Thursday, March 29, 2007

IFL Silverbacks Fighter Mike Ciesnolevicz

By Mark Davies

Mike Ciesnolevicz of the Silverbacks is an up and coming 205lber out of the Militech camp. After making his IFL debut with two losses Mike bounced back to win three straight, including wins over Aaron Stark and Alex Schoenauer. With an overall record of 11-2 Mike is a candidate to be the next star emerging from that legendary dojo. Mike won’t be fighting at the April 7, IFL and we caught up with him to talk about why not. Mike was also gracious enough to share a lot of insight into the life of a figher.

Mark Davies: Can you tell us how you got started in MMA?
Mike C: I signed up for karate lessons when I was 15. Before I knew it one of the guys I was training with saw one of the early UFCs and we all started watching to figure out what was going on. So we started practicing a lot of the grappling stuff we saw on TV and it was sort of a domino effect. I wanted to learn all this stuff. I went to college and signed up for boxing and wrestling, I did karate, I went to boxing gyms, I did everything I could.

Mark Davies: How did you end up in the Militich camp?
Mike C: I was training in Pennsylvania. I trained for my first seven, eight years off and on just bouncing around places. I could never find anything solid that had everything in one gym. One of my friends was coming to Iowa to visit a guy he knew and he was going to train at Militich for a week and he said “Why don’t you ride with me” because it was a long car ride, like 15 hours. I saw that as a lifetime opportunity and after a week I knew this was where I needed to be.

Mark Davies: How old were you then?
Mike C: I just turned 27 and I moved here when I was 23 ½ so I’ve been here three years. I’ve got a background in a little bit of everything. I went to sambo clubs. Judo clubs, boxing and kickboxing, karate, I wrestled, I did a lot of grappling tournaments and this was the logical next step. If I wanted to make something of myself and fight this is where I needed to be. I knew after the first week that this is where I needed to be.

Mark Davies: How do you just show up and join the Militich gym?
Mike C: The way it works with Pat, we have a lot of new guys that come here, and we have a lot of solid pros here now in our classes, Pat isn’t going to let anyone just jump in and spar. He’ll make you go to a beginner class, a basic class where they teach you fundamentals of grappling, where you hit pads and work combinations. He’ll make you do that stuff to see where you’re at before he throws you into the pro class because a lot of people get hurt in those kinds of situations. They just want to spar with the best guys and they think they are ready to jump in there but they’re not. When I was here for a week Pat held pads for me and he let me grapple with guys like Jeremy Horn and Jason Black and guys like that and he said “you have some potential, I think you should go back to Pennsylvania, keep training and tie up some loose ends and come back here and I’ll train you.” I just got lucky at the time that Pat thought I had some potential. That was motivation for me. I went home an packed up my stuff and told my family that I was heading to Iowa so they thought I was crazy at the time.

(Continue Reading)

No comments: