Willie Schwartzkopf spends most of his week working long hours out of town. Schwartzkopf works for IMF Masonry, which takes him out of town for long stretches of time.
Schwartzkopf, though, still finds a way to make it to the gym to train for his upcoming MMA fight at LCS 29: Bad Blood.
Schwartzkopf said finding time to train is all a juggling act, especially when you work out of town and have a young family.
“It’s tough to juggle everything at first,” he said. “You have to get your routine down. You work your 10 hours a day and then you go the gym and put your work in. That’s your week.”
Then, Schwartzkopf comes home on the weekends to spend time with his family and puts even more work in at the gym to prepare for his upcoming fight.
Hard work in the gym is nothing new to Schwartzkopf. He has wrestled most of his life and wrestled for Hastings College for a year. Schwartzkopf said it is a natural progression from wrestling to MMA.
“I competed my whole life with wrestling and football. A lot of contact and hand fighting. I really love the sport. It translates right back into growing up wrestling. It’s just fun,” he said.
As an amateur. Schwartzkopf relied mostly on his wrestling skills, but is adding jiujitsu to his repertoire.
“As you progress through the sport, you really have to utilize every aspect of MMA, if you want to succeed. I really focused on jiujitsu and my standup coming into this fight. Wrestling has definitely helped me in being mentally prepared and how to train,” Schwartzkopf said.
Schwartzkopf takes on a familiar foe in Andy Carter in the main event. They fought in a previous Legion Combat Sports event as amateurs.
“He submitted me with a guillotine choke,” he said. “I could have a million excuses about how and why he beat me, but ultimately it was his night that night. With my competitive spirit, of course I wanted a rematch with him.”
Schwartzkopf hopes all of his hard work in the gym pays off in his professional debut.
“I feel pretty confident. I’ve put in a lot of hard work in this camp. A lot more work than I ever have any other fight. I am pretty prepared for this fight,” he said.
There has been a lot of buildup for the fight, mostly from Carter’s camp, Schwartzkopf said.
“I know he’s been on social media,” he said. “I don’t have social media to see, but friends and family would tell me (things he has said). He’s been building it up and selling tickets. Another part of this sport is selling tickets and promoting yourself. Me, on the other hand, I’m pretty quiet when it comes to that. I don’t like to do much talking. I like my actions to speak for themselves in the cage.”
LCS 29: Bad Blood kicks off Saturday, Nov. 9 at the Scotts Bluff County Events Center in Mitchell at 6 p.m.