Welcome to our brand new series, Diamond's Corner! Our founder, Craig Diamond, will be bringing on athletes, friends, and other interesting people for conversations about their lives and what drives them.
For our very first episode, Craig spoke with Brendan "All In" Allen while he was spending time relaxing with family in Louisiana. Check out the video or read the transcript of Craig and Brendan's conversation below.
Craig: Hey guys, my name's Craig Diamond, founder of Diamond MMA. We're gonna do a little interview show today. My guest is middleweight UFC fighter, Brendan Allen, "All In" Allen I should say. And he joins us via Zoom and say hello.
Brendan: What's up man? How you doing? Hope everyone's doing well. Thanks for having me.
Craig: Well, thanks for coming on. So we're excited this is our very first show, so if there's any technical difficulties, bear with us, but we're going to do a lot more of these and interview everybody from fighters to, you know, anybody that's interesting. And you know, and loves our brand also. So where, where are you at right now? Where are you calling from?
Brendan: I'm sitting in my brother's house right now. They just took my new car out. My brother and my father did. So I'm just sitting on the front porch just hanging out, waiting for them to get back so I can put my brother back in his chair.
Craig: Nervous nervously. I saw you got a Charger or what did you get recently? A new Charger?
Brendan: My family, we traded in my old Challenger and my family bought me a new Hellcat Challenger.
Craig: Oh, wow. That's the Hellcat. So how many horse is that?
Brendan: 717 horsepower.
Craig: My God. Is that the one with the key, like the ridiculous mode key or something like that it's called?
Brendan: Yeah, I've got a, yeah, I've got two keys, a red key and a black key. The black key only has like, you only put 500 horsepower and the red key unveils like the whole car. Like you can do anything with the red key.
Craig: Only 500. So what did your, what key did your dad get?
Brendan: Oh, he got the red key, they paid the bill, so they can have whatever key they want.
Craig: Nice. So are you in Milwaukee right now or Louisiana? Where are you at?
Brendan: Louisiana. Yeah. My brother lives back in the woods in Louisiana and it's about 20 minutes from my house. And so I try to bring my daughter out here to do some other things there in the day, so, so I don't have to bring her to a daycare or anything like that. But obviously with everything shut down and everything right now, I'm just kinda just hanging out, doing whatever, either around my house or at my brother's house.
Craig: What do you no, that's cool. I mean, I'm, I'm a fisherman and you know, I grew up in the suburbs, but I would love to have a place in the woods some day. I always dream about that. What did you guys do growing up? What was--did you do a lot of hunting or fishing or what was your, what was your thing?
Brendan: Growing up and until I was about eight years old. My dad was in the military, so he was active duty military. He was just a grunt infantry. And we moved from North Carolina to South Carolina a lot back and forth. And we didn't do a whole lot there. My dad's spent as much time with us as he could, but, you know, he got deployed a good bit. He was always on the drill field and things like that. So we didn't get to hang out a whole lot until he got out of the military. And then he was just working crazy hours here back in Louisiana, just framing and just construction. So he worked a lot of hours, but when we could, we'd go fishing or just hang out with family. We'd go hunting every now and then when we, we knew somebody that was on a hunting lease that we could go. So, but more fishing than anything when we were able to, when my dad was able to get the time off to take us. But mostly just hanging out with family. We didn't have, we don't have a big family. So when my aunt and uncle were still alive we'd go hang out over there. And that's all we did for the first three or four years when we were in Louisiana.
Craig: Nice, nice. So, if people aren't, you know, that are listening that, you know, this is, it's March 30th and we've got this Coronavirus outbreak, everybody's kinda on quarantine and lockdown. So, it's kind of strange times. Everybody's besides necessary or necessity businesses really are staying at home. So a lot of fighters, a lot of athletes are doing home gym workouts and all that stuff trying to keep in shape. I mean what do you, what are you doing right now? Do you have any routine? Or kind of just hanging out? That smile means hanging out.
Brendan: Definitely. I mean I fought like now it's been about a month. So honestly I feel like uh, actually my father and I were just talking about this a couple of days ago. I feel like between right after the fights I've been taking more time off, more time away to just kind of be with my family, let my body rest up, and things like that. I feel like that's been a big contribution to the success I've been having. Obviously, my camp and my training methods and everything else is a big, big thing. But, for me, regaining the mental aspect, the hunger per se, healing my body, things like that have just been so good for me and I haven't been taking just a week off and then jumping back in the gym like I used to. You know, the last time, my last fight, I think I took like three weeks off of just doing nothing. Healing off from the fight, healing up from the fight camp. And this time it's been a month. I haven't, I've only done like two things. I think I lifted twice. Other than that, I haven't done anything. So I wanted to get back in this week, but obviously with everything going on, that kind of stunts everything and kind of halts that. So as of late, I've just been hanging out, I'll start running again this week. Just light running just around my brother's kinda big neighborhood kind of they have here. And that's about it. Probably hit pads or mess around with my dad a little bit, but there's obviously there's not a lot to do, so just kinda hanging out.
Craig: Yeah. Cool. I mean, congrats. I mean, you're coming off, so in February that was, it was UFC Norfolk first round TKO it was awesome. So that's, that's exciting. And yeah, just on to the next one. I mean, I get it. Now, how old are you now?Brendan: 24.Craig: 24. So, man, you must, I mean, so after a month off you feel totally fresh, ready to go? I mean, how does that, how does that feel?
Brendan: Give or, give or take. Like right now I still feel some knick-knack things and mostly I just get real lazy. Like I, after so many days of not doing anything like, or not training or doing anything, I just get super lazy and don't want to do anything. So it takes something to break that habit. Usually it takes like a friend or me making an agreement with somebody that I'll meet them somewhere for me to get out of that laziness. And because once I give somebody my word, you might as well just put it on the contract. So yeah, that's what it really takes to get out of the trend. But I still feel some knick-knack things and still want to heal a little bit more. So this is kind of a bittersweet thing, I guess. It's not terrible because many other guys can't train either, you know, no matter if they're doing little home workouts or whatever, it's still not the same as, you know, training.
Craig: Yeah, it's not that same level.
Brendan: Plus I just fought a month ago. Exactly. So I just fought a month ago. And with all these, with the past three shows being canceled, I'm assuming that it's going to push me back even more. So I'm not terribly worried. I'm not going to take a short notice fight. One I can't make the weight. And two was just I just got off of the suspension that I had. So nothing's gonna really do anything for me right now.
Craig: Cool. One thing you just touched on, which I found out, you know, I found in my life was really helpful, you know, getting those lazy funks and I do it myself and there are times when I'm working out in a good groove and a good rhythm and going to the gym and then there's times when you slip out. Is that accountability, like you said, like having a friend, you know, making a bet with a friend or, or say, "hey man, we're going running this Saturday, you gonna pick me up?" and having a partner or a teammate, someone to hold you accountable to get off your ass. I think it's, so I find for me personally is so important. So it's interesting to hear you, a professional fighter that does this for a living that gets in the same ruts sometimes and, you know, and you're self aware enough to know, hey, I've got to message that buddy, I've got to get help myself, get my buddy to help me get off my own ass. So that's, that's a take away. I mean, for anybody listening or, or wanting to do something or start something, have someone that's going to hold you accountable, you know, be a part of it. I think that's, that's, that's interesting. Cool. So now I know you were a plumber. Are you still working as a plumber at all, or in the construction, or what are you up to these days?
Brendan: Well, I stopped, I was working, my cousin owned the plumbing company and I did that all the way up until I left for this last fight. So I stopped. That was my last day was the day right before I left to go to fight camp. And yeah, everything was good. Everything setting like was setting just fine, you know, I won the fight, everything was alright and now things kind of get a little tight with the situation that the virus has brought. But hopefully I don't got to go back to doing any of that. I'm just kinda, I tried to start doing like personal training and stuff around where I live, which was kind of picking up kind of good. And then obviously everything like this happened and you know, people are getting laid off of work, so who the heck wants to go spend their money on, you know, a personal trainer. So kind of a difficult time for that. But you know, luckily if I do need any help, my family's there. And worst case scenario I'll go back to work in plumbing or construction or something. I do have other skills that I can fall back on, luckily that my dad taught me and you know, family has taught me and just stuff like that. So I've been blessed in that aspect.
Craig: Nice. Yeah, I mean hopefully this thing's going to blow over. At some point we can get a handle on and everybody get back to work and normal life. It's been it's been crazy for everybody. I mean, you know, Diamond MMA, we've got a good product that everybody needs and we're real lucky but the gyms are closed so you know, and tournaments are closed and it affects everybody. But we've got to keep trying and hustling and trying different things too. That's like what we're doing this for is just a lot of people are at home now. They're on their phones or on social media. So this is something we've wanted to do for a long time, which is get a little podcast/interview show and meet some of our athletes and, you know, interesting people. And, you know, maybe because of what's happening is, is going to spawn people to change and try new things and innovate in their own businesses and their life. So yeah, no, I appreciate you coming on. And you've always been real supportive for our brand. We're a small brand that's you know, started small and we're continuing to grow and yeah, we want to you know, keep doing this thing and thanks again for coming on. Is that, is that car coming back? Or are they still out tearing it up?
Brendan: There it is.
Craig: Oh man. Can we get a quick tour?
Brendan: Yeah, let's see if I can give you one.
Craig: Oh man.
Brendan: Can you hear me?
Craig: Yeah. Perfect. This is a great end to the, uh the interview. Oh man, look at that thing, beautiful.
Brendan: Yeah, there's my father.
Craig: Hey Dad.
Brendan: He said hi, Dad. Dad, he said hi. It's on video chat. Craig he owns Diamond MMA. So here's the interior.
Craig: That's sharp.
Brendan: There's my brother.
Craig: Hey, what's up brother? I don't know your name, but
Brendan: My brother is named James.
Craig: Hey James. Good. Nice to meet you. Wow. That's--I like the black gas cap. That's cool.
Brendan: Yeah, we were, we were happy that it came with that.
Craig: So can you, can you customize these or how did they come when you buy them?
Brendan: We just we just got it in, uh, we just got it in a white with black. That was just kind of what we wanted. But I mean if you, if you order it, you can, you can customize it kind of well, but I mean this one's pretty decked out.
Craig: Cool. Well, I'll let you go. I'll let you help with your brother and your dad and it was great talking to you man. And let's keep in touch and tell the people where they can find you.
Brendan: Yeah, definitely. Well, first of all, thanks for having me. I appreciate it man. It was good talking with you too. Just let me know if you ever want to do it again. Find me on @BrendanAllenMMA on Twitter. On Instagram at @b_allen185. And Brendan Allen on Facebook.
Craig: All right, man. The weather looks beautiful. Have a great day and enjoy that car. I'll talk to you real soon. Thanks again.Brendan: Thanks, brother. I appreciate it.
Craig: All right. Take care.