TGS Exclusive Interview for STFC 31: Fabian Saldivar


On September 5th, 2014, STFC will return to the McAllen Convention Center for another showcase of mixed martial arts action.

The main event to STFC 31 will feature Santa Rosa’s Fabian Saldivar taking on STFC Featherweight Champion Javier Obregon. Saldivar took time out of his busy schedule to talk about a variety of topics with us.

Eduardo Martinez: Your most recent fight was against Sonny Luque at STFC 28 (March 1). What did you learn from yourself and your skills on that night?

Fabian Saldivar: Honestly, when I went in there, I was going in there with no prenotion on how the fight would go. It just kind of confirmed my belief system, about how I never go to a fight with a plan. The way the fight turned out was I didn’t expect to get a submission but it was there. So I was really happy with just adapting to the situation, seeing the submission, and then finishing it.

EM: Had you been working on, I believe it was the D’Arce choke that you used to win this fight?

FS: Yeah, actually right before that fight, we just happened to learn it. Maybe a week or two before. I mean I had known it, but they were just showing me different set-ups for it and that was one of them. He shot in, I sprawled out, and got the choke.

EM: That same night, your upcoming opponent Javier Obregon defeated Davis Armas via armbar submission. Did you see that fight and did you have any thoughts on how he performed?

FS: I saw the end of it, I saw the armbar. I didn’t get to see the whole fight. I’ve seen a few of his fights before. I saw him fight DJ Fuentes when he took the (STFC) belt. He’s good, I know. I’m not taking anything away from him.

EM: How do you feel you’ve grown from your first STFC fight in 2012 to today in 2014?

FS: I’m just totally different. In that first fight I went in, and I was thinking you got to be mad when you fight. I was trying to pump myself up, not at all what I do now. Now I stay calm. Like I was saying earlier, I let the fight develop and I adapt to every situation. I feel like I’ve grown a lot, not only as a fighter but as a martial artist.

EM: Do you have any pre-fight routines that help you stay calm and relaxed?

FS: Yeah, I like to do a little bit of reading. Like motivational quotes that get me in the right frame of mind that I want to be in. Just different stuff, there is a book I have that I run through, to get me in the right state of mind.

EM: What’s the name of that book you like to go through?

FS: Key To Living The Law of Attraction

EM: You went to California to train with the Cesar Gracie Jiu Jitsu gym after your latest fight. Can you tell us about that experience?

FS: It was pretty awesome. I was kind of star struck. I was real quiet, like I was more of a fan (there). I wasn’t myself. But it was awesome training there.

EM: Who were some of the people you met there and trained with?

FS: The head trainer there, Randy (Spence). I just happened to miss Gilbert Melendez, he went in, and it was the day that I was taking off. I just missed him, and I was so pissed off. (laughs)

EM: Recently some former STFC fighters, like Frank Treviño and Carlos Diego Ferreira have fought on UFC cards. Have you seen them on TV and do you have any thoughts?

FS: Yeah I’ve seen them, “Goyito”, Frank, and Diego. Diego just finished fighting (last week). Honestly man it’s motivation. I see them there, and they are coming from the same promotion that I’m fighting for now. I think that everyone fighting right now, that’s the end game, to try to get to the UFC. I see them, I see that they are accomplishing what I want to accomplish so it’s motivation. I am a very competitive person too. I see them and I want what they have. That’s what I’m working towards.

EM: I know you’re a big Nick Diaz fan, so do you have any thoughts on the upcoming Nick Diaz vs Anderson Silva fight?

FS: I am a big Nick Diaz fan, and I’m a big Anderson Silva fan too. Honestly, it’s like when Nick Diaz fought BJ Penn, I’m a big fan of both. BJ Penn is one of the first fighters I took to, and I wanted to be him. So I’m just going to watch, and I know it’s going to be a crazy fight because both of them are just awesome. I like them for different reasons, but yeah it’s going to be crazy.

EM: Outside of MMA, what are some other sports that you are a fan of?

FS: Soccer, actually. I just happened to become a fan, my cousin started getting me into soccer this past year. I never paid attention to soccer, but now that I am, it’s crazy seeing the footwork they use, the timing, everything. A lot of the stuff that soccer players are capable of, you can translate that to the Octagon, to the cage, to fighting. I’ll watch soccer, I’ll go out and do the footwork. Me and my cousin will go out there and train a little bit. Soccer is just an awesome sport. I used to just watch nothing but basketball, football, and that was it. You got to be in crazy shape to play this game. MMA is one of the sports where you have to be in top shape, well soccer is another one too.

EM: Where you all excited watching the World Cup this year?

FS: Oh yeah. My cousin is a real big fan of the Germany team. So we were both rooting for Germany. We were watching, and pretty much me and him were against everyone else here that was rooting for Argentina. The goal that won the World Cup, with Mario Götze, the way he controlled the ball, and threw the kick, man, it’s crazy. That’s athleticism right there.

EM: How did the move to Cinco MMA Elite come about? How has this transition been for you?

FS: I had kind of a falling out at the last gym, but you know, I went in (to the new gym) since I knew Joseph Daily from the STFC. I knew Amador (Ramirez) trained there, and I had rolled with Eli (Rodriguez) once in an open mat. Real cool guys. I went to go check (the gym) out, and everyone was just real cool, my kind of people. It was an easy transition. I went in there, there wasn’t any boasting. No one was trying to beat me down cause I was the new guy. Everybody was real cool, with open arms. It’s awesome there. I’m glad I made the change. I think it’s a great fit.

EM: Who are some of the coaches and sparring partners that have helped you prepare for this upcoming fight?

FS: (All-State Wrestler) Eli Rodriguez, his brother Mike Rodriguez. I got (All-State, and regional champion) Matt Torres, Mike Torres. Them two are brothers too. Of course (All-State Wrestler) Joseph Daily and (Regional Qualifier) Amador (Ramirez). (All-State Wrestler) Frank Hernandez. We got a bunch of guys there that are real good.

We have some other people here that will be fighting soon. They are good. I like the way they train there. Everyone is real open. Like the way I strike, I’m not really conventional. I like to try different stuff, and there’s incredible people there too that share my same mentality. We like to bounce ideas off each other.

EM: Anything you’d like to say about what people can expect this Friday night?

FS: For my performance, I am shooting for something that is going to help me, not only get that title, but I want to get some recognition. Not just for me, and my gym, but for the Valley. We see these fighters going to the UFC from this promotion, and I’m trying to continue that. I know I’m capable of it, so it’s just a matter of executing it.

EM: I want to wish you luck, thank you for your time.

FS: Thanks for the coverage.

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