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September 7, 2012

Featured Fighter: Buck "Knuckles" Pineau

Name: Buck 'Knuckles' Pineau
Age: 27 years old
Height: 6’3”
Fight Weight: 185 lbs middleweight
Fight School: Choi Institute
Record: 4-1 2KO 2RNC
City: Born in Millinocket, Maine and from Ashland, Maine

1. When and why did you get into MMA?

When I was 13 or 14 my mother’s husband brought home a VHS copy of UFC's ultimate knockouts; since then I’ve been addicted. I’ve always been involved in competitive sports and been a fan of combat sports. When I was in the Navy my shipmates and I spent a lot of time watching Mixed Martial Arts. I had always dreamt of competing in Mixed Martial Arts. When I returned home, I knew this was something I wanted to explore to see if I had what it takes.

2. Did you have a background in Martial Arts, boxing, etc. prior to being licensed in Mass.?

I had no background in combat sports. The closest I had come to MMA was trying to choke out my buddies after watching fights on paid per view.

3. What is your nick name and how did you get it?

My nickname is Knuckles. It started in the Navy and it just stuck. Everybody who knows me knows I love a good fistfight.

4. How did you get into the sport of MMA?

When I got out of the Navy I moved to Portland and researched local MMA gyms. I tried out a few and found a home at the Choi Institute; I’ve been training there ever since. I didn’t go to Choi’s just to train, I went there to train to fight.

5. Can you tell us something about your supporters and why they believe you should be a Mixed Martial Artist?

As a kid my family moved around a lot so I went to a lot of different schools. Now, I’m fortunate enough to have friends who support me from many different areas in Maine. My family and friends all know my drive when it comes to athletic competition. The adrenaline rush you get from training and fighting is indescribable and is a good match for my active personality.

6. What does your family think………

My mother is my number one fan and sponsor. She’s been ringside at every one of my matches! She’s often asked about how it feels to watch her son fight to which she usually responds, “It doesn’t bother me at all, I was the first one to hit him!” haha Seriously, my entire family is very excited about my choice to be a competitive MMA fighter! Not only because they see how much it means to me but they see all the positive things it has brought to my life. There is more to fighting than being in the cage; the fight is the reward for all the hard work you've put in. To be successful you need to train hard and take care of your body, both physically and mentally. Mixed Martial Arts is not just a hobby, it’s a commitment to a healthy lifestyle and one I take very seriously and my family is very supportive.

7. What is your favorite part about competition?

My favorite part is that moment right before you step into the cage. All your nerves and adrenaline hit you at once and you realize what you’re about to get yourself into. In that same moment all those nerves and self doubt fade away and you laugh at yourself while you realize that this is just what you do…’ve put in the work and now it’s time to reap the rewards.

8. If you had the ability to change anything about the sport what would it be?

Maybe to fight more often, other than that I think It’s great the way it is.

9. Can you describe for us what it’s like to discipline yourself as you prepare to make weight and develop or improve skill sets before fight night? Do you feel like your team plays a significant role in that discipline?

As far as making weight is concerned, I fight every opportunity I get so I stay within 10 – 15 lbs of my fight weight at all times. I’ve been lucky and able to compete often enough where I can look back on my fights and break them down to find the holes in my game. I concentrate on filling those holes every time I train. I’m always counting down the days to my next fight. As soon as a fight is over, it begins again and I’m focused on improving.

I don’t know if I would be able to do this without the guidance and support from everyone at the Choi Institute; without them I don’t think this would be possible. My coaches Jon Pinette, Matt Dehlinger and Alexy Cruiz are critical parts of my evolution into a well rounded mixed martial artist.

10. In your time as a competitor, what stands out to you the most when a promotion offers you a bout? Have you ever turned down a potential match? If so, why? Can you offer the up and coming combatants any advice in this situation?

For me there is nothing to consider; when a promoter calls and offers me a fight, I take it.
I have never turned down a fight; I feel strongly that if you take MMA seriously, you need to be ready for anything. It doesn’t matter who’s across the cage from you, you have to be prepared; this is Mixed Martial Arts. That’s my advice to anyone getting into this sport, be ready for anything.

11. For your last fight what measures did you take to ensure victory? What was the training like in the two months before? Did you cross train? If so, with who?

I didn’t take any time off between fights; I just continued to train hard and stay focused. I didn’t have much information on my opponent so I wanted to be sure my ground game was on point in case the fight went to the mat; which it did. Between my fourth and fifth fight I earned my blue belt in Brazillian Jiu Jitsu from Alexy Cruiz. Thankfully all the hard work and time I put in paid off. I’m fortunate enough that my gym has a strong relationship with the Portland Boxing Club and they allow me to come in and train during some of their sparring sessions. This gives me the opportunity to work on my striking with guys who really know how to throw hands.

14. How else do you spend your time when you’re not training?

There is no time when I’m not training….when I’m not training physically I’m training mentally. Hell I wake up in cold sweats from fighting Chuck Liddell!! haha

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