LOWKICKIN’ WITH MELVIN COSTA
Back in April of this year, I saw at the King Of The Cage Sinister show, I saw this guy fight Tim Alberte. He just looked crazy, coming down to the cage tatted up, and slapping himself in the face, he just looked nuts. He took every punch Tim hit him with and ended up winning the fight with a KO just over a minute into the first round.
In June at the Epicenter show, he was back on the card again and I wondered if he was going to be a one hit wonder, so his fight interested me. He faced Robert Doucet, and with the blows that Doucet landed on Costa’s chin, I couldn’t believe he wasn’t on the mat sleeping. Robert landed several solid shots on Melvin that seemed like they didn’t even faze him (aside from possibly breaking his nose). About 2 minutes into the first round, Costa got the mount and ended his second pro fight the same way he ended his first, with a knock out. He took all of the punishment that was thrown at him, and as a reward, had his hand raised in the end.
I get to the Collision Course show on August 5th, and Melvin is on the card again. From watching his first two fights, I know he has a strong chin (strong being a serious understatement) and he has knockout power. This time he’s fighting Sean McCafferty, who was coming into the fight 0-1, but is really no joke and only lost his previous fight when his arm was broken in an arm bar. I’m very curious to see what will happen in the fight. Melvin had told me that he would love to knock Sean out, but would like to try out the things he has learned on the ground as well. Well, he got his chance. The fight went back and forth and lasted until the :39 mark of the second round.
We saw both fighters get takedowns and both fighters had flurries of punches that would drop a horse, but both warriors stood there and took them. At one point in the fight, Costa stopped and flipped his chin at McCafferty as to say he wanted more. Sean gave it to him, but it just wasn’t enough. The fight ended with a knee to McCafferty’s chin and two more punches on the ground that finished him, and giving Costa the win with another knockout.
So what’s next for Melvin? Well, I made the drive out to Yucca Valley to have lunch with this character to find out more about him and bring it to the fans that want to know.
ML: What got you interested in MMA?
MC: I’ve been fighting my whole life man. I’ve been fighting since I was a boy, you know what I mean? Other kids want to fight you just ‘cause they heard about you, I mean you fight because you love it. I got out of prison 15 months ago and people are talking about King Of The Cage. I get to fight and get paid for it and won’t go to jail for it, sign me up!
ML: What kind of training do you have?
MC: Right now I do Jiu Jitsu three times a week. Pretty much independent you know. I try to train with whoever I can, whenever I can. I do Jiu Jitsu out in 29 Palms with partners that are somewhat consistent, but you know, I’m pretty much self reliant. I do my cardio by myself, I punch my bag by myself, you know. When they say independent fighter when I walk out, it means independent fighter. I’m from the high desert, there’s no training facilities up here. You gotta drive 30 minutes just to spar with somebody. I train six days a week, weights, Jiu Jitsu, punching my bag, whoever I can.
ML: What are your goals as far as MMA goes?
MC: Right now, Mike, you know, I’ll be happy if I could headline a King Of The Cage show. That’s my ultimate goal right now. If I step into that cage and I’m fighting for a title and I’m headlining that show and I’m a contender or whatever, I could retire happy. All these fighters come here and want to make it to the UFC and shit, if I can headline a King Of The Cage show, I know I’ve made it.
ML: What would you like to do in the cage that you haven’t done yet?
MC: Bite somebody, LOL! Nah, just kidding. I’d like to try a flying knee. I probably shouldn’t put that on record, my next opponent is going to be looking for a flying knee, lol. I haven’t got to do that yet. Last fight I came out with a flying kick and I was kind of debating on whether to try the kick, but I tried it.
ML: What do you get out of fighting?
MC: Adrenalin man, it’s the only time I feel alive.
ML: How much does the crowd affect you?
MC: A lot! I see these fighters come out all calm and I understand their mental focus, but when I come out, my adrenalin is flowing so high, I feel like I’m at a rock concert. I feed off them, you know? As well they’re feeding off me. I’m trying to put on a show for them and the energy is off the hook, man, and it’s almost overwhelming, dude! It’s in the air.
ML: Do you find yourself getting recognized more and more? Your first fight, not a lot of people knew who you were, but know at your last fight, the crowd went ape shit when you came out.
MC: Yeah, you know a lot of people like me, a lot of people hate me, either way, I’m getting noticed. That’s what matters, you know. Especially not just the fans, but the other fighters, you know. They’re starting to recognize me and they pay attention when I come out, so it’s great. I’m getting a lot of attention!
ML: Is the attention a good thing?
MC: Any attention is good attention. Whether they’re fucking cheering for or against you, you’re getting noticed and that’s what matters.
ML: You have people talking about you.
MC: Yeah. I don’t give a fuck whether you love me or hate me, you gotta respect me, you know, lol.
ML: When do you really start concentrating on the upcoming fight?
MC: My minds really there and I start my meditation about 6 weeks out from the fight. I try to do my meditation every day, but life’s hard and busy, but I’ll start my ½ hour meditation about 4 weeks out.
ML: Walk through fight day for me.
MC: I get up and masturbate to release some of that anxiety, lol. I’ll call up my sensei, call up my training partners, and make sure they’re still going to make it. You know my phone is ringing off the hook like crazy. I’ll talk to everybody, my friends, my family, everyone that’s going to the fights. They tell me good luck and I try to get support from them for their energy. I’ll get everything ready, my clothes, all my gear and training stuff. I usually meet up with my training partner or my sensei and my corner men and head to the venue. Then we’ll do the usual, the medical and all that stuff. If I can, I’ll try and sneak into a bathroom and masturbate, LOL. Then we’ll have the rules meeting with Herb Dean and then just wait to kick some ass.
ML: What about after the fight?
MC: It’s like a night out in Vegas, everything is happening so fast. People coming up to you, drunk as hell, slobbering all over you, telling you you’re great. Seeing your family and friends, you know what I mean. The first thing I’ll do is look for a beer since I haven’t had one for a month.
ML: If you could walk out to the cage to any song, what would it be?
MC: Easy brother! Metallica, For Whom The Bell Tolls! That’s what I’m listening to on my Walkman when I’m walking down the ramp. That’s the song I’m listening to.
ML: How much does that play into everything? You know entrance music, showmanship and all that.
MC: For me, I don’t try to think about being show me, or being gimmicky. I want the crowd to enjoy the fight, you know it should be all about the fight. But as far as the getting the crowd involved, them feeding off my energy as well as I’m feeding off them. When I go out there, I can feel everybody cheering. I feel it inside, you know? It’s like going to a rock concert like I said. I just get amped the fuck up and just do it. It’s not the pure anger in me, just come out there, it’s time. You know, you’re so mentally focused, you’re in the zone and it all just comes out.
ML: Do you prefer to stand up during the fight?
MC: I’m at the point now where I’m comfortable standing up or going to the ground. If you would have asked me a year ago if I was comfortable on the ground, I’d have said no, I prefer to stand up. Now, I’ll just roll with the punches. If it goes to the ground, I feel comfortable, relaxed. If it stands up, I’m havin’ fun. Ain’t nothin’ more fun than getting hit in the head and hittin’ somebody in the head.
ML: How does it affect your opponent when you stop in the middle of the fight like you did against Sean McCafferty and just look at him, like what’s up, hit me?
MC: Fucks with their mind, dude! I mean you can’t talk trash in the cage, Herb Dean tells us that when you go in there. I’m from the streets and there hasn’t been one fight where I haven’t been like… you hit like a bitch, come on, hit me, hit me. It starts to get to them, you know what I mean? You can see that, you start playing with their mind. If you can get into somebody’s mind in a fight, you own them. I think fighting is a lot more mental, than physical. If you get under somebody’s skin, it doesn’t matter if they have skills, they’re going down. Because they’re mentally defeated.
ML: Is there any specific fighter you’d like to fight in the future?
MC: Chuck Liddell. Fuck him up! Whoever they throw at me. I just like to fight, it’s fun for me. I like getting punched in the head and I like punching people in the head.
ML: You have a pretty strong chin, what do you attribute that to?
MC: I don’t feel pain. No fuckin’ brain, no pain! I’ve got a big head, I mean look at me. It’s my big head. God blessed me with a strong jaw and a big head.
ML: Is there anyone that you’d like to thank?
MC: My friends and my family for all of their support!
ML: Thank you for your time, Melvin!
MC: Thank you!
If you want to see Melvin Costa in action, check him out on Sunday, October 7th at the Soboba Casino at King Of The Cage “Point Of No Return”