Jeremy Botter: Tell me about the importance of starting your jiu-jitsu training with Carlson Gracie.
Stephan Bonnar: I mean, he’s like the original jiu-jitsu pedigree. He’s Carlos Gracie’s son. It doesn’t get any higher up than that on the jiu-jitsu chain, really. So he brought me up in this sport. Unfortunately, he passed away, but now I’m with Sergio Pehna now and I got my black belt from him. And he’s right up there on that chain with the Gracies. I feel like I’ve been lucky enough to have some really good jiu-jitsu teachers. That’s a real strength for me in my fights if I need it.
JB: What led you to leave Xtreme Couture and go to Nick’s?
SB: I’m just the kind of guy that needs that coach. Couture’s is a great place to get work in and spar, but as far as having a coach take you and get you ready for a fight, I didn’t really have that there. Every guy is getting ready for their fight and everybody cares about themselves. And now at this gym I’ve got a good coach who is really helping me get ready and working on specific things with me. And also, we have other guys there who are my training partners and who are helping me get ready, who are pushing me. It’s great, because when someone else has a fight coming up, I’m in there helping them get ready. It’s a good feeling with good guidance and a good coach. I like it. I feel like I’m at the top of my game.
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