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· On The Spot ~ Mike Ciesnolevicz

· Article author: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Posted on 03/06 at 10:49 AM

Mike Ciesnolevicz is a Harrisburg, PA native. At 15, Mike became interested in Martial Arts. As he recalls, his father gave him an ultimatum, “I can take you up to this local tae kwon do place or I can take you to a guy who will show you how to really fight.” So Mike made the obvious choice, and his father took him to see former marine and Shorin-Ryu black belt John Korab. Soon Mike began expanding his training and would attend kickboxing, sambo, and judo simultaneously. It was then that he met Ty Dewees, who introduced the youngster to MMA.

Soon, Mike would walk on to the wrestling team at Lock Haven University, a Division I program. That is when his MMA training really began to take off. Of course he had to take plenty of lumps from his more experienced teammates, but it wasn’t long before Ciesnolevicz was hanging in there with the best of them. While still in college, he would also add boxing to his various other combat techniques.

Still at Lock Haven, he would take his training and enter submission grappling events such as NAGA, putting together an impressive 25-4 tournament record. Mike Ciesnolevicz’s first MMA fight would come in New Jersey where he would face off against Phil Mazzuruco. He’d submit the popular wrestler, and soon move on to fight at Reality Fighting 5 where he defeated Romeo Gray with a first round TKO.

With his college career at an end, and a diploma in hand, Mike would weigh his options, and look for the best possible MMA training center to enroll at. And in 2004, there was considered no place better in the country than Miletich Fighting System. So Mike packed his bags, and headed to Iowa to become an MMA star. With a 17-3 record, and a successful debut at UFC 95, it’s safe to say that Mike Ciesnolevicz is well on his way to becoming that star.

Now, Mike Ciesnolevicz takes a few moments to chat with MMA Spot’s J. Andrew Yount about his recent victory over Neil Grove.

————————————————————

JY: Were you nervous heading into your UFC debut in London?

MC: Not at all. It was the calmest I have been in 22 fights.

JY: With both you and Neil Grove attempting submissions in the final moment of the fight, were you ever close to being submitted?

MC: I never even felt pressure. I was not the slight bit worried to be honest. I’ve been there a million times before.

JY: What were the first thoughts through your mind once you realized you had won that fight?

MC: I just felt a burden was lifted off my back really.

JY: What does your contract look like, how many fights?

MC: Four fights.

JY: You fought this fight at heavyweight, will you be staying there or will you attempt to get a fight or two at Light Heavyweight?

MC: Light heavyweight is where I need to be. 205 is my weight class.

JY: You have two losses to Andre Gusmao, any chance of avenging those now that you are both back in the same organization?

MC: Maybe but I never look backward, only forward. I will fight anyone they ask me to.

JY: How did it happen that you fought on back to back nights last June?

MC: I like the old school mentality of guys like Jeremy Horn and Pat Miletich. Two different states, same weekend, both main events, both first round wins. I will remember it forever.

JY: Is it true that you got your start in martial arts training in the basement of a furniture store?

MC: Yes. Carroll’s furniture store in Tower City, PA. We wore sweats to prevent brush burns.

JY: With all the different trainers and styles you’ve learned, do you have a favorite technique or style?

MC: I love to watch a guy like Demian Maia and his applications of technique and leverage. It’s amazing to me.

JY: Do you have a favorite story from your training, fighting, or traveling?

MC: Anything with Pat Miletich. He is a good time, man. I have many funny stories I can’t even pick one.

JY: Are things at Miletich Fighting System as intense as everyone says? What’s it like for you there?

MC: Its not as bad now as it used to be, but when I first moved to Iowa, it is was pure hell. It’s still a very intense camp with lots of top notch fighters.

JY: What would you say is your career highlight to this point?

MC: UFC debut. Submission win in 63 seconds. On short notice. Up a weight. Against a giant. Hard to top that one!

JY: Any big names out there you’d like to match up against?

MC: Honestly I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head.

JY: Do you have any fighters that you look up to or try to model yourself after?

MC: Pat Miletich and Jeremy Horn are big influences. Demian Maia is great. CroCop when he was kicking everyone in the head was awesome.

JY: What do you do when you’re not fighting or training?

MC: I relax with my dogs. I chill out by reading, watching movies, and going out to eat or to coffee shops. I’m a pretty regular guy.

JY: What is your ultimate goal in your career?

MC: To make as much money as possible. Besides that I want to test myself, and I want to be a champion and compete to the best of my ability. I’m a martial artist first. I love the art of fighting. I want to grow as a person and martial artist.

JY: Do you have any sponsors, organizations, or people you’d like to mention?

MC: Headblade, NAGA, Warrior Wear, MFS Canada and Sandy Bowman. All my teammates at MFS in Iowa.

by J. Andrew Yount


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