Throwdown: A Riff-Off with Cro Cop

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Dave Peters, lead vocalist and guitarist of hardcore band Throwdown, was introduced to PRIDE in 2002 by MMA photographer Dave Mandel, their former boss at Indecision Records. The 29-year-old California-based musician has been hooked on MMA ever since and has even tried his hand at the various disciplines of combat sports. Three albums, two labels and one cracked rib later, Peters follows the sport closer than ever before. Although he looks forward to releasing his group’s sixth studio album “Deathless” this November, all the straight edge superstar really wants is a hug from “Minotauro.”

FIGHT!: Take me back to the early days when you started kickboxing.
Dave Peters: A few of the guys I hung out with found a gym pretty close to our high school. It was called Huntington Harbor Athletic Club and it hasn’t been around in a long time. I went and actually did it for maybe six or seven months when I was in high school. I was working at the athletic club when I was 19 and I was going there a couple of times a week, and I’ve always been fascinated with boxing and striking. I never got super serious [though]. I never fought in any smoker fights or anything like that, but I had fun doing it.

FIGHT!: Is there any chance we’ll be seeing a head kicking contest between you and Cro Cop?
Peters: I think it’s safe to say that you won’t see that contest for a little while. But hey, if he wants to sit down with a guitar and have a riff off, I’m down with that (laughs).

FIGHT!: You’ve also trained some jiu-jitsu at HB Ultimate. How did that experience go?
Peters: I did actually go into HB Ultimate, where a friend of mine has been going for years and kinda works there … a guy named Brian Talbert. He’s cornered with Rampage on a couple of fights and I actually went down there. I never tried jiu-jitsu or was never a guy who was into wrestling or a ground game much. But I got in there, and I wasn’t there for three days maybe, and I think I almost threw up the first day because it was so exhausting. I never experienced anything that was quite that exerting on a physical level. On day three when I was getting my wind and understanding how to not kill myself and being able to relax while still working on the ground, a friend of mine passed my guard, was kinda spinning around and sitting on my side, and he cracked my rib. So my jiu-jitsu stint was three days long because my overzealous friend who I was rolling with ended up sitting on me and cracking my rib. I guess I have my injury from MMA (laughs).

FIGHT!: Man … that’s gotta suck. After that incident, did you ever visit any other gyms or training camps?
Peters: Yeah. We played a couple of shows in Sao Paulo and I talked to a couple of guys who trained at Chute Boxe down there. We were there going recreationally or whatever, but down there, it’s a whole other level. Granted, MMA has taken over and is arguably the biggest sport maybe with football in the ‘States now, but yeah, it’s crazy down there in Brazil. Much in the way European and South American countries appreciate soccer, it’s pretty much the same way [for MMA in Brazil]. But yeah, it would have been awesome to have a couple of extra days to check out the Chute Boxe camp and these other places that are legendary.

FIGHT!: Did you get the chance to meet any of the fighters at Chute Boxe like Fabricio Werdum, Lady Cyborg Santos … or Male Cyborg Santos?
Peters: Ah no, I didn’t. The guy I met up with was just a friend of the band and he came out to a couple of shows. He was just paying his way and training there. [But] a friend of mine and I were at this café in L.A. and we actually ran into [Minotauro] Nogueira right before fighting Couture a couple of months ago, and that was cool. And, I don’t often get star struck. We play a lot of festivals in Europe and play with so many bands. There’s dudes from Metallica walking around, which is definitely cool from a fanboy level, but like it was kinda crazy and intimidating to run into a guy like Nogueira. He was such a nice dude, soft-spoken and real personable. Just being a fan of MMA, just the same with music, you never wanna be let down by people you look up to and admire, and watch fight or play or whatever. So it was definitely cool and I was definitely stoked. He could easily be like, “Whatever guy. I’m eating my cheeseburger. Take a hike,” but he was super cool. I think that goes a long way for fans of the sport and fans in general.

FIGHT!: Nogueira is known for hugging people. Did he hug you?
Peters: I don’t recall a hug. I think I would remember a hug from Nogueira (laughs). No, I didn’t get a hug. That would be great though. That’s a story I would love to share, “I got a hug form Nogueira (laughs).”

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