By Lance Edwards
Andre Ewell (11-4), who goes by the unusual nickname “Afro Monkey”, feels that his is a name you should take notice of. This five-foot-ten bantamweight is making his LFA debut at LFA 36. His opponent, Trent Meaux (6-4-1), will be making his fourth LFA appearance. For Ewell, this is his time to shine and get the recognition he feels he deserves.
“I started training as I was growing up. My dad told me I needed to defend myself as I was lighter skinned. We moved around a lot, I was always the new kid. I was getting targeted by bullies, so jumped into self-defense and training. My mom said I should do it as a professional because I was good at it. I started with wrestling, and then picked up boxing when Roy Jones and Tyson were about. I did some taekwondo as well here and there. I went boxing as a pro and then moved into MMA.”
As he had fought professionally in boxing, Ewell had to move straight to competing in professional MMA, which he reports didn’t faze him.
“In 2011, I started doing MMA, I was training Jiu Jitsu. In boxing, it is a lot about who you know; in MMA it didn’t seem like that. In school, I was athletic. I played football, basketball and did track. I didn’t connect with the college track coach and decided to do what I loved instead, fighting.”
A California native, Ewell continues to work and train in the Golden State.
“I train with Apex MMA. My record is 11-4 but the losses I have I shouldn’t have. The two decisions are arguable. Jordan Winski was my first loss. He’s now in LFA. I should have got the win. I came in at 35, he came in at 45. We were due to fight other people and switched opponents. I out pointed him and out struck him. I’d like another go at that fight. I’ll move up to fight him or take the fight if he wants to move down. I’m calling that one out in the post-fight interview.”
Ewell’s opponent, Meaux, is a transplant from Louisiana to California, where he now trains at Combat Submission Wrestling under Erik Paulson and his coaching staff.
“I know he likes to bang. I haven’t had an opponent who likes to do that. Everyone reverts doing wrestling and jiu jitsu. I have a good floor game, and they get a nasty awakening. I’ll know I’ll put on a show. It will be settled in the first round as to who is going to win. After this, I want the UFC. If not I’ll keep bulldozing my way. I’m going to take over California.”
Smash Fu is how Ewell describes his fighting style.
“It’s like a monkey style. It means I’m coming straight to the point. Everything has a meaning to it. I smash you to get there. Whether it’s a takedown and I smash you into the floor or an elbow, it’s all explosive. Straight smashing.”
Another key aspect of Ewell’s game is the work he does on his strength and conditioning.
“Damon Dees is my strength and conditioning coach; he’s also my cousin. He’s been working with me with the help of my brother, Adrian Ewell. The training program has taken me to the next level.”
As well as training Ewell likes to stay active.
“I enjoy bowling. I also like to play pool, do karaoke and eating snacks. At other times I work with kids teaching martial arts. We are going to open a new project called Impact in Inland Empire.”
One things for sure, the fight between Ewell and Meaux is one where both fighters will be looking to finish their opponent.