When we put our show on television 9 years ago, everybody told me we couldn’t put on fights every week, because there just aren’t that many fighters. Especially, in the reddest of the red states, Utah. They couldn’t have been more wrong. I believe there is a little fighter in all of us.
Truth be told, if you were to try to stereotype a fighter based upon appearance or social standing, you would be completely wrong. We have had one of everything inside our cage. One wouldn’t be terribly surprised to learn that policemen, firemen and ex-cons are drawn to the sport. But, what about an emergency room nurse, a physicist, a Boy Scout leader, multi-millionaire, and even a former LDS Bishop?
The latter was 45 years old, had 6 children, and fought under the moniker of ‘Scrappy’. I will never forget this guy. He won his first fight and said he had never felt more alive. He got creamed his second fight, and we never saw him again. I later learned that he had a deal with his wife. She would allow him to live his dream until he lost. He lost his second fight, but found out what it was like to be alive again after years of going through the motions.
Getting punched in the face is feeling alive? I don’t think that is exactly what he meant. I believe the events leading up to the fight are what he was referring to. The sleepless nights and hours of nervous preparation, the butterflies in your stomach, and hearing that cage door shut as you look across at your opponent who is going through the same thing you are. THAT is what he was referring to. And, yes, getting socked in your noggin and realizing it wasn’t as bad as you thought it was going to be, is icing on the cake.
Others get into MMA to pursue greatness in what is arguably the fastest growing sport in America. We have seen many of them achieve that success over the years. Utah is full of tremendous athletes that love a challenge. What better way to challenge yourself then to go mano-a-mano with another great athlete?
This sport has evolved far beyond human cockfighting. Top athletes are now choosing this sport over more mainstream sports like football or baseball. Rather than fight for yardage and goal lines, they fight for position and dominance. Because it is a sport without a ball, it has taken some time for Americans to embrace it. But, I liken it to jumping out of an airplane… have you really lived until you’ve done it once?
This feeling of living beyond your normal boundaries can be exhilarating. It can make you feel young again, because you haven’t had an adrenaline dump in years. That adrenaline dump may be just what the doctor ordered to kick start your happiness- To help you find that inner youthful spirit that has been lying dormant inside of you for years.
I have also had a personal experience of late that may help you understand the motives behind a person that may have passed their prime wanting to hop into the cage. I recently did a Juice Fast Diet. It is a diet I had heard a lot of fighters talking about. It seemed to have been the latest craze. The diet made me document what I was putting into my body. It made me conscious of everything I took in. Consequently, I became more acutely aware of my exercise regimen, what my body was and was not able to do physically, mentally, and emotionally. As a result, I have found myself living a much healthier lifestyle.
Many people are just looking for a regiment. They are looking for structure. They are looking for guidance in life. Training for a cage fight is a terrifying proposition to most people. But that terror can be the catalyst in MAKING you live a healthy lifestyle (Diet, sleep, exercise). I can think of no better motivator than to be as well prepared as possible through proper preparation.