Photo Credit: Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech Athletics
To our knowledge, there has only been one Virginia Tech wrestler who has decided to pursue a career in MMA in UFC fighter Jim Miller who was briefly on the VT Wrestling team. However, that list is growing as former Hokie wrestler B.C. LaPrade announced recently that he will be pursuing an MMA career.
Excited to announce my first MMA Contract. to the people who’ve been by my side this whole ride it’s time for something new y’all gonna eat with me at the dinner table when i make it and mark my words I’m gonna be the baddest mofo in the game!! Scared money don’t make money 💪🏽🤜🏽 pic.twitter.com/kY3XSLFx3m— Brian LaPrade (@BcTheWrestler22) September 4, 2020
So we decided to catch up with B.C. LaPrade to discuss why he has decided to pursue an MMA career and more on his new venture away from the wrestling mat and into the MMA ring. Here's our Q&A with B.C. on his new MMA career.
Q: Why did you decide to pursue a career in MMA?
B.C.: Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to fight. I remember being in the 7th grade, and me and my buddy Tyler Helms bought a pair of UFC gloves and used to actually walk around in them in the hallways and everything. I like the idea of fighting every time I watch a fight. I see that warrior mentality in at least one guy and I absolutely love that!! You got to be built differently to be able to take a punch, give a punch, and to keep on getting after it.
Q: How close are you with current UFC fighter Tony Gravely (based in New River Valley) and how much did his career impact you in choosing to pursue an MMA career?
B.C.: I’m not as close with him as I was when I was at VT. He had an impact on me choosing to peruse my MMA career seeing his work ethic and drive in the wrestling room, cardio workouts, and outside of the room made me think that i could do it too.
Q: Who's the MMAer that you are looking to model your MMA career after and why?
B.C.: I’m not really looking to be like anyone specific. I want to make a new path for myself. I want to be B.C. LaPrade and make my career something people look after. There are some fighters that I do like and that’s Robbie Lawler and Georges St-Pierre. But like I said, I want to be something new. I want to be known as the guy who goes in, burns the boats and gets the job done.
Q: What will be the first steps in your MMA career in terms of training, fights, etc?
B.C.: First steps are learning the basics: how to actually throw hands and spar around with jujitsu. Other than that, I am going to give it six/seven months and then, I am going to start looking for fights but again, I got to learn how to walk before I run! It’s a whole different ball game for me now but I’m excited.
Q: How much experience do you have in MMA disciplines outside of wrestling?
B.C.: Just a little not a lot. I watched my coach when I was in middle school and high school train and fight but other than that, I personally do not have much. I’m learning.
Q: Where will you be doing your training as you start your career and why did you choose that coach and place?
B.C.: I will be training in Richmond at a place called MMA Institute under Rick McCoy. I picked this place because my coaches when i was in high school fought for him as well!
We appreciate B.C. LaPrade joining us to chat about his exciting new MMA career and wish him the best as he begins this new endeavor.