Bellator 175 takes place tonight at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois as Quinton “Rampage” Jackson takes on Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal in the main event on Spike TV. On the undercard, the promotion will be showcasing some of the best MMA talent in the Chicago area. One of these talented young fighters is welterweight Josh Streacker, who will be making his Bellator debut against Tom Holder on the preliminary card. MMA Wreckage caught up with Streacker fresh off of yesterday’s weight-ins to learn more about his Chicago roots and to get his thoughts on his big fight.
Well, just over 24 hours until your Bellator Debut, I was just wondering how you are feeling and where your mindset is right now?
“I feel great. You know, you see your opponent and it gives you kind of chills and what do you do with those chills? Do you freak out under the pressure or do you rise to the occasion? I’ve been doing this long enough where I kind of know how to transform those nerves into very very positive things. Amateur record 10-1 and professional record 1-1, only professional loss against a good opponent and won my professional debut on 2 weeks notice. I mean a lot of people say ‘you’re not a huge competitior’ but mentally I’m huge I’ll tell you that much.”
Can you take me back to the day where you got the call that you were going to be on this card in your Bellator debut?
“I had knocked out my opponent in the third round at Colosseum Combat and in the back room I was told by my coaches and got a text from my manager saying “Hey you’re gonna be on the Bellator card in March do you want to fight?’ and I was like ‘Do you even have to ask? This is an opportunity of a lifetime.’ So I was ecstatic and immediately grabbed a beer, partied my ass off for one day, and went right back to drilling.”
Yeah that fight was against David Stephens when you had the third round knockout?
“Yeah, David Stephens. Tough opponent, very long, very lengthy, probably bigger than me. But it was a very good fight for me definitely a tough opponent. Definitely good to have under your belt.”
Just wanted to ask you a little bit about your background. First of all, how did you get into MMA?
“Well I started off when I was 7 years old. I did taekwondo my mom was like we got to do something to get rid of all your aggression and it was me and my 3 younger brothers. We all did taekwondo together. I’m still a taekwondo practitioner to this day and at about 17 or so I started getting intrigued into jiu jitsu and my instructer at the time was like hey you should really try some jiu jitsu and try something to challenge you a little bit more and I fell in love with the jiu jitsu and striking and all MMA. So with the combination of the ground game element with the brutality and the heart of the striking it’s just a beautiful thing. So I fell in love with MMA and I’m like ‘Hey, I’m only gonna do this for like 3 fights’ and the first fight I knocked my opponent out, and from that moment I just felt that drive and its worked really well for me as of late in this spot right now. And everyday I have fun when I go to the gym and every time I walk into that cage I have a blast.”
And where do you train at?
“I train at MMA Stop in the southwest suburb of Chicago. It’s a great place, great facility as well as Midwest Training Center. So both of those places and every now and then I get to fly around. I got to go to Greg Jackson’s gym in Albuquerque, New Mexico which was one of the greatest experiences of my life. It’s a way for me to continually evolve my game and MMA Stop has helped me every step of the way.”
Is fighting what you do full time or do you have another profession?
“I coach at the UFC Gym at the south end of Chicago and I’m an athletic trainer at a high school on the south side of Chicago, and then I fight as often as I can. So 3 jobs back to back to back. It’s fun…busy, but fun.”
How would you describe your fighting style today?
“My fighting style is very illusive. I mean… a poor man’s Dominick Cruz I guess you could say. I’m quite bigger so it zaps a whole lot of my energy but I move a lot and it creates those angles and opens up the ability to take somebody down but what I love to do is knock them out.”
What are your thoughts on fighting in your hometown tomorrow night?
“Oh my gosh I love it. I sold 450 tickets and that’s not including the online sales as well. I have so many people coming to represent coming to jump on the Team Streacker bandwagon and these are people that have been with me for awhile now so I guess I shouldn’t say bandwagon. But I love it. I love the city of Chicago. I just moved downtown in October and my love for Chicago has grown even deeper. I’ve grown up on the suburbs of Chicago my entire life so doing this is kind of surreal. I remember going to Allstate Arena to watch Rush games or Wolves games and then now to actually be in there performing is a dream come true really to be honest. And there’s going to be more dreams down the road I tell you that much.”
And last but not least, what are your thoughts on your opponent, Tom Holder? What type of fight are you expecting?
“There are a couple of things. Just his physical stature. He is 5’8, stalky, very strong, so it will be a very specific fight. I’m going to be long, lengthy, trying to keep my range and he will try to put pressure on me and try to put me up against the cage and try to take me down. I hear he’s a really good wrestler so I assume he’s going to try to take me down, but I’m well prepared for that and I’m excited. I’m longer than him so I know that for me when I go against longer fighters it’s a little more tricky when you’re standing up striking but if you have the length it’s a beautiful thing, so I’m predicting a knockout tomorrow it’s going to be awesome.”
You can catch Josh Streacker’s fight against Tom Holder at 7 p.m. on Spike.com.