1. James Te Huna stats – Age, Location, Born, Weight, Fight Record
I was born in Darfield just outside of Christchurch, NZ. Residing in Penrith, Australia. 93kg Light heavyweight. 14 wins, 5 losses......
2. You are very proud of your Kiwi heritage and you donated your purse from UFC 127 to the Christchurch earthquake victims - tell us what it feels like to call another country home yet still have such a deep connection to where you are from. Do you miss NZ and do you go back often?
Home will always be where my family and friends are. I have family and friends all over New Zealand, and I also have my immediate family and close friends in Sydney. I miss NZ a lot. I don’t get to go back that often, but if I had the chance to I would.
4. So how did you get started in MMA?
My brother and I watched some old school UFC tapes and it was definitely something we were going to try. Growing up we were easily influenced by certain movies we saw on tv. Bruce Lee, Arnold, Van Damme movies etc all had one thing in common. Also during the 80’s and 90’s I got to see Mike Tyson in his prime, Jimmy Thunder, and the rise of David Tua. I boxed during my mid-teens for a couple of years and then moved to Australia when I was 17. Coming from small country towns in NZ to Sydney, the training stopped. Being at that age and the endless opportunities you have in Sydney you can see why. I picked up an interest in Street/Strip cars that lasted a few years and then took myself back into combat sports. Not long after my brother brought those UFC tapes over and we got hooked pretty fast. We would talk about it at work every day for months, so training for MMA kicked off from there.
5.What setbacks have you had on your journey?
There’s been a tonne of setbacks, and they’ll be endless. As for injuries I’m thinking I’ve had a bit more than other athletes though haha. If I keep this up “The walking band aid” will stick.
6. Obviously you are in a good place in your career, tell us how you got your start in the UFC?
I won’t say how I got in but being exciting, respectful and having good support will take you a long way.
7. What were you feeling, walking out into the octagon for the first time?
Most times I have tunnel vision on the guy but that all went out the window as soon as I stepped out haha oh no, I was blown away by the crowd. I wasn’t nervous, more lost than anything.
9. How did you feel when you got the call to be on the Jones vs Rampage card?
Very happy. Happy to be part of the Wolf’s Lair camp for this preparation. Mark Hunt is on the card so I was glad to be on this one too.
10. Who are you fighting and what do you know about him?
I’m fighting Ricardo Romero. He’s tough. His last fight didn’t go down to well so he’ll be doing his best to redeem that loss. We’re expecting him to come out on another level. I hope his training preparation has been good, so we can both put on a show.
11. Tell us what goes into a training camp for a fight like this?
Just the same as everyone else, a pyramid schedule has been put in place with a mix of fight training, strength and conditioning, and recovery sessions. I have 2 camps in place for this fight. One camp has been in Sydney, and the last in Denver Colorado. I’m at the MusclePharm Training Facility with Rampage Jackson and the Wolf’s Lair crew for these last few weeks.
12. The majority of guys in the UFC are from the USA, what do you think differentiates fighters from the US and fighters from this part of the world (Aus/NZ)?
Fighters here have limited resources, that’s all. Why do you think fighters here travel to the states for training so often? If you have structure and a good team bond then you’ll see our level go up. Integrated Martial Arts in Brisbane is a good example.
13. You are in one of the most stacked divisions in the UFC with killers everywhere you turn, who are some guys you would like to fight in the future?
I’m the same as everyone else man, there isn’t a person that I have in mind, I just look forward to the guy that I have been matched up with.
14. Who are some of your favourite fighters to watch?
15. What advice do you have for any young guys wanting to emulate you and be a fighter in the UFC?
Go chase your dreams. Stay focused. Find ways to have fun in your training and journey.
16. Do you have anyone to thank/shoutouts?
My major sponsor PC Group has helped me greatly. Boost Mobile team, Craig Catterick and Hayden Knowles at Athletic Allstars have put me on the right track preparing me for this fight, big Phil at Philsfitness&bodybuilding.com.au, Elite Fight Gym Penrith, My coaches – Lincoln Hudson, Stevie Ashby, Igor Praporschikov, Richie Sargeant, Fabio Galeb, Stu & Steve Mckinnon at Bulldog, IgorMMA, Wolf’s Lair, MusclePharm.
Republished with the expressed permission of Mmanewsworldwide.com Australia