ONE FC 22 will take place on November 7, 2014 in the promotion’s home base of Singapore. Major Overall will see his third fight in ONE FC take place in his adopted home city.
Overall (5-1), of American-Japanese descent, will face off with Cary Bullos (7-1) of the Philippines. A purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu, Overall is an accomplished martial artist who claims more than a hundred matches in MMA, wrestling, BJJ and sanda under his belt.
Overall’s submission grappling competition over the last 8 years have seen him win championships in Grappling X, California and Southeast Asia. He dabbled in MMA when he started however it wasn’t until 2012 that he turned his attention to the sport in a big way.
Overall is now 1-1 inside the ONE FC cage, with his recent win over fellow grappling prodigy Bruno Pucci by way of a soccer kick catapulting him higher up the roster. His lone loss came to now-teammate Queck Kim Hock, a young fighter who came into the match as a distinct underdog.
In this interview, Overall talks about the camp change to his young opponent’s, his special strengths and skills beyond grappling, and his thoughts on ONE FC. Overall’s self-confidence tinged with a wild sense of humor definitely shines through.
Asia MMA: First of all, the name, Major.
Overall: My name is Major Overall. Yes that’s my real name and I know, with a name like that I should be like 190 cm with lots of muscle and tattoos, but ironically I’m short, practically devoid of muscle and nerdy. I came to Asia because I thought we could all be short together, but instead I discovered I’m even short for an Asian.
Asia MMA: What was your martial arts base, and what got you into MMA? What spurred you to fight professionally?
Overall: I started training MMA after university, initially I just wanted a hobby to keep me active. Eventually, I started competing in the regional circuits. It was pretty fun, I’d go on exchanging punches and post fight hugs with other weekend warriors then showing up to work on Monday looking like a half Asian version of Edward Norton from the movie Fight Club. After a couple of years of being the baddest man in the office, I decided to see how far I could go with MMA, so I quit my job and started training full time.
“They’ve labeled me a grappler, but I try to use all aspects of the game.”
Asia MMA: Most of your wins have been through submission. Would you say you are better at your ground game than you are as a striker?
Overall: The way the fight ends doesn’t always tell the full story. In most of my wins I knock the guy to the ground with strikes then finish with a submission. People only remember the finish so they’ve labeled me a grappler, but I try to use all aspects of the game to compliment each other.
Asia MMA: You have a winning streak in your last 3 fights, and the last one you beat Bruno Pucci with a highlight reel soccer kick. Did you see that fight as an opportunity to prove that you are a well-rounded fighter with good ground and stand-up skills?
Overall: I didn’t really see it as an opportunity to prove anything, I just thought preparing for a world class grappler who would be actively trying to submit me would make me a better fighter.
Asia MMA: Your lone defeat was to by Quek Kim Hock. Was it your most difficult fight? What did you learn and how did it shape you thereafter?
Overall: I don’t know if it was my most difficult fight, but it was obviously the one with my worst performance. [laughs] I got my ass kicked that day, but I took my beating like a man and congratulated Kim Hock and his team on a great performance. I never let losses or any obstacles break my spirit. I learned from all the mistakes in that fight and made lots of effort to improve the areas where I performed poorly. I don’t think of a loss as failure, it’s more like peer editing. [laughs]
Asia MMA: Kim Hock was fighting out of Juggernaut Fight Club, and you are now currently training there. Did that loss spur you to join Juggernaut? What difference has it made to your training and performance as an athlete?
Overall: Then, I had just signed the contract to fight Bruno Pucci and I was thinking “how the hell am I going to beat this guy?” I knew I needed more firepower and I recognized that Juggernaut not only had a great team, but they were actually building great fighters from scratch. I swallowed my ego and decided to ask the coach that once stood in my opposite corner for help.
When I told Arvind Lalwani my situation he asked me, “Why did you accept that fight?” I responded with, “Because we’re going to knock him out!” He said, “OK!” And agreed to train me. At that very moment, the Rocky training montage started playing in my head. Arvind, the head coach at Juggernaut, has a Micky Goldmille meets Mr. Miyagi style of coaching and from his innovative and unorthodox coaching style I was able to patch up a lot of holes in my game. We have a good mix of top local and foreign talent on the roster. With the presence of Shafiq “The Slasher” Samad, Will “The Kill” Chope, Emilio Urrutia, Sim Kai Xiong and the occasional cameo from my former opponent and current national serviceman Quek Kim Hock, we have a solid team.
Asia MMA: Can you describe your training regime as you prepare for your upcoming fight?
Overall: [laughs] Chasing chickens, drinking raw eggs, frolicking in the water with Apollo Creed and his daisy dukes, waxing on, waxing off, painting fences, sanding floors, catching flies with chopsticks and building good old fashion hurtin’ bombs.
“I approach life inside and outside of the cage as one seamless thing,
because how you do anything is how you do everything.”
Asia MMA: How are you managing your diet and nutrition to cut weight and enhance performance?
Overall: I don’t really have to cut weight, we train so hard and the gym is so hot I often struggle to keep from going underweight. More than anything I need to maintain my weight and make sure I can recover for the next workout. I usually eat pretty clean. A good portion of fish or chicken, lots of vegetables and potatoes or rice. Simple enough, but one thing that has been a really big help is the amino acids and protein powder I got from Rich Nutrition which sponsored me. I don’t really have time or desire to eat real food while I’m training. So the supplements make sure I don’t lose muscle and help prevent soreness for the next workout.
Asia MMA: This is your third fight with ONE FC, what are your thoughts about fighting for them?
Overall: I’ve been with them since early 2012 and have watched them grow and change for the better. Now they are having more events I have more opportunities to compete. They’ve fixed the controversial open attack rule that was in place at my first fight so now I can soccer kick at will. They have the best ruleset and excellent marketing. There really is no better platform in Asia to fight! Moreover, I get to meet a lot of superstar fighters. I may be a fighter but that doesn’t mean I’m not a fan too! If anything, being a fighter probably makes me more of a fan. When I’m not on a card I actually buy tickets and sit in the stands or order the online pay per view. I even bought the pay per view for my own fight because I wanted to see the ones I missed when I was warming up.
Asia MMA: What are your thoughts and opinions about your opponent in your upcoming fight, Cary Bullos?
Overall: I don’t really know much or have any opinions, he’s probably a super cool dude. There’s no bad blood between us. We’ll probably try to beat each other up then go out for drinks after. [laughs]
Asia MMA: Bullos has a record of 7-1 with a mix of submission and KOs so he seems like a well-rounded fighter. Would that be a big challenge for you?
Overall: Are you serious? I thought he was 1-7, I must have read the contract wrong! Just kidding. [laughs] In reality we are both well-rounded, have similar records and neither one of us has ever been to a decision. It should make for a fun to watch fight.
Asia MMA: What strengths do you bring into the cage?
Overall: [laughs] Old man strength, telepathic powers, the Force and X-ray vision, but mostly old man strength.
Asia MMA: What are your greatest achievements both inside and outside the cage?
Overall: I approach life inside and outside of the cage as one seamless thing, because how you do anything is how you do everything. I try to reach my maximum potential everyday when I work to be a better person and fighter than I was the day before.
Asia MMA: What do you do when you are not training for a fight?
Overall: I eat way more disgustingly delicious food than I actually should!
Asia MMA: What are your ambitions? Any thoughts about the future beyond your fight career?
Overall: I just do the things I like to do. Many of those things are actual skills that could be useful in another career. Having multiple skills means having multiple options and doing what you love means never having to do a day of work.
Asia MMA: How confident are you about winning your upcoming fight?
Overall: My team is making sure I’m very well prepared, I feel like they are sending me into a knife fight with a loaded assault rifle, all I have to do is pull the trigger.