Everyone knows the big name MMA fighters, but they came from somewhere. Today’s Sports Babe of the Day is up and coming MMA fighter Zack Coley. As a child he was always scrappy, but since finding martial arts has an outlet for his passion. Fighting doesn’t exactly pay the bills now, but he enjoys his flexible schedule with teaching MMA and working in the optical field. For this lover of hot sauce fighting doesn’t yet pay the bills, but he takes joy from helping new students in his classes grow in their confidence and love of the sport.Some day he hopes to open his own martial arts school, but for now he’ll settle for kicking ass!
19 QUESTIONS WITH ZACK COLEY
- How did you get into mixed martial arts?
I’ve always been a scrapper growing up, and fell in love with the sport years ago, so it was like alright this seems to make sense, so I looked up places and checked a few out but definitely made a home at Victory Martial Arts in Naperville, IL.
- How would you describe yourself in three words?
Three words…dedicated determined and driven
- If we raided your fridge right now, what would we find?
Well lots of chicken vegetables almond milk fruit and tons of hot sauce
- Who was your role model growing up?
My biggest role model growing up would easily be my grandpa. He had a love for life and family that is all too rare and he was in World War 2 but only promoted peace…I aspire to find that in myself one day.
- Fighting doesn’t pay the bills, what does?
No not yet, right now I teach adults and kids MMA at my academy and work part time in the optical field…yea it doesn’t fit me but it allows me to pursue my dream.
- Who is your favorite fighter to watch?
My favorite fighter to watch right now is Chael Sonnen or Cain Velazquez, mostly for their fearless attitude relentless pace and the hard work the put in outside of the cage. “Hard work beats talent when talent refuses to work hard”
- How do you mentally prepare for a fight? Do you have any prefight rituals?
Visualization is key you must go over and over and over and over again about your fight. Think about where you want to take it, think of all the avenues that will lead you to victory. A lot of people think it’s the punch that takes the fight out of a fighter, its not it’s their mental toughness, that inner will to say I am, I can, and I will. As far as pre fight rituals go, I only really have one, after I weigh in my fellow fighters from victory go to the Golden Corral and put all the weight back on from cutting.
- If you could be on any cereal box, which would it be?
Hahaha any cereal box hmmm…being Irish I’m going with lucky charms
- If we were to look on your iPod, what would the top 3 songs be?
my top 3 songs would be the bad company cover from five finger death punch, Battery by Metallica, and Ain’t no Grave by Johnny Cash
- Which there a specific person or coach who has influenced you the most in MMA?
Yea my Sensei, Adam Grisko. His love walk and patience and how humble he is, is something I admire. He has given me structure and so many joys on the dojo mats and so much wisdom to help me be the best Sensei/ man in life. Long story short he’s the man.
- What would your advice be to someone starting in mixed martial arts?
Well first off do your research different schools have different thoughts on how to train and work new people in. Once you find a school be patient, enjoy it, take your time and ask questions. People have this notion that if you step on the mats we are going to take your head off for even trying but I can tell you I get excited to see new people cause I remember how I was when I first started. In our academy we believe that ‘iron sharpens iron’.
- Clearly you’re a tough guy, but what is your biggest fear?
Commitment. Next question. Lol, I’m kidding, I am not a fan of heights.
- If you could visit anywhere in the world at this very moment, where would you go and why?
I would say somewhere where it’s least populated like a log cabin in the woods. I like to have down time and to reconnect with myself and clear my thoughts.
- Up until this point, what is your proudest achievement?
I would definitely say being a positive influence on adults and children and help growing their confidence and love for this sport.
- What is your long term goal in MMA?
I would love to have some pro fights and open up my own Victory Martial Arts Academy
- For our female readers we always ask- are you single, dating, or locked down?
I would say single but I’m sure my girlfriend would get mad. Haha I’m happily living with my girlfriend. She is super supportive and great.
- Any fights coming up? How can we watch??
I actually have a fight July 20th in Cicero, Power Fights 32. It’s my second time at lightweight. So come out and watch it will be a good time.
- How would you like to be remembered?
As testament to what hard work and tireless effort can accomplish
- Who would YOU feature as the next Sports Babe Of The Day?
My Sensei or anyone from Victory; we are all pretty awesome.
Zack, thanks for taking time from your training to do an interview with us. Good luck in the cage!
(Photo Credit: Courtesy of Zack Coley)