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Writers and Fighters: A Podcast

Writers and Fighters: A Podcast

By A.J. Ortega

Weekly interviews with a writer or a fighter. Hosted by A.J. Ortega. We talk books, fiction, poetry, reading, boxing, MMA, bjj, wrestling and more. The latest information on the podcast can be found at and on social media.
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Currently playing episode

Ep12 - TJ Koracin, pro wrestling videographer

Writers and Fighters: A PodcastMar 14, 2021

Ep40 - Angel David Castro, YouTuber, podcaster, content creator

Ep40 - Angel David Castro, YouTuber, podcaster, content creator

In episode 40 I got to talk to YouTuber and content creator Angel David Castro. He runs the YouTube channel El Pugilato, a Spanish-language platform for fight fans. We talk about his Puerto Rican Heritage, the Mexican vs Puerto Rican boxing rivalry, the current state of boxing, and much more. You can catch him on all social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as @elpugilato. His website is

Oct 12, 202101:32:19
Ep39 - ASF, independent wrestler, luchador
Sep 22, 202144:33
Ep38 - Chris Maverick, cultural theorist and critic, former wrestler, artist, writer, podcast host
Sep 17, 202101:40:06
Ep37 - Round 2 w/ Nate Jolly, NPC bodybuilder, former wrestler
Sep 06, 202101:03:51
Ep36 - Danika Stegeman LeMay, poet
Aug 30, 202157:02
Ep35 - Round 2 w/ Luis "Spartan" Ramirez, pro wrestler, coach, and English teacher
Aug 22, 202146:53
Ep34 - Christian Schmidt, ring announcer for boxing, MMA, and pro wrestling
Aug 16, 202150:30
Ep33 – Round 2 w/ TJ Koracin, pro wrestling cameraman
Aug 09, 202148:11
Ep32 - V. Joshua Adams, poet, critic, translator
Aug 08, 202148:25
Ep31 - Lauryn Lueken, armored combat fighter
Jul 27, 202151:02
Ep30 - Jenny Valentish, writer, journalist

Ep30 - Jenny Valentish, writer, journalist

In episode 30, I interview Jenny Valentish, an English writer calling in from Australia. She's the author of several articles in places like The Guardian and Rolling Stone, and the author of three books. Most recently, she wrote Everything Harder Than Everyone Else: Why Some of Us Push Our Bodies to Extremes. We talk about her start as a journalist and the ethics of immersion journalism. When we discuss the content of her book, we cover performance enhancing drugs, porn, bdsm, and deathmatch-style professional wrestling. We wrap up talking about her amateur muay thai bout. You can follow Jenny on Twitter @JennyValentish and Instagram @JennyValentish_public. She provides writing coach services at

Jul 22, 202153:27
Ep29 - Jose Hernandez Diaz, writer, poet, editor
Jul 12, 202143:52
Ep28 - Raphael "Trouble" Igbokwe, pro boxer
Jul 04, 202139:12
Ep27 - Nadia Morales, boxer
Jun 28, 202125:26
Ep26 - Colby Applegate, writer and editor
Jun 20, 202138:08
Ep25 - Rocio Franco, poet
Jun 14, 202142:12
Ep24 – Mickey Guida, armored combat athlete
Jun 07, 202101:02:03
Ep23 - David Mario Ramos, boxing coach, gym owner
May 30, 202129:14
Ep22 - Scarlett Harris, writer, culture critic
May 23, 202133:30
Ep21 – Lemus Dos, pro wrestler, luchador
May 17, 202101:08:40
Ep20 - Carla Hoch, writer and martial artist
May 10, 202101:29:27
Ep19 - Alicia Doyle, journalist, boxer, author

Ep19 - Alicia Doyle, journalist, boxer, author

In episode 19, I interview Alicia Doyle, a journalist and former boxer. Her nonfiction novel is called Fighting Chance. We talk about her start as a reporter, which led her to an assignment at a boxing. She tells us about the transition into training and competition, where she won two Golden Gloves championships and the California Female Fight of the Year in her pro debut in the year 2000. Her website is She is on Instagram @disasterdivaboxer and Twitter @aliciakdoyle.

May 02, 202144:13
Ep18 - Matt Mendez, writer
Apr 26, 202101:27:35
Ep17 - Reyes Ramirez, writer
Apr 19, 202154:50
Ep16 - Jennifer Mulligan, screenwriter, director, producer
Apr 12, 202155:44
Ep15 - Dyl Dempsey, independent pro wrestler
Apr 05, 202101:19:56
Ep14 - Dalton Rosta, Bellator MMA fighter
Mar 29, 202137:55
Ep13 - LC Flowers, musician, songwriter

Ep13 - LC Flowers, musician, songwriter

In episode 13 of Writers and Fighters I start with a quick shoutout to my late brother on his birthday. Then I play “Polka Dot Woman” by LC Flowers and interview him, too. LC Flowers is a musician from the borderlands of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. He has a new album, At Home, coming out soon. We talk about his musical influences, songwriting process, and more. Follow him online.

New release dates:
April 2nd - Quicksand/Strangers single release
April 26th - At Home LP digital release
June 1st – At Home vinyl ships

At HomeColor Vinyl Purchase Info:
$25 including shipping (lower 48 states only, include address with payment)
Venmo - @lcflowersmusic
PayPal -

Mar 21, 202141:05
Ep12 - TJ Koracin, pro wrestling videographer
Mar 14, 202135:05
Ep11 - Jennifer Murvin, writer of prose, poetry, and graphic storytelling
Mar 07, 202101:11:42
Ep10 - Dylan Dunbar, owner of Heavy Metal Wrestling
Feb 28, 202101:35:15
Ep9 - Jared Walls, stand-up comic
Feb 22, 202101:03:48
Ep8 - Kenzie Landry, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor and coach
Feb 15, 202145:11
Ep7 - Symmatree, rapper and songwriter
Feb 08, 202101:22:48
Ep6 - Anja Stridsman, boxer, 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medalist
Jan 31, 202101:16:19
Ep5 - John Fry, writer, poet

Ep5 - John Fry, writer, poet

In episode 5 of Writers and Fighters I interview John Fry, a poet. He is the author of With the Dogstar as my Witness. We discuss his upbringing, language, reading, and how that influenced his writing. John shares a story about how he acquired the cover art for his poetry collection. John reads two of his poems and ends with a poem in translation by a poet he admires.
Jan 24, 202101:41:30
Ep4 - Athena Martinez, MMA fighter from Australian Top Team

Ep4 - Athena Martinez, MMA fighter from Australian Top Team

In episode 4 of Writers and Fighters I recap the UFC on ABC event and interview Athena Martinez, an amateur MMA fighter training with Australian Top Team in Sydney. We talk about her start in the fight game and her mindset as a fighter. She shares a story about an injury sustained during a cryotherapy session which derailed a scheduled bout. We end with a chat about her reading and writing habits and how that translates into the fighter mentality.
You can find Athena on Instagram: @athena_martinezz
Jan 17, 202157:48
Ep3 - Nate Jolly, NPC bodybuilder

Ep3 - Nate Jolly, NPC bodybuilder

In episode 3 of Writers and Fighters I interview Nathan Jolly, a former independent pro wrestler and current NPC bodybuilder. We talk about where he gets his work ethic, how he started in pro wrestling, why he transitioned into bodybuilding, and his connection between fitness and mental wellness. He mentions his NPC Classic Physique win in 2020 and his upcoming goals for 2021. You can find Nate on Instagram: @ginger_gainz76
Jan 11, 202146:05
Ep2 - Rene S. Perez II, writer
Jan 08, 202101:09:47
Ep1 - Luis Ramirez, aka Spartan, of Five Star Wrestling
Jan 04, 202101:12:54