A chat with Ryan Sandersby Brian Woodman Jr. on 03/14/18
Ryan Sanders refers to the UFC's Connor MacGregor as one of the fighters that he emulates.
"His trash talking is a great psychological strategy," said Sanders, adding that he loves how it compels opponents to attempt to finish him and leaves them vulnerable to counter-striking.
And like that brash UFC star, Bangor, ME native Sanders seems to take pride in exuding a little cockiness.
Sanders, who is currently 15-8, expressed confidence that he will win his 170-pound fight versus Jon Manley in the main event at AMMO Fight League 4: House of Pain at the Big E in West Springfield, MA on March 17 (rather appropriately on St. Patrick's Day) before dominating his weight class in New England and moving to the national stage.
He described himself as an MMA competitor that grapples and Manley as a grappler that fights -- a dynamic that he contends will give him an edge.
"MMA fighters don't mind getting hit -- grapplers do mind," he added.
He reflected on how he used to train with Marcus Surin but stopped due to a disagreement. He now trains with Young's MMA and works part-time in the hospitality industry.
He began in the sport by training in general MMA rather than starting with wrestling or BJJ, although he admitted that grappling was "his passion." He has since branched out into emphasizing straight boxing and general striking for balance, he said.
"Many wrestlers and others come in the trainers need to break them of bad habits like giving up your back," he commented.
He also acknowledged the UFC's Brian Ortega as a fighter he emulates.
"He finishes fights," Sanders simply said.