32 year old Professional MMA fighter holding a Black Belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu under Pedro Sauer. Head Instructor of Gracie Jiu Jitsu Warren. 12 Years training Jiu Jitsu, 15 years boxing, 19 years wrestling, 5 years Muay Thai. Holds a professional fight record of 10-9, held the welterweight championship belt in 2011. 11 amateur boxing fights with a record 10-1. Currently I focus on teaching seminars to the Jiu Jitsu community, fight community, as well as persons with trauma.
Q&A Session Between Micah Bender and Elite Sports
Question:Who inspires you, past or present? Why do they inspire you?
Answer: I am inspired by my grandparents, they took me in at a young age and always enforced the idea of “do what you love”. Without them I would have never stayed with martial arts as a fighter or instructor.
Question:What are your goals for this year? Next 3 years? Next 5 years?
Answer: I want to run more seminars, not selfishly but rather, I want to be able to share the art that quite literally saved my life with as many people as possible. This would be my only goal moving forward. Once I feel I’ve met that goal, I will create a new one.
Question:What inspires you about BJJ? MMA?
Answer: MMA was an outlet for me, at the time I loved that I could fight somebody, get paid and not get in trouble. Jiu Jitsu has allowed me to become so at peace when on and off the mats. It helps everyone that trains realize there is always a way out of a poor situation if you are able to remain calm, patient, and open to explore your possibilities.
Question:How long have you been training?
Answer: I’ve been training Jiu Jitsu since age 20, so 12 years. Muay Thai for 5 years, boxing for 15 years, wrestled since school which adds up to roughly 19 years.
Question:How often do you train?
Answer: I am personally on the mats 6 days a week whether it is for private students, classes, seminars or my own rolling/training.
Question:Any major accomplishments you’ve been able to achieve in that time?
Answer: To date I am one of the few Pedro Sauer black belts, I’ve won a championship title in 2011 for pro mma fighting. I met my wife through training.
Question:Do you have a go-to finishing move?
Answer: My signature move is the Kimura or Guillotine.
Question:What do you think it takes to be a champion in your sports?
Answer: Dedication, nothing beats hard work as well as being able to ignore the hate, pressure to change course or desire to eat when cutting weight.
Question:What sort of gear do you usually keep in your gym bag before hitting the gym?
Answer: Do you have different items for specific days. I currently always have my Elite Gi, rashguard, mouthpiece, belt (of course), training gloves and boxing gloves.