Recently Bellator debuted their own version of a reality based fighting show called “Fight Master” on Spike TV (Wednesday nights) and it to be honest is a breath of fresh air in the world of reality MMA TV. All the contestants have been in the world of MMA for a while or done something with their lives. They have guys like UFC vet Joe Riggs and Bellator vet Chris Lozano. Through three episodes it has been very professional and now all the fighters have been picked and are in the house!
We here at Artofmma.com were very interested in how it would look and we are always looking for great fighters with great stories to tell you bring to you and today is no different! It is our pleasure to introduce you to not only an amazing fighter but also an active duty member our the US Army, Jason “GI” Norwood! Jason is currently 12-3 in the various promotions he has fought in and has some very interesting points of views so sit back and get to know him! Also jump over to Twitter and follow him @rightfight170.
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your schedule to sit down with us here on Artofmma.com. Can you take a minute and talk to us about what got you into the world of MMA?
Norwood: Thanks for having me. Well my wife had a lot to do with it but I have always been a wrestler (was All Army at Ft. Carson) and loved competition and after college I wanted to keep that going. I got into the Army Full Combative Program which is pretty much the same as MMA without the elbows and it just went from there.
Nice! Now first off thank you for your service to our country in being an active part of the US Army, do you feel that training has helped you with your great success in MMA?
Norwood: Simply put yes. It helps in many ways such as in the Army I am training all the time for a fight that we hope never happens but in MMA I am still going the same training for a fight I know is coming. There isn’t much I would see in a cage that I haven’t seen before, if anything. Marvin Hagler (boxer) had a quote “it’s real hard to wake up at 5am and run 5 miles in a 4 post bed and silk pj’s” but for me it isn’t a problem because I do it anyways. The Army has given in that discipline for hard work. That age old comment of making more money leads to less dedication does not apply here.
Awesome quote! Was a big fan of Hagler. So looking at that what drives in and out of the cage?
Norwood: There are so many ways to answer that but to put it simply I never accept being less than the best. If I am going to do something I am going to do it better than everyone else. I can also say things like my daughters, my upbringing and my military background. I just want to be the best and to do that I know I have to work harder than the rest.
Now you are part of Fight Master and Bellator but this isn’t your first time with the promotion as you defeated John Kirk in 2009, in your eyes what has changed? You have also fought in a couple promotions what type of differences have you seen?
Norwood: It is bigger and better for sure. Funny story I was supposed to have another fight in Bellator but I got deployed (3 weeks after the Kirk fight) in the time frame and missed out but it is nice to be back. As for differences in promotions, each of them offers different things but they all seem to be progressing the sport which is good to see.
Very nice and I understand you have to be very tight lipped about Fight Master due to the fact it has ended but we have only seen 3 episodes. But what can you tell us about it so far and what made you choose to be a part?
Norwood: It has ended production and I had a blast. I loved my time in Bellator before and that was a big reason I choose to do it. Also I have trained with Colton Smith so I had a basic idea of what was going to go on. But as a grown man I was a bit concerned that it would get Ultimate Fighter ish in that prankers would be all over the place and I don’t have time for that shit. I am a captain in the Army and if you throw my bed in a pool I won’t flip out but you can bet I will find a time to stick a knife in your vertebrae. I was very happy with what I saw because a lot of these guys are vets and know this is pretty important. Even the young guys like Zombie Mike have accomplished stuff in real life I mean that guy is a tow truck driver so this means something for him too.
Outstanding answer and yeah it does seem to be much more professional than TUF which is nice. Now you made no bones about talking about your religion when picking a coach and then you choose Joe Warren who made it clear he doesn’t mess with it when it comes to MMA. Talk to us about the importance of religion and why you choose Coach Warren.
Norwood: I choose Joe because he seemed to be the only one who knew exactly where he stood on the religion topic whereas the others didn’t, plus he brought in his guys who help him train for his fights, which was amazing.
As for religion yeah it is very important to me. It gets under my skin when a lot of fighters talk about religion because most of them are bouncers or trainers and have nothing to do all day besides train and that but for me religion helps me prioritize everything. 6am – 10pm is all prioritized because of religion and it helped jump start everything. Also my faith is important because my family and I were in a terrible care crash a while ago that should have killed us all but somehow we made it through. I use the quote from the move V for Vendetta “I, like God, do not play with dice, and I don’t believe in coincidences” which is pretty powerful.
OUTSTANDING! These have been some of the best answers I have had in a while and hands down the best quotes. What do you feel is your mission in both life and MMA?
Norwood: I do my best to quote smart people. To put my mission simple it goes Christianity/Father/Fighter. I make no bones about the idea of if I am going to do something I am going to do it better than everyone else. My coach had a great quote after one of my fighters, in reference to me “if you think he is big now he is only at 25% of what he is going to be” and I really believe that. I am going to get titles and yes I said plural.
Nice, now it’s time for the age old Fight Club Question, if you could stand across the cage from anyone no matter weight class or time period who would it be and why?
Norwood: That is a pretty complex question if you think about it. I don’t really know how to answer that because it is pretty broad but if I had to answer I would say Anderson Silva in a Muay Thai fight because that is his passion. I could also say Jon Jones or Rashad Evans or Faber on a wrestling mat. It would all come down to what I wanted to see.
Very nice and interesting answer! Now looking at some of your fights on YouTube and seeing the Kirk fight in Bellator you have a great group of hardcore fans can you talk to us about them?
Norwood: Most of them are military so we are on a different level because of the simple fact many of them have literally saved my life and vise versa. That is an entirely different level that many civilians don’t understand but yeah they are amazing and enable me to fight. I am very thankful to my followers on Twitter and Facebook because not only are they awesome but the more followers and friends on Facebook the bigger fights in the eyes of promotions so my family depends on them as well. I don’t post too much on Twitter because I reply to people and retweet stuff but you can bet it is always me on there. I try to stay real with my fans because they are real people and I am not a person who is any better than them. You won’t see me charging for autographs in airports like some people I have seen, that also weighed in on the coach I picked an experience I had with one’s brother.
I think we all know who you are talking about there and I don’t think anything else needs to be said ha. Last question before we let you go, if you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about getting into the world of MMA what would it be?
Norwood: Don’t get into MMA because of malice. I used to fight out of anger and it isn’t a good road to go down. This is not a hate sport in fact it is the exact opposite because there is no way my coaches would deal with me or any fighter during weight cuts or when I keep messing up the same technique over and over if they didn’t love me. My wife has to love me to put up with me during weight cuts because I am sure I am miserable. So yeah make sure you are in the sport for the right reasons.
Before we let you do is there anyone you would like to mention?
Norwood: I would like to thank my family and my fight family: Legionnaire Fight Team in the Killeen/Austin area.
Well thank you so much for the time and best of luck not only on Fight Master but in everything you do. Thank you for your service as well and stay same. There you have it fight fans now get over to Twitter and follow Jason @rightfight170.