Monday, July 22, 2013
Rach Wiley Interview
After a defeat in her first fight, Rach Wiley has gone 2-0 including a win this weekend over Elizabeth Espinoza. This win was made extra special for her because of a large amount of trash talking coming from Espinoza after an injury forced Wiley to back out from a kickboxing match with her. Both confident and humble, Wiley hopes more wins will continue to force people to take her serious as a fighter.
Q: You just won a decision over Elizabeth Espinoza. She had been talking a lot of trash, what was her issue with you?
A: Back in March we were supposed to kickbox here in Kansas. I broke my foot and was in a boot and unable to kickbox her. I was nice about it and shot her a message on Facebook and said "I am sorry, here is the deal, they will find you someone else and you will do great." Next thing I know she blocked me on Facebook and copied my message to her and wrote a response to it and posted it as a status. Mutual friends showed it to me. It was a novel about what a horrible person I am and how I make excuses and how I am a fake wannabe fighter and need to go back to being a ring girl. It went to her head and she thought I was scared of her which wasn't the case at all. It just kept going, she wouldn't let it go. In her mind, she convinced herself that I was scared of her and she could use it as a way to pump herself up. The next weekend I was like "fine, screw it, I will fight anyway. I just have a boot, I can take it off." She wouldn't do it. The weekend after I tried to get her on a card in Kansas City and she denied that one to. I finally got a promoter to get her to accept a fight here in Topeka. There was continuous crap talking on her part up till this point. She said the most horrible and hurtful things anybody has ever said about me.
Q: Were you surprised she did take this fight?
A: I think it was because in her mind she was like "why is she trying to fight me now? Maybe she isn't scared of me." But she denied that she thought she was ahead or whatever. In April she fought her first fight in Missouri and I was there. After she won I went up to her and congratulated her on her win and told her that we have problems, that the talking needs to stop and if she wants to fight me to let me know. She shook my hand and apologized and her coach did and he said everything is cool between me and him. She won her fight and I guess that gave her confidence to accept the fight with me. I wasn't surprised and was glad she accepted. I think the win gave her just enough confidence that she could beat me.
Q: Did you take any of the talking personal or did you just take it as her trying to hype herself up?
A: Sometimes I would take it personal. Someone at the gym would say "she wrote something else about you, you wanna see it?" I would read it and it would hurt my feelings. This girl who doesn't even know me is going out of her way to put me down so much. It did hurt my feelings, I want people to like me, that is human nature. It motivate me to train harder. As it kept going on, I started becoming immune to it and it stopped bothering me.
Q: With the fight being outside and hot weather, how much did it change what you might normally do on fight day?
A: Well actually, the day of it was hot at the beginning but a cold front came through with a bunch of storms and it made the temperature perfect. The bad part is that it was sprinkling and raining on and off. The fights got pushed back a bit because they said they wouldn't let us fight if the mat was wet. In the middle of our fight it started sprinkling and the cage floor was getting slippery. Were the sponsor logos were was especially slippery. I had to concentrate a little more on my footing. When she was circling and running away from me I didn't throw as many kicks as I wanted to to in fear of slipping and falling. I didn't really have a game=plan, I don't go in with game-plans, but I held back a little bit.
Q: When the fight started, knowing you were mad, was it hard to keep your cool?
A: I was pretty good at keeping my cool at weigh-ins and at the venue when I arrived for the fight. But twenty minutes before it was time to fight, I was warming up and hitting mitts and started getting so mad and don't know why. Maybe it was seeming so much more real to me. I was shaking and went and breathed and chilled out. When I got in the cage and was staring at her, I felt pretty calm. It wasn't hard to control aggression, but it helped me, I don't remember one time in that fight being tired. I was ready to go the whole time.
Q: It seemed that standing, she wasn't interested in trading and you had to keep chasing, did that get frustrating at all?
A: She kept skipping around in circles and running away. She was running in this circle the whole time and I was turning so I could look at her and started thinking "I need to make her stop, I am getting dizzy." I would punch her in the face and she would stop but when I would back out she would do it again. It didn't make me mad, I was happy because she was bleeding and her eyes were all black and it made me happy.
Q: There was some extra stuff after the fight, can you explain what happened?
A: After the fight, emotions were high because this has been an ongoing thing for months. It was finally over, it went how I envisioned, they raised my hand, I was so happy. I screamed and I looked at her and said "talk shit on me now Elizabeth." She said something and put her arms out, I don't know if to apologize or do that hug people do. I wanted no part of that. I said "don't fucking talk to me, get the fuck away from me, get to your side of the cage." I turned to the ref and said "get her the hell away from me." She started walking towards me and I walked towards her. Next thing I know the guy who checks the gloves and stuff before we go in the cage jumps in and wraps his arms around me and yanking me to the side of the cage. My coach was holding me to. I was totally calm. The head of the Kansas State Athletic Commission jumps in and says "you cant do that, you have to stop or I will suspend you for a year." I said "yes, you're right, I'm sorry." I shook his hand. The thing that upset me the most, there is a guy who works for the commission who came up to me and made me cry. He likes to talk to me. He loves to watch me fight. He said "Rachel I am so proud of you, but what happened, that is not you, you are always respectful, what happened." I explained and he said "I'm still proud of you." It made me emotional, I have tears telling you about it.
Q: With everything that went on, if the first victory was a ten, what was this one?
A: Off the charts, it was crazy. Everything that went on prior, I never fought anyone who said such horrible things and went out of their way to put me down. It was awesome, like an out of body experience. I was about to cry telling you about the commission guy for a second but now I have a huge smile and am so happy. I am so happy, you have no idea. It's like it's real now. The drama is over and she shut her mouth, nothing about me on her Facebook.
Q: From this fight, what is the biggest thing you need to improve?
A: I need to get a little more arm strength. After I hit her she wanted no more of that and tried to snuggle and hug me. Sometimes it was difficult to get out of her death grip of a hug. I think I did great with everything else.
Q: With two wins in a row, do you hope this makes people start taking you more serious?
A: Yeah! And after three and four and five wins in a row people wont have an issue taking me seriously. I feel people have a problem taking me serious and think "how can a Hooters girl fight?" We are supposed to be pretty and be girly and that is just a stereotype. Outside of work I am in a cut-off shirt and shorts and my hair in a bun and never have make-up on. My boyfriends asks me to dress up and that is not me. People will take me serious as I get more wins.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: My Muay-Thai coach Shannon Woodward, my coach for whatever we feel like that day, Wayman Carter, my Judo coach Gary Gucciano, my cornerman and training partner Gabe Moulden and everyone who sparred and kicked my butt and showed me what she said. Also everyone who came out to support me, especially my mom, she was my biggest supporter getting ready, she saw everything and made sure I had money for my gas to go train or stuff I needed to train. Big thanks to my mom.