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Monday, 06/17/2013, 01:57 pm

EXCLUSIVE | Nick Pace Discusses Preparation for This Weekend’s GLORY 9 Event in NY | BJPenn.com’s Late Night Cage Side Radio

By JAKE CHASTAIN

| Former WEC and UFC bantamweight contender Nick Pace was kind enough to join our boys Chase Raymond and Kinch during a recent episode of BJPenn.com’s Late Night Cage Side Radio show. Pace, who holds an MMA record of 6-3, has currently taken some time off from fighting after dropping two consecutive decisions in the UFC in 2011. Pace is now looking to make his return to fighting, although not in MMA. Nick will be competing at the upcoming GLORY 9 kick-boxing event, which is being help this Saturday (June 22nd, 2013) in New York City. During his recent interview with our boys at Late Night Cage Side Radio Pace discussed his preparation for GLORY 9, why he decided to make his fighting return in a kick-boxing match, and how he feels, mentally and physically, heading into this weekend’s GLORY 9 event. Here are some of the highlights from that interview:

Nick Pace opened up the interview by discussing how his preparation for Glory 9 was coming. He stated,“The preparation is already going great, actually. I just finished up a kick-boxing class. They train in the morning for three hours and then, you know, I run a school in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. And I was just hitting the mitts for a little bit, did a little ab workout, you know, just adding a little extra cardio into tonight and then, um, and then I’m talking to you guys. But preparation is going great.”

He then responded to a question regarding his decision to return to fighting in a kick-boxing match rather than an MMA fight. He responded by saying, “What made me get into kick-boxing now is, not that I’m pursuing it full time, it’s just that I’m going to be getting a fight in GLORY, which just so happens to be an unbelievably huge event which is pretty sweet. It’s going to be in New York City which is right in my backyard, which is also another plus.” He continued, “I want to work my weaknesses as well as my strengths.”

“I don’t want to just work on like, I like the ground fighting. I like grappling, I like all that good stuff. Jiu-Jitsu and submissions, and what not. But I feel like I need to work on my stand-up. I need to work on my kick-boxing. I need to take a little step back from where I was at.”

He then spoke about how taking time away from fighting has helped him rejuvenate his passion for fighting and what ultimately led to his temporary hiatus:“I was in bad place. I couldn’t even watch any of the fights, man. I was really depressed…not really depressed but just upset with myself. Upset with myself because I did a lot of things wrong,” He explained. Pace, who is a bron-and-raised east-coast kid, went on saying, “Throughout my whole life, I don’t know about you, but I learned stuff the hard way. I learned everything the hard way.”

He then explained to our boys how his coach had actually recommended the kick-boxing fight. Although he said he wasn’t really keen on the idea at first he stated that as he thought about it more and more it became clear that it was actually perfect for him. He said, “I saw his point of view and it really made sense. I have to work on my kick-boxing. Once I’m more confident in my kick-boxing, you know, then I’ll be a complete fighter and I’ll be really, really confident everywhere. But I think my biggest demon was myself. Fighting with myself to diet properly, fighting with myself to do cardio, fighting with myself to get up and train every single day. And now it’s fun again. It wasn’t fun for me and now it’s fun, man. I really enjoy.”

“I can’t wait to get up and train tomorrow.”

Nick also explained how excited he was to be fighting in New York, a state that has not yet sanctioned MMA. Pace stated, “I’m so, so hyped right now. I have a hundred and something tickets sold already just from Brooklyn and Staten Island so I’m amped thinking I have all of Jersey coming, so it’s going to be pretty dope. I can’t wait to fight.”

He was then asked how much his mindset toward training, dieting, and fighting has changed after being released from the UFC following his two losses and missed weight. Pace explained, “First of all, I’m not taking it for granted. I’m not taking my position in fighting right now for granted. I’m not taking what I have for granted. Like in the Bronx they always say the worst thing in the world is wasted talent and I was wasting my talent because I took so much stuff for granted.”

When referring to the change in his diet he said, “I’m actually doing it correctly. I’m eating six, almost seven meals a day, but small. I changed up my diet.” He explained that although he loves food and is a sucker for pasta, steaks and juicy hamburgers he understands that he wants to use his talent and fulfill his potential and that is going to take some sacrifice. He stated, “Look if you want to do something, you’ll do it. You know what I mean? If there’s something you really want to do, you have your heart set out to do, you’ll do it.”

Then he explained how much the change in his diet and training has helped him out. He explained, “I feel better and better every day. I’m peaking right now.”

“I know if I’m in shape I’ll be able to fight anybody. Like I said before, my biggest demon is always myself with me being in shape.”

He continued, “I’m just going in there ready to fight knowing that I did everything that I could, 100%. When you go in there with that mindset, it’s just 100% confidence that you did everything right, it wasn’t one thing that you did wrong, then how can you lose? And if you do lose then you have nothing to be ashamed about.”

He was then asked if he had given up the MMA training (grappling) while he was training for his upcoming GLORY 9 kick-boxing fight. He replied, “I’m doing majority kick-boxing but I’m still keeping up on MMA. I’m still working my grappling and MMA as well.”

“I definitely have not just cut out grappling, at all. I can’t do that. I love to grapple. It’s my favorite.”

When asked if he was going to fight MMA in the future he explained, “I’m looking to get another MMA fight, I should be fighting at Ring of Combat in September. Like I said, I’m taking it step by step. I’m taking it just one fight at a time.”

He then touched on how this kick-boxing training was helping him as an overall mixed martial artist. Pace stated, “It’s getting my head in the game. It’s prepping me.”

And then Pace was finally asked how he saw his fight at GLORY 9 this Saturday going down. He didn’t really have an exact prediction but he explained, “I see it going in my favor.”

He continued, “Honestly man, I can’t even say how it’s going to go, I’m just confident. I’m very, very, very confident right now.”

“Expect to see a fight, for sure. Me bringing pressure, hard.”

In closing Mr. Pace stated simply, “I’m ready to fight. First and foremost, I’m ready to fight and tear stuff up on June 22nd.”

GLORY 9 takes place this Saturday, June 22nd at the Manhattan Center Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, New York.

We wish Mr. Pace the very best of luck as he heads into his bout at that event and thank him for his time on BJPenn.com’s Late Night Cageside Radio. To listen to Pace’s entire interview with our boys Chase and Kinch click here.

 -Jake Chastain

@jchastain45

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