Kickin with Nick Gaston
I recently got a couple of minutes of Nick Gaston’s time, while he is preparing for his upcoming fight against Darrill Schoonover…
ML: How you doin’?
NG: Doin’ good, doin’ good!
ML: How did you get into MMA?
NG: I got into MMA after football. I was looking for another contact sport to get into. I tried out boxing, but I didn’t think it was aggressive enough.
ML: Did you wrestle in high school?
NG: I wrestled my freshman year, my junior year, and my senior year.
ML: When did you get into MMA?
NG: I was training with one of the guys that trained Buster Douglas when he beat Mike Tyson, and I decided to try my hand at MMA. My hands were already there, but I still waited about six months before I had my first fight, which I was knocked out in. But I learned a whole lot from that loss. I got a lot more training and had to get my mind right.
ML: How many amateur fights did you have before you went pro?
NG: I had 11. I wanted to make sure I was really comfortable before I went pro.
ML: What is the difference between fighting amateur and pro?
NG: The rules are different. Here in Ohio, you couldn’t kick to the head, you couldn’t knee anybody in the head, and you couldn’t use elbows. The rules change dramatically when you turn pro! And you also get paid, that’s the big difference right there.
ML: You’ve gotten a lot of exposure this last year, with your fights and getting a spot on Bully Beatdown. People are very impressed with your performances, and they are already calling for you to get a title shot. How do you feel about that?
NG: I feel like I’m ready. I’m friends with Tony Johnson, but I’m a professional. If I have to do it, I’ll do it.
ML: Where do you go after your fight with Darrill Schoonover? Do you go after Tony’s belt or do take a few more fights before that?
NG: I don’t know. Like I said, Tony’s a friend, and it’s not personal, it’s professional. It’s all about that paycheck, but right now, I don’t know.
ML: Walk me through your average day of training for your upcoming fight against Darrill Schoonover.
NG: I try to get in four or five sessions a day. Weight lifting and conditioning with a snorkel on to prepare for that high elevation at the Inn Of The Mountain Gods, Muay Thai with Aaron Boggs at Eight Plus Eight, or another boxing session.
ML: What has been your toughest fight so far?
NG: I would say Boban Simic. Just because I hit him with everything I had, and he just wouldn’t drop. He took everything and kept coming forward. It didn’t matter what I hit him with, his chin is made of granite! I hurt him a bunch of times in that fight and almost knocked him out in the first round with a knee to the face, and that backed him off a little bit. But he held on and kept doing his thing and wouldn’t go down. He’s a warrior!
ML: What has the exposure from your fights and your appearance on Bully Beatdown done for you? You get recognized quite a bit, don’t you?
NG: It’s amazing. People come up and tell me “we love you, we saw you on Bully Beatdown”. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
ML: Away from MMA, what do you do for fun and to relax?
NG: I like to spend time with my family. I like video games, I like to eat, spend time with my girlfriend. I love training, and trying to improve my game.
ML: Who would you like to thank?
NG: Full Tilt Poker, 8+8 Striking Systems, Dirty Boxer, Eden, Veteran Clothing, Ruff House BJJ, Oxley Group, Kahoots Gentleman’s Club and the fans.
ML: Thank you for your time!
NG: Thank you!
You can see Nick Gaston face off against Darrill Schoonover in the main event, live on HDNet, Friday, May 14th!