Interview with Cobra Kai’s Simpson “The Bear Tamer” Go

The life of a Cobra Kai Brown-Belt can be demanding, but Sim seems to handle it with ease.At 21 years of age, Simpson Go is the youngest person ever to receive a Brown-Belt from legendary jiu-jitsu genius Marc Laimon. Standing all of 5’5” tall, weighing 140 lbs. soaking wet, and looking like he should be getting ready for his high school prom, Sim is actually one of the most imposing grapplers to come out of a gym that features such grappling studs as Marc Laimon, Sean Spangler, MayheM Miller, The Bieri Brothers, Joe Stevenson, Kendall Grove, Forrest Griffin, Frank Mir, Jeff Glover, Sonny Nohara, Ulysses Gomez, and many others. However, like any athlete, fresh off catching a wave of success, Sim was hard to catch up with. Luckily, he wasn’t too hard to find, as Marc simply directed me across the street from Cobra Kai toward Cheetahs.

The life of a Cobra Kai Brown-Belt can be demanding, but Sim seems to handle it with ease. In between lap dances, I was able to ask Sim about everything from his recent promotion and up-coming super fights to his mad pimping skills and the secrets behind grappling a live bear.

Sim, I thought we’d first start off by having you finish each of these sentences with the first thing that comes to mind.

The Best thing about training at Cobra Kai is… The quality of guys that I train with day in and day out is great. Most of us have been training together for years and have developed a close camaraderie and we are genuinely helpful towards improving each other’s game, not just our own.

-I drive a… a silver 2006 Scion TC.

-I love… Rice and Katsu.

B: Okay, now for some harder hitting questions…Now that you’re kind of a big deal and people know you, let me ask you this… Do you have many leather-bound books, does your apartment smell of rich mahogany, and does Merlin Olson come over on occasion?

S: I mostly have Biology and Jiu-Jitsu books, my apartment smells like stinky training gear and Cryogel, and the guys from Cobra Kai are the ones that are usually coming over.

B: Filipino chicks, Blonde chicks, or Brazilian chicks?

s: Filipino chicks!

B: Cheetahs, Sapphires, or Spearmint Rhino?

S: Spearmint Rhino.

B: G.S.P., Hughes, or B.J.?

S: I gotta go with the chubby Hawaiian B.J. Penn.

B: Vodka, Sake, or Scotch?

S: I love Scotch. Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly, mm-mm-mm… poetry and of course my little friend Baxter here.

B: Okay, time for some more serious questions. Jeff Glover and you have had some great battles over the years. Now that you are both training together at Cobra Kai, who are some of the guys out there that you look forward to facing the most?

S: Darren “Bone Crusher” Uyenoyama, Shane Rice, and Brandon Vera because he told me he’d let me start with the choke and the hooks in!

B: Other than Marc Laimon, who are some of your favorite grapplers to watch compete?

S: Marcelo Garcia, Leozinho Vieira, B.J. Penn, Tony DeSouza, Xande Ribeiro, Rafael Lovato, Jr., Roger Gracie, Jeff Glover, Sonny Nohara, Fernando Armenta, Ulysses Gomez, and Scott Bieri.

B: What about your favorite MMA fighters?

S: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Fedor Emelianenko, B.J. Penn, G.S.P., Jason “MayheM” Miller, Brandon Vera, Kid Yamamoto, Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro, Kendall Grove, Jay Hieron, and Joe “Daddy” Stevenson.

B: How about your favorite referees?

S: Randy Bloom because he looks like Owen Wilson, Andrew Smith because of his Heath Ledger hair, and Rick Migliarese because he isn’t afraid to tell unruly competitors and coaches to fuck off.

B: Rumor has it you’ve been training Muay Thai with kickboxing stud Kenny Hahn. Is this any indication that we should expect to see you competing in PRIDE Bushido someday?

S: Not unless I take some human growth hormone and gain 25 pounds of muscle!

B: You are currently attending UNLV, teaching classes and privates full-time at Cobra Kai, as well as training and competing full-time. How do you make time for the ladies?

S: I’m fueled by Xyience Xenergy Drink. “The best tasting energy drink with zero calories!”

B: You are also sometimes referred to as “The Pekinese”. Would you mind elaborating a little on that for us?

S: At the OTM Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and U.S. Open of Submission Grappling tournament this past weekend, we were laughing about how everyone uses the nickname “The Pit Bull” and I thought it would be funny if I was known as “The Pekinese”. Everyone agreed and Marc had me bark like a Pekinese after each match I won.

B: Many of your training partners have jokingly compared your strength to that of a 12 year old girl. Has that helped you focus on perfecting your technique to the elite level that it is at today?

S: I don’t think that I have the strength of a 12 year old girl anymore. It’s more like the strength of a 12 year old boy. Training with much bigger and stronger guys definitely makes me work on perfecting my technique every time I train.

B: I have personally watched you man-handle guys two and three times your size and strength on the mat. Do you have any advice for other anabolically challenged jiu-jitsu guys on how to handle their much larger and stronger counterparts when training?

S: I’d suggest that they work on their chokes. The most effective techniques you can use against a stronger opponent are the Rear Naked Choke and Triangle. You also want to work on your butterfly guard, so you don’t get smashed while on the bottom.

B: Now that you’ve received your Brown-Belt, what’s harder, sweeping Uly or keeping all the cougars happy?

S: Keeping all the cougars happy.

B: Everyone knows about Uly’s undying crush on Leann Tweeden. So let me ask you this… Is there any cougar out there that you’d like to give your privates to for an hour?

S: Definitely Vanessa Minnillo!

B: If you, Sonny, Jeff, and Uly decided to go soft on us and start a boy band called the Million Dollar Quartet, who would be the J.T. or Nick Lachey of the group, and pull the most wool?

S: Jeff, because he’s got the blonde hair, blue eyes, and boy band look that 12 and 13 year old girls would love!

B: Finally, I just want to clear one thing up. It’s been said lately on some internet forums that you may have something against bears and may even enjoy grappling bears. Is this because you are a bearist or does grappling with bears help push your game to even greater lengths?

S: It all started when I was 6 years old camping with my family. We had just finished setting up our tent and unpacking our pic-a-nic baskets, when we all decided to go for a hike down by the river. When we got back, to our surprise, the bears had eaten all of our gold fish crackers, honey nut cheerios, lumpia, and turon that my mother had just finished making. Ever since then, I’ve held a personal vendetta against bears in general.

B: Does that go for Grizzly Bears, Black Bears, Panda Bears, Polar Bears, and Koala Bears?

S: It doesn’t matter; they all look alike to me!

B: Is there anything else you’d like to add before we wrap this up?

S: I’d just like to thank my sponsors: Alden from Submit One, Shoyoroll, TapouT, OTM Fight Shop, and On The Mat. I’d also like to give a special thanks to my coach Marc Laimon.

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