Pro Fighter Interview: Elijah Gbollie

Published on February 12, 2018

Megan Aird Interview w/ Conquest Pro Fighter and instructor Elijah “E” Gbollie

I first met Elijah Gbollie, known to his friends as “E” in a striking class at Conquest Academy.

Lucky me!  I was paired up with a talented striker and I ended up picking up some great tips.  Unfortunately for E, I don’t think he ended up getting such a great workout, but we became friends in the process.

Fast forward 3 years… E is now about to take on a challenging match up. He will be fighting Kyle Daukaus in Philadelphia on Friday night February 16th at the 2300 Arena.  Stakes are high for E.  In February 2013, he lost in an amateur match to Kyle’s brother Christopher.  This is his one chance to even the score.

I’m not worried. His pro record of 5 wins and 2 losses speaks for itself.  Last October at Shogun Fights 17 in Baltimore, E demonstrated his stamina and strength with an exciting win over Donelei Benedetto.

So what does a fighter do to get ready for such a big event?  I thought I would find out.  E and I arranged to catch up after a tough hot yoga class at Conquest academy last week.

M: So how do you prepare for a fight?

E:  I always start by looking at the guy’s height and stance.  How does he finish a fight?  This will tell you a lot about his disposition and his cardio level.  I also will review his videos to look for holes or tendencies. 

M: How about physically…I mean, you guys have to cut A LOT of weight, right? 

E: It’s not too bad.  I get down to about 205lbs about 10 weeks out.  The week before weigh-ins I workout, follow a strict diet, and water load.  I also cut out dairy and alcohol.  I exercise everyday, but no more than one workout per day in any skill set.  I work on strength and cardio conditioning by lifting in the morning and running in the evening.  I like to sit in the hot tub.  I never use the sauna to cut weight. 

M: Whoa.  Sounds like you have it down to science.  How did you get started with MMA? 

E: Actually it was 2012.  I was in Sykesville.  Work was slow and I needed exercise.  I found a Groupon for an MMA class and gave it a try… 6 months later I was in the cage.  Before that I just worked out on my own and did P90X yoga videos.

M: That’s amazing! So you were just this ordinary guy turned cage fighter? How did you find Conquest?

E: In 2014 I found Conquest.  It was the first time I had tried BJJ.  Before that I had always been wrestling.  I liked Conquest right away because their coaches were fighters with real world experience, and there are so many black belts.  I’ve also made new friends.  It’s a family atmosphere.

M: So what are you looking forward to with this upcoming fight against Daukaus? 

E:  I am looking forward to a rematch.  It will be nearly 5 years to the day since I fought his brother in 2013. I lost by KO.    I just want to win.  

We want you to win too, E.

If you can, come out and support E in Philadelphia.  Please contact him directly for tickets.  When he is not with his beautiful daughter, Aria, you will find him working out a Conquest Academy in Millersville, MD.


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