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Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 47
BY HENRY HOUSTON
Sometimes the teacher goes back and becomes the student; this is definitely the case for fighter Tony Topas. Three years ago, he was training his friend for a mixed martial arts (MMA) match when he thought to himself: I have an MMA background—why not give it a shot?
Since then, he’s been actively training and learning to dominate in the cage. Although Topas has a 2-8 record (he’s in the midst of disputing one loss, which would give him a 3-7 record), he’s on the way to reinvention.
Topas fights with a background in wrestling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and judo. The fighter is looking to expand his background by trying a new kind of training, outside of his comfort zone.
He’s undertaken a rather unorthodox training method for fighters through a local gym. Borrowing the idea from Georges St. Pierre, Topas has been fine-tuning his flexibility.
“I started training with gymnastics after reading about Georges St. Pierre using it,” he said. “I knew about KT’s All Stars, so I signed up for some training here.”
Topas has noticed a definite boost in his fighting from gymnastics. In a way, it’s helping him roll with the punches.
“As a boxer, it allows me to loosen up instead of striking stiff,” he said. “It’s kind of like that Bruce Lee quote about how you should flow like water.”
Additionally, the gymnastics background will help him when dealing with certain moves, since the flexibility will help him if he’s placed in a submission hold. He’s also been working on implementing more submission holds of his own.
“He’s gotten better at looking at when to apply submission holds,” said his coach, Chris Ruiz.
Topas has a fight on Feb. 9 in San Jose at the MMA Evolution Expo, where he’ll fight one of his last matches before venturing out into the professional realm of MMA. He’ll square off against Marc del Rosario, who, just like Topas, has a wrestling background, and he’s excited for the match.
“I’m ready for this fight, and I hope he’s ready to bring it,” Topas said.
For Topas, age is nothing but a number. At 40 years old, he feels as young as a spring chicken—which is great, because he’ll be turning pro in June.