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Friday Night Fights Pre-Fight Interview: Josh Sampo

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By Sandy Hackenmueller

What is a gremlin, if not a mischievous troublemaker?  Fighter Josh “The Gremlin” Sampo is ready to show you…it’s a disciplined beast who is ready for action.

A graduate school student pursuing a Master’s degree in teaching, Sampo’s history is as a wrestler and MMA fighter. When asked by his stand-up coach if he was interested in trying Muay Thai, he said yes. Already a professional MMA fighter, Sampo entered Muay Thai as a professional too. He currently trains with Art of Eight Muay Thai and St. Charles MMA/Team Vaghi Jiu Jitsu in Missouri.

This Friday night, Sampo will be facing Ognjen Topic of New Jersey as the co-main event. Sampo told FNF reporter Sandy Hackenmueller that fans should be ready to see an all-out, five-round war.

Tell us, what makes you stand out from other fighters in your class?
I’m not a Muay Thai fighter. I bring a different style to the fight; a faster-pace type fight.

Is there something you do before every fight, any rituals?
I say a prayer.

How did you get the nickname “The Gremlin?”
My team came up with that because of the way I do Jiu Jitsu…and my big ears (laughing).

In training, have you been doing anything differently this time around?
Every opponent has things you key in and plan around, so yes and no. I’m just ready to get in the ring and fight.

When it comes to training, how do you learn and grow from previous bouts?
Work on the areas that need work, and try to be able to throw non-stop punches and kicks.

What has been your best fight performance in the ring?
The best would have to be when I KO’d an opponent after he said he was going to submit me in the first. I don’t like trash talkers!

Who is your inspiration in the fight world?
In Muay Thai I really like Ramon Dekkers’ style and aggressive fighting. In MMA it would have to be Urijah Faber. Even when he broke his hand, he still fought for another 20 minutes. That’s heart…I really look up to that guy.

Don’t miss the fight on March 9, 2012, at the Broad Street Ballroom (41 Broad Street, New York, NY). Doors open at 7:30 pm. Be there!

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