Las Cruces, New Mexico – American Fight League will host Southwest Brawl 8 at the Las Cruces Convention Center on Saturday, June 30 at 6 p.m. for local mixed martial arts (MMA) fans.
The AFL has a new operation called, “Fight for a Cause,” and they will continue to work with Team Mia to help support the Ojeda family as their daughter Mia Ojeda continues her battle with cancer. AFL has also partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters Mountain Region for the event. To read more about this cause you can go here.
Steven Ortega steps in the cage after a four-year layoff and he will face Danny Grado at SWB8. But before they meet in the center of the cage Steven sat down and talked to FightBookMMA.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m 30 years old, have done some form of combat sport since I was just a little dude. I started fighting after high school to keep myself active and have a way to relieve stress without getting in trouble. I’ve been in the game for a while now and it’s been pretty cool to see fighters evolve over the years.
Your last fight was at King of the Cage and you defeated Terrin Yazzie back in 2014. Can you talk to us about why the 4 year layoff?
Well it was never intended to be a four year layoff, but life just got the better part of me and being a dad and provider took me away from training as frequently. Which I don’t mind because my kids are my life but as they get older they require more time with their sports and activities and since I’m no big time UFC fighter where I’m supporting them through that I took a step back from training to focus more on their activities.
Steve I know what you mean and I respect that. Like I always say family first. What made you decide to come back and fight in the cage?
I’ve had some time to train and I’ve had the itch to get back in after going to show after show and watching fights. I just told myself that if the opportunity arose that I’d take it and knock the rust off and experience some of the old highs of hearing the crowd and just banging with the man across from me till one comes out the winner.
That’s awesome! You’re fighting Danny this Friday do you know much about him?
I don’t know much about him, I’ve seen one fight of his but that’s about it. Nonetheless I don’t ever underestimate opponents or take them lightly just because I haven’t seen much of their fights or heard their name frequently. I’m sure he’ll bring his A-game and that’s what we are in the sport to do.
Hows your training been?
Training has been good. I’ve learned that my body doesn’t recover as quickly (laughs) but that’s expected. It’s been fun and I’m anxious to get to the real deal.
Steve you’re telling me. Any added pressure being that your fighting at home?
There is a little but at the same time it’s comforting. I enjoy being able to fight and put a show on in front of the hometown crowd, makes the rush more intense and I live off the crowds energy.
What can the fans your family and friends expect to see in this fight?
They can expect to see me give everything I’ve got out there to come out with a Win. Should be a great fight with explosive energy from both of us.
Any words you want to tell Danny before you meet in the cage?
I’ve never been the type to trash talk an opponent unless they’ve started on me first so for now I’d just say good luck brotha and let’s make it a good one for the fans that come to support us!
Steven its been a pleasure talking to you again, lets catch up after this fight at Southwest Brawl 8 or before your next fight.
Thank you! It’s been great!
Are there any sponsors or anyone you want to shout out the floor is yours?
My family of course for always supporting me and pushing me to train hard. Longtime sponsor and friend Dr. Gene Gabaldon, Everyone at LB Fitness for pushing me and supporting me and of course the man behind LB Fitness Levi Benitez for taking time to train me and also push me to go farther!