Can you see Ryan Zargari playing badminton? Not in a million years. In a school dominated by popular team sports, Senior Ryan Zargari refuses to follow suit. After attending a brutal military school in Florida, Zargari has taken an interest in an unusual and lesser known sport of cage fighting. Punches, kicks, and submissions are only small tastes of the true athleticism this dangerous sport demands.
Much like fighters in the grueling Ultimate Fighting Championship, Zargari has completely immersed himself in his fighting in order to succeed. Fighters in the legendary Cung Le’s gym, where Zargari trains, undergo the toughest physical training to prepare them for their fights. The Smoke Signal sat down with Zargari to talk about his cage fighting experiences.
Smoke Signal: How did you get into cage fighting?
Ryan Zargari: After military school, I started to get into it. My cousins were doing it so I tried it out and I fell in love with the sport. I’ve been training for about two years now.
SS: What is the training like? Would you say it compares to MSJ’s intense wrestling program?
RZ: Practices are for three and a half hours a day, five days a week. It can compare to wrestling in the sense that the practices are segmented. We go over everything: sparring, grappling, and then some time in the cage.
SS: How have you done in competitions so far in your career?
RZ: I am waiting for the next tournament right now actually. Usually you get to fight three opponents at each tournament and there aren’t really specific prizes. It is more about the satisfaction of winning. I think I did really well my last few tournaments. I took down and used a submission on one of my opponents, so I’m satisfied.
SS: What motivates you to keep fighting?
RZ: The adrenaline in the cage just fuels me. I let everything go and it keeps me pumped. It really is fun learning new moves and fighting people you’ve never met before. I fight people a lot bigger me. Some guys are in the 200-pound weight class, so you never know what you will get. There is always a challenge!
SS: What are your goals for your future in cage fighting?
RZ: I want to go pro one day. I want to teach people and train them in the sport.
Written by Matt Farberov
Mar 19, 2010 at 04:22 PM