Dakota Hope-Lewis is ready to test the metal he's made of as he steps into the cage for the first time on April 21st at the VFL: Brazos Throwdown IV. Hope-Lewis trains out of W4R Training Center in Houston. With a lot to prove, Hope-Lewis (145 lbs) is ready to show his college wrestling background as well as the stand up he's gained from W4R. Watch him make his debut in the cage at Brazos Throwdown IV. Purchase tickets here.
How did you get started and what made you decide to be an MMA Fighter?
I always got in fights growing up and was good at it. I was not a troublemaker AT ALL, I just enjoyed fighting. I'd never start fights but I would never shy away from a challenge either. I eventually saw my first MMA fight with GSP while i was in middle school. When I saw that GSP fight it made me realize I could actually make a career out of fighting and not just continue to be suspended and kicked out of schools and going to different ones just because I stood up for myself and enjoyed fighting as a result of doing so.
What makes someone a fighter?
What makes someone a fighter is if they have a literal lust for fighting against someone else, a special individual who loves feeling it gives them and welcomes the adversity and pain of a fight. It's something you can't teach you just have to naturally enjoy not knowing whether or not you can defeat someone and be willing to take them on to find out, even at the possibility of you losing. You also have to want to fight individuals who some would say may be better than yourself. Someone who everyone else thinks can beat you, but you yourself know otherwise. If that grey area of not knowing whether you will win or lose but you being willing to give it your all to beat them thrills you, then you are a fighter.
How would you describe your fight style?
My style is filthy. I will do anything and everything in my power to defeat my opponent as long as it is legal and allowed in the rules that I am competing under.
What is my favorite submission/strike to use in a fight?
Any strike or submission that brings myself and my team closer to victory on fight night.
What is your favorite thing about fighting?
I just love the feeling of defeating another individual equal to or greater in strength than myself. I love the taste of my own blood in my mouth haha it just does something to me! Gets my juices flowing, then I wanna give that back to them one hundred fold and that's where all the fun begins.
If you could start your fight career over, what would you do differently?
I would get started specifically training for a career in MMA in a gym at age 5 or 6.
How do you feel about your upcoming fight?
I know that no man can stand against me and not be defeated by my own hand. Not only because of my will power and determination to break them but as a result of the training my coaches put me through on a daily basis. I also know that if they looked in my mind and saw my thoughts for even a fraction of a second they would no want to be locked in a car with me. So knowing that let's me know all I have to do is find a way to turn those thoughts into physical weapons to harm my opponent with and victory is mine. I know in my heart of hearts I will be victorious and I Kno what I am meant for. I can honestly look myself in the eyes and tell myself that with complete honesty. I know I will be a world champion and Josh Rosen is nothing more than a step for me to place my foot as I continue on that journey.
What holes do you see in your opponents game?
The major hole in his game is allowing himself to fight against me in a cage in the first place.
How do you think the fight will end?
I know the fight will end with my hand being raised high in victory and his head hung low in defeat.
What are your goals for MMA?
My reality is that I will become The UFC, Bellator, and One FC champion. With of course any other major promotions belts as I make my way to one above all else. I will also make my family and my team lots of money and it will bring me so much joy in doing so. My coaches mean so much to me and when they are able to make a profit off of our victories and help support themselves and their families, it will be one of the best feelings in the world for me.
If you could have one dream fight with any MMA fighter, who would it be and why?
Georges St. Pierre
What do you like to do outside of MMA?
Acquire the money to invest in different stocks/corporations so that I can save up enough money to start my own corporation. Also to use some of the money from my corporation to donate to different causes that save wildlife around the world.
What is your life motto?
Make moves or make excuses.
Who has been the most inspirational person in your life and why?
I honestly cannot choose. Many people have come through my life and are still in my life that give me so much motivation everyday. So to put that title onto one individual would be unfair I feel.
What is something people should know about you?
I will go deeper and darker than any man who dares to ever stand across from me in a cage.
Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my family for always supporting me through everything I choose to take on in life and helping me to become all that I am today and all that I will become in the future. I would also like to thank all of my coaches for being there for me when I need them and for pushing me past my limits everyday or rather the limits I thought I had before I broke through them with their guidance. A very special thanks to my head coach, Jeremy Mahon for naming me his protege and not just saying the title but actually putting so much personal time into me inside and outside the gym and providing me with the tools to defeat anyone I face. Also for him being there to call me on my bullshit and let me know to buckle down at the slightest home of me losing focus. He is always real with me and keeps it one hundred. I love brutal truth with no sugar coating and he delivers exactly that to me. As long as I compete I will never give a performance that will let that man down. #W4R