EXCLUSIVE (Part 2) | Abel Trujillo: “I’m like a hybrid of the Blackzilians.” | BJPENN.COM RADIO
UFC lightweight fighter Abel “Killa” Trujillo joined BJPENN.COM Radio on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 to discuss his life, career and upcoming fight at UFC 160 next Saturday against Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Trujillo, who trains with the Blackzilians in Boca Raton, Fla., has been with the camp since 2011, its inaugural year as an official MMA gym. Before joining the Blackzilians in October, Trujillo had basically been training on his own, which led him to a 6-4 professional MMA record.
The best part about training with the team, Trujillo said, has been the separation of each aspect of training for mixed martial arts.
“They have a coach for each aspect of the sport. So I’m focusing on my wrestling, my jiu-jitsu, my stand up and everything is coming together kind of perfectly” Trujillo began. “And now, I have a strength & conditioning coach. Before, that was a big weakness of mine: I was fighting out of adrenaline. I would lose fights because I would get tired, gas out and I would mentally break. Since then, I feel like I’ve gained a lot as a fighter and as a person mentally. I’m well conditioned, and I don’t even think about breaking.”
Despite an all-star lineup of fighters, the Blackzilians have not excelled as one might imagine. Chemistry can take time and Trujillo believes that having only been established two years ago, the team is beginning to come together and really learn the “system” of how the Blackzilians can operate effectively.
Trujillo believes that with every fighter bringing their own style, he has opportunities to learn more than most.
“As far as me, I’m like the hybrid of the Blackzilians, because like I said everybody has their own style, they were already in UFC on-and-on” said Trujillo. “I came here, I was very green and I was eager to learn. So I’m learning something from this guy, I’m learning something from that guy, I’m learning something from this guy and I made myself off of these guys and kind of put it in my own style. So I feel like that kind of made me who I am.”
In the beginning, Mike Van Arsdale was at the helm of the Blackzilians as both wrestling & head coach. Following his departure, jiu-jitsu veteran Mario Sperry took over, but departed in early 2013. But now, with coaches such as Henry Hooft, Pedro Diaz and Kenny Monday, the team is still a force to be reckoned with.
Regarding their issues with coaches, Trujillo believes that all good things take time.
“It’s just like a family, you know? Sometimes you have good times and bad times, some family members are just not good sometimes; it wasn’t a good fit sometimes” Trujillo said, noting that he believes things are now falling into place for the camp.
“We’re a new team, so we’re just figuring out the chemistry of everybody and what works best with the coaches. How they interact with each other and how the coaches interact with the fighters. We’re just trying to figure out our chemistry and everything, so yeah I think everything was well needed.”
To hear the full-length interview with Abel Trujillo, listen to the player below.