Eric Reynolds: The professional MMA fighter in the Tampa Bay spotlight.
“I was used to the fights I had not lasting very long so my normal celebration after a fight would be to finish out the rest of the rounds in the locker room. I had prepared for a fifteen minute fight and I’d end it within the first 2 to 3 minutes. So to me I still had two rounds left. I was like hey, I’m still ready to fight and I’d go to the locker room with my trainers and they’d hold mitts for me for the two rounds before I’d even think about celebrating my victory.” Eric Reynolds laughs as he shares his answer about how he likes to celebrate after a victory.
Eric “It’s a Wrap” Reynolds might have been better nicknamed “First Round Reynolds”. This Professional MMA fighter holds an impressive record of 13-4. It is commonly known that 12 of the 13 wins were first round finishes. A closer look at those first round wins reveals that Reynolds beat his competitors in less than two minutes in 8 of the 12 first round wins. A recent interview with Eric Reynolds tells this ambitious young fighters story.
Eric Reynolds began his career as a successful amateur kick boxer/boxer with Erik Marshall. Reynolds held an outstanding amateur record of 30-2. As a witness to his last amateur match at the Battle of Tampa Bay VI in 2006 it was clear that Reynolds had the heart to become a pro. Since turning professional Reynolds has strategically made alliances that have helped him to progress as a fighter.
“I started training with a group of guys; David Vieira was one of them and that got me into Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Then I met Dan Burkett and Scott Bills and they made me tough. After that I started training with Paul Ellis and I continued my kickboxing with him. He was a five time world champion and that really helped me take it to the next level from amateur to pro. I owe a lot of credit to Paul Ellis.”
When asked about his current training Reynolds shared that Ruben Alvarez is his boxing coach and John Kenny is his main trainer.
“John Kenny has a black belt in BJJ and he’s has had an extensive kickboxing career. John also trained with Paul Ellis. So we have a common understanding of where we are heading. He’s brutally honest with what I’m capable of doing and he acknowledges what I have done. He’s not trying to change who I am he is just helping me to get better. I’ve lost fights mainly because people would take me down and hold me. I’ve been getting stronger and faster and sharpening my techniques. I’ve really been focusing on my BJJ a lot and I’ve been moving up in the rankings with that.”
Eric what was your most difficult loss as a fighter?
“It was against Luis Palomino…he is the only person to knock me out and knock me down. I took the fight on short notice and it was a rude awakening for me. I felt human for the first time in my life.”
What do you consider your biggest accomplishment to have been so far?
“Winning the state title after the match against Luis Palomino I fought for the Florida state title and I won that with a first round submission. That would probably be my biggest accomplishment. The Bellator tournament was another big accomplishment. I took that on short notice also and I made it to the semi-finals against Eddie Alvarez. I took him to the third round.”
Recently you signed a new contract with the XFC what are your hopes and expectations for the league?
“Yeah I’ve just signed a contract with the XFC and John Prisco for a fight on December 2nd against Jonatas Novaes. You knowI want to continue to fight high level opponents and John is bringing them to the table. I want to fight the top of the line and he’s the provider. Everywhere else I’ve had a problem getting a fight due to people backing out of contracts. I won’t say any names but John promised me that with his promotion that will never happen. That got me to sign up right there.”
This question is important for the readers out there in Tampa Bay are there any words of advice that you’d like to offer an amateur looking to go pro or for any pros who may wondering what direction to take their career ?
“You get out of it what you put into it so the more work you put in it…the more you want it the more likely you’ll get it. You’ve got to go out and get it because nobody is going to give it to you. So my advice to them would be to train hard and then train even harder”
The 4 opponents who have beat Eric Reynolds did so with an average win time of 10 minutes and 10 seconds. Reynolds beat 13 opponents with an average win time of 2 minutes and 38 seconds. It has been speculated that Novaes could end the match quickly. Novaes with a record that is stated as 9-3 holds an official record of 6-1. Novaes’s average win time to beat his opponents is 4 minutes and 51 seconds. Asking the question will that be too slow to win against Reynolds? There is no doubt Reynolds will continue to “train hard” for his upcoming December fight. Plans have been made to check in with him before the match.
Currently Reynolds is training 6 days a week, 2 sessions a day for 2 to 3 hours each session. He demonstrated his impressive MMA skills during a training session prior to this interview. Images from that training session and from his last amateur event are included with this article.