Tony Leone Mixed Martial Arts Fighter
What attracted you to Muay Thai?
Mixed Martial Arts, I wrestled in high school and somewhere along the way got really hooked on MMA. So, at the time, I lived in a little single-wide trailer that had a little dirt floor boxing ring built in the back yard, in the woods. I used to have my friends, football teammates, wrestlers, and any feisty tough guys come over and we would throw some gloves on and fight for fun. I did pretty good, didn’t lose to anyone, so I thought maybe I should try it for real. I did some research in my area found a couple gyms; Boxing, MMA, Muay Thai. Tried them all out a few times. It wasn’t so much the Muay Thai that made me choose Stefan’s gym, more so him and his coaching style just meshed well with me. His no bull shit mentality and detail in coaching.
How would you describe your experience fighting in Shin Do Kumate?
I had a blast man, I’m a real people person, so I was networking trying to meet some people and just be myself. I felt like I was the main event with all the people that came out to support me. I think I was a little rusty with some of my technique. I hadn’t fought in over a year and injured myself about 6 weeks out. I wish I could of got a KO but I just wasn’t finishing my combos when I had him hurt. Just some rust and an iron-willed opponent I guess.
What was one of your favorite fights?
I didn’t watch any of the other fights to be honest. I was trying to thank my crowd and say hello to every single one of them (hard work), but I watched the main event and I thought it was a great fight. I thought it was very competitive back and forth, then the knee came and that was it. I was disappointed we didn’t get the win but hey that’s the fight game, we’ll be back stronger and better!
How long have you been training?
I started training right after high school, October of 09′, but I wasn’t very motivated. I’d train for a couple months and then disappear for a couple months. I followed that pattern pretty much till about 1 year ago.
What is your favorite part about training?
Nothing! Hahaha man I have to say I’m not a fan. I hate training, but you know what I hate more? Losing! So I train harder for every fight, because losing sucks. Any loss I’ve had has been a split decision besides one fight. Those SD’s are hard to swallow, because when you’re that close and come up short you know you’re in your head thinking, “Man, I could of did more of this or that in training.”
What is the hardest part about training for a fight?
Avoiding injury. Its a tough sport, a lot of things can happen. I was so beat up for this fight and it was crazy because we trained very safe. It was just a couple freak things that happened, that had me in a bad spot a few times. But like I said, it had been over a year since I last fought there was no way I was going to pull out of the fight.
What are your goals?
My GOAL is to have a successful career. I wanna live comfortably off of fighting. It’s hard to do, but I work hard at it, so I know it’s possible. And of course I want to be champion, but that comes with success if you ask me. If I put everything I have into this, I believe it’s only a matter of time and I will be a champion.
What inspires you?
A lot of things inspire me. I’d say number one is failure though. Like I said before, all my losses have been very close, and the guys that beat me are doing very well for themselves. So I know I’m right there, I just need to put together the right formula to maximize my training and I’m telling you the sky is the limit. Those failures inspire me to work harder because success it right at my fingertips.
How has Muay Thai changed your life for the better?
Its helped me prioritize my life. It has shown what really matters and me who my real friends are. Being a fighter is a selfish lifestyle. It takes a lot of discipline and sacrifice. So you piss some people off when you can’t go out with them or do this party or this thing, because you train everyday and don’t have time for that stuff. It really helped me cut the cancer out of my life, so I appreciate that. Thank you Muay Thai.
What is a fun fact about yourself?
Tony Leone is a huge comic book nerd. I love superheroes. DC, MARVEL, independent pretty much anything like that. I probably DVR every series out there and watch every movie that has came out and nerd out when I see the new trailers for upcoming stuff!