On Sunday, March 8th, Jacob Ycaro fights for the 142lb IKF Title at Bay Area Challenge in Petaluma. Jacob is one of Unlimited MMA's up and coming amateur fighters. He currently holds a record of 5 wins and 1 loss---one of those wins by KO. I had a quick chat with Jacob and asked him to share a few things about himself.
Jacob was born on December 28, 1993, and lived in Milpitas all his life. He started training in Brazillian Jui Jitsu at the age of 11 then moved on to Kickboxing at the age of 13. Jacob originally started training at the Fairtex Gyms in Mountain View and Newark, but the commute started to take a toll--this led him to come to Unlimited MMA.
Aileen: How did you get into fighting? How did it all start?
Jacob: I first started training BJJ at Claudia Francas, but i didnt have a certain drive. I told my dad I wanted to do Muay Thai because he did it, so we went and looked for a different gym. Once I started training, I knew that this was the martial arts that I wanted to practice.
Aileen: What brought you to Unlimited?
Jacob: I remember watching Josh Sandiego fight one of my old instructors, and Josh was "beating him up." So I thought that I should start training there since it was really close to my house--plus a fighter from Unlimited is beating a coach from my old gym.
Aileen: What or Who inspires you?
Jacob: Who inspires me? Of course, my father. He works hard everyday to give me and my brother a better life. My mom does the same. People that inspire me for Muay Thai would be Buakaw --one of the biggest influences that got me to do Muay Thai, Kevin Ross, Ky Hollenbeck, Jordan Watson, Gaston Bolanos, and many more. All these fighters that I see who put their all into their fights inspires me.
Aileen: What motivates you?
Jacob: The thing that motivates me most is my family and my love for the sport. Whenever I'm not feeling it during a training day I just tell meyself "I do it because I love it" and my mentality for training changes. Also watching videos on training always gets me motivated.
Aileen: What are some of the challenges you've come across?
Jacob: One of the many challenges I've come across is basically pushing my body beyond its limits--doing things out of my comfort zone. Everyday there is a new challenge during training. There are things that you continue to work on--whether it be the basics of a new technique.
Stepping into the ring is also a challenge---all of the nerves running through my body. My arms and legs feel like jelly just before I go into a fight. Its not always a great feeling at first, but once I walk in there everything starts to settle. There's no going back once I step in the ring.
Aileen: What do you like most about fighting?
Jacob: The thing I like about fighting is that you always are perfecting your craft and learning new things. There is always room for improvement. A straight right to your opponents face feels pretty good too.
Aileen: What do you dislike most about fighting?
Jacob: The thing I dislike is that all the
conditioning you gotta do and how you are constantly sore throughout the week. It seems that there are no days off when you pursue being a fighter. Being on the receiving end of a liver shot or a straight right never feel that great either.
Aileen: What does it mean for you to be a fighter?
Jacob: I personally never really looked at myself as a fighter, I just do it because i love it and theres no other sport that interests me the way Muay Thai does. A fighter to me is someone who is fighting for something more than just being in the ring, such as a soldier, people fighting for their lives.
Aileen: Do you have any advice for any young people who may want to take up fighting?
Jacob: The only advice I can give working hard will get you to where you wanna be, none of those great fighters got where they are from easy work.