By Caoilte de Barra
The 2022 Pan American Championships are fast approaching, and we are nearing the first senior squad appearance under USFL to represent the United States. One of their athletes, Gabe Rednose, is readying himself for the event and has his eyes set on taking gold.
Rednose will compete at Light-Heavyweight, a division he only recently moved to after competing at Heavyweight since 2018. The move down came after he made some major lifestyle changes which saw him lose nearly a hundred pounds in a year.
Before linking up with the national team, he was not too familiar with the IMMAF, but he explained how this opportunity came about was like fate.
“I actually was scheduled to fight, May 14th, here in Oklahoma, and the fight fell through, but I had already been training for it. I got offered a short-notice title fight in Arkansas, which is a few states over, for my first time fighting at Light Heavyweight. It was against a Division 2 College Wrestler who was undefeated in MMA.” He said. “So, I thought why not, and went over there, got the win, first-round TKO. And It just so happened that Joe Stevenson was one of the judges there, and he came up to me, and one thing led to another.”
Rednose is currently 6-1 as an amateur and has won three amateur belts on the regional scene. The BJJ blue belt has a strong wrestling background, which earned him a college scholarship. He later discovered that college was not for him but did compete for a little while. Now working full-time, the father of two is as motivated as ever and wants to use this opportunity to further his career, teasing a run at the World Championships if all goes well.
“I’m well prepared. I’ve been grinding. This has been the best fight camp I’ve ever had in my life, the best shape I’ve ever been in. I have two kids and my girlfriend at home, who motivate me. I’ve pushed harder than I’ve ever pushed before. So I’m ready for a dogfight every round.
“I feel like if I were to win Pan-Ams, I would take a run at the Worlds before going pro. The ultimate test you can get as an amateur is competing in large international tournaments like this, and I feel like that would be a great test for myself to further my career in the sport of MMA.”
Rednose also explained how he has Native American heritage and is part of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribe in Oklahoma.
“I’m from Kingfisher, Oklahoma, but I’m part of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribe. It’s a Native American tribe in Oklahoma. It’s two tribes combined because both sides of the tribe are a little bit smaller, so they just ended up putting the two together. I only have Cheyenne blood in me, but our tribe as a whole is the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribe.”
The father of two has had to sacrifice quite a lot to pursue Pan American Championships gold. Training in general usually meant he abandoned some sleep in order to balance life. However, in May, he went one step further and moved to California for a month to prepare, all in pursuit of one goal. He said:
“It’s tough.” He admitted. “I work a full-time job. I got blessed for the month of May, though. My job blessed me to take off the entire month of May, and that is when I got to go out to California and train with Joe [Stevenson] for the month. It was really hard leaving my kids and Katelyn at home. You know, it’s hard. It’s a struggle to balance them, but people do it every day, so that’s what I keep telling myself. I’ve told myself over a thousand times: sacrifice now for a better life later.”
While training in California with Joe Stevenson, the Light Heavyweight hopeful believes he has a whole new arsenal to show off. However, explained that working with Joe has made him truly believe that he can go far in the sport.
“I’ve never in my whole life really taken this seriously, you know. I’ve always kind of done it as a hobby. I would just go in there and rely on my wrestling and ground and pound to get the finish or whatever it may be. Joe being interested in me and saying everything he said to me really made me bite down and commit to this. So these last two months I’ve been very committed, the most committed I’ve been to anything in my life in this aspect.”
Now fully committed to the sport, Rednose’s IMMAF debut is highly anticipated. Only three other men will compete in his division, meaning he could be in a shoo-in for gold.