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On July 20, Brace MMA will be returning to Sydney for an evening of thrilling
The night will be headlined by middleweights Gerhard Voigt and Billy McAlees, with Giancarlo Embradora taking on Andrew Baskin in the bantamweight co-main event.
With a full card of talented fighters, Brace 21 promises to be yet another entertaining night of classily executed violence.
Of course, although the crowd gathers to witness the final breathtaking battle in the cage, the fight itself is merely a culmination of months – and usually years – of tough physical and mental training and dedication.
Cornerman’s MMA correspondent Janice Yee speaks to fighters Gerhard Voigt and Billy McAlees, both of whom are headlining Brace 21, about their preparation in the leadup to their fight.
Name / Fight name: Gerhard Voigt
Weight / Weight Division: 84kg / Middleweight
Gym / Trainer: Sinosic and Perosh Martial Arts.
1. How have you been feeling leading up to your fight on Brace 21 against Billy McAlees? I’m feeling really good. The weight’s coming off and I’m pretty sure I can see some abs slowly making their way to the surface.
2. How do you deal with nerves before a bout (if any)? Listen to music; go over technique and a lot of visits to the toilet for nervous pees.
3. What’s going through your mind when you are about to step into the cage? Usually what I’m going to do to my opponent.
4. What does your training consist of when you are preparing for a fight? I train 6 days a week and sometimes twice a day. My training is made up of sparring, striking technique, BJJ/wrestling technique and rolling, road work and sprints. For my strength and conditioning I train at Crossfit Never Quit with my S&C Coach Bradley Halabi.
5. What’s your diet like? I try to stick to a Paleo-based diet, avoiding carbs and processed foods. Even though not eating carbs is against my culture and personal beliefs, I am willing to put that aside until after the weigh in.
6. What’s the most challenging/difficult thing about fight preparation? Missing out on time with my wife and kids… Oh, and not eating delicious carbs and highly processed foods.
7. What’s the best/most rewarding thing about fighting? What makes you want to do it? I’ve always loved fighting and physical confrontation ever since I was a kid, which is why having the ability to fight professionally is reward enough.
8. What do you do to relax/for fun outside of training and MMA? Hang out with family; eat a lot of junk food and think up different injuries and excuses as to why I can’t attend Crossfit or BJJ grading.
9. If you weren’t into MMA, what other career path would you have chosen? MMA is actually a selfish hobby as I still work full-time to support my family. If I were ever able to earn an income off MMA that allowed me to train full-time and financially support my family, it would be a dream come true.
10. Do you have any special talents? I cook a mean homemade pizza.
11. Is there a fighter/person you admire/would like to emulate? David Tua. This guy grew up in my neighbourhood fighting the best in the world and eventually challenged for the heavyweight world title. Although he lost to Lennox Lewis, hearing someone introduced on an internationally televised fight as “fighting out of South Auckland NZ” is pretty cool. Then Mark Hunt came out of nowhere and won the K1 GP 2001, eventually moving into MMA. (Mark Hunt) fighting a former UFC heavyweight champ is a source of pride for many young Polynesians growing up in South Auckland.
12. What’s your signature move? Headkick. In all my fights I’ve thrown it 3 times and it’s never landed (laughs). The first time I threw it I hit my opponent in the armpit, second time I kicked my opponent in the ribs and the last time I kicked over my opponents head! One day, if we all believe, the kick may actually hit someone in the head.
13. How do you predict this fight will end? Headkick KO.
Name / Fight name: Billy “The Kid” McAlees
Weight / Weight Division: Middleweight / 84kg
Gym / Trainer: Larry Papadoplous
1. Brace 21 will be your pro MMA debut against the more experienced Gerhard Voigt. How have you been feeling leading up to this fight?
Prep is going really well which makes me feel good. I’m treating this fight
just like any other I’ve had. I’m in there to punch this guy in the face
till he falls over, no different to anything I’ve done before.
2. How do you deal with nerves before a bout (if any)?
I like to recap my game plan over and over and visualize all situations and possibilities. This keeps my mind off the nerves for a while, but once they are there not much can be done about them.
3. You knocked your last opponent out with a head kick seven seconds into the first round. Is that how you expected the fight to go?
No, not at all. I always prepare for the worst and hope for the best. On that occasion, I got the best!
4. What does your training consist of when you are preparing for a fight?
2–3 sessions a day split up over the required disciplines and strength and conditioning.
5. What’s your diet like?
I have 3–5 meals a day and I try to give my body everything it needs.
6. What’s the most challenging/difficult thing about fight preparation?
Lacking the energy to do fun things with my partner, friends and family and the inability to eat huge amounts of food and drink beer (laughs).
7. What’s the best/most rewarding thing about fighting?
The joy of winning! I like to win.
8. What do you do to relax/for fun outside of training and MMA?
I like eating out and enjoying good food, fishing and online gaming.
9. If you weren’t into MMA, what other career path would you have chosen?
I’m a personal trainer as well as a fighter, so I’d probably just be a PT.
10. How would you describe yourself as a fighter?
As a fighter I like to fight people where they are uncomfortable.
11. Is there a fighter/person you admire/would like to emulate?
Both my coaches and (UFC fighter) Jon Jones.
12. What’s your signature move?
Kick to the face! Well, since my last fight anyway.
13. Any words for your opponent Gerhard Voigt?
It’s a fist fight, no need for words.
See Gerhard and Billy, along with some of Australia’s best MMA fighters, duke it out on the cage in Brace 21 at the Norths Leagues Club, Cammeray, Sydney on 20th of July 2013. For tickets visit www.Bracemma.com
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