EXCLUSIVE | Anthony Birchak talks Upcoming Fight at MFC 37, Training, and Hyping Fights with BJPenn.com’s Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio

May 7, 2013 3:19 pm by Jake Chastain

This week’s episode of Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio featured an exclusive line-up of guests from Canada’s top MMA promotion, MFC: Maximum Fighting Championship. MFC will host a huge event this Friday, May 10th in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The card is set to feature a Heavyweight title fight and an explosive co-main event that will serve as a number one contender fight for the promotion’s vacant bantamweight title. Fighting in that co-main event is 9-1 Anthony Birchak. Mr. Birchak has compiled an impressive resume on his way to MFC 37 with 8 finishes in his 9 victories. He was the first bantamweight to be signed by MFC and his upcoming bout with Benoit will be the promotion’s first ever bantamweight fight. Anthony was kind enough to join our boys over at Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio this past Sunday and spoke about his road to MFC 37, the anxiety and pressure that comes with being the first bantamweight signed by the organization, his training camp for MFC 37, and how much he loves to hype fights. Here are some of the highlights from his interview:

On being co-main event of MFC 37 and being first bantamweight signed with by MFC:

“I’m so, so blessed. This has been a wonderful experience. It’s been a wonderful journey so far. Just being able to say that I was the first bantamweight signed to MFC and just to be the co-main event is an honor in itself. I’ve only had one main event where I was out at Jackson’s MMA out there in Albuquerque. That was cool. There was a lot of hype, a lot of pressure on that and I think dealing with that kind of stress prepared me for what’s to come at Edmonton. Being a co-main event is huge for me and I’m super appreciative that Mark put me in that kind of situation.

On pressure of being “the face” of bantamweights in MFC and staying relevant:

“That’s one thing that my manager Mercedes White at Luta Elite does is she keeps all of her fighters very relevant. Whether we’re fighting, whether we’re grappling, or whether we’re doing a wrestling tournament, she’s always blowing us up on social media. She does a very good job of hyping us all up and giving us that media pump. But this MFC thing has been crazy man. I’ve done so many interviews for this and it’s just been such a great experience. I love talking about it. It’s fight week.”

“All the talking is about to be done and all the walking is about to happen. I’m super excited and I think there has been great energy leading up to the fight and I can’t wait to throw down on May 10th.”

On trash talking leading up to MFC’s first bantamweight fight:

“It’s all about making the bantamweight division, the inaugural fight, you know, we got to pump it. So obviously there is that steam behind it, this and that. But my kind of trash talking is just kind of poking at you in fun, you know?”

On similarity in record with his upcoming opponent:

“Well, when you look at the records, 6-1 and 9-1, that’s fine, you can look at that all day long. But it’s the quality of fighter that I’ve fought compared to him. Three fights ago I was going down to Brazil to test myself. He’s been spoon-fed this entire time by Legacy fighting guys that are 4-4, 2-2. You know, the guy that beat him was 12-10. He almost had an even record. You look at me and I’m fighting guys, Greg Jackson’s number one up-and-coming 135 pounder Matt Leyva. I’m fighting guys when I’m 6-0 who have 26 fights. So, you know if you look at it that way, you can say 9-1 vs. 6-1, that’s pretty even, but I constantly tested myself throughout my career. When I was 3-0 fighting for Bellator my opponent was 7-3. He’d already had more losses than I had fights. So, the thing is, I respect Ryan and I respect the fact that he’s a fighter. I respect anyone who puts a set of gloves on and gets in the ring or cage or whatever it is but the fact of the matter is that he has not tested himself. And when you’re a man and you know your capabilities look back on your record and realize that you have been spoon-fed and that you’re about to go up against a monster.”

On learning from his only professional loss:

“I learned a lot. Obviously, like I said, I’m a 35 pounder not a 45 pounder. I learned that I really needed to round my game out and not rely so much on certain tools that I was using at the time that I was getting by with. And coming back I think you kind of saw an evolution after that. Like you said, I rattled off 3 TKO wins and I kind of tried to really be that full mixed martial arts package. I went from having six submissions and now I’m on a 3 TKO victory winning streak and I’m trying to carry that over. I think I’ve had such good training, coaching, and advice since that loss that I really had no other options but to grow from it.”

On the importance of family and having a wife that supports him:

“It makes the weight cut so much easier. It makes your whole life so much easier.”

“Mercedes has been a huge contributing factor to all my success in my MMA career. She’s the mother of my children, she’s the captain of the household, she works a full time job, she cooks, she cleans, she’s superwoman dude.”

On hyping and promoting his upcoming fight at MFC 37:

“Dude, I can sell a ketchup popsicle to a lady in white gloves. I’ve always been able to talk and speak and you know, the thing is, honestly, the more I’ve been able to sell this fight it’s taken off a lot of the stress of actually thinking about the fight.”

“I mentally prepare myself for what is going to happen. The constant thing is, I’ve been saying once I beat Ryan Benoit, Mark [Pavelich] has guaranteed the winner of that fight, 1000% , the world title shot for the first bantamweight champ [in MFC], I promised Mark I will be the first bantamweight world champ he’s had. The more and more you talk about it and the more and more you do interviews it just becomes second nature. I love doing this. I love talking to you guys, talking to writers, sports writers, sports columnists. I love that stuff. It’s part of the game. If you don’t love it it’s going to be a long, hard road for you.”

On the added pressure of a title shot riding on this upcoming fight:

“I’m fighting Ryan Benoit, he’s tough, I don’t think it’s his time right now…I’ve put in all the work and it’s absolutely, 100% in my mind, I am convicted, I am confident that I will win this fight and that I will be fighting for the world championship. But every once in a while that little bug pops up in the back of your head, you know, ‘if you don’t win this fight you won’t be fighting for the title anymore.’ But, you know, you got to take it in stride. You have to understand that now that is what is driving me, is that gold belt. It’s pressure and it’s not pressure but I think it’s probably some of the best driving pressure you could have in your life.”

On training the right way and being mentally and physically healthy:

“As long as you can surround yourself with all the good things; watch funny movies, be around the people that inspire you, be around people that are inspired by you and look up to you…that’s very important.”

“This has been my longest camp ever. It’s been 12 weeks. So, 12 weeks ago I was like, ‘I’m nowhere that I need to be.’ Right now, I’m right where I need to be. I’m peaking at a good time. I feel bulletproof, I’m healthy. No injuries, no nagging injuries. I’m 110% healthy as a horse, ready to fight.”

You can follow Anthony on Twitter @abirchakMMA and be sure to catch his upcoming fight with Ryan Benoit at MFC 37 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada this Friday, May 10th, on AXS TV.

To listen to Mr. Birchak’s entire interview with our boys over at Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio click here.


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