Like a lot of martial arts fans, 21-year-old Eben “The Big O” Oroz grew up idolizing legendary actor Bruce Lee in movies like Enter The Dragon and Fists of Fury. So much so, he set out to become a professional fighter himself.
“My goal was to try and apply Lee’s Jeet Kune Do system to mixed martial arts fighting,” says the Floridian featherweight (4-1). “But first, I had to learn Jeet Kune Do,” (which translates to “the way of the intercepting fist”).
Enter Sifu instructor Richie Carrion, founder of JKD-Extreme Martial Arts Academy, in West Palm Beach, Florida.
“He started by teaching me one of Lee’s most important combat principles,” says Oroz. “Namely, that simple done right has no counter.”
However, with no prior martial arts training, Oroz found this difficult to digest at first.
“He kept telling me to have an empty mind, or as Lee once said an ‘empty cup’. The thinking is that if your cup of knowledge is empty you can always fill it back up, but if your cup is always full you cannot add to it. So, one should keep his cup or circle empty in order to keep learning.”
To remind himself of this philosophy, Oroz took the unusual step of having an enormous circle tattooed on his torso.
“It serves as a reminder to me, plus fans love chanting ‘O’ whenever I land a punch or kick in the ring,” laughs Oroz.
This Tuesday, September 4 at 11 p.m. / 10 p.m. Central, Oroz fights Indiana’s David “The Doctor” Love (7-5-1) on an all new episode of Bodog Fight: New Jersey, airing on ION television in the U.S. and in Canada on The Fight Network.
Also featured on this episode of Bodog Fight: New Jersey is a heavyweight battle between Russia’s Roman Zentsov (16-10) and “The Iron Lion” Branden Lee Hinkle (14-7) of Ohio. Both fighters are hoping a victory will catapult them into a position to challenge for the vacant Bodog Fight heavyweight belt.
No secret as to the game plan for Zentsov, who rolls with the likes of Aleks and Fedor Emelianenko at the famed Russian Red Devil Sport Club. The hard-hitting Russian will be looking to land bombs.
“Zentsov has some of the heaviest hands in the sport,” says fellow heavyweight Josh Barnett. “His left hook has put more than a few fighters to sleep.”
But Hinkle, a newcomer to Bodog Fight, has never been knocked out and says he doesn’t plan on tasting the canvas in this fight.
“I see me pounding him out and the ref stopping it at the end of the first round,” says a confident Hinkle.
If it goes past the first round, the NCAA Division II Wrestling champion and U.S. National Free-Style All-American can certainly rely on sage advice from his corner, where MMA pioneer Mark Coleman will be barking instructions.
“Mark and all the guys I work with at Team Hammer House in Columbus have really helped me take my game to the next level,” says Hinkle. “I’m ready to roll.”