I had the chance to catch up with Bellator bound Shah Bobonis, a veteran MMA fighter with over 16 professional bouts. Looking to capitalize on his recent big break, Shah seeks a win at Bellator 24. The event takes place on August 12, 2010 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
(Shah before his fight at XFC 9)
MMA Blaster: Shah I heard you have some big news regarding your fight career, what is it?
Shah Bobonis: On August 12th I'll be fighting in the Bellator Fighting Championships against Eric Luke. This will be my debut under 145 pounds. I'm really excited to be fighting in such a big show.
MMA Blaster: What do you know about your opponent?
Shah Bobonis: Eric is a super tough fighter who trains with Din Thomas in Port St. Lucie. He is a BJJ purple belt who wrestled at the D1 level. Eric has wins over some of the best 135 pounders in Florida like Strikeforce veteran and current XFC 135 pound champ Pablo Alfonso.
MMA Blaster: What weight will that fight be at?
Shah Bobonis: The fight is actually at 140 pounds. At 5'8" Eric is a big 135 pounder. I don't have much of a problem making 145, so I don't think the cut will be that bad to 140. I have a few wins at 155 so we will probably be pretty close in size.
MMA Blaster: What can a win in Bellator do for your fighting career?
Shah Bobonis: With more exposure comes bigger name fights and more money. After the WEC, Bellator is the show most smaller guys want to fight on. This fight isn't in the 135 pound tournament but hopefully with 3 or 4 wins in a row I can get in the tournament.
MMA Blaster:Where are you currently training ?
Shah Bobonis: I'm back in Miami training with FFA and the Avellan brothers, who are both ADCC veterans. David Avellan placed third in the 2009 ADCC Submission Grappling Championships at 194 pounds. FFA really is on the cutting edge of MMA! We have guys like Tom Lawlor, Seth Petruzelli and Mackens Semerzier coming to the gym quite often to train.
MMA Blaster: Have you made any beneficial changes to your training regimen?
Shah Bobonis: I'm now working with Victor Balmaceda and the South Dade wrestling team. SDH is great, they are one of the best high school programs in the nation. The pace elite level wrestlers push is unreal and has taken my cardio to another level.
MMA Blaster: You have been fighting quite a bit in Mexico lately, how has that experience helped your game?
Shah Bobonis: Fighting in Mexico is a unreal experience! The Mexican crowd is as loud as I have experienced in my fighting career. They love to see hard fought battles. The promotion Combate Extremo treats me like a king. I'll always go back to Mexico to fight, it's my home away from home.
MMA Blaster: The last time we spoke, you were getting ready to fight Carlos Monzon in Combate Extremo, how did that fight play out?
Shah Bobonis: The fight with Carlos Monzon was a big win for me, he had almost 30 fights in Mexico which won't show up on any databases but if you look at his highlight reel on youtube you can see him destroy ten to fifteen guys. I caught him in a guillotine two minutes into the fight.
(Bobonis v. Monzon Promo)
MMA Blaster: What results have you had in Mexico since that fight? Any trouble with the judges?
Shah Bobonis: My next fight was with Fabian Galvan which I lost by split decision. At this point I don't complain about decisions anymore because in MMA, if you don't finish the fight you never know what you are going to get. I have felt robbed in Florida, so the fact that it was in Mexico doesn't make a difference. Different judges put an emphasis on different areas of the fight game, that's what I chalk it up to now.
(Shah defeats Josh Robertson at FFP - The Storm)
MMA Blaster: What are current goals in MMA?
Shah Bobonis: I really want to keep fighting on huge shows in the US and Mexico, soon in Asia and Europe. I have a new fighter management company which I want to grow called Fight Solutions. In a few weeks, I will have put fighters in the M-1 selection tournament, Bellator and the XFC. Fighting all over the US and the world I have acquired a huge contact list of matchmakers and promoters. It's really easy for me to keep fighters busy.
MMA Blaster: Anyone you wish to thank?
Shah Bobonis: I always want to thank my parents. Also, FFA, Brawl and Maul and coach Balmaceda for all the support and help.
*For a past article on Shah, click this link "Follow Your Dreams"