Nick “Little Ninja” Sperling is a mixed martial arts fighter and an instructor at Powerhouse MMA Training Center in Grass Valley. Sperling (3-2) has an upcoming bantam weight title bout in the Gladiator Challenge circuit Sept. 1 against Santino Valdez. It will be Sperling’s first shot at a title in his career, so The Union decided to sit down with Sperling and get to know him better with five good questions.
The Union: What is the best thing about Mixed Martial Arts?
Nick Sperling: The best thing about MMA is the truth of it. What you get out of it. If you put a lot into it, you’re going to get a lot out of it. If you put a little bit into it, you’re going to get just a little. No matter how physically awesome you are or how mentally tough you think you are, you get what you put in.
The Union: Who is your MMA role model?
Sperling: I would have to say my coach, Mike Rumsey. He opened my eyes to a lot of things. Mostly just come in and train every day. Every day. And, I just like what he’s done for the sport alone. He’s partial owner of Gladiator Challenge and Carnage Fight Team, and there’s a lot of champions there, and that’s what made me want to go there.
The Union: What is something most people don’t know about MMA?
Sperling: Girls learn way faster than guys do. They come into the sport assuming that they don’t know anything, so they are an open book and they just want to learn. And, they do, way faster. Guys assume they know how to punch, they know how to kick, they know how to fight, so they don’t listen to instructors as well as girls do.
The Union: What is the best moment in your MMA career so far?
Sperling: Probably my first win. My wife was really nervous because she had seen me get beat down a lot, and my first win was huge. Just the win and lots of people showing up for that fight.
The Union: What has MMA taught you?
Sperling: It has taught me to simplify everything. Just relax and be positive. Positivity for sure.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.