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StandThemUp Exclusive: Dave Gabig
This is a big weekend for combat sports and our site in general. Two of our brethren are going into battle this weekend, both in unknown territories. Site member Dgabig (3-2) who sometimes goes by his government name "Dave", is making his NAAFS debut against battle tested and Evolve approved fighter Bob Hopkins (4-1). He is coming into the bout winning a hard fought battle over Albert Miles which featured Dave winning most of the fight from his back and out scrapping Miles on the feet.
Check out our exclusive interview after the jump:
STU: You are competing against Evolve's Bob Hopkins (4-1) this weekend at the NAAFS Midwest Combat Challenge. How do you feel going into this bout?
DG: I feel focused going into this fight. Real fired up to make a big impression in my debut for NAAFS. I have had a great training camp and my body is 110%
STU: How was your training gone?
DG: Training is going great as always. I've really pushed myself this fight camp to be in the best shape I could be in. I pride myself on my conditioning and focused this camp on improving all aspects of my fight game. Working my stand up with Coach Ryan Rimsek has really helped my speed, footwork and a variety of striking. Coach Donnie Kaecher and all the guys at PTT have been the best on getting tons of rounds in tying it all together. Lots of sparring rounds with Mark Cherico, Khama Worthey, Chris Deep, John Lepovich and Paul Reihner have kept different looks coming at me so I can be more well rounded.
STU: What do you know about Hopkins?
DG: Not too much. Just the normal info most people know bout you when your gonna fight; Name, record, team, Youtube, Facebook, STU forums.... But seriously, I know he trains out of a good camp and they got lots of guys fighting on the card so I'm sure he's gonna be ready to go. He's got a good record and a couple sub finishes. I believe everyone who trains hard is constantly changing so you fight your way and have the other guy deal with you. I like the fact I don't know much about people I fight, you just go in there and find out who is better.
STU: What is it like training with a obviously strong and upcoming team like PTT?
DG: It's great training with the top fighters in the area on an everyday basis. All have different styles and the willingness to get in there and scrap. There is no other team out there that has the skill and experience that we put on the mat day in and day out. It makes you so much better when your training with top level guys. The only negative thing is it's hard at times fitting everyone on the mat cause "The Prides" ego takes up half of it. Just kidding. We are like a family.
STU: Are you planning on fighting professionally at some point?
DG: Absolutely. I'm not fighting to be anything but the best. I'm still finding myself as a fighter so I'm gonna take my time and focus on each fight as they come. The only thing that separates a pro from what we do at PTT is pros get paid.
STU: What got you into fighting in the first place?
DG: I did it to keep myself out of trouble. I always was a competitive person and was raised pretty tough so it was a good outlet for me. A close friend of mine Ken Bryan got me started boxing in a little gym he built in his barn up in Utica, Pa. It was something like a scene out of Rocky 4. I'm so grateful that I found this sport cause I don't know where I would be without it.
STU: Do you have any hobbies outside of MMA?
DG: I'm like a nerd. I just watch movies and play Xbox. Look forward to eating tons of food and I do enjoy the occasional beverage...gotta have a little fun after so much work.
STU: Is there anyone you would like to fight and why?
DG: I don't think I'll ever be the"call out" person. Just give me the best fighter available and I'll fight him. I'll leave the match making to everyone else.
STU: Is there anyone you would like to thank?
DG: Gotta thank the guys that punch me in the face to get me ready first... Coach D, Coach Rimsek, Mark Cherico, Khama Worthey, Chris Deep, John Lepovich and Paul Reihner, all the guys at PTT and Rimsek Boxing. My family for backing me 100%. All the guys at Loos Toof Fight Gear and of course all you guys at STU.