Featured Fighter Interview | Duane Bastress | Central Pennsyvania Martial Arts Academy
Duane Bastress is an undefeated up and coming fighter that will be stepping into the cage for his Pro Debut on Friday Night at the Central Pennsylvania Warrior Challenge. We caught up with him as he makes his final preparations for his big fight.
NextMMAFighter : You are currently undefeated as a pro and embarking on your pro debut. Does this fight feel any different?
Duane Bastress : I believe that every fight is different. However, going from the amateur ranks to the pro ranks there are some new rules that I had to get use to. Such as, no shin pads, strikes to the face on the ground, and elbows to the face/head on the ground.
NextMMAFighter : What are you plans going forward in your MMA career?
DB : Well first things first and that’s winning this fight. However, I would like to see where I could take it. I would love to someday be fighting in the UFC and for a world title.
NextMMAFighter : Besides training, what keeps you busy. Do you have a “regular” day job as well or do you teach at your gym?
DB : Yea I do have a regular day job and training gym I call home. I work as a Activity Director/Life Skills Coach at a Drug & Alcohol Rehab. I’m also an assistant wrestling coach at York College of Pennsylvania.
NextMMAFighter : In some of your fight videos we watched your wrestling looked very strong. Would you say this is your MMA Base?
DB : Yes I would have to say that is my base for sure. Being a two time Division 3 National Champion in wrestling doesn’t hurt
NextMMAFighter : Going forward in your career are there any aspects of your game that you are looking to improve?
DB : Well I’m always looking to improve in every aspect. I want to become the best all around fighter that I can be. I love the sport and love learning everything that I can. I try to be a sponge and pick up any little technique that will help my overall fight game excel!
NextMMAFighter : As we are based in the Southeast we don’t get to cover up north as much as we would like. Tell us how you think the sport is developing in that area of the country.
DB : Well I know that New Jersey has had MMA around for a very long time and the talent is deep there. However with MMA becoming legal in Pennsylvania last April, I’ve seen and explosion of talent. Pennsylvania is known as one of if not the toughest wrestling state in the country and tons of ex-wrestlers are looking to compete in something. But, overall I see many people wanting to take part in fastest growing sport in the world and it’s exciting to be a part of that!
NextMMAFighter : The Ultimate Fighter is definitely a spring board for up and coming martial artists. Would you want to go through the grind of living in the house or would you rather work your way up the local circuit?
DB : It’s funny you ask this question because I have a lot of people ask me about being on the show. I would love to get on the show. You are getting world class training and exposure to the man(Dana White). But, I would definitely take it very seriously and not go there just to be on tv, but to win the fights. When you have a chance to fight for a UFC contract, nothing else matters for those weeks you are in the house, nothing! However, if I have to take the local circuit I will. Whatever gets me to the end goal of the UFC and a World Championship is the road I will take!
NextMMAFighter : Who are some professional MMA fighters past or present that you look up to?
DB : I love GSP, Randy Couture, Rashad Evans. Randy and Rashad being ex wrestlers and now at the top level gives me something I want to work towards and someday be able to pass. GSP is just awesome. It would be awesome to be able to train along side those guys someday.
NextMMAFighter : What do you know about your opponent and do you have any predictions about your fight for the fans?
DB : I know that he is very tough. He is from Virginia and is a 205 pound champ down there. Predictions, I’d say that my family and friends can expect me to leave it all out in the cage. Hopefully that I will come out with a win.
NextMMAFighter : Thanks for speaking with us today, in closing is there anyone you would like to thank?
DB : I’d like to thank my parents, family, friends, fiance, and all my fans that are coming to support me. I’d also like to thank my training partners & Mark Jovich for helping me progress in my MMA career. Lastly, I’d have to say Thank You to NextMMAFighter for wanting to take time out and interview me. I appreciate it a lot!
If you’re in the Lancaster area go check out Duane’s fight along with many other up and coming fighters. For more information go to http://www.warriorchallenge.info/