(Andy Williams, second from right, has beef with the TUF 10 cast member.)
As a high school wrestler in upstate New York, Andy Williams was hooked on MMA because of grapplers like Royce Gracie and local fighter Harold Howard. The 32-year-old guitarist for Every Time I Die is now such a dedicated fan that there’s an outside chance he might stop by the Wand Fight Team Training & Conditioning Center when he and his girlfriend celebrate their anniversary in Las Vegas, just as long as Brendan Schaub doesn’t make a surprise visit to the gym. After all, Williams has beef with the TUF finalist.
FIGHT! Magazine: How good of a wrestler were you in high school?
Andy Williams: I was ok. I mean, I wouldn’t say that I was a state champ or anything like that, but I was alright. This was really funny because I went to North Tonawanda High School, and the next school system over was Niagara Wheatfield and that’s where Rashad Evans went to school. So I was wrestling when Rashad was wrestling. I saw him wrestle about 900 times. He was little, like really little – 132 [pounds] or something like that – and now he fights at 205, probably walks around at 220. It’s mind-boggling.
FIGHT!: Were you guys in the same weight class?
AW: No, but they were our biggest rival. I know we definitely almost fought them before. We had some really good coaches. Both of them were snap cases and they hated Niagara Wheatfield, so when we would wrestle Niagara Wheatfield, it would get kinda heated.
FIGHT!: Would you wrestle Rashad now?
AW: I would try. I’m sure he’d probably kick my ass, but I would definitely wrestle him. That would be awesome.
FIGHT!: One of the reasons you got into MMA was because there were a lot of wrestlers. Being a wrestler yourself, why didn’t you ever try competing in mixed martial arts route?
AW: By the time I was out of high school, I had already been playing guitar and stuff like that, and I was touring. I guess the interest kinda fizzled out – just competing wise. Guitar became a little bit more important. I would still love to do it. There was talk for a while about a celebrity version of The Ultimate Fighter, and I’m not a celebrity by any means, but I’ll fight anyone in another band.
FIGHT!: Have you ventured out to learn any other fighting disciplines?
AW: I was rolling at HB Unlimited for a while. My girlfriend lives in Costa Mesa, California, and Tiki [Ghosn]’s place is right there and I got a friend who teaches jiu-jitsu there. Being 32 and rolling there was kinda awesome. It’s a little different from wrestling, for sure.
FIGHT: Who are some of your favorite fighters nowadays?
AW: I really like Alan Belcher. He just seems like a rad dude and every time he fights, he brings it. Since I started watching MMA, Wanderlei [Silva] has been unstoppable, so it’s like I’ve always been a big Wanderli fan. BJ [Penn] of course. I really like Eddie Alvarez and Joachim Hansen. It was funny. When we went to Norway, I tried to get a hold of him to see if he’d come to the show, but I couldn’t find a way to get a hold of him.
FIGHT!: Well when you go to Vegas to celebrate your girlfriend’s anniversary, you should train with Wandy at his new gym. That would be a great anniversary gift.
AW: Yeah. I’m sure she would like that. The funny thing is my girlfriend knew nothing about mixed martial arts, but the last [season] of The Ultimate Fighter with Kimbo [Slice] and Roy Nelson, like I was out there the whole entire time that season was pretty much going on, so by way of me, she kinda had to watch it and now, she is completely obsessed with it. She like owns all The Ultimate Fighters on DVD now and she goes to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the fights there.
FIGHT!: Does your girlfriend have a crush on GSP like every other girl?
AW: No. I tell you what. She is in love with Brendan Schaub and I hate it. It makes me want to fight the dude. Like if I met Brendan Schaub, I’d give him attitude. And the funny thing is I don’t look anything like that dude, so why are you with me? I have hand tattoos, I’m covered in tattoos, I got facial hair, blah blah blah, and it’s like why do you like that dude? “Ah, he’s so pretty!” God, you son of a …
FIGHT!: Wow. Most girls think GSP is the pretty boy, but Brendan Schaub.
AW: Yeah. It’s funny because my voice – I got sick a little on this tour, and my voice got real sandy sounding, and she kept saying, “You sound like Matt Mitrione. You sound like Matt Mitrione.” I’m like, “You’re kidding me?” With the Brendan Schaub shit and the Matt Mitrione stuff, it’s like, “Just stop. Ok?” I’d rather look Roy Nelson.