Sunday, 2 March 2014

An Interview with Atos Wonderkid - Michael Liera Jr - Part 2

(This is part 2 of my interview with Michael Liera Jr. If you haven't seen part 1 of this interview, please click HERE.)

What would be your advice for somebody at their first Jiu-Jitsu tournament?

Relax, and just try to focus on one match at a time. Fighting in a competition and sparring in the gym is the same exact thing, so try not to over-think it.

Would you say it’s essential now for a Jiu-Jitsu athlete to be on a strength & conditioning program?

I know plenty of great Jiu Jitsu athletes who aren't on any kind of strength and conditioning program. Personally, I have found lifting weights has been very beneficial for my Jiu Jitsu.

In terms of supplementation, do you think it’s essential to take them? And do you take them personally?

I feel that supplements help me in my training. I like to take pre-work out supplements before I train when I am tired, whey protein after I work out, and BCAA's throughout the day to help my recovery.

Could you take us the through what the Atos training camp is like in preparation for a big competition? (I.e. Worlds, Pan Ams)

Atos training camps usually start two to three months prior to the competition. We train twice a day, and in between our training sessions we drill, work out and rest. The training camps tend to be pretty grueling, but they are my favorite time of the year!

How is your preparation going for the Pan Ams coming up?

The training camp for this year’s Pan Am's has been going really well. I'm really excited to compete in my first major gi tournament as a brown belt. All of my focus for the past few months has been on getting the double gold!

Would you like at some point to go and compete in Brazil?

I went to Brazil and competed in the 2010 Rio Open, but I have not been back since. I currently don't have any plans to go out there, considering all of the major tournaments are here in California, but I would love to go back out there soon.

Have you ever considered doing MMA in the future?

I'm not too thrilled with the idea of doing MMA any time in the future. I really respect MMA fighters because I know how hard the business is. I'm just not very interested in it.

Source: Owen Francis

Other than Jiu-Jitsu, do you have any other interests?

I spend most of my time doing Jiu Jitsu, but I also really like playing video games, and spending time with my dog.

For the next two things, could you please state what is your most and least favourite submission and guard.

My favourite submissions are from the back, and my least favourite submissions are any flying submissions.

My favourite guard is the De La Riva, and my least favourite guard to be in is the inverted guard.

Some people don’t like to roll with really big guys or do absolute divisions due to their size. Since you are a smaller guy, what is your strategy going in to compete against a much larger opponent?

I really enjoy competing in the absolute divisions. My main strategy in going against bigger guys is to keep their weight off of me with the spider guard, and attacking for omoplatas. Also the berimbolo can be really effective against bigger guys.

Source: CTRL Industries

Coming up next month is Metamoris III, with the long awaited rematch of Royler Gracie vs Eddie Bravo. Who do you think will win and why?

I'm really looking forward to this match up! I'm ok with whoever wins as long as it is a good fight. I've trained with Royler Gracie in the past, and his Jiu Jitsu is phenomenal, but it is hard to say considering both of them have not competed in years.

Just to break things up from this formal interview, I would like to ask you some trivia questions. They are:

1.     Who is your favourite Dragon Ball Z character? Krillin Cornelius
2.     Who would win in a fight, Godzilla or King Kong? King Kong
3.     Whopper or Big Mac? Mmmm Big Mac
4.     PlayStation or Xbox? PlayStation
5.     Coke or Pepsi? Coke
6.     DC or Marvel? DC
7.     Simpsons, Family Guy or South Park? Simpsons
8.     Messi or Ronaldo? Ronaldo
9.     England or Wales? Wales
10.   PC or Mac? Mac
11.   Early bird or night owl? Night owl
12.   Cake or pie? Neither.
13.   Ice cream or yogurt? Yogurt
14.   Ketchup or mustard? Mustard
15.   Body weight exercises or lifting weights? Lifting weights
16.   Shower in the morning or shower in the evening? Both
17.   Saver or spender? Spender
18.   7up or Sprite? Mmm 7up
19.   Twitter or Facebook? Facebook
20.   Hamburgers or Hotdogs? Hamburgers

I just want to say thank you Michael for giving me the opportunity to interview you, it has really been a privilege! Before we conclude this interview, is there anybody you want to thank?

Well first off thank you for the great interview! I'd also like to thank my sponsors Shoyoroll, RVCA, and! Ossss.


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