Reggie Warren is back with another edition of his new MiddleEasy feature: '11 Questions with Reggie Warren Jr.' this time featuring Strikeforce lightweight, Conor Heun, who was recently robbed at the 2011 No-Gi worlds this past weekend. Reggie Warren is the only pajama wearing, self-proclaimed redneck we know that can get Connor Heun to tell us that he quit his journalism major after reading an article about a girl who missed a goal in a soccer match. Enough of this brevity, read '11 Questions with Reggie Warren Jr.: Featuring Conor Heun' or feel the wrath of this.
You can also check out 11 Questions with Reggie Warren Jr.: Featuring Gray Maynard right here. Thanks to Esther Lin for the wizard-like photography. Be sure to follow Reggie Warren Jr. on Twitter.
Your nickname is ‘The Hurricane’, but shouldn’t it be Conor ‘The you can break my jaw in half and snap my arm in a few places, but don’t worry buddy, I’m still going to try my best to CRUSH YOU!’ Heun?I think that's a little long winded for a nick name. I think "Hurricane" is just fine. If a hurricane's coming you just get the fuck outta dodge. If I'm coming to fight you, you gotta know that unless you knock me out or put me to sleep I'm still coming. I'm working on fighting more intelligently and working on picking my shots a little more but the bottom line is that underneath everything is a very angry young man who is appalled at the audacity of anyone willing to disrespect me by signing a contract to fight me. Once you sign that contract, you've agreed that you’re gonna try to kill me and I'm gonna try to kill you. If I'm still breathing I'm gonna be trying to end you.
You seem like a well spoken young man, did you attend a community college?I wish. Instead I wasted $150,000 on wrestling lessons at Ithaca College in upstate NY. I went in as Journalism major but got fed up with that pretty quickly after reading an article in the school paper about a girl who missed a kick on a goal in a soccer match. The paper basically blamed the whole team not making the playoffs on one girl’s missed kick. It was bullshit and gave me a bad taste in my mouth about the whole profession. I studied Organizational Communication Learning and Design, which is basically common sense and Power Point, for another year before finally switching and eventually graduating with an English degree.
Do you worry about how your family and friends are feeling when watching you fight bloody wars like your last 5 fights?
Worry about family and friends? You must be mistaking me for someone who has normal human emotions. I fight because I'm a fighter. I was raised as a fighter, and I'll always be a fighter. Anyone who is close to me knows that fighting is in my nature and it's a way that I express myself. Fighting is an outlet for me to show my heart and show my skill and medium for me to work through my own issues with self mastery, self discipline and self discovery. Anyone I care about knows that I have a lot of growth and evolution ahead of me and knows that the fight is a means to that end, a way to know myself. I know it might be hard out there for people who love me to watch me fight but I'm always fighting. The "fight" is just the one time where the internal battles that I fight within myself everyday become an external, physical struggle rather than the internal struggle for self actualization.
The fight is really just a physical expression or representation of my quest for self mastery and self knowledge. It is really just a test or a measuring point on the timeline of the evolution of my soul. The fight is just 15 minutes where I'm able to show the world my progress on my path towards mastery. I'm blessed to be in the public eye because it keeps me honest about my progress because it's out there for everyone to see. I post pictures of myself after the fight, so that the world can see what the consequences for my choices are and so that I can look back and see what I've overcome. The bloody wars are far more rewarding than the unspoken battles I fight every day. At least the fights can be seen and can be inspiring to others. The hardest fight, the one I fight every morning, is when I get out of bed and put on my running shoes or wrap up my fists. It's my daily fight against myself, fighting against meritocracy, fighting against the status quo, fighting against the doubters who tell me I'll never amount to anything, that I’ll never accomplish anything, that's the hard fight. The dance in the cage is a break from the smothering solitude of a lifelong quest for self mastery and those who know me see it as such and are happy that I'm able to get some recognition for my dedication and a platform on which to shine.
Cold beer, whiskey straight, or a delicious fruity liquor type drink (maybe with an umbrella)?Listen Reggie, I like my booze just as much as the next guy but I know that it's not good for me. I have a real hard time with moderation. It's what has lead to my success in athletics and it's what makes drinking and the Hurricane such a volatile mix. I like to go hard or go home, and when I go hard it usually involves tequila and I usually don't make it home. I'm in a constant struggle to try and learn to take joy from the little things and enjoy things in moderation, but for me the smartest thing to do with drinking is not to start.
What feels worse during a televised MMA fight: Getting your arm broken or being punched really hard and hearing funny siren sounds?I guess getting punched because you go into a fight with the goal of hitting and not getting hit. I'm actively working to avoid punches and getting rocked is a clear indicator that I'm failing to do my job. Getting your arm broken is almost always a choice. A warrior enters into battle knowing what he is willing to sacrifice for the victory. I know entering the cage that I am ready and willing to die and I know that my opponent will try and break my limbs en route to the victory. I've already decided before the fight whether a broken arm is gonna be enough to stop me so when I encounter the situation that my arm is breaking, I've already prepared and accepted that this may happen over the course of the fight. What feels bad is recognizing that my skills were so poor that I was forced to sacrifice my arm for the victory.
You’re stranded on a desert island, you can bring one album, one poster with a celebrity on it, and one item of food for an all-you-can-eat buffet…what are you bringing?I guess I'd bring my Holosync meditation music which uses brainwave entrainment to help you reach a Theta brainwave state for improved meditation. I'd bring a poster with the monk on it who set himself on fire in protest as a reminder that life is suffering and that I should be thankful for the lessons and I'd bring some Häagen-Dazs Special Edition Midnight Cookies and Cream ice cream.
What do you say to those boxer type guys who always claim, “MMA dudes ain’t fighters…they just love to wrastle and touch each other”?I don't associate myself with individuals of this type.
Is there a particular fighter that you watch and respect in the UFC that you would love to fight because you know it would be a guaranteed slugfest war?I'd love to fight Genki Sudo because of the spirituality that he brings to the fight. He understands that we are all on our own journey and how we help and advance one another’s quest through combat and challenge. And yea I know Genki retired, other than that I just want to fight the best and I want the world to witness it.
Ok, let’s play a make believe game and pretend you’re a Dad with a 7-year-old son. You’ve just dropped him off at his first wrestling practice and you have visions of him being the greatest fighter on the planet. When you show up an hour later to check up on his progress, you find him eating donuts and playing imaginary games with the headgear in the corner of gym. The coach looks at you and says, “I don’t think this sport is for him”. What do you say to your son?You know this one is a hard one for me. I don't know what I'd do. I know that I wouldn't be the person I am today if it weren't for the drive instilled in me by my father, who was my wrestling coach. Everything I know about hard work, dedication, determination, character building, and teamwork came through the pursuit of excellence in wrestling so it is very dear to me. I think some kids are fighters and some aren't. I'd like to think that I'd have the insight into my son's personality to know long before we got to the practice room whether or not he was a fighter. I believe in the pursuit of excellence above all else, but not just athletic excellence. I'd like to think I would be supportive of my son in whatever outlet he might choose to pursue but I'll be honest with you, I'd be a little sad because I know how much wrestling has given to me and shaped my development as a young man and I'd be sad that my son wouldn't be able to share in that experience.
Is there anyone that you’ve fought and became good friends with after?I had a pretty good battle with Jorge Gurgel and really came to appreciate his heart over the course of that 15 minutes. I wouldn't say we are good friends because he lives on the other side of the country but I really love the guy and appreciate his warrior spirit. As for my boys back home, I've fought just about all of my close friends. I'm a fighter and I like fighters, we aren't like everyone else. Most of us are real sensitive but have learned different ways of dealing with our emotions that serve us in what we are looking to accomplish. I understand fighters much better than I understand, say artists for example. There is something about a fight that brings people together. You may think I'm nuts but it's hard not to feel for your fellow man after you've both just given everything you have to destroy each other. It's almost like the bond that is formed between two people who share a traumatic experience together. Both men have dug deep into their souls in an attempt to best their opponent and anytime you are in touch with your soul you are in touch with the "oneness" that bonds us all.
Joe Silva calls you up and says, “We want you to fight Reggie Warren Jr. next”. Do you?
a) Say to Joe, “You have the wrong number”.
b) Tell Joe that we’re best of friends and might even be related.
c) Take the fight, but call your doctors in advance and tell them to get ready for ya.
d)Try your best to get in as many privates with Harold Howard and Ken Shamrock.
e)Quit fighting and claim that you have back problems.
f) None of the above in fear that you don’t want to choose the wrong one and make me angry.
I'd tell Joe that I'm in but that I want no time limits, no judges, and no rules. We are men of action and the sport of modern day MMA does not provide the necessary platform for us to truly bare our souls. Two men enter. One man leaves. To the death. We owe it to ourselves to truly be tested.