Titan FC fighter EJ “pretty Boy” Brooks by David Taylor

Titan FC fighter EJ “pretty Boy” Brooks by David Taylor

David: How did you got into MMA?

EJ: A guy that’s been like a big brother to me since College “Tyron Woodley (UFC Welterweight)” suggested that I do it. I was leaving College at 23 and my Wrestling Career was done. He told me I was too young to be done competing. I definitely agreed, but I also didn’t wanna wrestle anymore. MMA was the perfect landing spot. I was soon introduced to Mike Rogers, Bryan Guidry, & Rodrigo Vaghi… The rest is history

David: What are your goals?

EJ: My Goals are pretty simple. To compete at the best of my ability and for as long as I can while making good money. As long as my God given talent allows me to fight at a high level, I will do so. The day I feel like I need help to perform because my natural ability is starting to decline, I’ll probably be done

David: What has been the biggest fight so far of your career?

EJ: To this day it is still my Pro Debut in Atlanta for Sport Fight X… It was a televised fight and I was clearly brought in to lose to the home town guy… I was rocked 3 times in the first round and lost that round 10-8… But through heart, determination, previous hard training, & great coaching from my Corner man Mike Rogers. I stormed back to win the fight by getting two 10-8 rounds in the 2nd and 3rd. The fight was voted fight of the night and I got a standing ovation from his home town

 

David: How did you got the nickname “The Pretty Boy”?

EJ: Ha ha, it’s actually a funny story. My Teammates at Saint Charles MMA had a rule that you can’t come up with your own nickname. The team had to give it to you. Well, whenever I would get a scratch on my face or a bruise, I would freak out. So they started jokingly calling me a pre-Madonna and a Pretty boy. At my 3rd amateur the announcer asked what my walk out name was. I tokd him I didn’t have one. The guy said “how have you had 2 fights and no nickname already? Are you even a real fighter?” and then my coach jokingly said “He isn’t a real fighter. He just a little Pretty Boy”… And BOOOM!!! There it was… My Coach goes, “Yep, that’s his Nickname… THE PRETTY BOY”… it started out as a joke but I definitely lived up to it

David: Who are your sponsors?

EJ: Sponsors are pretty random… But I am supported by these companies TITLE BOXING, GLORY, Saint Charles MMA/Team Vaghi, and American Top Team

David: Do you ever see MMA being legal in NY?

EJ: Not sure… I feel like the east coast is lead by boxing and they don’t really wanna break tradition. I think MMA threatens the culture of boxing on the east coast

David: What do you want your legacy to be?

 

EJ: Um, I want it to be great… Plan and simple!!!

David: How was it to fight for Bellator and now Titan FC?

EJ: I had a great experience while fighting for Bellator. It was a lot of fun and I’m sure I’ll probably fight for them again sometime in the near future… Titan FC is my home right now and I’m pretty happy where I am… It’s a great organization and the big man Jeff Aronson has always be supportive of me. So, I feel like I’m in a great situation being under contract with them

David: What would you be doing if MMA wasn’t around?

EJ: Honestly, I would probably still be wrestling, playing in soccer, Basketball, Baseball or even Football leagues… I did all those sports in high school. There is no way I wouldn’t be active still

David: What tips would you tell the up and comers?

EJ: Get it and make as much money as you can… Try your best to trust the right people… Do it right and do it clean, but at the end of the day…JUST HAVE FUN AND LOVE WHAT YOU DO

Rising MMA star Damien “The Hammer” Hamlin by David Taylor0

Rising MMA star Damien “The Hammer” Hamlin by David Taylor

David: How did you got into MMA?

 

Damien: I got into MMA when I was about 18 there was a show in my home town and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity

David: How did you got the nickname “the hammer”?

Damien: I got my nick name from my buddy we were going to train and he said jokingly you should go by Damien “The Hammer” Hamlin I liked it so I went with it.

David: Who are your MMA/fighting idols?

 

Damien: My favorite MNA fighter is Chuck Liddell I love his fighting style the reverse wrestling he keeps it standing.

David: What are your goals?

 

Damien: become the best fight I can be

David: Who are your sponsors?

Damien: My sponsors are team ur fight and Chad Shannon from state farm.

David: What other sports have you done?

Damien: I have done almost every sport to think of I’ve played baseball, basketball, track and field, boxing, football, roller skating, and skateboarding, I’ve always been active.

David: What would you be doing if MMA hasn’t been around?

Damien: I’d probably still be in the boxing ring.

David: Who all have you fought for?

Damien: I’ve fought for Hard Rock MMA, Cage Combat, Worrier FC, Apex, and Valor Fights promotions.

David: What do you want your legacy to say about you?

Damien: I want my legacy to tell people if you work hard and put everything you have in your whole body you can do anything you ever wanted.

David: What would you tell up and comers?

Damien: I’d tell the new comers not to ever give up win lose or draw keeping working hard you’ll see the results you’re looking for.

Get to know Andre Monroe & who he is off the field, interviewed by Monté Gaddis12

Get to know Andre Monroe & who he is off the field, interviewed by Monté Gaddis

Monte Gaddis: Who is Andre Monroe?

Andre Monroe: I am a God fearing man. I am a football player. I am a student of life. A brother. A son. A great friend and a person of great passion in whatever he does. I cannot completely answer who I am because I am still finding out everyday. One thing that is certain is that I put 100% into everything I love and always have visions and love and laugh every chance that I get.

Monte Gaddis: What does football mean to you?

Andre Monroe: Football began as my everything and was the only thing. I took an injury that almost took the game away from me is when I realized that football is a major part of my life but there is room for other aspects of my life to shine. Football is a way of therapy for me as a way to take all of the negativity I experience and let it go on the field. Football is also an opportunity to meet people of all different walks in life with different views and traditions for me to experience and exchange. Football also taught me to have goals, reach them and to work with others towards a common goal!

Monte Gaddis: Tell me about growing up in your city, Maryland?

 

Andre Monroe: I grew up in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Depending on which part of the county you live in, the circumstances are different. Where I grew up is a predominately black area. I often found myself going to school outside of my neighborhood ultimately going to high school in Washington D.C. Like many other cities there are ways to get into negative or positive things.

The negativity has always been around in my life but my faith and strong family support kept me from going that route and staying on track to better myself. I was also no stranger to public transportation and got very familiar with it when my grandmother used to tech my brothers and me how to use the system. In short where I grew up is similar to may places in our country, where there is positivity and negativity, latest fashion trends, children with ambitions and families trying to make it, all while trying to make it in this maze of life.

Monte Gaddis: What did you learn with your time with the Saskatchewan Roughriders? And are you prepared to play in Toronto with the Argonauts ?

Andre Monroe: When I was with the Saskatchewan Roughriders I learned how to be a professional employee. It was not like college where things were mandatory and they held your hand. This was no longer a game at this point. This was my job and they expect you to treat it in such a way. This means doing what you have to do to be able to perform, even if that men sleeping in the facility to be where I needed to be on time ore waking up hours in advance to catch a cab and avoid or plan for unforeseen events to keep me from being on time (A professional). I also learned what people meant when they said, “This is a business”. It seemed like every week people were in and out making me realize that this might be the unstable job that anyone could have, but the love and passion I have for the game made me do what I needed to do to keep my dream alive. I am more prepared than I will ever be to play in Toronto with the Argonauts.

Monte Gaddis: What are you best attributes on the field ?

Andre Monroe: Speed, Instincts, Aggression, Hands, Adaptability, Football I.Q. and playing with a chip on my shoulder with heart are my best attributes on the field.

Monte Gaddis: Other than football, what else do your spend time doing?

 

Andre Monroe: I spend my time outside of football, doing several things. One of them is just spending time with my family and friends because family and friends are one of my highest values in my life because without them I am nothing. I also spend my time making music and coaching football and spreading knowledge to those that ask for my input. I love video games and I do spend time playing video games to entertain my imagination as well. Other than that I’m just a regular guy that likes to relax and chill with his people!image1(4)

 

Monte Gaddis: Who are some up incoming athletes the world should keep an eye on?

 

Andre Monroe: A couple of athletes that the world should keep an eye on are my brother Ayron Monroe at Penn State, Kevin Molstvy at Loch Raven High School and Yannick Ngakoue, just graduated from the University of Maryland and is the current All-Time season sack leader. There are many more but this is to name a few!

 

Monte Gaddis: Give a few tips to the athletes following in your steps?

 

Andre Monroe: A couple of things I would tell athletes following in my steps is to keep your faith and have that as your foundation. Do what you love because if you really love something you will always give 100% and you will be happy! Learn from everything, the hardest falls are where you learn the most from. Watch the company you keep because the things you associate with became part of you to those who watch you even though you might not be the person directly doing it. When things get rough you will be stronger for it once you make it through that trial. Only mess with those who support you and have your best interest and follow your heart it will not steer you wrong.

 

Monte Gaddis: Tell me about your time at the University of Maryland on and off the field?

 

Andre Monroe: My time on the field at the University of Maryland is where I saw the most development as a player. I learned many techniques but I also learned that I had to use the techniques that complemented my game the most and not just doing them for the sake of it. I made many life long friends with my teammates. I also learned how important communication was to excel as a team. I was a D.A.W.G. on the field. I had and still have no fear of anyone when I stepped on the field. Everyone was on my bad side and I made sure my opponents knew that. I was also a team player doing what the defense asked of me and doing extra to allow others to make plays on the field asked of me. Playing at Maryland was one of the best times of my life and I ended my career graduating and becoming Maryland’s all-time career sack leader!

 

Monte Gaddis: Final Words and Shoutouts?

 

Andre Monroe: My only final words I have is “Stay true to who you are, and peace and love”! Shout out to all the underdogs out here and to those that have something they love and do all they can for that!