I recently had the chance on my radio show (MMA Nation on 106.7 The Fan) to catch up with Pablo Garza, a featherweight who takes on Yves Jabouin at UFC 129 this weekend. Garza is an interesting character. He teaches muay Thai and kickboxing at the University of North Dakota, with mostly female students. He travels up to 90 minutes each way to training (when the weather doesn't interfere). And he nearly quit MMA almost a year ago. Yet, here he is on the fight card of the biggest UFC event ever.
In this interview, Garza and I talk about:
- How he got the name Scarecrow.
- Fighting in front of 55,000 people when the previous largest crowd he fought in front of was likely less than 5,000.
- Teaching kickboxing at the University of North Dakota: how he got the job, how the classes operate and why women mostly sign up for his class.
- How the harsh weather conditions in North Dakota and surrounding territories forge him. And how it's impacted his training.
- Characterizing Yves Jabouin and his dynamic, diverse striking.
- His early up and down run since being called up to fight in the WEC/UFC (he took a fight on 5 days notice to face Tie Quan Zhang).
Garza is obviously not a well-known MMA commodity, but given his aggressive, go-for-the-finish style with Jabouin's "throw the book at you" striking approach this bout has the makings of 'epic' written all over it. The fight airs for free on Facebook.