Monday, April 06, 2009

Jon Koppenhaver interview

Originally posted on

What have you been up to since your win over Guillaume Delorenzi in February?

Just training. Same old stuff. I’m going to the gym and staying shape.

You took that fight on short notice and did really well and beat a guy who was undefeated.

I’ve never taken a fight on short notice before. I watched the fight tapes and I thought he had a lot of skill but I didn’t think he could take me out. I thought as long as I kept my cool and didn’t blow my wad I could pull it off. And of course I needed money and I had to pay the lawyers so it made sense.

What are your thoughts on Roger Bowling you are fighting him in May?

He’s like Delorenzi. He’s strong and explosive but I don’t see him beating him. I’m a legit fighter and I think those small town heroes can’t beat me. They are just fights for me to get some experience until I get back to the big show.

I’m also fighting Reshad Woods April 25th UWC 6 in Fairfax, VA.

How did you get into MMA?

I left college. I went to the Citadel. I left there and a guy from my hometown had tried out for the Lion’s Den and made it. I figured he was no tougher than I am. I packed my stuff and moved to San Diego. I got an apartment and a job. I walked into the Lion’s Dena and asked for a tryout. They gave me a date a month later. I came back and made it. It was tough but I made it. I started training with Ken and Vernon White. I ended up moving in with Ken Shamrock for a couple of years. That’s how I started.

I then moved to Las Vegas and trained with Phil Baroni and all the guys at Cobra Kai. That’s how I became friends with Kendall Grove.

I hadn’t spoken to Shamrock in a while but he gave me my start. We were close. If I saw him it would be like old times. I stay in touch with Baroni and Kendall.

Didn’t Baroni give you the name “War Machine”?

Yeah, I have some bio mechanical tattoos. Originally my name was “The Green Machine”. That was my self given name. Baroni said Green Machine is gay. Back then when I was sparring I would spaz out and go crazy. He started calling me War Machine and it stuck.

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