November 14th 2016
Name – Troy Berglund
Nickname – Silverback
Weight – 145-155 pounds
Record – 1 win 0 losses
Team – Wolfpack MMA
Where are you from ?
I currently live in Pasco, WA. I grew up in Fall City, WA.
How long have you been training ?
I started wrestling in middle school and wrestled for two years at North Idaho College. I focused on my career until my early 30’s when I boxed for 1.5 years. In my mid 30’s I joined a BJJ gym and competed at a couple of no-gi tournaments, before trying out my first MMA fight. Ended up having 6 amateur fights in my mid 30’s, 3 of which were for belts, and was 3-3 when I took another long break. Nearly 10 years later, at 46 years old, I decided to make one more run at it in May of this year, winning an amateur fight in August. Almost immediately following that fight, I booked my pro debut for November 11, which will be the day before I turn 47. It’s never too late to make your dreams a reality.
How did you get in to MMA ?
I played a lot of sports when I was young, but always enjoyed the one-vs-one aspect of wrestling the best. There is something about doing battle in front of a group of people where it’s all up to you, win or lose. I wear a shirt and tie every day for work as I am manager of the Member Relations & Member Services department at an electric utility called Benton REA. I work with legislators a lot and am on a number of chamber of economic development boards so I am very active in the community. Nearly everyone is shocked when they find out I fight. I think it’s because people outside the sport assume you need to be a violent and mean person to compete in MMA. But for me, it’s about testing yourself, both physically and mentally. Nothing tests you both physically and mentally like MMA.
Tell us about your nickname how you got it ?
I didn’t have a nickname when I fought 10 years ago. I have a lot of grey hair, which isn’t common for MMA fighters. At my last fight, a number of people in the crowd picked up on that and started calling me names like Silver fox, Silverback, Salt & Pepper, etc. I had a large number of family members in the crowd and that section liked the Silverback moniker, which fits my aggressive fighting style. After the fight, friends and family starting posting Silverback when referring to me on Facebook and it’s just kind of stuck.
What was the defining moment for you when you knew you wanted to become a fighter?
There was no defining moment. I naturally progressed to it.
Were your family and friends supportive when you decided to enter the world of MMA ?
My wife, kids, friends and most my family are extremely supportive! Especially my wife, Nikki! With a very demanding job, I am nearly never home during the week. I either work later or go straight to the gym and train. My parents are not big fans about it, but respect my choice. They worry about the potential injuries, particularly brain injuries. My parents have decided to attend my pro debut, which will be the first time they have watched me fight. They are coming around too.
What is your current record ?
4 and 3 amateur and 1-0 pro.
What is your favorite strike or submission ?
I’m well rounded so I don’t have one favorite move. My striking is getting significantly better by the day and I have really started incorporating a lot of kicks into my attack.
What team do you train with ?
Wolfpack MMA in Pasco, WA. Newer gym that is run by Sarah Howell. They really push your cardio to higher levels, which is what I needed, especially at my age. Plus, they have really helped my transitions from striking to grappling, making me into a true mixed martial artist.
Do you like to stand with your opponent or take the fight to the ground ?
With my wrestling background, I used to always take it to the ground. That’s not the case anymore. I am more than comfortable striking the entire fight. It really depends on my opponents strengths and weaknesses and taking the fight to where I want it.
What does being a fighter mean to you ?
It means being mentally and physically strong. That I am able and willing to push myself to a point where most people aren’t willing to go.
What weight do you fight at ?
Lightweight & Featherweight. My pro debut will be at lightweight. But I walk around at about 165 so I could easily make featherweight.
what do you think separates you from other fighters In your division ?
My age! LOL. Making my pro debut the day before I turn 47 is pretty uncommon. From a fighting standpoint, its being very well-rounded and fighting smart by sticking to the game plan that my coaches and I have worked on.
If you could have one dream fight who would it be against ?
Ken “Taz” Bebout. That is my dream fight!
Who has been your toughest fight to date ?
I would say Austin Springer. Mainly because he is mentally very tough.
What is your mindset going in to a fight ?
Calm but extremely intense. I don’t get too emotional or excited. I want to remain calm so I can execute as I need to. But the intensity is off the charts. I love it!
Who are you fighting next ?
Ken “Taz” Bebout. My professional debut on November 11th at Conquest of the Cage at Northern Quest Casino.
what holes or weaknesses do you see in his game that you can exploit ?
I am confident I am better in all aspects. I have better striking, better wrestling, better ground game, and better conditioning. If I can’t knock him out striking, or put him to sleep in a submission, I will wear him down until he makes a mistake.
What promotion are you fighting for ?
Rick Little’s Conquest of the Cage.
Date and time of your next fight ?
7pm, Northern Quest Casino, November 11, 2016.
What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career ?
A freak of nature! Someone who fought his best in his late 40’s and early 50’s.
What is your favorite quote or motto ?
Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles – Alex karras.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far ?
Making by pro debut the day before turning 47 will be my biggest accomplishment in this sport.
Who has been most influential to you in your career ?
Too many people along the way to single just one out. This sport is a community and I have been fortunate to learn from many.
Who do you feel has had the biggest impact on the sport and why ?
Love them or hate them, but Dana and the Fertitta brothers took this sport from the underground to the mainstream. Being in the mainstream has impacted this sport in countless ways.
How would you describe your fighting style ?
calculating with timely aggression.
What drives or motivates you to step in the cage and compete ?
To both test myself and to achieve my goals. I don’t fear losing or getting hurt, I fear regretting that I didn’t try or I didn’t give enough effort.
What is something people might not know about you ?
That I am a co-owner of a salon. My wife and I went into partnership with her parents and opened a new salon, called Vybe, in Kennewick. It opened in February of 2016. My wife is the face of it as she has owned and operated another salon for more than 20 years, so I just kind of stay in the background and help as needed.
When you are not in the gym training what do you like to do in your free time ?
I have a demanding job where I spend around 50 hours a week at. I also co-own a salon with my wife. Being a business owner takes some time. Add the fact that my wife, Nikki, and I have five kids, and there is not much time for hobbies. The one thing we do try to do periodically is weekend getaways to different cities and enjoy the night life.
What advice can you give to young fighters and those who want to become fighters ?
Sweat the details. Preparation is key, both mentally and physically. Mentally get yourself right and learn how to control your emotions. Come into training ready to work and don’t go half ass on the technique. If your focus and intensity in training is high, you will learn things much faster and better. Being intense and working hard does not mean going 100%. Focus on learning, then drilling it to death until you have mastered it.
What do you think you would be doing if you hadn’t become a fighter ?
The same. I have a very good professional career that I enjoy a lot. Fighting for me is not my career, but it is a passion.
What gets you mentally prepared for a fight ?
I do a ton of visualization during the training camp leading up to a fight. Combine that visualization with a lot of hard work, and by fight week I am mentally confident and relaxed because I am at peace with the work I have put it. The day of the fight, I focus on staying calm and relaxed. The one thing I drive through my head the day of the fight over and over is that nothing will stop me. No amount of pain or exhaustion will weaken me. That I will overcome any obstacles in order to win.
do you have any pre fight rituals that get you ready to step in the cage ?
NO! In fact I avoid superstitious type rituals. I just do what seems natural at the time, that way if for some reason I can’t do something or forget it, it doesn’t impact my state of mind.
Where do you see the sport of MMA in 5 years ?
It will continue to grow. I do think the UFC will begin to lose some of its control of fighters and as the big star fighters grow in popularity, their power will also grow.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years ?
I would love to continue defying the odds and still be fighting in five years. I am getting better and better, even in my late 40’s, and can’t wait to see how far I can take this. I have no expectations for my future. I am only focused on my next fight. If I do what I am capable of, the rest will take care of itself.
What do you think can change moving forward to make MMA better as a sport ?
Improved judging and judging criteria. Judging in MMA is far too subjective and inconsistent. Having unified and specific criteria for scoring, including a detailed definition of a 10-8 round and then having judging training so they are all on the same page. To me, its crazy that boxing has 10 to 12 rounds and 10-8 rounds are still far more prevalent because of the knock down rule. MMA is so subjective with 10-8 rounds that even though most fights are 3 rounds, many judges almost never award 10-8 rounds.
Who is your favorite fighter ?
Demetrious Johnson. Always improving, mentally strong, and a true professional in and out of the cage.
Is there anyone you want to thank or give a shout out to ?
A gigantic thank you to my wife, Nikki, who never complains about me being home late every single night for either work or training. A big thank you to Sarah Howell, the owner of Wolfpack mma and my head coach, for the all she has done to get me mentally and physically ready. Of course all the training partners that come in and help get me prepared for a fight. Finally, my sponsor, green2go, for helping make dreams become a reality.