MassMMA contributer Joe Zarrella (@joezarrellaMA) had the chance to speak with CES heavyweight fighter Greg Rebello (@grebello73)
Name: Greg Rebello
Hometown: Cranston, RI
Home gym: Sityodtong, Tri-Force
Round 1 – Occupation outside of the gym?
Personal trainer. I got into it when I first started fighting as it was an easy way to make money always being in the gym working out. Plus my girlfriend owns a gym. I work with the general population, I work with fighters, high school athletes, and also older people that are trying to lose weight. I’ve been doing it for 10 years.
Round 2 – Favorite fighters currently active in any organization?
I’ve always liked Anderson Silva and Mark Hunt. I like their styles.
Round 3- What is your favorite activity outside or training and fighting?
When I’m not training or fighting I spend time with my family and kids. I spend most of my time with my family and I’m also a huge Boston sports fan. I go to a lot of Celtics games, I’ve been going to games for years.
Round 4 – You’re a big New England sports fan – who’s your top Boston athlete of all time?
Tom Brady, it’s not even close.
Round 5 – What sport other than mixed martial arts would you like to be pro in?
Hockey. I played hockey my whole life.
Round 6 – Your nickname is Ribz, who gave it to you, and what’s the story behind it?
It actually came from one of my old hockey coaches. When I was playing high school hockey I was wicked fat, and one year I lost like 100 pounds and when I took my shirt off he could see my ribs, and so everyone started calling me “ribz” Rebello.
Round 7 – Hardest vice for you to avoid during a weight cut or leading up to a fight?
I’m fighting at heavyweight so I don’t have to worry about that. But I’ve made weight at 185 and 205 so when I cutting down it was miserable. I was eating literally nothing because that was the only way I could make weight. When I was cutting to 205 not having food was awful, but since I’ve moved to heavyweight it’s awesome, my training campsare easy. I can just focus on training and not have to worry about anything else. It’s fun and I enjoy it. Since I’ve gone to heavyweight I think my record speaks for itself.
Round 8 – Six out of your last seven wins have come by some form of knockout, what have you done to improve your striking?
My boxing coach has been someone I’ve added in who’s helped me out with improving my boxing. I do a lot of boxing sparring with pro boxers, but the biggest thing is when I was cutting weight I couldn’t eat calories, I couldn’t lift weights because if I lifted weights I would put on size. Now I don’t have to worry about that. Now I can lift weights and I’ve gotten alot stronger and obviously when you do weight cuts you see guys in the gym two weeks out who looks great and then cuts weight which makes them loses all their power. They lose all their strength. The power that I would have at 205 I would lose over the course of a camp from cutting out all the calories and losing all the weight, now I keep that. I can throw with power all day long.
Round 9 – Most 34 year olds aren’t throwing fists in a cage, how do you stay healthy and injury free?
It’s smart training. The biggest thing is I think a lot of guys start young, whether it’s jiu jitsu when they are kids coming over from Brazil, or they start as wrestlers and they just burn out. I started this sport when I was 24. That’s 10 years ago and I don’t think I have a lot of miles on me. I train smart and I don’t train like an idiot in between fights where I work on wrestler or jiu jitsu and I don’t spar as much. I think it’s just keep the miles low on my body.
Round 10 – Do you have any specific goals for this year?
This is it, I want to make it to the UFC or Bellator. I want to end my career on a big show that has always been the end goal.
Round 11 – You fought the who’s who of heavyweights in New England, how do you keep progressing in the New England area?
CES has opened a lot windows for New England being on AXS TV. If you look at the last card I was on, every single opponent for every single fight on the card had somebody flown in. So they are bringing a lot of guys in, so most of the guys I have fought they mostly are from out of state. So it’s not something I worry about, I beat all the guys locally but CES brings in the best guys from out of town. These are good big name fighters they bring in, and we are lucky to have that in our backyard.
Round 12 – Who do you have eyes on next for an opponent, and when do you think we will see you back in the cage?
I’m trying to fight March 31st for CES, I don’t really know against who, but I am hoping to get a spot on that main card.
That’s 12 rounds with CES heavyweight Greg Rebello