Triumphant Combat Sports | Eric Luna talks upcoming Triumphant 3 fight
Eric Luna talks about his upcoming Triumphant 3 fight against Joseph Gogo.
Eric Luna
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Eric Luna Talks Upcoming Triumphant 3 Fight

Photo by Gabriel Torres

Eric Luna will be stepping into the ring on February 25, 2017, at Triumphant 3 to take on Joseph Gogo.

Eric has been in the fight game for quite some time, and recently returned from a lengthy layoff due to an injury. He won his return fight a few months back. He is known for his fast-paced style, which should lead to an exciting fight with Joseph, who is known for his very aggressive style.

We caught up with Eric to talk about his training for the upcoming fight, how it is to train at a renowned school such as AKA and more.

Triumphant: Big fight with Joseph Gogo at Triumphant 3. What are your thoughts on Joe as your opponent?

Eric Luna: I think that he’s going to be a very tough opponent. He looks to be pretty strong and aggressive and it seems he likes to keep the pressure up like I do, so I think it’s going to be a fun fight for all the fans.

Triumphant: Joe likes a fast-paced fight. Are you interested in getting into that type of fight or is it important for you to control the tempo of the fight?

Eric Luna: Anyone who knows me and has seen me fight knows I’m always going to press the action. But I’m not going to fall into someone else’s game and let them dictate the fight. It’s going to be very important to control the pace of the fight, the way I want it to go. Besides, everyone knows that I keep up the same pace in the last round as I do the first round, so we’ll see what happens.

Triumphant: You returned after a long layoff about 2 – 3 months ago. How did it feel to step back in the ring?

Eric Luna: Best feeling ever. While I was injured, I had a lot of ups and downs and never thought I’d fight again, or even train. So just being able to step into the ring before the first round felt like a victory. As far as being in there, it felt great, felt natural. A lot of people who were in the crowd said it looked like I never left.

Photo by KX Fotografia

Triumphant: How important is it for you to study video of your opponent before any fight?

Eric Luna: Though I wouldn’t put it at the top of the list, I think it does help to just give you an idea on the opponent. How they move, what kind of tendencies they have, what kind of games they like playing. Personally, I’ll just watch a video or two and then go from there.

Triumphant: You train out of AKA, your training partners are UFC champions. How is it training in that environment?

Eric Luna: It’s great! Even though Muay Thai and MMA are different sports, they’re still combat sports and we have a lot in common. So having a gym full of high-level fighters is great, especially with the work ethic that we all have which is something AKA is known for. For the most part, they Muay Thai team trains separate from the MMA team, but every once in a while, some of them will come join us whether it’s for pads or sparring.

Triumphant: You are fighting in your backyard. Joe is coming from southern California, how does having a crowd supporting you help you during a fight if any? Does it get you revved up and give a little energy boost?

Eric Luna: It’s always a nice thing. I’ve been on both sides – either fighting in the Bay Area or fighting in an opponent’s hometown, so I know both feelings of being at home and in enemy territory. Definitely hearing the hometown crowd cheer during my walkout gives me a boost, as well as during introductions. But once the fight starts, I don’t listen to them and just direct my ears towards my corner so I can hear their instructions.

Triumphant: You have been in the fight game for quite some time. How do you feel your evolution as a fighter has been through the years and do you pick specific things to focus on?

Eric Luna: I feel like I’ve made a lot of improvements to my overall game. I’m by far a different fighter overall, but you can still see I’m the same type. Aggressive, lots of cardio, fan friendly. Since I’m always training though, my coach has a lot of time to fine-tune certain aspects, whether it’s working on footwork, getting more speed and power out of me, etc. Just improving my overall game.

Photo by Elijah Clarke

Triumphant: This fight will be on UFC Fight Pass. How excited are you about fighting on UFC Fight Pass?

Eric Luna: Very excited! By far the biggest platform I’ve been a part of, so knowing that it’ll be streamed worldwide is very cool. Hoping to make a lot of new fans.

Triumphant: You are a huge horror movie fan if I am not mistaken. When are we going to see you walk down to the ring in a Jason Voorhees mask?

Eric Luna: Huge horror fan!! Haha, as much fun as that could be, I don’t know if I would. To me, it would feel like I’d be trying a gimmick and that’s just not something I’d do personally.

Triumphant: What else are you into aside from beating people up and horror films?

Eric Luna: Well during my breaks on the weekends after training, I enjoy gaming. So I’ll spend some time playing online on my PS4 for a bit. Time is short though during fight camps, so I try to have as much fun as possible on those free times. Gaming, visiting my family and dog with my wife, and going to the shooting range with my two best friends are some of my favorite things to do.

Triumphant: Thanks for the time Eric. Any words for your supporters?

Eric Luna: Just that I appreciate every single one of them. And just the fans in general, this sport wouldn’t be what it is without all of them.