and the sport well wherever he goes.

Tim is working to become an attorney specializing in environmental and natural resource law, a degree he seeks to obtain from the University of Colorado in Boulder.

In May he will graduate from the University of Memphis with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and currently works on campus in the cognitive science lab under Dr. Danielle McNamara and as a teacher’s assistant for the psychology department.

When we spoke it was obvious that Tim is very bright and knows exactly what he wants out of life.  He holds a 13–1 record as an amateur  and is 1-0 as a professional in MMA.

He just got back to Memphis a few weeks ago after a month long stay in Biloxi where he trained with Alan Belcher’s team at Remix MMA and taught a few jiu Jitsu classes for a couple of weeks.

He is announcing his upcoming fight for Psychout MMA’s production “Clash in the Cage” on Sept. 18.  Tim will be fighting fellow pro Paul McAdams for the featherweight title at the event which will take place at the Wahabi Shriners Building in Byram, just outside of Jackson, Miss.

Galluzzi really gets around.  I met him in Tupelo, Miss., at Tupelo Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s Summer Spectacular Submission tournament.  He was setting his schedule to go to Corinth, Miss., to train with Team Paragon and then back to The Fight Clinic as well as to Memphis Judo & Jiu Jitsu where he trains with John David Shackelford and David Ferguson.

When I met him, I immediately realized why Shackelford and Chris Gates recommended my speaking with him.  To be 22 years old, he seems wise beyond his years and his talent speaks for itself.

He trains six days a week at various gyms and is known to be one of the most talented and dedicated fighters in the Southeast.  He specializes in grappling, holding a purple belt in jiu-jitsu under Joel Gingery, but is proficient in kickboxing and striking.  He has been training in MMA for four years.

I asked him how he got into MMA and he said, “John David Shackelford was handing out flyers for the Fight Clinic in Olive Branch, Miss., when I was working at GNC. I went by to check it out and decided I would give it a try. I competed in a tournament about four  months after I started and I have been training six days a week ever since.”

When asked who influences him he responded, “Mark Romano is a solid guy, as well as Chris Gates, John David Shackelford and David Ferguson. These guys have a huge impact on my life, as it relates to the sport and otherwise. They are driven in a positive way and are very genuine people. I love that.”

Galluzzi is emphatic about having a positive attitude and quotes Teddy Roosevelt on his Facebook page. He said “I like that quote because in an accurate way it talks about how people tend to criticize that which they cannot do. Obviously I like it because I fight, but also, it applies to any aspect of a person’s life.”

It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” – Teddy Roosevelt.

I asked Galluzzi if he had the attention of everyone in the USA for one minute and they had to listen to him, what he would say and his answer remained focused on being positive. He said, “ I would say, “Isn’t this a democracy? Why the heck are you people having to listen to me?”

He laughs. “If I had a message that I think people could use, it would be, “Be more positive. Don’t be influenced by the negativity of others. I think people may sour somewhat with age if they are not very careful. We dream huge dreams when we are kids, but as we age we tend to let go of our dreams. That has a good chance of causing bitterness. I would encourage people not to lose touch with their imagination.”

He likes Chris Lytle and Chael Sonnen because of the example they set in maintaining a full-time career outside the UFC and MMA and yet have the professionalism and drive to be great competitors in one of the most demanding sports on the planet. “I would like to be successful in multiple areas of my life like they have and I think they show it can be done.”

What does he like most about MMA? “You know, punching people in the face is always fun. Outside of that, I really like the variety of rewards you get out of it both mentally and physically. It helps me in so many different areas like discipline, perseverance, etc. and I think it helps me in every other aspect of my life. It can change your outlook on life in a positive way.”

No doubt about it, Tennessee has real MMA talent and Tim Galluzzi is another proof of that. MMA fans need to watch this kid but don’t blink because he is moving fast. I for one will be ringside in Jackson, Miss., on Sept. 18.

Tim’s talent and wit make him a fan favorite at any event. When asked if he had anything he wanted to add he said, “I would like to thank ProMMAnow.com for taking the time to interview me and I would like to say hello to anyone involved in the WEC if they happen to be reading this.”

I wonder if he was trying to pass a hint?  You can learn more about Tim at www.timgalluzzi.com.

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