by Ken Pishna (Photo by April Pishna)
Ring of Fire makes its Nebraska debut in North Platte this Saturday night and the D&N Event Center. Home town hero Luke Caudillo talks about his fight in the Main Event…
MMAWEEKLY: Luke, not too many people outside of the Midwest or Rocky Mountain regions have had an opportunity to see you fight. For those who haven’t seen you yet, describe your fighting style.
LUKE CAUDILLO: My style is the Miletich Fighting Systems and wrestling, but I love to fight toe to toe and see who hits harder!
MMAWEEKLY: What was it that got you interested in fighting in the first place?
LUKE: Fighting is fun for me. I watched the first UFC and have always been interested. My fighting really started when Kelly [Wiseman] came into my store and asked me to workout with him. I was hooked; three months later I was fighting my first fight.
MMAWEEKLY: You train with Team Wiseman in North Platte. How’d you end up there? What is your training like with Kelly?
LUKE: I’ve lived here all my life. Kelly was running a gym next to my supplement store and I kept going in every night. Now, I train six to seven days a week.
MMAWEEKLY: You had a bit of a mixed record to start your career, but in you’ve won 4 of your last 5 fights. What’s been the sudden turn of events that his moved your career forward?
LUKE: You know, I just go out and fight. I never worry about my record or his; lately, I have just been in the mood to knock guys down. I think that has a lot to do with my wins.
MMAWEEKLY: You’ve only been fighting for a little more than 2-1/2 years, but you’ve fought a lot of fights in that time. I believe your overall record is 7-5 as a pro, is that correct?
LUKE: My record is 8-4 as a pro, and yeah, that’s lots of fights, but that’s what I like. If I don’t have a fight lined up my training goes down so that’s why I like to stay busy. Besides, no one hears about you in the gym, so that’s why I like to get on a card and fight!
MMAWEEKLY: This Saturday night, you’ll be fighting once again in the Ring of Fire, but it will be at the D&N Event Center. How does it feel to finally get to fight in your hometown of North Platte for a change? Do you have a lot of fans coming out?
LUKE: Ring of Fire has been good to me. Bringing a show here to my hometown is a big deal. For one, I don’t have to travel, so that’s cool. As for the fans, they are so pumped to watch the fights. It’s going to be so loud in the D&N Event Center.
MMAWEEKLY: Your opponent this weekend is James Martinez. You’ve fought James once before. Tell us a little bit about how that fight went.
LUKE: James is a great fighter; the fight we had the first time was non-stop action. It went the to the judges, and I came out on top. I do have to say, though, that this time I will not leave it to the judges!
MMAWEEKLY: You and James have both fought quite a bit since then. How do you see this fight going on Saturday night at the D&N Center?
LUKE: I know James will be ready to fight me, but I have trained very hard for this fight. James is a great stand up fighter, but I plan on beating him at his own game. It’s going to be a war, and the crowd is going to love it!
MMAWEEKLY: What’s your next step from here? Have you been contacted by any of the big shows yet, like the UFC or Pride?
LUKE: I just plan on one fight at a time, although Sven [manager, Sven Bean] told me to get my passport, so it looks like I can go fight in a Japanese show.
MMAWEEKLY: Any final thoughts that you’d like to add?
LUKE: I would like to thank my family and my girlfriend for all their support. My team is a big part of my success, and I wish them all luck on Saturday night. Also, thanks to Kelly for putting the time in with me to get me here. Thanks to my sponsors Wiseman Chiropractic and thesupplementzone.com and to all my fans.