Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

MMA fighter Jenel Lausa talks about his UFC debut in Australia

MMA fighter Jenel Lausa talks about his UFC debut in Australia
by rick olivares

In a little over three weeks, Filipino mixed martial arts fighter Jenel Lausa will take on Chinese counterpart Zhikui Yao in UFC Fight Night 101 this coming November 27 at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia.

The match was supposed to initially take place during UFC Fight Night: Lamas vs. Penn last October 15 in Manila. However, an injury to Penn forced the cancellation of the entire card. Barring any unfortunate cancellation to the event Down Under, “the Demolition Man” will finally take on “the Conqueror” in a flyweight bout.

The 25-year old Chinese fighter sports a 2-3 MMA record including a 1-2 slate in the world’s premier MMA fight circuit. In contrast, Lausa who in his previous career as a boxer was undefeated, 7-0 in the super bantamweight division, totes a 6-2 MMA record with six of those matches having fought in the PxC.

Unlike Yao who has fought overseas, this will be the Iloilo native’s first outside home soil.

We caught up with Lausa during his preparation for the match to see if the cancellation has had any effect on his focus and training.

Rick: All your fights have been in the Philippines. The next one is in Australia. How will you approach that -- different time zone, different environment, and not your home crowd?

Jenel: Para sa time zone, pinaghahandaan ko ito sa pagdating ng ilang araw bago ang laban para maka-adjust ako. At tsaka yung oras ng training ko dito sa Pilipinas ay nagma-match naman sa oras ng laban ko sa Australia. Para naman sa audience, hindi ito masyado nakaka-apekto sa akin kasi kahit saan man sa mundo o kahit sino man audience ko, alam ko na magagawa ko ang best ko sa laban ko dahil sa nakakapag-training naman ako at nakakapaghanda ng maayos para sa laban ko.

Rick: Do you think it is a disadvantage that your background is in boxing?

Jenel: Oo. para sa opponent ko. (laughs)

Rick: While striking is something Filipinos are good at, in MMA that is not the case. How have you addressed that?

Jenel: Sa larangan ng MMA, hindi lang kasi dapat striking ang pinaghahandaan ng isang fighter. Dapat pati sa ground game, galingan at paghandaan rin niya.

Rick: Wrestling seems to be a problem for Pinoys. Are you taking up wrestling and what is your proficiency in that?

Jenel: Siyempre, pinaghahandaan rin natin ang ground game. Lahat ng aspeto pinaghahandaan ko, dahil ang MMA ay pang-all around na laro.

Rick: Last questions, why do you fight and what is in for you?

Jenel: Lumalaban ako para sa pamilya ko. Para makatulong sa kanila at sa kinabukasan nila. Ginagawa ko rin ito para maitaguyod rin ang mga Pilipino. Sa paglalaban ko, hindi ko lang yun ginagawa para sa sarili ko at para sa pamilya, para sa lahat ng Pilipino rin para mas lalo pang tumingala at tumaas ang tingin ng iba sa ating mga Pinoy.

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