Interview: Quentin Henry
Note: This interview was conducted last year for ISC, and is re-posted here with the demise of that site.
Can you tell the readers a little about yourself?
My name is Quentin Henry and I’m a full time student at ULM here in Monroe. I work full time at St. Francis Medical center as a pharmacy technician and have a part time job working for Ameritox Labs. I’ve lived in West Monroe my entire life and grew up playing every sport that was available to me. I’ve been doing Martial arts since I was about 4 years old. I started in Tae Kwon Do and got my black belt by the time I was 12. After that I kinda lost interest with all the politics and things and was preoccupied with football and basketball. My dad owns our gym Evolution Fighting System here in West Monroe. He’s has a 2nd degree blackbelt in tae kwon do and has takin many different martial arts throughout the years such as jiu jitsu, boxing, and mainly jeet kune do. Needless to say I kinda grew up my whole life as his practice dummy so I kinda fell into it. I’ve been training specifically for MMA for about 5 years now and I’m having alot of fun with it. I’m just a normal guy though i like hanging out and although i can’t say i don’t enjoy the attention i get from fighting a little bit but it’s not what i’m in it for. I don’t like the false image it gives me in the eyes of people i haven’t met. I feel I have alot more to offer as a person than being a good fighter.
How do you prepare for a fight when you don’t know much about your opponent?
I’ve heard a lil about him but not enough to make an accurate game plan really. I train to be ready for everything. This is MMA and i expect to have to use stand up as well as ground game. I kinda like not knowing about a guy because it tends to give you a structured gameplan and if the guy does something different everything you trained for went out the window. I don’t wanna let what he does effect me as a fighter. I’m a strong believer in reading and learning my opponent first hand in the ring. I train with great ground guys and great stand up guys, both big and small. I wanna make him fight my fight and as long as i do that I believe I will be alright.
What was the first thing you thought when you were told you were getting a title shot?
“Cool” I feel like I deserve to have a chance at one. I’m an amateur to get better. Thats the only reason to fight amateur. I also fight to be the best. If in the eyes of some people having a belt makes you the best then so be it. I don’t necessarily see it that way. I amateur I feel if you are a belt holder than you just haven’t fought the right person yet. I’ve seen guys that hold belts and I haven’t always been impressed with them necessarily. I don’t put alot of credit into superficial things like that. Just as in any martial art the belt doesn’t make the fighter. I intend on getting this belt and I want to fight everyone else that has one because they are the best and thats what i’m here for. I want every belt from 170 to 205.
Considering by the time this runs you will have fought at least in 3 different weight classes, but only 20, what weight class do you think you will stay at?
I actually just turned 20 lol, but idk what class I’ll stay at. i naturally sit around 195 so 185 isn’t too much of a stretch for me. 170 is a lot harder for me to cut down to but it just takes dieting and plenty of hard work. I’m a lil more comfortable at 185 but I’m suppose to be getting another title shot after the one in Natchez on May 14th at 170 so i know I’ll at least fight there one more time. As far as amateurs go though I’ll go were ever I can within reason to fight the best guys. Like I said thats what I’m here for. When you go to the pros is when you start picken and choosin your fights I’m doing this for experience.
How did you put on that much weight to get to 207 and still stay so quick?
I didn’t gain much weight. I stay around 190 to 195 normally. I was about 220 when I played football in highschool. When I wanna stay over 200 I do whats necessary to do so as far as my diet and my workouts. If i need to be 170 it’s the same way. I don’t feel like my weight has any serious effect on my speed. I keep a strong focus on my technique and when I’m bigger I’m stronger and as long as my technique is good I don’t really lose any speed. If anything i really just feel stronger when I’m heavier.
Personally, I’m more of an absorb and counter-punch guy- whats it like to be that quick where you just don’t get hit? in Monroe it seemed like half the shots (Paris) Lee took at you missed
That’s pretty funny to me lol. I’ve been told I’m pretty quick but i’ve sparred and trained with guys that make me feel slow. The guy with fastest hands I’ve ever seen or had to deal with would be Sparky Mcduffy. He’s got a jab on him faster than I could even see and it feels like a hammer hittin you in the face. It took me 2 or three rounds just to get a little bit of timin on it. Not to sounds cocky but Lee didn’t land any punches on me. I honestly haven’t been hit yet in a fight. I’ve got some guys in the gym that catch me though.
So how did it feel when the title first went around your waist?
It was pretty cool I guess. In all honesty I didn’t see it going any other way I had made my mind up that it was mine I just had to go put the work in. “Believe as if it were impossible to fail” I don’t know who said that but I live by it. It really hasn’t sunk in though I’m not surprised or satisfied. I have a tendency of not realizing how big things are and what they really mean to people. It was another fight to me and I’ll have more fights with bigger prizes. I’ll enjoy the title but thats all it is to me. This isn’t where I stop and I won’t be content with being the amateur 185 Mississippi state champ. There’s bigger things in my future. I do appreciate the shot at the title though I guess someone thinks I’m doing things right.
Don’t know if you know this but Ring Rulers normally lets title holders keep the belt- where is that belt going to be in a year, 5 years?
After I let my friends and family see it I’m just going to hang it up at our gym. It’ll stay there until i have a fight. I see these guys at fights that aren’t fighting runnin around with their belt on and honestly they look like idiots to me. If I’m not fighting then it’s not my night. It belongs to the guys up there in the cage.I don’t need a belt around my waist to be respected as a fighter. I don’t need to run around showing things like that off. I want my performance to reflect me as a fighter the same as I allow my actions and words reflect me as a man.
One thing I have to ask, I boxed- but never just flat knocked someone out in a “sanctioned” fight – what’s it like?
Thats a first for me too. It happened so fast I countered with my jab like I always do and I didn’t even have time to realize I had dropped him. When I went in to finish the ref cut me off. he wasn’t knocked out cold he was comin back as soon as he hit the ground but I felt like it was a good stoppage. GT is a good guy and has alot of potential as a fighter it just wasn’t his night.
One thing I noticed about you in Monroe- is after your fight, you came back out there to corner, whats it like to go from fighter to corner so smoothly?
It’s really not a problem for me. I enjoy coaching almost more than fighting. I feel like to really be a good fighter you have to be a student of the game. I’m constantly teaching myself new things based on what I experience in the gym. We try to tell our guys the same thing. If I don’t know how to do something or don’t quite understand it I make it a point to find out and learn it. I feel obligated to spread the knowledge i have or gain. We are all like that at our place. If someone has a question or taps me out or does something I don’t quite get we sit there till we figure it out. I love to coach and I love to see our guys do well. I know what it’s like to be in there and I know what my guys need to hear. I’m the communicator dad is the observer. I’m looking at the surface and the immediate dangers while dad is working to pick the guy apart.
Do you think being raised in a mixed martial art- with your Dad’s varied background- gives you a an advantage over say someone that does one art then moves over?
I feel like it gives me somewhat of an advantage. It’s MIXED Martial Arts therefore you have to be proficient in all areas. One of Dad’s sayings is that you might be the baddest man in the world but when someone pulls a gun all that goes out the window. It’s the same for MMA. I see more of this with Jits guys. Damian Maia for example. Yeah best jits guy in the game but the fight doesn’t start on the ground. Dan Hardy presumed he better stand up than GSP, but they fought on the ground. The different influences from different arts has a huge affect on me as a fighter. I’m not one minded and I’m open to anything. Everyone ask me “So what’s the game plan?” My answer is always the same “We’ll see” If I’m winnin the stand up and have an opportunity to take you down and get position I will or maybe I won’t. You must be like water.
One thing I did notice in the Monroe show is he seemed a lot more reserved than you were both before and during the fights, is that how he normally is? Or is that just the coaching roles you both play/developed?
That’s just dad really. He’s more lookin for deeper things in the opponents game while I’m sort of focused on what’s at hand. I’m a talker and dad really isn’t we didn’t plan any of this but it works pretty good.
Q: How long does the rush from a fight last?
The rush doesn’t really go away. But the initial rush is gone within an hour. As soon as I get done I’m looking towards the next one so I don’t hang on to it too long. The real rush is the ten seconds following the finish when I can’t control myself and all the nerves and things I was holding back flood out through a scream that leaves me hoarse for about a week after. You have to make sure you stay so calm during and before the fight so your head stays clear and you can perform, but once it’s over it all she wrote. I usually enjoy my celebration for a few seconds and then come back to reality and make sure the guy is ok and thank him for giving me the opportunity to fight him.
I want to go a little into the cornering.
When you are cornering a fighter, are you more looking at your guy or the opponent or is it more of a full picture of the fight?
I’m concentrating on the full fight. Both my fighter and the opponent. I don’t catch everything but in many situations I’m able to help my guy out a lot.
How hard is it to take yourself out of the picture, what I mean is, when I watched film when I played football, I was taught to place myself in the SS shoes on the film, and to visualize what to do?
I don’t have a problem with that really. I do a lot of coaching and I’m really tryin to help my guy out. But I’m not exactly taking myself out of the fight I’m just visualizing what I would do in the situation and relaying it out to my guy.
How different is it to corner a fight than coach in a gym? I’m sure back a EFS you are running around in circles and can see everything when they are rolling, but in a fight you are almost stuck in the corner with not exactly the best view.
Well I do more fighting than coaching so when I can’t see I can still visualize what the guy is doin even with his back to me.
Is it hard to corner someone who does things differently than you? I’m sure that you all have a similar base coming from the same gym, but there has to be a guy miles ahead of you in one area or another.
There really isn’t. I try to make myself the best fighter I can be and that involves working to master every. If I’m sayin somethin to a guy fightin it is because that is what needs to be done. When ur in there fighting ur not at ur best as far as mentally. They might know in the gym they can pull that move off from side control but will they think about it? That’s my job. They know what to do I’m jus a cheat sheet.
So what else is new for Quentin Henry?
We are starting a women’s mma class a few times a week. You’ll get to train like the fighters and get in shape while learning how to fight at the same time. The women will be completely separate from men. They don’t even see each other.
The Evolution Facebook page is here.
Videos can be seen here: (sorry, can’t find any good ones on YouTube)
Postscript: Quentin went on to win his title, and is 2-1 since this ran, this Friday, Mr Henry is in the semi-main event for GFA-10 in Alexandria, for details there goto GFAfights.com Even better- Mr Henry and his bride are expecting a baby in June!