Tara LaRosa interview

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    chad m

    Post subject: Tara LaRosa interview from bout review PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 7:41 pm

    Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 11:16 am
    Posts: 325
    Location: Texas

    Tara LaRosa – ‘…..Maybe a Jiu-jitsu Mom?’
    If sharp wit, honesty and a great sense of humor are a
    reflection of a fighters ability in the ring, Roxanne
    Modafferi definitely has her work cut out in her
    upcoming battle against Tara LaRosa, who took time off
    from her very busy training schedule only days before
    this bout in MFC 6, Boardwalk Blitz in Atlantic City
    to answer some questions.

    BR: Why MMA, especially as a woman? How did you get
    involved in MMA?

    Tara LaRosa: Growing up I loved Chuck Norris, Steven
    Seagal, and Van Damme movies…and Roadhouse!,
    anything with fighting. I was enthralled with the idea
    of competing against somebody one on one, since I had
    always played team sports. I really wanted to get into
    some kind of training or martial arts as a kid, but
    the parents said no. Finally, after getting kicked out
    of basketball and the play, my senior year in high
    school I got into karate (’95-’96). At college, I got
    involved with their judo club and began competing… a
    lot (’96-’01). At a judo tourney in April ’01 I got to
    talking with these BJJ/MMA guys and they opened my
    eyes to what I had been missing out on.

    In September of that year I hooked up with Team Roc,
    and in November I had my first MMA fight. To me MMA is
    the most complete form of competition, and I am a very
    competitive person. That is the why and how. As for
    being a woman… I didn’t have much say in that.

    Tara already fought twice in Japan. In G-Shooto back
    in March 2005 and this Smack Girl fight against a
    popular pro-wrestler named Kumiko Maekawa.

    Photography by Yoshinori Ihara

    BR: Do you think of yourself as a grappler or a
    striker? Do you consider yourself a fighter or a
    competitive athlete?

    Tara LaRosa: I’m a grappler that has to play catch up
    on striking skills. I consider myself a competitive
    athlete. I was always the peacekeeper; I never got
    into fights or trouble.

    BR: Did you play any other sport before or after you
    began doing fight sports?

    Tara LaRosa: I played field hockey for 12 years, and
    played in college on a scholarship. I also played
    basketball and softball in middle and high school.

    BR: How often do you train now? How often do you train
    in your striking?

    Tara LaRosa: I don’t really train, I just watch the
    UFC. (Shhh, keep that on the DL)

    BR: As a professional MMA fighter, what would you like
    to achieve?

    Tara LaRosa: (Laughing) Fame and fortune.

    BR: You fight both gi and non-gi tournaments. Tell us
    the difference between the two.

    Tara LaRosa: For me the gi game is slower and
    technical, tedious almost. No gi is much more quick
    and explosive. Kind of like the difference between low
    limit and no limit Texas Hold ‘Em… no limit is so
    much more exciting.

    Tara was a runner-up of 2005 ADCC World Championships
    in the Absolute division.

    Photography by Dave MANDEL

    BR: Which one do you prefer?

    Tara LaRosa: No limit… I mean no gi. (Laughing)

    BR: Do you think MMA could ever become an Olympic

    Tara LaRosa: I don’t know… they already have several
    combat sports: wrestling, boxing, TKD, and ice hockey.
    Actually, I believe they were kicking around the idea
    of having Pancrase as an event back in 2004, but it
    didn’t fly.

    BR: If you got to do anything you wanted to promote
    the sport of MMA in this country, what would you do?

    Tara LaRosa: #1. Educate the lawmakers about the
    sport, in hopes of legalization.

    #2. Have in depth medical studies done to show the
    validity of the argument that MMA is safer than
    boxing. Compile death records from boxing, injury
    claims/ reports, and personal testimonies. Take the
    results and plaster the media with them. Have
    educational films and documentaries made, submit the
    findings to magazines, journals, periodicals, etc.

    #3. Form a national sanctioning body governing MMA.
    Unify the rules and standards.
    Education is key. People reject what they don’t
    understand. They build preconceived notions off of

    BR: Do you think, in the future, women’s MMA can be
    recognized in the same level as men’s MMA?

    Tara LaRosa: I’d love to give you a big optimistic
    ‘Miss America pageant’ answer here but….probably
    not, (examples: women’s basketball, women’s boxing).

    BR: What is your favorite thing to do beside MMA?

    Tara LaRosa: I enjoy sleeping, with eating as a close

    Tara (left) and Roxanne (right) are good friends. They
    both love the sport and that’s why they are stepping
    into the ring this weekend.

    Photo provided by Roxanne Modafferi

    BR: Regarding your next fight, what are your thoughts
    on Roxanne Modafferi?

    Tara LaRosa: Roxi is actually a good friend of mine,
    so I think it will be fun. We both love the sport and
    we’re both really competitive people, and neither of
    us wants to lose. She has an advantage over me she is
    acquiring new skills by training over there in
    Japan… skills and techniques I haven’t seen her use.
    I knew her old game, and that’s all I have to go on.
    Me… I’m training in the same place the same hours by
    the same people… only difference, training for a
    different opponent. I know she has seen all my tapes
    and she’s seen me fight a few times in person so she
    knows my demeanor… PLUS we rolled at the Last Woman
    Standing Tourney… so she knows what I can bring
    It’s gonna be one hell of a fight.

    BR: How long you think you are going to be fighting?

    Tara LaRosa: This answer changes as I get older. I
    guess I’ll continue until I settle down and start a
    family, I want to be a “soccer mom”…or maybe a
    jiu-jitsu mom? LOL.

    BR: What would you like to achieve in your pro MMA

    Tara LaRosa: Well, I accomplished my goal of fighting
    in Japan, that was my dream and it was so awesome and
    I am so grateful for being given those opportunities!
    I would like to fight in some other countries also.
    Then there is always the dream of fighting in the UFC,
    in my own country.

    BR: Which is your favorite kind of music? Band? Song?

    Tara LaRosa: In the gym, Linkin Park. In the car,
    country. In the shower, something I can dance to.

    BR: What is your favorite type of food?

    Tara LaRosa: I love ribs and seafood. I also cook
    Italian and Asian pretty well.

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