Elvis Sinosic – The King Shoots on Current MMA
By Dave Carpinello
The King of Rock ‘n Rumble, Elvis Sinosic has been involved with mixed martial arts for over 15 years including a fight career that spanned across the globe with 22 professional fights. The co-owner of Sinosic Perosh Martial Arts recently took some time to talk with PunchDrunkGamer about a variety of subjects including women’s MMA, the UFC, Australian MMA, his career and more!
PDG: It has been over five years since your last professional fight, do you think you will fight again and if not how hard is it to curb the urges to get back in the cage/ring?
Elvis Sinosic: I think at this point it is most unlikely that I will fight professionally again in MMA. Every time I go to a live show I get the urge to step in there and do it again. If the UFC were to approach me I’d definitely jump on it. Other than that, it would have to be a special offer from a promoter to get me to fight again. I still stay in shape and spare with our guys in the gym. I hope to compete in more Jiu Jitsu competitions now that I’m not actively fighting in MMA.
PDG: During that time you have still been very active in the sport, can you tell your fans some of things that you have been doing?
Elvis Sinosic: Even though I haven’t been competing, I love the sport too much not too be involved. Obviously I have my Gym SPMA, with my business partner and UFC fighter Anthony Perosh. My involvement is teaching/coaching my students and fighters. I corner fighters when they step into the Cage. I have also been doing live commentary when the opportunity arises, which is something I really enjoy. I’ve also appeared in a few YouTube video’s talking about MMA. I believe I have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the sport and I’m always happy to pass that on.
PDG: You almost returned at UFC 110 in 2010 for a rematch against Chris Haseman but had to withdrawal due to an injury. How hard was it for you to have to pull out of that fight and do you think things would be any different for you today had you been able to fight that night?
Elvis Sinosic: It was very difficult to pull out of UFC 110. Obviously but the injury required surgery. It was a combination of years of wear and tear on top of new injuries from the training camp. That combination made things very difficult as it was my dominant side, my right shoulder that was injured. It was a tough call, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to be involved with the UFC’s first show in Australia (especially since I was the first Australia fighter to fight in the UFC and to fight for a World Title) but I also didn’t want to go in and give a half assed performance with the excuse that I was injured. Sometimes I think I should’ve done it, sometimes I think I made the right choice. Regardless I have to live with my decision.
PDG: What is the mixed martial arts scene in Australia like these days, have you seen a lot of growth recently?
Elvis Sinosic: The MMA scene here in Australia fluctuates. Overall it is growing with more exposure to the general community. A few years ago no-one outside of martial artists and hardcore fans knew what MMA was. Now at least it’s known if not always understood. Obviously the sport grows around a UFC event because of all the exposure and marketing they do. Now we are seeing more and more MMA here in Australia which is a good thing. We’re seeing more people who want to compete in MMA. I hope to see further growth with this sport.
PDG: Who are some the of the up and coming fighters from Australia that maybe fans in North America have yet to hear about or should be keeping an eye on?
Elvis Sinosic: I’ll talk about the guys from our Gym since they are the ones I know best. We have a few guys who have been doing very well, Steve Micallef is one of our top guys, he is 6-0 as a middleweight and he’s just returned from time off due to injury and is looking to move to the welterweight division. He’s held belts in middleweight here in Australia. Steve is also BJJ brown belt with us and has very explosive standup. Once he steps into the cage again I expect him to have another belt in no time. Luke Standing is 4-0 as a featherweight. He was supposed to fight for the belt in Brace but his opponent pulled out at the last moment. Luke will be holding a belt here in Australia before the year is out. Abel Brites is 2-0 as a lightweight and will be making a statement in his division in the future. One of our heavyweights, Denis Roberts is 3-0 and has recently moved to the US and is training out at AKA. Expect big things from him. He is an international level wrestler, a BJJ brown belt under us and has a natural aptitude for boxing. Also, training with guys like Cain Velasquez is going to do wonders for him. I hope to see him on a big show soon. That’s just a quick run down of some of our guys, we have more guys who are climbing the MMA ladder and looking to make a big splash in the future.
PDG: There have been several big news stories in the world of MMA over the last 18-24 months, can I get your thoughts on the following:
– The growth of Women’s MMA and Ronda Rousey?
Elvis Sinosic: I think it’s great that Women’s MMA is finally getting some great exposure. I hope that continues regardless of what happens with Ronda. Obviously Ronda has been a great figure head to the movement with the UFC. She is a very skilled and game competitor (she has won and defended her belt in Strikeforce and the UFC). She has done a great job taking over from where Gina Carano left off. There are also many other great female competitors in her division. Hopefully we’ll see Women’s MMA continue to grow as Men’s did in the early days and more divisions will be given exposure as the pool of fighters continues to grow.
– The UFC takeover and eventual dismantling of Strikeforce?
Elvis Sinosic: The UFC taking over and absorbing Strikeforce has it’s good and bad points. Obviously seeing the champions come across to the UFC and test their mettle against the best in the sport is awesome. Obviously everyone wants to see the best face each other and this is one of the results of the takeover. On the flip side, losing a big name MMA show is a loss to the fans as a competitor creates a bigger market and more variety. Also, guys who were at the lower end of the division (both in the UFC and Strikeforce) lose out as the UFC only has a limited number of spots for fighters in each division. I think this is could be a good thing as long as we continue to see other shows such as Bellator and ONE FC, etc. do well and offer an alternative to fighters who cannot get into the UFC. I know there are many more shows out there which continue to grow everyday.
– Athletic commissions treating medical marijuana/marijuana use the same as they do for performance enhancing drugs?
Elvis Sinosic: I really have no issue with this. I don’t use so I don’t see the benefits of it, so it doesn’t affect me at all. Obviously they have their reasons. I do think that professional fighters should adhere to the rules whether they agree with them or not. I’m not saying they shouldn’t look to fight for their cause and make changes, I’m saying you’re a fighter who’s career is MMA and you should follow the rules. Why is ok to break one rule and not the other? As a professional you should be aware of the consequences if you decide to break the rules and you should accept the punishment and not complain. Obviously changes need to be made in all areas, improved judging, dealing with TRT, dealing with marijuana and I think they should do that by following the correct procedure to do this. Petition the commissions to make these changes and do properly.
– Fighters getting title shots based on trash talk/$$$ as opposed to merit?
Elvis Sinosic: I’m not a fan of this but saying that I’m not a promoter. I understand that as a promoter their goal is to generate as much income as possible. Obviously guys who have a great ability to trash talk and gain exposure help the promoter do their job. Selling a fight is part of your job. Fighters who think they only need to fight don’t understand the implications of getting paid. If you want to fight in professional show and get paid then you need to do your job and promote the fight. The only problem is when trashing talking puts fighters into title fights when legitimate contenders have done the hard work and earned the right get passed over. This then tarnishes the champions legacy as it will be pointed out they faced bums (and that’s how it will be looked back on). It makes the Belt look a little less legitimate. I think it’s ok when a legitimate contender uses it to get a shot (maybe jumping one or two spots). It’s a slippery slope between exposure and earning legitimacy.
PDG: Outside of fighting, you have been involved with Movember; How did it go last year and how much has it grown since you started working with the program nearly six years ago?
Elvis Sinosic: Yes, I’ve been involved in Movember nearly every year since I first started working with them (I think I may have missed one or two due to other commitments). I think it’s a great opportunity to give men’s health issues some well needed exposure. Every year it continues to grow and more people are involved. I think it’s great because it draws much needed donations which help with the advancement of cures and the understanding of men’s health issues.
PDG: Thanks for your time Elvis, is there anything else that you would like to add?
Elvis Sinosic: Thanks for taking the time to talk to me. It’s always a pleasure to catch up and chat to let the fans know what I’m up too. The fans can check out my Facebook page, my twitter @ElvisSinosic or my instagram @rocknrumble to see what I’m up to and stay in touch. If you’re in Australia (or even heading out this way) and are interested in training check out our gym (www.spma.net.au).
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