Interview

“I wasn’t exactly looking to fight, but I always had it in me.” Abram Sellers, Gladiators Academy

Mixed martial arts returns to Ponchatoula, Louisiana this weekend with Bayou Fighting Championship 37, Saturday, May 18th, from the Ponchatoula Recreational Center. Featured on the card is Gladiators’s Abram Sellers, who’s making his professional debut. I spoke with Abram on Tuesday night, and I asked him what he had planned for the rest of the week:

“I’m pretty much dedicating the last week to making weight. We’ve already done everything that we can with technique and conditioning, now it’s time for the weight to fall off. Maybe some light pad work, light wrestling, sauna; my last week is really just about the weight.”

“I like the idea of using elbows, especially as a wrestler.”

A New Era

Abram began his career fighting amateur in mid-2016. His professional debut has been 3 years in the making, and he’s ready for the change of pace that professional fighting brings.

“I’m excited! I think I’ll do better in 5 minute rounds. Three minute rounds, I think I was full blast the whole round, I wasn’t really pacing the fight. So I think 5 minutes will give me a little extra time to play with. [Also] I like the idea of using elbows, especially as a wrestler. And I’m ready to make some money.”

Training with World-Class Talent

Abram trains with one of the best teams on the Gulf Coast, and he takes full advantage of the mentorship that he’s given at Gladiators:

“I’m training with Tim Credeur. We got Dustin Poirier back down here, so he’s been working out with us. Being around a real world champion, it’s different. It gives you a real sense of what you’ve got to do, and what it’s like.”

“I wasn’t exactly looking to fight, but I always had it in me.”

Abram went 7-3 fighting as an amateur, winning 6 of his last 7 fights after starting 1-2. He’s currently riding a 4 fight win streak, and I asked him about how he generated this momentum:

“I had won 1, lost 1, and was going back and forth. And, I think it was my 5th fight, I got knocked out real bad. So I took a couple of months off, and Tim (Credeur) threw me back in there against a tough guy from Tennessee. I had a tough fight, but I won by decision, and after that, I was fine. It was like, alright, I’m not losing anymore. Eric (Eric Scallan, owner of Gladiators Youngsville) gave me a job working at the gym, so I’ve been able to be at the gym all the time focusing on training, and that’s what I think helped me out a lot.”

“Practicing and drilling over and over, practicing being mentally tough when you’re tired, that’s the thing wrestling really does for you.”

Roots in Wrestling

Like many fighters, Abram’s career began with high school wrestling. And on top of that, growing up in Lafayette, Louisiana, there was never a shortage of talent and gyms to help bud the young fighter’s interest in the sport. I asked Abram his origin story, and what got him into fighting:

“I guess, a lot of fighters were fighting all the time when they were kids and in high school, and I was kind of the same way. I wasn’t exactly looking to fight, but I always had it in me. I wrestled in Comeaux (Comeaux High School), so I had that. And then Eric had just opened the gym a couple of months before I met him. They had a table set up at a wrestling tournament that I was at, so I saw them and I talked with them, and told Eric that I would come and stop by, so I did. I was going to school at the time and working nights, so I couldn’t ever make it to the gym. So I stopped going to college, and decided to go to the gym. Eric saw that I was there all the time, so he offered me a job. I was at the gym like 3-4 months, and some guy had a small promotion, and a fighter had just dropped out, and he asked me to fight, so I said yes, and had my first fight.”

With 40% of all-time UFC belt holders having wrestling as their base, it’s obvious that wrestlers have an advantage in the cage. I asked Abram about what he thought wrestling did to help prepare him for his career in mixed martial arts:

“I started [wrestling] my freshmen year in high school, and got real attached at how hard it was, and how accepting they were. Everybody could be on the wrestling team, but not everyone stuck around. It was just wrestling for hours straight at a time, and it was hard. That translates to a certain toughness with fighting. Practicing and drilling over and over, practicing being mentally tough when you’re tired, that’s the thing wrestling really does for you.”

“It makes me better as a person, and it lets me beat some dudes up. That’s a good thing.”

Hard Work Pays Off

Grit, determination, and hard work seem to drive Abram Sellers. Along with a love of the sport, and a passion for and history of scrapping, Sellers is drawn to the challenge that fighting brings.

“I just like the fact that it’s hard, you know. The fact that I’m able to do it. I just like fighting in general. Whenever we were in high school, me and my friends were always getting together, putting on gloves, seeing who the toughest one was. And with fighting, you get to do this with a large range of people, prove who’s the toughest, who’s the best. It makes me better as a person, and it lets me beat some dudes up. That’s a good thing.”

Because of his love of the challenge, I asked Abram who he thought was the biggest challenge that he’d ever faced inside of a cage. His answer was anything but what I expected:

“I think probably a lot of guys would say it, and I’m going to say it too: yourself. [The biggest challenge is] fighting to the level that you’re capable of, and not letting your nerves get in the way – not letting yourself stop you!”

A Bright Future

The future certainly seems bright for this up-and-coming young fighter. Not only does he train at one of the best camps in the southeastern United States, but he’s determined to make the most out of his professional debut and the opportunities that are sure to present themselves in the not-so-distant future. I asked Abram about what he had planned short-term:

“The next couple of years, I just want to keep a clean record, try to go 4, 5, 6 and 0, something like that. [I’d like to] get with some bigger promotions, maybe Legacy Fighting Alliance. There are bigger places all over that will give you a call. [I’d like to] slowly climb up the ladder, work my way up.”

Abram Sellers fights this Saturday, May 18th, at Bayou Fighting Championship 37 in Ponchatoula, Louisiana. Don’t miss your chance to catch his professional debut, and the start of a promising young mixed martial arts career. You can purchase tickets for the event by clicking here, or visit BayouFC.com for more information!

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