MMA is becoming a revolving door of talent and you may only get one shot to make it. Then if you do, your window to be the best could be very short. There is always a search for new talent and young talent. Just look at Dana White’s “Looking for a Fight” series where he is out searching for new talent. Even shows like TUF which have been doing that for years. With that mindset we here at ArtofMMA.com are always looking for new fighters to introduce you to and today we got one that really fits that bill. Undefeated (6-0) prospect Travis Quintero (@travis_quintero) has been tearing up the scene down in FCF, Rage in the Cage and most recently LFA and is starting to get a lot of buzz as a guy to keep your eyes on. We got the chance to sit down with him last week to see what it is like to be an up and coming star and get you a glimpse of a guy you need to start watching now. So take a seat and brace yourself as we bring you “The Reaper”!
Hey Travis, thanks for taking the time out of your schedule to sit down with us here at ArtofMMA.com. Before we get into it, take us back to the beginning and talk to us about what got you into the world of mixed martial arts and what is your favorite aspect of being a professional fighter?
Quintero: Thank you for having me, I’ve always been around combative sports. I grew up as a wrestler in Oklahoma and excelled really well at it. I really enjoyed the sport and when promotions started doing them as competition I always told myself I’d like to get involved with the sport. Being able to compete as a professional fighter is something that I enjoy and am very thankful that I have the opportunity to do so.
Nice man! It’s always good to see someone who has dedicated themselves to something like you have combat sports and competition. Now you have one of the more unique nicknames in the game “The Reaper”, how did that come about and how do you feel it fits you?
Quintero: Before I took my amateur debut I had someone ask me what my fight name would be, I never really thought about it until someone had asked. So I started thinking about different names and ideas started going about a name and the one that came to me the most was “The REAPER”. It struck me as a great name being that when I served in the Marine Corps, while in Afghanistan my company nickname was Reapers. They are the 80th company out of Jacksonville, NC camp Lejeune with 2nd Battalion 6th Marines. I hold my time with them very close and had an honor to serve with some awesome guys. Being that I started having the real ambition to fight, I went ahead and decided to use that for my fight name. Seemed like it had a good meaning behind it and fit perfectly.
Well, we here at ArtofMMA.com want to thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for our country, Sempre Fi sir! Now you’re fighting out of Oklahoma which seems to be a little underground hotbed for MMA with a lot of stars starting to come out of there. Talk to us about how that area has molded you to be the fighter in person you are.
Quintero: Yes, I believe that Oklahoma MMA is on the rise and we are producing some great fighters out of this state. I train out of Choctaw, Ok at R1MMA. The area, environment in the gym, and the people involved with that gym are the biggest reason on why not just myself fight the way I fight, but with we as a team fight. We have a solid support base and a great family feeling about our gym. We constantly push each other to the limit and are there for each other no matter what. While I served in the military we had buddies like that all the time and having that outside the service sharing the same goals and dreams is very cool. We take care of one another, like brothers.
Yeah, it seems more like a family than a team for you guys. I saw your Twitter that your team went 6-0 this past week and that is a huge thing, didn’t just post about yourself but put your team first. For those of our readers that don’t know who you are quite yet why should they take notice right now if you could describe your fight style in one word what would it be?
Quintero: “Ready” would have to be my word. I’m ready to get my name out there more and take on this career of mine with full force. This is me and what I enjoy doing so I’m ready to take on anything that comes my way.
I couldn’t agree more. You are being labeled as a quickly rising star in the world of MMA as you have amassed a perfect 6-0 Record with 5 of them you finishing. Talk to us about what this ride has been like so far being undefeated in a sport where no matter who your next appointment is they always have a shot to beat you.
Quintero: I’m taking it one fight at a time, being that my record is where it’s at or some other way I’d still enjoy what I do. I don’t underestimate any of my opponents and continue to grow as a fighter. I’m learning something new each every time I fight and while I train. I am my own worst enemy in this game, as long as I stay true to myself and know what I know I my heart… I don’t lose.
Always learning and the mindset not to lose… once a Marine always a Marine haha. Speaking of that perfect record… you just got your sixth win this past weekend at LFA 9, where you took home the decision win in the main event vs Nathan Trepangner. Talk about that fight, did he do anything different to make it go to the cards as you are known as a guy to finish his fights?
Quintero: I won’t lie, I was kinda frustrated with the fight and how I performed. Not having that TKO/KO at the end of a fight for the first time was weird at first. My coach Matt Grice told me that you’re not going to hit a home run every time you step up. Having a coach and a team there to say those kind of things helped me a lot. Nathan is Nathan, he knows what happened in the fight. He was a slippery cat and it was a task to play chase with him. Only he and I know what’s real in that fight and he knows what’s up. I’m onward with my fight career and am ready to tighten everything up for the next one.
Always a good idea to be honest and having a coach who is there to feed you the truth is one of the most undervalued things in the game, glad you got both! You have been a main card guy your entire career but this was your first main event. Talk to us about that and how nice it was to get the win in a card that had your name on the Billboard?
Quintero: Anybody that gets in his game always starts at the bottom… or at least should. I started out on local promotions around the area and am very thankful to those promotions for getting me started. I’ll always remember where I come from. To go somewhere and be successful you got to go up. Fighting for LFA was an awesome experience and I enjoyed every moment of it. I look forward to keep on fighting for them and bigger promotions. I want my name out there and fighting for them is a great opportunity for me to do so.
It was also a pretty special moment because you got to meet a legend of the sport in Pat Miletich. Talk to us about that encounter and did he give you any words of wisdom?
Quintero: It was an awesome experience to meet Pat. The guy is a legend in the sport of MMA. He was on his way out the door when I got to run into him. I’ll have more opportunities to talk with him.
So I know we’re only about 6 days past that event but what do you want next? Are you taking time to relax and enjoy the win or are you right back in the gym?
Quintero: For now yeah mostly relaxing and enjoying time with my family. Myself and soon to be wife are getting married next month. I’ve had the fight stuff going so we pushed off the planning far to much so now we got to play catch up! I’m still staying active in the gym and learning new things to improve my game more though. We are doing the wedding, going out of town a couple days and it’s back to the grind. I’d like to fight sometime in June or July, I’m in no hurry by no means but I’m going to be active.
Well that isn’t a full plate or anything… and huge shoutout to the soon to be Mrs. Qunitero for pushing things back so you could go punch another guy in the face haha! I got to see the highlights from the card and to say that your fanbase is crazy would be a vast understatement. They went nuts when you got that decision. What does your fanbase mean to you and if you could say one thing to them what would it be and why?
Quintero: Having a fan base and family supporting you is the most important thing about this sport. Without the fans we wouldn’t have people to fight for. It would be a sparing match at the gym if it wasn’t for them. I’ve ran into people after the fights telling me that they enjoyed the show and that they are impacted by the sport so much that they would like to try or continue supporting. This sport is for them. I enjoy fighting and for us to do it for them it’s amazing. They are always willing to be loud!
That is awesome man, I love it! OK, we know your time is short so we will get you out of here but before we let you go are there any people or sponsors you would like to mention?
Quintero: I’d like to thank my wife Samantha Anderson for being with me at my side as we grow as a family and make this career a reality. My gym and team! Love you guys! My sponsor PRO-LAWN by Chance Shippman, he’s been with me since the beginning, great owner and company. Myer’s cafe, owned and operated by Dalton Myers, and Designer Tattoos by Jerry. All of my achievements and career so far couldn’t be done without you guys, thank you!
Well there you have it folks, Travis Quintero and after getting to know him and watching him battle I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t tell you to hurry up and get on the bandwagon as this kid is tough as nails and has a great shot to have his name up in the lights! Make sure to stay tuned to ArtofMMA.com as up next is the badass himself, coming back from Hell…. UFC star, Vinc Pichel!