Trevor Prangley Interview

Mar 5, 2004
Trevor Prangley is facing Russian Andrei Semenov on March 13 at the Trum Taj Mahal in the main event of "Russia vs the USA".

Prangley, from Idaho and Bob Cook's Team AKA, last appeared against "Babalue" in the IFC heavyweight tournament. Since then, he has dropped to 185 lbs and is set to take on Semenov next weekend.

James Hirth: So you are originally from South Africa?

Trevor Prangley: Yes.

JH: How long were you there?

TP: 24 years, most of my life.

JH: Did you study martial arts there?

TP: No, I was wrestling.

JH: I know you placed 2nd in both the Men’s Advanced Super Heavy and Men’s Open divisions of the American Grappling Association /NMAA USA Championship.

TP: Yes I did but that was a small tournament.

JH: Are there any other wrestling accomplishments I may not be aware of?

TP: I was the runner up for the Junior College Nationals at North Idaho College. I was also a 2-time All American in junior college.

JH: I have your overall MMA record at 17-2. Is that accurate?

TP: Actually it is 22-2 overall. I am 6-1 as a pro.

JH: Where did most of the amateur bouts take place?

TP: In small shows in Idaho and Washington. I have fought in the Gladiator Challenge and in Frank Shamrock’s Bushido show. Most of the amateur bouts were just at smokers organized locally.

JH: So with an extensive wrestling base, when did you decide to expand on your skills?

TP: In 1998, after I finished college. I started training jiu-jitsu and some judo.

JH: Where did you train BJJ?

TP: In Idaho with Derek Cleveland. He’s my partner at our school as well as my coach and trainer in Idaho.

JH: How did you get involved with the Lion’s Den?

TP: I moved to Texas with a friend. I was there for a couple years.

JH: Is that Guy Mezger’s Lion’s Den?

TP: Yes, it is. That was when I started taking my training more seriously. And MMA was finally becoming a legitimate sport. I really enjoy the competitive aspects of the sport. While I was there I helped Ken Shamrock train for the Tito Ortiz fight. They have some great fighters and athletes there. Like Travis Lutter, he’s a great grappler and great to train with.

JH: What about Tre Telligman? Isn’t he part of the Texas branch of the Lion’s Den?

TP: Yes he is. I’ve trained with him and actually he’s one of the guys I get a long with best. We keep in touch. He was at all of my fights in Texas and he even flies out for most of my bouts now.

JH: You’re in California training with American Kickboxing Academy right?

TP: Yes I am. I’m finishing my last week here. I leave for New Jersey on Saturday.

JH: How did you get involved with AKA?

TP: Through Josh Thomson. We went to college and wrestled together in Idaho. We’ve remained friends and when I come to California I stay with him. AKA has some really great guys to grapple with like John Fitch. And naturally there are a bunch of good strikers too. Mike Kyle has been there lately, getting ready for his UFC bout. I don’t know everyone’s name because I’m not here that often but they are a great bunch of guys.

JH: I’m sure you’ve feeling more well-rounded after a visit there too.

TP: Absolutely. I get to work on everything here.

JH: What was it like competing in the IFC 8-man tournament against “Babalu” Sobral? Had you seen footage of him before?

TP: It was a great experience. I saw “Babalu” fight with Chuck Liddell but I don’t feel it was an accurate representation of his skills.

JH: I agree. He was incredible in the IFC tournament.

TP: Have you seen it?

JH: No. At this point, I believe very few people have.

TP: Yeah, I haven’t even seen it and I fought in it (laughs).

JH: They didn’t even give you a copy of your bout? Just to train from?

TP: No they didn’t. And I learned a lot from that fight. I really saw where my weaknesses lie.

JH: A lot of athletes feel that way. They learn so much more from a loss than from a victory.

TP: It’s true.

JH: I don’t know what happened with that event. At first there was supposed to be a PPV and that fizzled out. Then a DVD was supposed to come out shortly afterwards. Now it’s been 6 months and no one is talking about it. Was this event your first tournament experience?

TP: No, I fought and won a 4-man tournament in Monterey, Mexico. It was in an event called Ultimate Monterey.

JH: So what did you think of Sobral?

TP: He was great, really impressive. No disrespect to Sobral but I came in a little light that night, in fact that’s why I’ve dropped down to 185lbs. It will be my first fight at this weight in a number of years.

JH: I see. Sobral had been fighting as a heavyweight for a while and came down to fight at 205 lbs as a light heavyweight.

TP: He did awesome. He came to win and would not be denied that night.

JH: And beating Jeremy Horn in the final. What a night he had. Did you hear Jeremy is returning to the UFC in July?

TP: Yes, I heard that. I’m hoping to get into the UFC middleweight division with a win here.

JH: Well look out because I think Jeremy has found his weight class. I saw him fight here in Chicago last year and he looked great at 185 lbs. His striking was so sharp he looked like a Muay Thai fighter.

TP: I know. He stopped Forrest Griffin with a Thai kick at the IFC show.

JH: So you are fighting in the Russian Invasion show in Atlantic City. You were originally supposed to fight Arman Gambaryan but you were upgraded to fight Andrey Semenov. Have you seen either of those Red Devils in action?

TP: I didn’t see Gambaryan. He’s fought mostly in Russia. I have seen Semenov fight Ricardo Almeida in the UFC (in UFC 35 – JH).

JH: Is that all? No one showed you Semenov/Ivan Salaverry or the WVC bouts?

TP: No. I couldn’t find anyone one who had them in time. I know he fought Suloev (in the WVC 11 eight-man tournament).

JH: Yeah, that’s a good bout. But the Salaverry bout, although a loss, really showed the heart and determination Semenov has. And his submission defense was on display as well.

TP: I heard Ivan was just too big for him.

JH: I guess so. It was a great fight and Semenov was impressive in defeat. Well good luck with your bout at the Russian Invasion. If you win and it opens the doors you feel it will, I’d be happy to contact you before your next bout.

TP: Thank you. And please do contact me again.
<h2>Fight Finder</h2>