Louie Sanoudakis (Zahabi MMA) Interview

Montreal Grappling- First off Louie tell us a little bit about yourself, your grappling experience, your head coach, and your team?

Louie Sanoudakis- I've been training under Firas Zahabi for just about 5 and a half years. I started MMA with him right away so I've been grappling just as long as I've been doing mma, training all my disciplines equally. Got a solid team behind me, with new guys coming in and out of town all the time so I get to train with all sorts of different styles, so it's great.

Montreal Grappling- You are fighting Leandro Ferreira, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt from Action & Reaction MMA, at the Montreal Grappling Grand Prix on January 21 in a NoGi super fight, can you tell us what you know about Leandro and what your expecting from him in your match?

Louie Sanoudakis- I don't really know much about the guy I'm grappling against, I've seen one of his matches on YouTube, he seems solid and tricky. Since I haven't seen much of him, the only thing I'm expecting is a good, fun match.

Montreal Grappling- You have made a big name for yourself on the amateur MMA scene in Quebec to the point now that promoters are having a difficult time in convincing coaches to matches their fighters up with you, how does the jump to a NoGi super fight change your attitude? What does this challenge mean to you?

Louie Sanoudakis- I am having a little trouble getting fights right now, so doing this No-Gi match against Leandro means I get to stay active against a guy who is very good and game...it's a different challenge for me, my attitude is the same though. I want to go in there, give it my best and hopefully pull off a win.

Montreal Grappling- You are a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu purple belt under Firas Zahabi at Tristar Gym, can you tell us a little bit about your relationship with your coach and what he means to you?

Louie Sanoudakis- Firas Zahabi is an awesome coach and a great leader. He takes care of all the guys at Tristar Gym from pro fighters to amateur fighters to complete beginners. He knows how to approach all these different levels, so it's really great to have him around and he is the reason I strive for perfection in the sport.

Montreal Grappling- You recently started living at the Tristar Gym dorms, can you tell us about the move from home to the gym and why it was important for you to do this?

Louie Sanoudakis- Living right next to the gym was a great move on my part and made the most sense for me. I am constantly at the gym training or giving private lessons so when I need a little rest I can just go next door and take a nap.

Montreal Grappling- Living at the Tristar Dorms and training at Tristar Gym daily, which fighters there that people might have not heard about should we be paying closer attention to?

Louie Sanoudakis- I can't go through a list of names of all the guys who are great at tristar, the list would be too long. The guy that stands out the most though and he's still an amateur fighter is my main training partner(that's not accurate though, I'm HIS main training partner) Aiemann Zahabi. He's also one of my coaches. He's very young(24) but very knowledgable, and his skillset is among the best I've seen(pros or amateurs). If I could train to be as half as good as him I'd be the man. So yeah, pay attention to Aiemann Zahabi.

Montreal Grappling- What does Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu mean to you? What are your future goals in the martial art and maybe more importantly, what are your future goals in mixed martial arts as a competitor?

Louie Sanoudakis- Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is one of my passions, and it's just plain fun to do it. My future aspirations in Jiu-Jitsu I'm unsure of right now because I concentrate on my Mixed Martial Arts career first, the end goal is to become a world champion in that.

Montreal Grappling- Although your upcoming super fight on January 21 is a NoGi match, can you tell us your thoughts on training with the gi? Can you especially tell us your thoughts on if training with the gi is an important aspect in mixed martial arts?

Louie Sanoudakis- I'm not so sure on whether training with the gi is important for mixed martial arts, but I think it's good to do it regardless. I believe it's good to stay somewhat traditional in that aspect of it. Gi is also a completely different sport than no gi in my opinion. There are so many things you can do in gi that you can't do in no gi, and vice versa. They are both very fun to do though, and I respect them both just the same.

Montreal Grappling- Can you tell us about a day in the life of Louie Sanoudakis, what does training usually consist of on a daily basis?

Louie Sanoudakis- Training usually consists of 2 to 3 sessions a day; it varies from day to day. My life is pretty routine and pretty boring; I eat, sleep and train. No one wants to hear about that.

Montreal Grappling- What are your thought on competition, are you one that is very competitive and needs to compete constantly or someone who plans their next move?

Louie Sanoudakis- I love competing, I am competitive, and I think it's very important to stay competitive in order to evolve. The more times you compete, the easier it becomes. I still like to plan my moves though, and I won't compete if I feel it won't be conducive to my future in my sport.

Montreal Grappling- Outside of training what is your occupation as well as some of your interests? How do these interests affect your training habits?

Louie Sanoudakis- I give private sessions to people at the gym as a job, and I absolutely love it. So even when I'm working, I'm training. I don't have too many interests outside the gym, like I said; I'm probably more boring than the average guy. I don't go out too often, I prefer to stay home and watch something funny on television. One thing I do that's probably not so great for my training is eat junk food. I have been cutting down on it a lot more lately but I still love it.

Montreal Grappling- After being exposed to enough techniques, some practitioners tend to feel that there are some moves harder to pull off than others. Let’s play a little game called “Written BJJ”, try to write us a description of the hardest technique you’ve ever pulled off in sparring or competition.

Louie Sanoudakis- I never try to pull of hard techniques in training. I am of the opinion that simplicity is key when it comes to Jiu Jitsu. I try to keep it as simple as possible.

Montreal Grappling- This is your first time fighting for Montreal Grappling, what have you liked about working alongside the organization? How do you feel about how Montreal Grappling is looking to expand the sport as well as expose their fighters to the spotlight?

Louie Sanoudakis- I think Montreal Grappling is a great organization to work with. They allow for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners to compete locally and earn some respect on the Montreal BJJ scene. They also work with certain charities, so I'm all for that, who isn't?

Montreal Grappling- Is there any sponsors or people who have helped you get here that you would like to give a shout out to?

Louie Sanoudakis- I'd like to shout out to my family for putting up with me. My head Coach, Firas Zahabi. Aiemann Zahabi for helping me out, training me, and training with me like no one else does. My good friend and training partner Jacob Miller who constantly helps me get extra reps in and gives great advice. My other good friend and training partner Moustafa El Zanaty. Last 2 friends, J.D. and Tyson Cic, who constantly support me and help me out in and out of the gym. That's it, sorry for the long list of shout outs.

TTT for Louie, great prospect!!! Phone Post

A LOT of people are coming out to watch Louie's fight versus Leandro. One of them is a BJJ Black Belt and the other is a big prospect, it is a nogi match and it is going to be pretty awesome.