Cameron Cooper took on Joseph Rivela II in the final match of Real MMA XII. This was Cooper’s second Muay Thai event and first win, in the Real MMA octagon.
In an interview, Cooper talked about getting his head right as soon as he woke up, on October 28. He did not have the confidence he had the day before and needed to regain that belief in himself. He chose to surround himself with positive influences and map out his fight plan. He walked into the octagon believing that even if he lost the fight, he would come out a winner.
Skylar was his corner-man who made sure Cooper was mentally and physically prepared before the match. He did not tell his corner that his strategy was to NOT perform the moves they called. They quickly caught on and knew that if he was told him to throw a right hook, he would land a kick. Cooper said he wanted to get into Rivela’s head and did so, by allowing his opponent to prepare for the right hook while Cooper kicked instead.
He said, “steel sharpens steel and we all need each other in this world.” Therefore, if he lost, he would walk away having learned something that would benefit him in his training and prepare him for his next fight.
Cooper fights out of the Alliance Muay Thai Gym and the philosophy is “humble winnings, humble losses.” The gym shows this belief by refusing to use trash talk. Fighters are in the ring to conquer themselves. Cooper takes that a step further and believes, “There can be humble within closed fists.” He aims to hurt his opponents, not cause them pain.
He loved hearing the crowd chant his name on October 28, and revealed he did not realize he had a fan base until his bought against Matt Carl, in March. He lost that fight, but was encouraged by Carl and fans, who thought he had earned the win. These fans were excited to see what he was capable of in his match against Rivela II.
Cooper said that he had a strong challenger and told Rivela II that if he wanted to keep fighting, he would train with him. Cooper offered to be his corner-man and cheer him on at his next fight. He even told his opponent that if he wanted a re-match, Cooper would take him on again. He enjoys meeting his opponents and having fun with them before and after the fight. He is always laughing and smiling in the octagon because he enjoys fighting.
The wisdom Cooper shares comes from a lifetime of being around mixed martial arts. His uncles, Dewey “Black Cobra” Cooper and Scott Schultz encouraged him, as MMA fighters themselves. He grew up around their training, fighting, and ideology. This prepared him for his future in life and the octagon.
Message from Cooper to his fans:
“I’m gonna keep going out and fighting for them. I promise to put on a good show that won’t be boring. I am NOT slowing down. I love my fans and appreciate their support.”
By Jeanette Smith