Mike Wacker’s Bringing Some Calculated Aggression To Diego Sanchez At Chokes By The Ocean

Calculated aggression — that’s how second-degree black belt, Mike Wacker, describes his fighting style, and he’ll need plenty of it when he takes on  “The Nightmare” Diego Sanchez at Chokes By the Ocean on July 29.

Sanchez is, of course, one of the most aggressive fighters in the world’s most aggressive sport, mixed martial arts. Who can forget the war he and Gilbert Melendez waged against each other almost four years ago at UFC 166?

Mike Wacker, however, is not intimidated, and though he has nothing but the utmost respect for Diego, the second-degree black belt has promised fans they will not be sorry when the two step on the mats in July.

The Jiu-Jitsu Times spoke to Mike Wacker via social media over the weekend. We asked him about his martial arts background, his future, and naturally his upcoming fight against Sanchez.

Here is what he had to say.

Had an amazing time being able to teach some of my #jiujitsu techniques for the guys @gracieseymourbjj. It is always…

Posted by Mike Wacker on Monday, March 27, 2017

Jiu-Jitsu Times: First, can you tell us a little bit about your martial arts background. What got you into martial arts, how long have you been doing it, and what ranks do you hold?

Mike Wacker: I’ve been training in martial arts since I was seven years old. Nothing truly motivated me to try it out. Being so young it just kind of fell into my lap. I started out in traditional martial arts until the age of 12 years old and that’s when I found jiu-jitsu. I’ve been hooked ever since. Nearly 20 years later and here we are. I am now a second degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a proud school owner.

JJT: Nice! Who did you train BJJ under?

MW: I trained under Rob Kahn and Steve Kardian from Thornwood NY. Rob would later move to Tampa, Florida, but I still will always consider myself his student.

JJT: You’re going up agianst Diego Sanchez at Chokes by the Ocean. Diego’s known for high intensity fighting. What kind of fighter do you think he’ll be in a grappling match?

MW: I think he will bring the same intensity that he usually brings to every fight/match. That’s what makes him great. I don’t think he will change his personality just because it’s a BJJ match. I’ve seen a lot of his grappling matches and he likes to be the aggressor.

JJT: Are you a fan of his?

MW: Of course. All of his MMA fights are always exciting. You know when he steps into the ring he’s going to give it his all. How couldn’t you be a fan of that?

JJT: Agreed completely! His match against Melendez is still one of my all-time favorites.

MW: All around great fight.

JJT: So, where do you think you might have the advantage in this match? Where do you think he might have the advantage?

MW: I think being that I am a pure BJJ practitioner will be my major advantage. Though I know he is an excellent grappler in his own right, BJJ is all I focus on. It’s what I teach to my students every morning and night and is my true passion in life. I think that more than anything will give me the advantage.

JJT: You’ve probably done a fair amount of competing in your life. Any match that you find particularly memorable?

MW: I think if you had asked me this question several years ago my answer would have been my match with Ryan Hall. However being older now and having come back from a few different injuries, I would say winning the IBJJF NY Open last year was a big one for me. Just due to the fact that I had taken so much time off from competing in the first place. It was a nice feeling being able to come back on the circuit and be successful.

Posted by Mike Wacker on Friday, April 8, 2016

JJT: For our readers who haven’t seen any of your matches, how would describe your grappling style? Patient? Aggressive? Any words you’d use to describe it?

MW: Calculated aggression. I will attack the openings when they are there but be patient and let them come to me.

JJT: Okay, last question. You get a visit from a genie tonight, and he grants one match against any jiujiteiro – living or dead – in that person’s prime. Who would you want a match against and why?

MW: That’s a tough one. I think there are so many great practitioners that have come and gone to try and choose one is tough. I guess if I had to pick one it would be with Rickson. Mainly due to the fact that he is so legendary in his own right. I think that I would love to have rolled with him in his prime. Not even in just a competition setting but, in a roll session as well. I think being able to pick his brain would be something to look forward to as well.

JJT: Definitely! Alright, man! Any shout-outs you want to give? Anything else you want to say to our readers?

MW: Yes, I’d just like to take the time to thank Submission Series Promotions and Cat Clarke for setting this match up. It’s something that I truly look forward to doing. I’d also like to thank my teammates/training partners/students from Black Hole BJJ for giving me their all each and every day to get me ready for this match. One thing that I want the readers to know is that when I step foot on that mat July 29th you are going to see the best that I have to offer. I’m going to fight as hard as I can from start to finish. If you order the event, you won’t be sorry.

Chokes By The Ocean will be going down live, July 29, from 7:30am to 10pm at the DeCoste Performing Arts Centre in Pictou, Nova Scotia. The event will be brought to you by Cat Clarke and Submission Series Promotions. Those who cannot make it to the event can watch all of the action live here.  



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