What’s good fight fans? Today I will be sitting down with Combate Americas featherweight Jose “Froggy” Estrada. Froggy will be making his first appearance at Combate’s at featherweight on September 15 after going 3-1 as a lightweight. Being a Combate fan favorite let’s have a seat with him and talk about his career, weight class change, and his upcoming fight.
Nick: What does it mean (for you) to be a fighter?
Froggy: It means a lot to me. I get the chance to represent myself and what I love to do. I represent my ethnicity, my last name, my family, and my country. I also get to represent all the hard work I put in. It is a one on one battle between me and another guy. Only one of us can leave with a win. The chance to represent everything puts the fire in me to fight harder.
Nick: At what age did you begin training in martial arts?
Froggy: I started off in high school in 2009 doing Pankration tournaments.
Nick: What was your amateur record? What made you decide to go to the professional level at that time?
Froggy: I was 6-0 as an amateur. I always wanted to be a pro. My coaches decided when they thought I was ready. I didn’t want to rush into it without my team. I turned pro at a young age but had a good amount of fights under my belt. I was working full-time construction while fighting as an amateur. I also did underground pipe work. Once I decided to go pro and take this sport full on I made fighting and training my only focus and job. Doing jobs that were very labor intensive and training gives me the ability to push even harder today.
Nick: What inspired you to pursue combat sports as a career?
Froggy: I was known in my hometown for football actually. I had division 1 and 2 letters for college. They wanted to me play. I was 5’6” tall and 240 pounds. I did play one year of college football but knew with that height and weight I didn’t really have too much of a chance in the big leagues. The year was up and I went back to the gym to train in the sport that I love and make it a career.
Nick: How long have you been with West Coast Jiu Jitsu MMA?
Froggy: I have been there for almost 10 years. It is and will always be my home gym.
Nick: What would you say your best attribute is as a fighter?
Froggy: My jiu jitsu game is at a top level. I like every aspect of the fight game from grappling to wrestling to boxing, and everything in between. My best attribute would have to be how well rounded I am. When September 15 comes the world will see a different Froggy than they have ever seen.
Nick: Your nickname is Froggy, who gave it to you and why?
span style=”font-weight: 400;”>Froggy: I got it in the fourth or fifth grade when I started playing football. I was the short chubby guy on the football team. I was also a kicker. Normally a kicker takes a certain amount of steps back and to the side before they get into their stride to kick. I did all that until the stride part. Rather than walk up, I would hop. The coaches would say “Hey Frog.” They said I looked like a bullfrog when I kicked being short, stocky, and having no neck. After that, the teachers started calling me Froggy and it has been that way ever since. Now everyone calls me that so it is a part of me. I love the name and it will continue to live on. I will never change it since it was given to me.
Nick: Why did you decide to make the switch and go down to featherweight?
Froggy: After my last fight I realized that my opponents are getting bigger and taller. I don’t want to get any bigger and a lot of my opponents look huge next to me. I have been fortunate to come out on top of those fights but I knew the switch would eventually come. I am now ready to fight people that are my size and be the bigger and faster fighter.
Nick: Was the weight cut from lightweight to featherweight difficult for you?
Froggy: Actually I was nervous about making the cut. I am lucky to have a great nutritionist Alex and she dialed me up with the right diet and told me what to eat. Before taking this fight and signing I did do a test cut to make sure it would work. I didn’t want to go cutting weight out of nowhere for the first time and possibly not be at 100%. I want to stay professional and making weight and putting on a good show is all part of that. I am only a few pounds away at the start of fight week and I feel great. I’m not hungry or thirsty and feel I am at my best. It has gone as good as I could have hoped for.
Nick: You will be facing a tough opponent in Izic Fernandez. While you are both great strikers your ground game is superior. Do you plan to stand and strike with him or can we expect a jiu jitsu display?
Froggy: I want to take this fight to wherever he wants to take it. If he wants to take me down he can bring it. If he wants to stand and bang he has to watch my hands and kicks. He is also at my height so I am excited. I get to throw punches that aren’t up or shoot very low. I respect every opponent that gets into the cage with me and it’s going to be a really good fight and the fans should enjoy this one.
Nick: Do you have a prediction for the fight?
Froggy: Everyone knows that I have heavy hands. My jiu jitsu and wrestling are also on point. I will finish this fight when the time is right and the opportunity presents itself. I want the world to see why Combate’s loves me so much. The best version of Froggy Estrada will show up in the cage for everyone to see on September 15. I feel great and am injury free. I will win this fight.
Nick: I know Eric “Ghost Pepper” Gonzalez has been asking for a fight with you recently. Would you consider going back up to lightweight to make that happen or would he have to come down to featherweight?
Froggy: I wouldn’t give him the pleasure of going back up. We have a little bit of bad blood that we need to settle but he has to come down to me. He has done a lot of trash talking and jumped in my face before. We are cool to be around each other but I don’t personally like the guy. If he wants to come down to meet me I would be happy to fight him.
Nick: Who is your favorite MMA fighter of all time?
Froggy: That is a difficult question to answer. My favorite fighter to watch is Canelo Alvarez. I’ve been watching boxing for a very long time and know a lot about the sport. He is fighting the day after I fight. I will win and he will win and we can make a big time fight.
Nick: Jose have you submitted to the takeover?
Froggy: This is Jose “Froggy” Estrada and I have submitted to the takeover.
Froggy would like to thank his friends, family, and fans. He is able to do what he loves with all of the support. Thank you to his training partners and coaches for making him the fighter he is today. Shout out to Combate America’s for giving him the platform to showcase his skills and Nick Portella and TheMMATakeOver.com for the opportunity to do this interview.
This was a very enjoyable interview for me. I have been fortunate enough to have met Froggy and see him fight. I wish him all the best in his upcoming fight at his new weight class. Be sure to check him out on all social media outlets for updates on everything he is doing in the fight game. Signing off for TheMMATakeOver.com this is Nick Portella. @NickPortellaMMA