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Luis Pena | Average To Savage EP70
ABOUT THIS EPISODE
This is the average to savage podcast with Paul Greno, everyone in anyone, athletes, sweats and much more. Stop everybody on back for another episode of the average savage podcast. Or special guests. Today is UFC Lightweight Luis Paenya, Aka Violin Bob Ross, who was currently seven one wise. How's it going? Pretty good, you know, just chilling get ready for training. They appreciate you coming on cause, no problem. So let's go back. You were born in Naples, Italy, on a navy face. You were adopted. So could give me a little bit background on your up ring? And then how did you end up Little Rock, Arkansas? So yeah, so I was adopted everything, and then my family, I want to say when we were like when I was like five or so, we moved back to America and we actually lived in Florida for a year and then I moved to Arkansas. I actually grew up in cabin, Arkansas, the save the hometown of Bryce Mitchell to like we actually knew each other growing up. It's pretty weird. Yeah, and I didn't move to little rock until I was going to high school. You got out there. So did you know Italian? Yeah, they of my parents told me. My first language is Italian, but I don't really have any memories of it, you know. So I was so young. Yeah, you got there, and then how did you end up getting into mixed martial arts? Well, so, like I wrestled in high school and college and everything, and then, like I was dropped out of college after a year. That was working just kind of helping coach my old high school wrestling team, and then when my old rivals actually was resting and training at a new major, he said one of his trading partners, who ended up happening to be price, was getting ready to fight a wrestler and they asked me to come in and like help about show some stuff, and so, like I went in started like to help them out, I started training myself and, like the rest his history, I just never really wanted to leave. I feel like that's how a lot of people start. Yeah, pretty much. I've heard the same story from a lot of people. I mean, at the same time, I also think about it all the time because, like I still don't understand how I got to do it myself. Yeah, did you? Did you play any other sports growing up? Yeah, actually, I played football, I ran track, I was a gymnastics, the cheerleading, played a little baseball to yeah, I did a lot. I did it all really there, a little bit everything up. Yeah, pretty much. And then what was your first fight, like two thousand and fourteen as an amateur man? That was so the way I I describe it. If every people, and like most wrestlers I get it, do it will describe to you the same way. It's like the high whatever, the highest thing you ever achieved. Like for me that was a state championship and wrestling. It feels like that every time you go out there and fight. And so like that's how I got hooked. was that feeling. Just always like the getting that feeling over and over and over again. So that's why I guess that's why I keep fighting. Yeah, now I know you went pro in two thousand and sixteen as MMA fighter, but, and I know it's two thousand and seventeen, you did some pro boxing to show. Did you do amateur boxing as well? Yeah, I was actually a golden gloss champion and SAT Louis, okay, the Missouri, as a Missouri state gold most ship. Yeah, and so what was what was it like for your first first pro MMA fight? Versus like the first amateur fight. I mean for me, by the time I had went pro, I was like, I want to say between amateur kickboxing boxing and Amatory of it may. By the time I went pro is a mixed martial artist.
I probably had like hurdy something fights. So I was super like they were. There was no nerves. I mean it was my pro debut in the guy was fighting was actually the last. Dude, I lost you as an Ammature, but I wasn't really worried about it, like I don't know, I just I knew I trained hard, I do, I trade with the best guys that I brothers we could, and I was really prepared where it's like the first time I ever went out and fought as an image R had no clue what the Hell is going to happen? God, we got this. Yeah, yeah, that's a little bit of everything. So like when you say when you're like boxing or whatever, is there ever like a moment where you like want to kick where you obviously can't? Know that really like, I don't know, I'm I did a lot of different styles of wrestling growing up, so it was like it was kind of similar to that, but I didn't know, I'm very competitive still, like going out there and beating some wood in what they do is very like it meant something to me. So I got I got very into like the rules of box they could kickboxing when I would do it, you know. Yeah, yeah, and I guess actually, the one of the really big things I can't stand about being excited to the UFC is that, like I can't take boxing fights in between my him of a fights anymore. Okay, yeah, so, yeah, actually, that's not going to ask you too so in two thousand and sevent seen. I remember I saw the picture and you fought Vaughan Alexander and you were like, Oh shit, like how do you know that was hot? Like who do you how do you know that was like Vawn Alexander? So like how did how did that fight come about? I knew, like, I mean I'm a pretty big boxing head, like I have. I probably pay attention to boxing more than I do in it a really and so, yeah, I just knew who van and Devin were and I was, I mean, for the being the guy that I am in MMA, like I was always just kind of known is like taking fights. And so a promoter hit me up on like sixteen hours notice. was like Hey, man, would you fight this dude? I have to bend. I like who is and he's like falling Alexander, and I'm like, I thought about it. I'm like a man Vaun, Alexander, I know you just got out of jail and like, I see the kind of guy that I am with. That was when that offer was presented, to be like I had to take it, because it's like I had to test myself. I had to see because every you know, people talk about, you know, being a hard like real being, reals fug and you know, like being a gangster and all that bullshit, but it's like, when it comes time to do like some real shit or do some real gangster shit, are you really going to step up to the plate in like put your money where your mouth is? And I was like, you know what, I've got say that I'm real as fucking I say I do this fight and shit, let's see, let's do it, let's go lest let's test you. Thus must test the fucking waters. That's the way I felt like and I just don't think you see a lot of guys like that these days. And you've work. Yeah, for sure, that's awesome. That's awesome. So it was sixteen hours notice and you're just like fuck it. Yeah, pretty much, you know the I'm like do of this is like the this is like that is one of those things where I could tell my kids like hey, I went out there and did some shit that like I knew was like you never like because like, yeah, it's easy to go out there and prepare for a fight, take a fight that you especially agains, the guy that you think you could beat. Then would you would? It's like a bit asskred said it best. It's like the like true, like a true fighter mentality, is like going being able to say, yes, I'll take that fight when you don't know if you're going to get your ass kicked or her. You know what I mean. Yeah, are going back, going to like the ultimate fighter. How'd you get castle for that? So it's funny that you ask, because I got once a guy was actually getting ready to it was the fight week of another professional boxing match I had. I was in the middle of cut weight and, like a scrolled through instagram and I just saw...
...the flyer for the tryouts and I saw that you had to be undefeated in MBA and I'm like, I'm for no, and I just thought about it for a second. I was like, man, the ultimate fighter for the kind of Guy I am, for the way this whole violent Bob Ross they can start to really take off, this could be the perfect avenue for me to get to the UFC. I sat there and I thought for a second in the sauna and I was like fuck, it was dopid. A contacted a couple of sponsors and they funded my trip out to Vegas. The rest is history. You know. I went out there participate in the tryouts and I got my five. Yeah, now, besides like them knowing like your MMA record and something, did you have to like go through any like casting thing where they wanted to like to learn your personality and stuff like that? Oh yeah, so, okay. So the way of the tryouts were in the beginning. So the very first thing we did, after all the registration stuff, they were you did like grappling round. So they split it up by weight class. One hundred and forty five, one hundred and fifty five and one hundred and seventy and so each weight class would go into a room that had matts and everything, and from there they would just brandomly net match people up and you would do a ninety second grappling round to see and like it was just kind of to gage, you know, everyone's level grappling. And then after that, you like people just they would section people off on the Mat and then holders were come in and people would hold like tie pads and focus mits for four guys and you just had like a minute to or I think it was like a minute a half or two minutes to like, you know, just do whatever you wanted and mcmadard and shown she'll be, just walked around watch people and then if you made it past that, like that round of qualifications, like if you made it pass their grappling and the mints, then you got to go onto interviews. And then if you made it past the interviews on the first day, then you were in for the rest of the week. And, like you if you made it past that first week, they sent us home and we didn't actually know. By the time they we got done with the first week of like tryouts and casting and everything, we'd actually didn't like they had narrowed it down to about two thousand, one hundred and forty fives and two thousand two, one hundred and fifty five is they had like drop the s completely. But at that point we didn't know who was going to be the actual cast and who was going to be the the Alverness. So then, how did you get the office? So I remember my manager text me while I was in practice. I it was like in between striking and I was like getting I just finished up my striking practice and I was going to get my key on. I just happened to check my phone and as I'm putting my gee on, I see my manager text me you're in the ultimate fighter and I started going fucking nuts. But it was I was like, Oh shit, like this is real. And then I remember, like, man, like I just I couldn't believe, like it was one of those things where, like you, man, I just could not believe that this was happening, like I made it, because I knew, like with the whole Violet Bob Ross steady put the way I fight with like it was just a perfect package for this show and ended I've ended up being right. You know. Yeah, yeah, definitely. I mean, I'm not gonna lie. That's the only ultimate fighter I watched and I was like the first time I saw you, I was like, this guy's going to be a star, like I just knew it. Yeah, I didn't see you playing anything, like look up your record anything. I mean, obviously I knew it was undefeated. But yeah, and then, and then, how that ultimate will you like Change Your Life? I guess say. Well, I mean it all starts with the coaches, DC and steep a just is just happen to be lucky that ended up being their season, because the in DC is, you know, connecting. He connected...
...me with Versindo, who is ended up being ricindo Sanchez and up being lay, probably the my like my best coach I've ever had and the like. Not even my best coach, probably my best friends, like, I mean I trust. I talked to her, Sindo about everything, like he's the one guy in my life and were a few coaches of my life that I go to for anything, and it's like I just that that whole experience, the ultimate fighter has changed my life in dividend in ways I never thought. Yeah, what was your first UFC fight? Like, you know, it's funny is even though this, the Richie small in fight, was the first fight on my UFC record and it is my technically by USC debut. I don't know, it just felt like another day in the office. I didn't really get those, like you UFC feelings, of those UFC jairs until fighting trussano. Man, I feel like that was mainly just because it was the main card and I was like that was meant a lot to me for some reason being on the main card the UFC's twenty five anniversary show. Yeah, actually just had another person. I was on ultimate fighter and I asked them the same thing, like, like what do they count as the first UFC fight, like the ultimate fighter finale, or like when they're on the actual like UFC card? I think I think he said the same thing some of you. Yeah this. So they technically count my finale finale fight against small and as my first UFC fight. Well, like I said, like, I don't know, it just felt like another any other fight. I don't know, it was weird. I was actually kind of surprised myself at how well I dealt with that going in, because there was a lot of attention on the there's a lot of media, mainly because I had my can you know I recently switched to Aka and DC was fighting the next day. So, like being in his camp, there was just a lot of buzz around me as well. So like I felt like, I don't know, I rose to that indication pretty well, and it just took me time between then and like actually hitting on, like a UFC card and they're not only getting on the car, but like being on the main card, to where I'm at now, where it's like I want to be up being card, like I thrive on it, and like I'm really like I'm looking forward to all the press and everything, and I not that I never did, it's just like I'm looking forward to like this. I look forward to, how do I put it, the way my star has grown and like all the attention now and like having to live up to that, like I really like it motivates me. Yeah, I'm sure. Yet now you just getting used to it and stuff like that, comfortable and stuff like that exactly. I remember there's a little controversy. You wanted to bring out like the world flag, and they want to let you because they had to get it like all approved or something like that. What was the meaning behind you? Like you wanted to bring the world flag out, because I don't don't mean the way I look at I don't represent one country ever, I just represent everybody. That's will be. I might not be able to walk out with it myself, but one of my teammates, sale will deno, he's actually fighting on October four for bellator. I'm gonna let him take the flag and walk out with it. It is. He's the same way. It's the same message. You know, it's not about representing would one set of people or would one religion one country. It's about, you know, bring us all together to rend and like trying to make it like to show people that's like we're all just the same. We're all went through the grace. Yeah, so that is. That's why I'd still out of fruit. I don't know how mean as much as you know I want to. I don't want to buck the Rock, the boat, you know, by the hand the feeds. So I just I'm waiting for them to let me know when it's cool and then.
What's your experience been like at training out of Ak now we're like DC and to be I love it, man. It's it's the best training I've ever had my entire life, without a doubt. Now I get pushed every day. I got get pushed to my limits just about every day, you know. Not only that, but it's it's been really cool seeing my growth overall. I feel like I've grown exponentially as a fighter since I've been here, like just the way I approach things, not only on a physical but mental level. Now it's very, very different, very and I think it's at the next level where I need to be in order to be, you know, truly successful in my maker here. Definitely, definitely, and losing the SASANO was that that takes like pressure off you, for like, I know it's like them made. It's not really like the same as boxing, with like wins and losses, but these things it takes took pressure off you. No, not really. I mean it's weird, even though I lost that fight, no one is like a lot of people there weren't. Weren't too people like talking about, like him winning it so much as they were losing. So it's almost not necessarily that I gained pressure, but it's like just never I still feel like there was a very big expectation on the especially like in the subsequent fights, like and going into this one. I feel like there's there's even, you know, there's just just as much expectation for me to go out there and perform. So it's like I would say, like I just I'm in the same spot. I was in the same spot after the TRISONA fight. Yeah, to do you want to remasch with them that I know the split food. I mean, yeah, of course I always do. You know, you always want to get that win back, but at the same time I would also like to see us both like go our separate paths and meet up when it's like more appropriate, or especially when there's a warm line. Definitely, definitely do you take me through like what a camp looks like and you can wait. So, I mean Monday, Wednesday, Friday, I pretty much hit mit, do hard sparring and do conditioning. That's just the regular yes, Monday was in Friday and then Tuesday Thursdays is straight grappling wrestling on Tuesday's Jiu Jitsu on Thursdays, and then it just kind of you like at night, kind of free to do what I wanted. So it's like I just kind of come up with what I would iver to do based on how I'm feeling. Like some nights I'll go and I'll swim and I'll do a pool workout. Some nights I'll go do you know more boxing, gettens to work out, just to work on my conditioning and then somebody's all just go grapple. You know, just depends on what I do want to want to do on those nights. And then the Saturday just depends, like I said, yeah, it depends on on how at things go Saturday. But usually I go up to Santa Rosa and work out with the Sindo. Will do bits and then like bag drills and stuff like that and then do the pool workout again. And in Sundays, my day off. I don't really four hundred and fifty five. When it comes like cutting, I don't really have to die it too much like in camp. I just like I have to slowly taper my food and water and take on fight week and I just get down. Yeah, I really use the sauna to make one hundred and fifty five. I actually haven't used a sauna at all in my pro career to make one hundred and fifty five. Well, that's intense work out. That's all I know. And October twelve you're fighting Matt for Dora, that's for Vola that's seven and one. Also, how...
...do you see the fight plane out? I mean he's a tough dude, you know, he likes to come for you, like to throw bombs, get people the ground, beat him Um, choke them out, you know, very, very similar to whyman. But he I'm feeling, I mean honestly, he kind of reminds me of a younger version of the guy just fought, Matt Wyman. So it's very like very similar game play and you know we're gonna try and keep from from grappling, but the same time it's like I'm very confident, I believe in I my Jiujitsu, my wrestling. So it's like, if we have to go there and I have to play the grappling game, I don't mind. But the the game plans always stay long, stay strong and hopefully get him out of there in the first of the second. What advice would you give a young fighter? Man? What advice would I give a young fighter? I don't know, then, because it's like it's I know a lot of young guys and their mindsets are very even at the time like this. The short amount of time that I've been fighting, I've noted, like I've noticed is serious change in the mentality of the way guys are and I don't know, I would just say tough in the fuck up, like God, just like yeah, you know I'm saying, like Shit. I feel like the guys are looking at this as a game and not a brutal sport like this. This isn't a game. This isn't something you go out there you gave the judges. He gave assistant like. you go out there like when you when you're that kind of guy. You're trying to win like that. You're going to meet a guy like me who goes out there to hurt people, to win, the guy that wants to finish you, to win, like a guy that that does it, that WHO's like main goals to make sure you walk out of there and remembering his name and you're not gonna come up. Gave gave it him. You're not going to win that. That judge decision. It gets him, because he's he's gonna try and fuck you up. All right, last couple ones are he's quite there are some fun questions. I gonna go from average to savage. So happy did how did you get the nickname Violin Bob Ross? Obviously the hair, you know, there's no there's no other way to put it. The hair, the beard and, like you know, I smell a lot of ween. I'm pretty laid back. So that's that. That whole esthetic leads into the whole bottom violent Bob Ross. Things very well. What's your favorite Song Right now? Favorite Song Right now, differences by GENU Wood. All right. What about what was your first big purchase? For all my xbox three hundred and sixty. Three hundred and sixty. Hell Yeah, Manx, not one. No, I saved up so much running. Know this one was a kid. Oh No, I mean, what's not? I'm talking about when you became a FC fighter. Oh, when I became a UFC fighter. Oh, I about a car. I'm about two cars. Action got this. What about top five favor fighters all time, the NMA or boxing? Both? Thomas hearns. All right, well, Nightel Bend, Thomas hearns Anderson Silva. Then see the thing is a lot of my favorite fighters, like I used to look up to it. Now I'm just like I have to fight you. So definitely, okay, Nigel Bend, Thomas hearns Anderson Silva, Manuel Augustus and Prince Nazi. Now Prince has even to Badel Augustus. Now I'll take it. What do you do when you're not training? When I'm goot training, smoke, we'd play video games. which favorite video game right now? Man, probably Super Smash Brothers. I've been playing a lot of super smash, all right. And last...
...one. When people see you in public, did they go like they say, Yo Violin Bob Er? Did they go like Yo Relief? Oh No, they definitely. It's always Oh my God, are you by Bob Ross? Actually happened to be the other day. It's safe way. I'm like Gom like walking through it. I got said I smoke a lot of weed. I'm I'm stilled as balls. So I'm just like walking through. It's Gott like it's sweat pants and like a shirt every you know, just deal my thing. And then like some dude stops me with like his friends everything, and I could tell like he's super excited about it. He's like are you violent Bob Ross? That I'm just sitting and I know my eyes are like barely open and I'm looking at him like yeah, and he's like can we get a picture and everything and, like I said, so I take a picture with him and like, I literally can't tell if my eyes are open in the picture done. I'm just like I fucking Gona get the shades man like this. So, yeah, it happens to me all the time. I'm almost screwed. I'm almost certain most people don't realize my name's Luis. Got It, all right. I appreciate you taking the time out of your day and could you want the people know where they can find you on social media? You can find me at violent bob rows, both instagram and twitter. That's all. Would word violent Bob Ross and as well, Ramon facebook by Bob Ross Lastania. You know, go ahead throw me alike and then, of course, catch me. October twelve, UFC fight night, one hundred and sixty one. You, Jay chick versus water said, Fighting Matt for Vola. October twelve going to be fun down Tampa Bay. Oh again, I appreciate you coming on in. Good Luck October twelve. Appreciate a band a problem. All right, everyone. Thank you to.
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