Interview With MMA Fighter Joe "The Show" Camacho Interviewed by Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com - April 2008
744 Deadlift for an American record 4-28-07 WV State Championships
CRITICAL BENCH: Critical Bench is here with professional full contact fighter, Joe "The Show" Camacho! Joe, give the Critical Bench readers some quick background information!
Joe Camacho: I'm Joe "The Show" Camacho, I'm 26 years old and I'm fighting out of AMA Fight Club in Whippany, NJ. I have an amateur record of 3-0 and a pro record of 2-2 at 155 lbs. I plan on dropping to 145 lbs. and making a whole lot of noise in that weight class.
CRITICAL BENCH: Joe, when did you get started in the MMA? Were you always athletic?
Joe Camacho: I started training MMA about a year and half ago. I've always been very competitive and was a three-sport athlete pretty much all my life (football, baseball, and wrestling). I was very successful in all three sports but became very accomplished and decorated in wrestling. I love one on one combat. If you win, you take all the credit and if you lose, there is no one to blame but yourself. So I make it a point to win and be the best. Wrestling is pretty much a dead-end sport so after my wrestling career at East Stroudsburg University was over, I found MMA.
CRITICAL BENCH: Tell us about your fighting background before you were a pro MMA fighter!
Joe Camacho: Before being a pro MMA fighter, my fighting was limited to drunken college brawls. I always seemed to come out on top regardless of how many people were involved in the fight. Along with wrestling, fighting was something I was just good at.
CRITICAL BENCH: As a fighter, what do you think about before you're in a huge fight and during a fight? Do you have a fighting philosophy that works for you?
Joe Camacho: Before a fight, I'm extremely focused. I try to visualize what I want to do before it happens and I always have a back up plan in mind just in case what I plan to do doesn't work out the way I want to. In regards to fighting, I live by quote, "Conquer your fear, and you will conquer death". Yea, I bit that off the movie "Alexander" but that's some real stuff. If you're afraid to get hit, you won't focus on your own striking, you won't be effective, and you won't win. If you're afraid to get taken down to your back, your hands will drop and you're opening yourself up to get knocked out. If you're afraid of getting submitted, you'll be a little too cautious on the ground, you won't attack and push the pace, and this will give your opponent the opportunity to set something up. And if you're afraid to lose, you won't go all out and do whatever it takes to win. You won't give yourself the best opportunity to win. If you can conquer your fears, everything else after that is gravy!
CRITICAL BENCH: That is some good stuff! Joe, do you have any sick stories about destroying someone in a fight?
Joe Camacho: My last fight was in New Orleans for B.E.T.'s Iron Ring Finale. I can't talk much about the fight because it's being televised right now and I'm under contract. But all I can say is, I heard not one, not two, but three pops before it was all said and done.
CRITICAL BENCH: haha, that's sick! So far in a fight, what has been your most powerful moment?
Joe Camacho: I think my most powerful moment in a fight was my first pro fight. I hit a nasty fireman's dump on my opponent and threw him to his back. I ended up in his guard and just rained down elbows to his head. The referee stopped the fight in a little over a minute of the 1st round because you could pretty much see his skull after I was done with him.
CRITICAL BENCH: Wow, sounds like a "you have to see this moment!" Joe, have there been any moments in your fighting career that have really changed you? What moment has changed you the most?
Joe Camacho: A moment that changed me the most was when I dropped my 2nd and 3rd fight. I was beating both guys up pretty good. My striking was crisp, my wrestling was excellent, but my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu wasn't what it should've been. That part of my game was exposed. Wrestling all my life I was taught to belly down and regroup. Not in MMA. You do that and you get choked out. I learned the hard way. I lost to two guys who I know I'm better than and was beating at the time. If I were to fight them today, God help them. I needed to step up that part of my game to be a complete fighter and that's when I signed with AMA Fight Club/Renzo Gracie in Whippany, NJ. Training with the Miller Brothers, Jamie Cruz who is a black belt under Renzo, my manager Mike Constantino and all the other guys there have really put my game together. My most emotional and favorite moment was fighting in New Orleans for the Iron Ring. First fight of 2008 and my newly retuned BJJ came into effect in a big way.
CRITICAL BENCH: Joe, overall would you say your essence is mostly good or evil? What %? How would you describe yourself?
Joe Camacho: I think I'm a very nice and respectful guy. I'd go as far as saying I'm 100% good. I mean, after I beat someone's butt, I always help them up and shake their hand. That has to count for something
CRITICAL BENCH: Definitely. It's amazing the respect top notch fighters have for each other after they go through hell like that. It's something most people don't understand, it's something that the few who do understand aren't tough enough to do, and for the ones who do, all I can say is.. AMAZING! Joe, A lot of people would like to be more hardcore and gutsy like you. What is your advice for the sissies of the world and how to make fearful people brave?
Joe Camacho: People today can be fearful. Some might even be seen as sissies. My advice to them or anyone else is to be yourself and be confident. People may call me cocky but it's not being cocky, it's being confident. Just hold your head up and be proud of who you are. And if you're going to talk smack like I do from time to time, please, at least have some kind of fighting experience. I don't want to be the reason for you getting beat up.
CRITICAL BENCH: Good advice! Tell us about some of the things you have done in fighting that you are proud of?
Joe Camacho: I think losing a couple of fights and knowing what that felt like was the best thing that has ever happened to me. The one thing I'm proud of is how I came back and responded after losing. I didn't tuck my tail in between my legs and quit. I realized what I had to work on, stayed focused, got better, and I'm moving in the right direction. I was able to overcome a pretty tough time in my life with this sport and that's what I'm most proud of.
CRITICAL BENCH: Sounds like you are immortalizing psychologically as a fighter and a man in all ways! Joe, tell us about your workout routine, diet, and supplements? How do you train to be a fighter?
Joe Camacho: I have a full time job other than fighting so training is a little tough. Hey, to be the best you have to sacrifice a little.
On days I'm not working, I work out 2-3 times a day. Depending on how close I am to a fight, my morning workouts will consist of power lifting or lifting for muscular endurance. When I train for muscular endurance, I have and active rest period where I jump rope in between each set and get 100 turns in 30 seconds.
My second workout of the day is in the afternoon and that my cardio workout. Primarily running (long distance, sprint workouts, whatever I'm up for). And the night workout is either BJJ, Muay Thai, or Full MMA. On days that I work, I train only once a day and I make sure I train a different discipline each night throughout the week. And I usually train 5-6 days a week. As far as supplements go, I'm always looking for a good one. I've tried the Anabolic Muscle Protein Shake, Omnivol, Novadex, Super Pump 250, the list goes on and on. I'll try just about anything short of being illegal (because we do get tested) that's going to help with my performance. If you guys know of anything that might help, I'm open to the suggestion.
CRITICAL BENCH: Critical Bench readers, send Joe an email, he knows his stuff! Joe, what are the best and worst things about being a fighter?
Joe Camacho: The best thing about being a fighter is winning. I'm a born competitor, I love to win and I love to be successful. Beating the hell out of someone legally, getting paid for it, and being number #1 is what it's about. Losing sucks, but other than that, I haven't found any negatives of being a fighter.
CRITICAL BENCH: What is the best advice you were ever told and what was the worst?
Joe Camacho: I haven't really been given bad advice by anyone. And I there isn't really one single piece of good advice that stands out to me. The guys I train with now and the guys that coach me are phenomenal and they all give great advice in their own way.
CRITICAL BENCH: What injuries have you had to experience before and what adversities have you had to overcome? How did you make it through them and what is your advice for anyone going through a physical or emotional traumatic event right now?
Joe Camacho: I wouldn't even know where to begin with the injuries I've had. I've had fractures, torn ligaments, hyper-extended knees and elbows, stitches, bumps, bruises, lacerations, pretty much everything short of an amputation. A lot of getting through it is mental. I believe as long as you stay positive, determined, and have the will power to continue moving forward regardless of whatever obstacles are in your way, you can beat anything. One thing, don't be afraid to ask for help along the way. Some situations are worse than others and you might need that extra boost or positive vibe from someone else to feed off of.
CRITICAL BENCH: You're badass and you love fighting despite it all, that's awesome and true passion! Joe, what are your future goals?
Joe Camacho: I have a couple of future goals in mind.
1.I want fighting be my one and only job/career.
2.I want to open up my own training facility.
3.i want to teach, coach, and manage other fighters.
CRITICAL BENCH: What are your five favorite weapons when it comes to fighting?
Joe Camacho: My five favorite weapons when it comes to fighting are: my wrestling, throwing elbows, knees, ground and pound, and any type of lower body submission (knee bars, ankle locks, toe holds).
CRITICAL BENCH: How do you see the future of MMA?
Joe Camacho: Some critics think that MMA is a fad and will die out. I think MMA is here to stay. It is the fastest growing sport in the world and it will continue to grow. Boxing has been around for the longest time and it is boring as hell. To me, boxing is like that old school toy "Rock'em Sock'em Robots". You got the blue robot and the red robot and they try to connect with a punch and the head pops up when one robot eventually lands a shot to the jaw. That's what boxing is to me. It's a slow dance, a tea party. MMA is a sport for real athletes and we are the true warriors of our time. I'd love to step in the ring with any big time boxer, Floyd Mayweather in particular, and prove it to them. Floyd has talked a lot of smack about MMA and has the nerve to say that MMA owes boxing for its success and boxing is a tougher sport than MMA. Dream on bro, I'd love to see how flashy you are and how hard you punch when you get slammed on your head and I'm feeding you elbows and turning your face into mush. MMA is here to Stay!
CRITICAL BENCH: What do you like doing away from fighting?
Joe Camacho: Away from fighting and training, I like to chill with my fiancée and our dog. I like to travel, fish, and basically just try to lead a very relaxed life.
CRITICAL BENCH: Do you have any sponsors? Tell us about them!
Joe Camacho: I've had sponsors such as Death Wish Fight Gear and Full Contact Fighter. They've been the major sponsors I've had so far but if anyone is looking to sponsor a high energy, very entertaining, and exceptionally good-looking young man that is a winner, I'm your man. Well, all that's true except the good-looking part.
CRITICAL BENCH: Tell us about Adrenaline Gear?
Joe Camacho: Adrenaline Gear is a great company with a lot of hot items. My man Rob Munro runs it and is doing one hell of a job over there. Google that website and you'll see what I'm talking about. Keep it up brother.
CRITICAL BENCH: What does your family think about you fighting?
Joe Camacho: My family was a little sketchy at first. The more I fight, the more they get used to it, the more they're accepting it, and the more they're supporting me with it.
CRITICAL BENCH: What is your advice for someone who would like to be a fighter?
Joe Camacho: My advice for anyone that would like to be a fighter is if you're not 150% dedicated, disciplined, and willing to do whatever it takes to be the best, don't even get involved. This is a real man's sport and it's not to be taken lightly. You want to half-ass it and slow-jam, take up boxing as a hobby. And if you can't deal with the real pain of getting punched with real fight gloves (4 oz.), elbows, knees and every time your training BJJ you tap the moment you're in a submission and don't have the heart to try and attempt to fight out of it (believe it or not, there are people that do that) this is not for you.
CRITICAL BENCH: Joe, it's been an honor interviewing you today!! Keep on destroying your opponents and we at Critical Bench wish you the best with everything. In closing is there anyone who you would like to thank?
Joe Camacho: In closing, I want to thank my crew at AMA Fight Club/Renzo Gracie: Manager Mike Constantino, Jamie Cruz, John "Birdman" Finn, Jimmy and Dan Miller, Tim Troxell, John Helwig, Chris Volo, Big Rich, Nick "The Quick", Dr. Tom, Mark Castellano, Steve Carro, and everyone else at AMA. WWW.AMAFightClub.Com, check it out. I also want to thank Rob Munro from Adrenaline Gear for putting my name out there and hooking me up with this interview. And last, I'd like to thank Critical Bench for giving me this opportunity to do my thing here. Hope you guys liked it and I hope you have more for me in the future. And any sponsors out there, remember what I said…check out the AMA website and my manager, Mike, and I are a phone call or e-mail away.