Mike “The Greek Turtle” Ottesen is slated to face Omar Choudhury at Gladiators 49 this Saturday. His opponent, Choudhury is on a two fight losing streak and recently lost his Gladiators Flyweight Title to Sam Thao at Gladiators 48 in a battle that received fight of the year honors at the Wisconsin Combat Sports 2007 Awards. I was able to catch up with “The Turtle” last weekend and learn a little bit about the fighter from Neshkoro despite the bad snowy weather and a little nip in the air.
Wisconsin Combat Sports: Wisconsin Combat Sports, I’m here with Mike “The Greek Turtle” Ottesen. Mike, first tell me a little about you background, where you’re from, what your style is, and where you train.
Mike Ottesen: I come from Neshkoro and I came to Brandon to train with my trainer Mike Biddle to get ready for this fight. I’m training at Unified Martial Arts (Fond du Lac) right now. I wrestled in high school and that is how I got started.
WCS: You’re going against Omar (Choudhury) next week, I’m familiar with Omar, I’m pretty sure you’re familiar with his style. He’s a Jiu-Jitsu fighter, what is the gameplan going into the fight?
MO: I’m looking to try and keep it standing. My instincts from every fight so far have been to take it to the ground, but I want to try and keep this one standing and see if I have an advantage with my hands.
WCS: Where did you train at previous to Unified Martial Arts? You said your from Neshkoro, I assume that is a very small town, do you have a gym that you train at up there? Do you run your own gym?
MO: While in Neshkoro, I went to Wautoma to train. It’s called Reality Martial Arts, fighters like Greg Klemp and Mike Lambrecht come from up there.
WCS: Tell me a little bit of your previous fighting experience. What is your record and what shows have you fought on?
MO: I’ve fought for KTK twice, I have fought for Gladiators once previously against Gary Schaumberg, and I have fought for Madtown Throwdown once against Soko.
WCS: So is Gladiators a show you’re looking to stay in for the future or are you willing to fight for any of the organizations in Wisconsin?
MO: I like Gladiators, primarily because it’s in a cage, but until other shows start using cages, I’ll probably stick with Gladiators.
WCS: Is this a temporary move or after the fight is over are you going to stay at Unified Martial Arts and train there on a regular basis and move to Fond du Lac?
MO: I’d like to move to Fond du Lac but as of now I am going to go back to Neshkoro, take some time off and go back to Unified and start training again hopefully.
WCS: The fight on Saturday is at 125lbs or the Flyweight Class, is that your primary weight class of are you also willing to fight at 135?
MO: I’ve fought up to 145lbs, but I’d like to stick to 125 because it’s closer to my natural weight.
WCS: Now the 125lb division in Wisconsin, it’s a small division, I only really know of about four of you guys, is there anybody you want to fight after the Omar fight, regardless of a win or a loss?
MO: Not really, I’m one of those guys if you put me up against someone I’m going to take the fight as long as it’s at the right time and I have time to train, I’ll fight anybody at 125.
I just thought of two guys I would like to fight again at 125 regardless of a win or a loss, they would be Josh Hurst and Mike Young.
WCS: A couple of random questions. What fighter do you look up to either local or in the big leagues?
MO: Watching Mike Lambrecht’s first fight was got me into this, so that is where I picked the sport up from. He’s a local fighter from Wautoma and he fights at 155.
WCS: Someone left a comment on one of your vids I believe that says you don't tap. Is that true?
MO: I tapped in my very first match to a choke, since then I haven't tapped to another choke. I seem to pass out.
WCS: How far are you looking to go in the sport?
MO: As far as I can go. Right now I just want to do the local shows. I’m still young so I have time to get up there.
WCS: Sponsors, do you have anyone you’d like to thank?
MO: Custom Ink Tattoos in Ripon and Coliseum out in Fond du Lac and In Your Face Tattooz in Fond du Lac. The other sponser I have is Self Incision, they're a band based outta West Bend.
WCS: Anyone you’d like to thank at all?
MO: Mike (Biddle) and his family for letting me stay with them to train. Jason Burroughs for helping me train and all the guys from Unified for getting me ready for the fight. Lastly I want to thank Mike Vaughn for helping me along with the kickboxing.