The fighters have arrived, and weigh-ins have commenced. Empire Fighting Championship 1, from Biloxi, Mississippi, is set to kick off tomorrow, Saturday, March 30th, at 7:00 pm. One fighter in particular, Andy Dwayne Brossett, is no stranger to the spotlight. He already has six professional fights under his belt, and tomorrow he will be featured in the main event of the evening against “Iron” Mike Barnett. Brossett has had to travel a long way to reach the center stage of Empire Fighting Championship 1. Not only did he have a a three and a half hour trek from his home gym in Central Louisiana to Biloxi, but Brossett has had a ten year crusade in mixed martial arts that will culminate inside of the cage tomorrow night, as he tries to best Barnett and set his career back on the winning track.
So tell me, where do you come from, and what got you into fighting?
Well, to be honest with you, I kind of got tired of my four brothers beating me up, so I wanted to find my own little sport that I really liked. Football was really big to all of us, so I found something that I liked, and I stuck with it. I’m from the Alexandria (Louisiana) area, and I started training at Global Fitness Center. I was 14 when I started training there, and I stayed until I was 18. Then, I transferred to Bull’s Gym with Kirk Bullock. Later, I trained with Double Dragon MMA, so I’ve gotten to go around a little bit. I’ve been competing now since 2008, so that’s ten years of experience.
Tomorrow night you’re fighting Mike Barnett. What, if anything, do you know about him?
I’ve watched a little film, just to see where his bases are, what his forte is. And, what I’ve seen is grappling, more or less, him trying to stay close. So, I’ll try to be the longer fighter, stop the takedown, and set my striking on display.
How do you think he matches up against you?
I think I’m a longer guy. If I can just keep him at bay and stop the takedown, that’s my number one priority. If I can do that early on in the fight, the first one or two attempts, it’ll make him think that he needs to go somewhere else with his game plan.
“Everything is left in that cage. One thing that nobody can take from you in that cage is respect, no matter if you win or lose.”
You guys are fighting at Lightweight?
What do you usually walk around at?
I was about 184 lbs. two weeks ago, and I started cutting at the beginning of this week
And what have you done between now and then to get the weight off?
It starts out with a lot of water intake. I drank two and a half to three gallons of water on Monday, two gallons on Tuesday, a gallon of distilled water on Wednesday. I do hot baths as long as I can take them, a bath with Epson salt and rubbing alcohol and I cover up with towels, lay in a sauna, ride the bike, just tough it out, you know what I mean.
“I just don’t know when to stop, unless I’m put to sleep, choked to sleep, or knocked to sleep.”
What do you like most about fighting?
I like that it’s a one on one sport. I don’t have to depend on a defensive lineman next to me, or a quarterback. It’s me and another man, one on one, and most of the time it’s business. Everything is left in that cage. One thing that nobody can take from you in that cage is respect, no matter if you win or lose. It’s just an awesome combat sport.
What do you feel is your biggest strength?
My biggest strength would probably be my heart. I just don’t know when to stop, unless I’m put to sleep, choked to sleep, or knocked to sleep.
Where are you training out of?
Right now, I’m at Havoc MMA. It’s a gym that me and a couple of friends opened up, so that’s my primary spot. We’ve got every bag that you could want, and we’ve got a full-sized cage.
Are there any guys on the card tomorrow night that train with you at Havoc?
Doug Roszell is fighting his debut tomorrow night. He trains with us.
“But, in each of those losses, at some point in the fight I was winning, I just didn’t exploit the opportunity.”
How did that work out? Is it something that you planned, or did it just turn up?
Actually, no, we were just training, staying in shape, waiting on God to direct us in the direction of a fight. I’ve scheduled my own fights for almost half of my career. It’s kind of weird, somebody told me about the matchmaker with Empire and we got in touch, and my fiancé handled everything, and scheduled my fight. The matchmaker asked if we knew any 145’ers, and I said yeah, I’ve got one right here.
What’s a typical week like for you? How often are you training and what do you typically train and when?
Right now, the week’s pretty crazy. My fiancé is a personal trainer, so she’s my strength and conditioning coach. Usually, my day starts at about 6:00 – 8:30 with conditioning, sprints, distance, stretching. Then, 12:00 – 2:00 for strength. At night, it’s whatever coach is having, kickboxing or jiu jitsu, and that’s usually four days a week. For the most part, I’ve always got someone hands-on with me.
What’s your record? Are there any memorable fights that you’d like to tell me about?
I’m 2 – 4 professionally, but my amateur record was 11 – 4. I had two amateur belts. As a pro, I went 2-0, then lost my last 4, really to some top-ranked guys.
I would love to do any of those losses over again. I think that the one I’d like to have back the most is the one against JC Pennington, because I feel like I had that fight, then I left my head in there too long and he put me in a triangle. I guess there’s no point in reliving them, it’s best just to move forward. But, in each of those losses, at some point in the fight I was winning, I just didn’t exploit the opportunity.
” I want to stay positive and keep learning. Every day you can learn something in this sport, it’s like a science. Every day I want to keep going forward.”
So, what are your short-term goals, and what are you doing to help you get there?
It would have to be just taking it one fight at a time. You never know when an injury or something can knock you off your career. I want to stay positive and keep learning. Every day you can learn something in this sport, it’s like a science. Every day I want to keep going forward.
Let’s say it’s fight day. What do you do leading up to the fight, and what’s going through your mind?
I try to wake up and stretch first, get some breakfast in, maybe go for a walk or a light jog, just to clear up my head a little bit. Two hours before, I usually try to get to the venue, get dressed for business, go to the rules meeting, feel out the ring, go in the back, and try to take a nap. I usually try to sleep, stay off my feet, not watch any of the fights. It’s kind of like a ritual for me.
And when do you usually start warming up?
I don’t like to be overly trained or warmed up, but I’ll jump some rope, and usually the fight before the co-main I’ll start hitting mitts, doing my routines, maybe tumbling or grappling, whatever the case may be. Then, it’s time to go in there and handle business.
What has been the highest point of your career thus far?
The highest point would have been at my 2 – 0 mark, when I was younger and still learning, back when I was 21 or 22. I was still under a good coach and learning, still getting the ropes, doing some good things. But, I’m hoping for the highest point to be coming up when I get back on my feet, back on a winning streak, and hopefully that will start tomorrow night.
And the lowest?
I would have to say it was back when I was taking fights just for money. It was a rough time, back when I was 24. I was just taking fights for the wrong reasons, and I wasn’t training right for them.
How old are you now?
How would you say that you’ve changed between then and now?
Maturity, experience, I kind of went through a couple of things in life that made me open up my eyes and slow down a bit. I’ve worked with a couple of guys that have helped me to slow things down, to not be in as much of a rush as I once was, and to just be more focused.
In 20 years when you’re looking back on your career, what would you have had to accomplish in order to think of it as a success?
Well, I think that looking back, I would want to know that I left a positive impact on kids, and particularly in teaching them how important MMA is. Because, it saved my life. If I could just reach two or three kids and impact their lives, that would be my dream.
Do you have anything that you’d like to plug? Would you like to shout-out your school/coaches?
Firstly, God and my fiancé. I’d also like to shout-out my student Doug Roszell, my mom, my family, my brothers, and anybody else that made it possible along the way.
Make sure to catch Andy Dwayne Brossett take on “Iron” Mike Barnett tomorrow, Saturday, March 30th, at Empire Fighting Championship 1, in Biloxi, Mississippi. I’ll be there covering the event, and I will have photographs and a full fight recap published shortly after.