“Been a long, been a long-long time, since I felt, since I felt so fine…” Approximately five months since Southern California Wrestling fans bare witness to the Experience heading to a ring with “Crank It” blasting over the speakers. It’s been five months since Scorpio Sky said farewell to the squared circle trading in the ring for a cage. On a cool Wednesday evening, I had the opportunity to speak to Sky. Amongst the topics we approached were his health, his training regiment, his manager Christian Cole, and what he expects on June 1st for University of MMA. The articulate Scorpio Sky carried himself in a confident manner and expressed he isn’t taking the next step into the world of MMA lightly.
J: First off it has been a long time you looked great the other night. After your final match at Championship Wrestling from Hollywood it was being reported via their [social media outlets] that you were out indefinitely due to the injuries you sustained. How are you feeling today?
S: I feel really good actually, this is the best I’ve felt in a long time. I haven’t had the wear and tear of wrestling every week. I’ve been able to relax the body for a number of months, as well as train and get back where I wanted to, eat right. I’m feeling very strong, agile and really good.
J: Prior to the finale at [CWFH] you were regularly wrestling for Empire Wrestling Federation and AWS Promotions, do you miss being in the professional wrestling ring?
S: Certain aspects of it. I miss being around the dressing rooms, the backstage parts of it. I miss performing, that’s probably something I really enjoy is putting on a show or telling a story, but for the most part I’ve been able to keep busy doing other things especially I’m focused on training and other things outside of wrestling. I haven’t actually missed it as I thought I would.
J: Since you brought up the training, the cat is out of the bag you’re training for MMA. Obviously it’s been many years since you initially trained for professional wrestling. How is it different from training for MMA, with regards to conditioning, strength training, and becoming familiar with that environment?
S: From my experience pro wrestling training is a little bit slower than MMA, I’ve noticed with most of the classes I’ve taken there is a lot more high intensity; it’s less slow and strategic like pro wrestling. With wrestling you’re doing a lot of bumping, there is a lot of pain involved because you’re doing a lot of bumping and running around and hitting the ropes and slamming, it’s very physical in that aspect. So they are similar. There are times when [in wrestling] is slow and you take time to understand what you’re doing where as in MMA it’s a little bit more like, you learn this combination you do it and then you move on to the next combination. It’s faster paced, but it also designed to put you in the best shape possible and that’s why. So they are different in that aspect. As far as learning, they are similar and I think that is why I have been able to adapt so well. Because in both you have to be very athletic, you have to be able to adjust and move your body in certain ways and just learn with the body and take your body and mold it into what you are trying to accomplish and in that aspect they are very similar and why I’ve been able to adapt so well.
J: There was a point in time when the Southern California Wrestling Scene regarded you as one of the most athletic wrestlers in the area. Like you alluded to, your pro wrestling athleticism has translated into MMA; do you see that as an advantage for you? Having that athleticism learning to take your bumps with training MMA?
S: Absolutely. I hope I’m still considered one of the most athletic wrestlers in the scene
: It’s something I’ve always taken pride in, I’ve always tried to be and portray myself as a legitimate athlete. Let’s be honest, there are guys out there who are real athletes in pro wrestling, especially at this level. Then there are guys who are just kind of doing it and they look like they don’t know where to find a gym in their area. I never wanted to be the latter, I always wanted to be the guy you look at and say “That’s an athlete.” And go out do the things in the ring that were athletic that most people couldn’t do. That’s a big thing, that’s entertaining. The fans don’t want to come out and see a guy who does all the same things they can do themselves. They want to see things that are different and make them stand out. And the reason why they are in the place that they are is because they are special. I think that’s something I always tried to work towards and accomplished, for the most part. The athleticism does help you greatly, as far as MMA goes. I’ve been able to make the transition basically because of my athleticism. I’ve had to learn and the things that I’ve picked up in wrestling on the armature level and obviously the shoulders and styles work in MMA. I feel like I have more experience than I actually do.
J: With regards to your athleticism and your ability to adapt in the ring, one particular match stands out in my mind from Championship Wrestling from Hollywood’s Red Carpet Rumble when you faced Matt Striker. The match seemed inspired by MMA
There was a lot of close contact, a lot of working towards submissions, reminiscent of the old Shoot-Fighting from the 90s. Was this inspired by your interest to join MMA?
S: To be honest, for lack of a better term, we didn’t call it out in the back we just went out there and worked. When you have a guy as professional as Matt Stryker who also rolls and works on his grappling quite a bit, you can do that. Obviously he and I both have a high level of experience in pro wrestling and grappling, so we were able to just go out there and do it. We didn’t have to script it, we just did it. And I’m glad to hear that the people appreciated it. Whenever you put on a match like that, there are questions on whether the fans will get it or not. There are certain fan bases that love that and other fan bases [that] are like “Let’s move on to the next stunt.” I’ve never been the type of guy that likes stunt matches. It’s just once high paced thing after another. I like to tell a story, give people an Experience (pun indented). We just don’t want to put on a show; we want to put on an Experience for people. Fortunately that is what Matt Striker and I were able to do. I have a lot of respect for Matt Striker, even aside from the whole WWE thing; he is a great worker and a great guy to work with.
J: When we were discussing this interview, we wanted to gear it towards wrestling fans. I think there is quite a bit of common ground between the two sports. Both fan bases can appreciate the entertainment value in pro wrestling and the sport value in MMA. But for the Southern California Wrestling fan who wants to check out Scorpio Sky’s first fight at University of MMA, what can they expect?
S: I had the pleasure of going watching U of MMA in February and that was my first time of actually getting out see it live. I was blown away. It was a great show. There were a lot of great fighters there, the production was great. It’s not like a normal indy promotion. They put on a very good product that’s high level and TV worthy and they’re on MavTV another great thing they are doing. (Editor’s Note, Championship Wrestling from Hollywood also airs on MavTV). That’s a big part of it, the show was very telling. I went as a fan, I enjoyed it, and I had a great time. I got to meat Gene LeBelle, ran into Josh Barnet there and a number of guys and had a great time. As far as me it’s a little bit different. We’re going to find out exactly how well I’m prepared actually. I feel good, I feel like I’m going to do well. This is MMA, anything can happen. I’m not saying I’m going to win, I’m not saying I’m going to lose, I’m going to go out and fight. That’s the one guarantee I can give you, I’m going to go out and fight. I’m going to take the fight to the guy and we are going to see what happens. I believe the fans are going to enjoy it, either way. If I blitz this guy in the first round, then that’s great. If it goes three rounds and we have a war then that’s entertaining as well. If I make a mistake and I get blitzed by this guy then it’s still entertaining. No matter what I can tell you, it’s going to be a fun show and we’re hopefully going to put on a great fight.
J: I want to get more into “That Guy” Orlando Itza in just a minute. It’s been 5 months since you last wrestled in a ring and in that time there has been a lot of effort and time in the gym as we talked about the other night. Rolling for Jiu Jitsu, practicing Muay Thai, getting in their boxing, you have quite the regiment. How long ago did you realize this was the next step for the “Experience?” How long ago did you know you wanted to move forward with fighting?
S: Two years ago, I just never had the time to do it. UofMMA approached me two years ago, back in 2012, and asked if this something I would be interested in. I took a look at the product and thought it was great at the time, it’s gotten better since. But, I was so tied up with wrestling at the time I was the Television Champion so I was wrestling for Championship Wrestling from Hollywood, while I was doing other shows. Then TNA came. Then WWE came and it was one thing after another and another. There was no way I was going to be able to dedicate myself to being able to train on a regular basis for a fight and I wasn’t going to do it half assed. I wanted to give it my all, if I was going to go out there and fight in a cage, as Christian Cole would say “put your life on the line.” So really this has been two years in the making. The timing was finally just right. I took a break from pro wrestling and we reconnected. I went to their show and I had a great time at the show, we sat down and had a talk after. Here we are, June 1st is the first time the fans are going to get to see Scorpio Sky in an MMA cage.
J: I for one am excited to see you compete for UofMMA promotion, but have any other fight promotions ever contact you? In Southern California there are quite a few MMA promotions; one even had connections to CWFH. Were you ever approached by rival fight organizations?
S: Yeah, to answer your question yes. I have been approached by other fight promotions, as recently as the past couple of weeks. But the University of MMA is where I want to be right now. And we’re not thinking about any other promotions or any other fights. I have a guy in front of me on June 1st, he is not coming to lose he is coming to win. I’m not really thinking about anything else but him at this time. We’re going to take it one fight at a time. I can’t look beyond June 1st. Right now I’m thinking about Fight Night 7 and I’m thinking about Orlando Itza.
J: That guy… Orlando Itza… it isn’t easy to find information on this guy. I checked Sherdog.com I and mixedmartialarts.com. To find out that he was 5’7 and 170 lbs. and trains out of the Venice Beach Boxing Academy. CamoMMA.org says he’s been fighting for 15 years in MMA competition he has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and is an expert in American Boxing and Muay Thai. How do you prepare for someone, when there isn’t a lot of video out there to see how he trains, how he fights? How do you prepare for an opponent like that?
S: You just focus on everything, you work on yourself. There isn’t a lot of footage that I can study and say “Hey this guys is great and does this bad” so I can exploit his weakness. There isn’t the footage out there. So you don’t worry about what he’s going to do. You just worry about what you’re going to do and that’s what we’re planning on doing. We’re going to go out and do what we do best. That’s push the base, fight hard, fight smart and we’re going to just relax and react. We’re going to focus on what we have planned and we’re not going to think about what he’s doing. If the fight goes the way we want it to go, then it will be based off of what we do anyway. We’re not going to be worried about what he’s bringing to the table, we’re going to be prepared for it, but we’re not going to be worried.
J: For a lot of SoCal Wrestling Fans, who are unaware of your first MMA Fight, back in 2011, you won via the ole ground and pound. What did you learn from that first fight?
S: I learned you should not do it unless you are prepared. That occasion was just kind of something I jumped into on short notice. I didn’t really have a full training regiment for that fight; I just kind of went and did it under the table. It wasn’t sanctioned or anything it was almost fight club.
S: It wasn’t that bad…
S: It was almost fight club. I went in there and I feel like if I was a little [sharper], I would have taken that guy out in the fist round. But it ended up going in the third round and I finished him in the third round. Yeah, I made some mistakes that I don’t think I will make in this fight. I’ve been preparing very well, I know what to expect. I obviously know how to be in front of a crowd, that’s not going to bother me. I think it’ll give me a bit of an edge. As I said earlier, I feel more experienced than I actually have. I’m smart, I have good instincts, and I’m going to be able to go out and perform a lot better than somebody normally would at this level.
J: What have you learned about yourself with this more intense, heavier training regiment unlike the first fight?
S: The first fight, I found out who I was fighting about an hour or two hours before the fight. There was no preparation. I didn’t even know who I was going to be matched up with. It was just show up, weigh in, get in the cage and here is who you are going up against. So obviously, I have a lot more time to prepare. I know who I’m fighting, I somewhat know, what he brings to the table. At the same time we don’t know what he’s got planned. Is he going to come out and try to apply a lot of pressure, push the pace, or is he going to fight a strategic fight? We don’t know, be we are prepared for it either way. A lot of that comes from the experience we got from that first fight. Now I know what to expect, I know how I’m going to feel in that first round and know how it’s going to feel in the third round. I’ve got a wealth of knowledge just from that one fight and I know exactly how to prepare myself mentally and physically. For this fight I’ve done things a lot differently; I’ve been training with a Liron Wilson. Liron Wilson is a Heavyweight Pro Fighter, he is a great fighter, he’s great on stand up, and he’s great on ground. He’s been my manage coach for this training and he’s prepared me very well. I feel great, I feel stronger, I feel faster and I’m hitting guys and it’s going to be a lot of fun.
J: My experiences with MMA are limited to the UFC Events. Where guys would fight out of the Lion’s Den or this place and that place? Are you affiliated with any particular gym?
S: I would say that is how most guys do it. They train specifically out of one gym. And they represent that lineage, but that isn’t necessarily the way I do it. I train with Liron Wilson, he’s my head coach, and he’s the main guy. But there are other coaches and there are a few guys that I work with and I go work out at a couple of different gyms. There isn’t an exact gym that I am representing, I represent the Experience and my head coach Liron Wilson he is going to be the guy in my corner calling the shots and I feel I’m prepared for that. He’s a great fighter and I’ve learned a lot from him. And I’m satisfied with that.
J: Anyone who has seen you preformed, knows you’re a showman. Whether it’s paying homage to Floyd Maywheather Jr. or Muhammad Ali, will you still be brining showmanship to the world of Mix Martial Arts?
S: I’m always looking to put on a show. It might not be the same kind of show you’ll see in a pro wrestling ring, but I’m always looking to entertain the fans, especially when people are going to pay and come see me. I’m always looking to entertain; I’m an entertainer at heart. That’s just who I am. I’m going to go out and put on a great show and hopefully a great fight. We don’t know what’s going to happen in a fight, it’s MMA. One punch, one bad position can change everything. Sometimes, the better fighter losses, that’s just how the game is. One mistake can cost you to lose everything. I have to go out and focus and prepare to not make any mistake or at least not make as many mistakes as my opponent is going to make. I have respect for what he brings to the table. I don’t have anything bad to say about him. I wish him the best. But on June 1st him and I are going into the cage and put on a great fight and we’ll see what happens.
J: Professional Wrestling is storyline driven. You guys are out there entertaining. What I always believed is that you’re manager Christian Cole was there just to put the punctuation on whatever you were speaking about and to help tell the story of the super agent managing the wrestling prodigy on television. As it turns out, that isn’t a storyline, he is actually your manager.
J: Tell us about your dynamic with Christian Cole and how your relationship as fighter and agent began.
S: Sometimes Art imitates Life and sometimes Life imitates Art. In this case, I’m not going to say which one came first… the chicken or the egg. Christian Cole is my manager. He is going to be in my corner on fight night. He’s going to be on the B side. He has done an incredible job getting me some great deals and that’s a shoot. In real life he’s got me some great deals on things, in and outside of wrestling. He’s a brilliant guy, he is very smart, he’s very people oriented, he’s good at dealing with people and people like dealing with him. Why wouldn’t I have that guy to represent me? It’s only going to make me better. It’s worked out so far. He is somebody I trust 100%. To the point where I can just let him handle all my dealings and I don’t even have to worry about it. He has my best interest at heart. He’s also one my best friend in real life as well, so there is trust in there. He can handle all the business things for me so I can focus on entertaining the people and preparing myself. It works out great. Christian Cole, is someone I recommend to anybody who is looking for someone to represent them the right way, that will get them the best deals, really bust his ass to work for you, Christian Cole is the guy. I don’t work for him, he doesn’t work for me, we’re a team and it works out great.
J: I also want to thank Christian Cole for helping to set up this interview, who suggested the wrestling fans wanted to hear from Scorpio Sky. So thanks Christian.
J: Wrapping up this interview, it’s been such a crazy five months since we’ve seen you temporarily walk away from the wrestling ring. God willing at some point, we’ll see you return to professional wrestling. But what does the future hold for Scorpio Sky?
S: You know right now, we’re just taking it one day at a time. I’ve got a guy, I can’t look beyond him, and I can’t look past him. So we’re just going to focus on June 1st. There is no June 2nd. Then we’ll take it from there. God willing, I will come out of the fight safe, hopefully I’ll get the W and we’ll go from there, we will decide what we will do. For now, Scorpio Sky and Christian Cole, the Experience, are just focused on June 1st and that’s it.
J: Win, lose, or draw, your safety and well being is what I’m rooting for, first and foremost. I wish you all the best in this fight. If someone want to attend this fight, how do they go about getting tickets?
S: You can contact me Scorpio Sky on facebook now or on instagram. You can contact me direct. You can purchase by paypal (Just until Tuesday May 27th) at FightNight7Tickets@gmail.com, general admission is $35, balcony seating $45. Or you can also purchase them at uofmma.com
J: Are you coming out to “Crank It”
S: (long pause…) You know we actually talked about it. I’m not exactly sure what we’re going to come out to; I haven’t really thought about it to be honest with you. I’m been thinking about fight. But when the fight week comes and we are putting the finishing touches on everything, we will decide what exactly we should walk out to and all those things. But for now, those things can wait. We have to put the finishing touches on training, make sure everything is finely tuned. You know Jay, I’m feeling really good. I’m feeling confident. I’m feeling like I can go in there and put on a great show and get the W. And everything else should come second.
J: That sounds fair. Thanks for your time tonight, best of luck on the fight, and let’s talk again soon.
S: Thank you and to all the wrestling fans out there, thank you for the support inside and outside of the ring. Hopefully you’ll come out on June 1st
“The Experience” Scorpio Sky will face “The Tommy Goff” Orlando Itza at University of MMA’s Fight Night 7 on June 1st at Club Nokia in Los Angeles.