The “El Dirte” Road To Gold
The opportunity in a mixed martial artist’s career to challenge for championship gold may only come once, if at all. When given the chance, you would think it to be natural for them to think the same.
On June 6, 2014 Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA), presents RFA 15: Casey VS Sanchez.
Being held in Culver City, California, at the Culver City Veterans Memorial Auditorium, this will be their (RFA’s) third time holding an event in the state as RFA 9 and RFA 12 were held in Los Angeles, CA.
“"All roads lead to Culver City" were the original ad quotes from Harry Culver who established Culver, City. It wasn’t until his second attempt in 1917 in which his dream came true. Just like Harry Culver, RFA middleweight and title contender Andrew Sanchez will get his opportunity to achieve his goal. That goal is becoming the RFA middleweight champion.
A very focused and determined “El Dirte” has made it very clear he is walking out of Culver, City as the new RFA middleweight champion once his fight with Strikeforce: Challengers and Ultimate Fighter veteran Kevin Casey is all said and done.
I was able to talk with Sanchez and touch base on several topics including his time spent in RFA thus far, his upcoming title fight with Kevin Casey as well as the mental aspect of MMA for a fighter plus much more. I even invade his privacy and as he states ask him the most “random” question he has ever been asked in an interview.
@AdamMartinShow: Currently 2 – 0 in the RFA, it seems like you have found yourself a “home” within the organization? Especially now competing for the RFA 185lb championship on June 6, 2014 in Culver City, California at RFA 15.
Andrew “El Dirte” Sanchez: “Yes they (RFA), does feel like my home. They are the first organization that I have signed a 3-fight deal with. I feel welcome as well as happy to be there. They have always taken good care of me fight week, which unfortunately I am not used to.”
@AdamMartinShow: How would you describe your time with the RFA organization?
Andrew “El Dirte” Sanchez: “My time with them (RFA) has been one of the highlights of my life, and certainly my MMA career. RFA has allowed me to be showcased on the national scene. As a child, I never thought in a million years I would be beating people up on national television. It’s an amazing feeling knowing all of my friends, family, and supporters are all watching me while I do what I am best at.”
@AdamMartinShow: You will be squaring off against Kevin “King” Casey. How excited are you for this opportunity not only to fight for the title but to fight a guy such as “King”? He has the experience also could potentially be the biggest name on your record sheet to date. Is that fair to say in your opinion Andrew?
Andrew “El Dirte” Sanchez: “I am extremely excited to be headlining this show (RFA 15). I’m even more excited to fight Casey. I remember watching TUF and saying to my girlfriend, "I would love to fight that guy". So it’s kind of crazy, it’s actually about to go down. I would agree that he is the biggest name I've fought. He has a big following, is a big prospect for the UFC, and a skilled fighter. I also believe that I stylistically I have the advantage. I think this is the perfect fight to launch my career to the next level.”
AdamMartinShow: You've earned finishes in all of your victories. Kevin Casey has only gone all three rounds twice. Do you think conditioning will be a major factor in this five round title fight?
Andrew “El Dirte” Sanchez: “I think conditioning is key in every fight, especially a 5 rounder. Fights can be won on conditioning and heart alone. When you add skill on top of that, it is a dangerous combination. I have a strange way of being able to wear guys out while conserving my own energy.
I couldn't tell you the amount of people in my wrestling, BJJ, and MMA career that I have physically exhausted, and then mentally broke them. I feel that this is one of my biggest attributes as a fighter.”
AdamMartinShow: What do you know about your opponent (Casey) coming into RFA 15? Is there anything you expect from him?
Andrew “El Dirte” Sanchez: “I expect excellent Jiu-Jitsu, decent wrestling, good power, and improved striking. I plan on fighting the best Kevin Casey so far. Casey is good. However, I believe I am superior in all aspects of MMA.”
AdamMartinShow: The mental aspect of the sport is just as important in my opinion as the physical aspect. How would you describe the emotions, thoughts, and mindset right before you walk out to that cage, and does it change each time with each fight?
Andrew “El Dirte” Sanchez: “A few hours before the fight can be a mind [explicit]. I think about victory, but find myself bracing and preparing for defeat. I expect the best but prepare for the worst. I think about every possible outcome of the fight and every way that I can lose. However, the closer and closer I get to fight time, the more confident I get. As I begin to walkout to the cage, I look at the crowd and the cameras and all worry and doubt is gone. Instead I become excited to show what I am capable of. This has not always been the case. I used to try and get too hyped up, which only leads to mistakes and gassing out. I have learned to stay calm, try and have fun, and enjoy the moment. This is when I perform my best.”
Now well established for hosting several film productions, Culver City has grown from a small beginning to a well-known movie city. Just like on June 6, 2014 I’m sure this will feel like a movie for both Kevin Casey and Andrew Sanchez until the fight is over. Once the bell rings and the referee calls for “action,” and the fight begins…. It will be up to “El Dirte” to write the script, produce, and direct the outcome.
I asked him (Sanchez) on his own opinion on how you thought this “movie” would finish.
“Expect two guys that are confident in their abilities, and truly believe they are going to win the fight. This always makes for an exciting battle. But also expect a one sided ass kicking. Casey will put up a fight, but I will control the fight from start to finish, especially in the later rounds.” – Andrew Sanchez
While preparing for the title fight against Kevin Casey at RFA 15, on June 6, 2014 in Culver City, CA, Sanchez would like to thank multiple people.
“I would like to thank Cathy for all her love and support. My sponsors: Revgear, Fear the Fighter, Gamma Labs, and Blue grace. Also thanks to all my amazing teammates and coaches in the St. Louis area that have helped me train for this fight.” – Andrew Sanchez
Andrew would also like to thank: Finney’s MMA, Victory Training Center and Mckendree Wrestling, Hector and all of his coaches from the east coast and Tristar.
You can follow Andrew “El Dirte” Sanchez via twitter @ElDirteSanchez
Tune into RFA 15 on June 6, 2014 live on AXS TV 7PM PT.
WWW.RFAFIGHTING.COM for all card details.
MMAmadhouse would like to thank @AdamMartinShow for this great interview. We hope to see more from him in the future.