One-on-one with Sparta Combat League Champ Darien Robinson

Sparta Combat League hosted SCL: Wyoming 3 which took place on Saturday, September 19, 2020, at the Outlaw Saloon in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Darien Robinson became the new 160lb Sparta Champion when he defeated Joey Garcia by unanimous decision. His amateur MMA Record is 5-3-0 and currently fighting out of Colorado training at Cies MMA with Head Coach Mike Ciesnolevicz and his other coach Barb Cuellar. FightBook MMA CEO, Roberto Villa had the honor to talk to the Champ and you can check out the conversation below.

Darien thank you for taking the time to talk to me. I know you’re a busy man. Tell the fans when and why you started training MMA? “I started training in September of 2018 after graduating high school. I grew up playing sports and I wanted to stay active and after watching the McGregor vs Mayweather boxing match. I decided that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. And after three months of training I had my first MMA fight and won by a 2nd round TKO.”

Wow that’s awesome only 3 months in and you had your first fight. So what adjustments did you have to do during your training for this fight during this pandemic? “I had to hold myself accountable for staying in shape so I would run everyday to stay in shape and do home workouts which is not what I’m use to. I’m used to working out with the team and competing.”

How does it feel being the new 160lbs Sparta Champion? “Honestly, I don’t feel any different being a champion. After winning the belt I took it with me everywhere I went for the following week so I could sick of looking at it. I didn’t want the belt to go to my head so carrying it with me made me get over it a lot quicker. I want more belts that’s what is going to help my team and help me help my family.”

Any news on how soon you will be defending this title? “I’m not sure about when I’ll defend the belt but I will be fighting for the 170 lb belt in Montana on December 5th and I’m extremely pumped for the fight.”

Right on. Darien you’re 5-3 as an Ammy, how soon do you think you will turn Pro? “I’ve been talking with my coach and we are possibly looking at going pro next year!! I just want one more belt before I make the transition.”

Well that’s just right around the corner. I’m sure you have a HUGE support system in this crazy sport of fighting. “The support of my family and teammates has been unreal, and now that I’m getting my name out there its pretty cool seeing my fanbase grow especially after I’ve been fighting out of state seeing people wear my merch is an amazing feeling and shows all my hard work is paying off.”

What ranks, titles and metals have you held or hold? “Since starting this journey I have competed in 3 BJJ tournaments and I’ve won 4 gold and 2 silver medals, and after a year of training I had earned my blue belt and fought 6 times. Other sports I’ve earned trophies in was football from my younger days. And after 3 years and 2 previous title losses, I knew if I didn’t win this belt then I was going to have to go on a big win streak to get another title shot. I’ve lost a MMA and a Boxing championship fight and those made me feel like a failure and that is something that doesn’t sit well with me at all.”

Well you’re going to need a bigger trophy case soon. Do you have any heroes? “Growing up I always looked for an idol to try to be, and it didn’t matter what sport I played if it was football it was Champ Bailey. Basketball it was either Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, or Kobe Bryant. Volleyball was Karch Karai, MMA was always and always will be GSP and Anderson Silva. So, no matter what sport I did I always had someone to look up to.”

They are definitely some high level athletes you look up to Darien. Any hidden talents? “I don’t think I have any hidden talents but growing up I noticed that any sport that I play I do exceptionally well at it. And that’s why I’ve always loved sports. I’m kind of a bit of a gamer, I’m not good at all but I enjoy playing them. I also have enjoyed drawing since I was a kid as well.”

How would your closest friends describe you? “If you ask any of my friends they would describe me as one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, but as soon as I start to compete I’m one of the most competitive people you’ll ever meet. I have moments where I’m kind of funny but that doesn’t happen a lot.”

I know a lot of fighter’s dream is to fight for the UFC, what would it mean for you to fight for them? “It would mean the world not only to me but to my gym, the lineage that we have has fought in the UFC before my coach Mike Ciesnolevicz has fought for the company, and his coach Pat Miletich was the first welterweight champion of the company. so I have the blueprint on how to get there it just depends on how bad I want it, and I can tell you right now I don’t want it I need to make it so I can help my family and put my team and gym on the map.”

Specific accomplishments in amateur competition? “One of my accomplishments that I’m still looking for is my first submission in a MMA fight, I’ve won in every possible way except submission. That is the last thing on my list and I have a feeling I’m finally going to get it on December 5th. Before that I was needing a belt to add to my collection and now that I have that checked off I can focus on getting that submission.”

Where would you like to be one year from today? “In a year I want to be competing for the LFA or another company of that magnitude, somewhere that is a feeder to the big shows and that can further my career.”

LFA is definitely the route to take. Whats your favorite grappling technique and favorite striking technique. “If you ask anyone at my gym what my favorite technique is they are going to say heel hooks. I live learning heel hooks mainly because my coach is one of the best them. And my favorite striking techniques are leg kicks and liver shots, if you can paralyze someone in the middle of a fight they just become target practice.”

Darien, thank you so much for the opportunity to be able to talk to you today. Any sponsors or anyone you want to shout out? Also let everyone know where they can find you on social media. “Yes, shoutout to my first ever and only sponsor Babes Espresso. Fans can find me on Instagram at 15dueces24, Facebook at Darien Robinson, Snapchat at nwa1524 and Twitter at darienrobinson3.

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