Well, here we are.
I started writing this series on may 23rd 2011. In the last 18 months, I have spent countless hours learning what it takes to become a professional fighter. I started off a wrestler, with zero knowledge of jiu-jitsu or striking, but I believed I I had what it took mentally to get into a cage, in front of a roaring crowd and do what it takes to win.
In Battlefield, amateur fighters enjoy some luxuries no other amateur fighter in the world get to enjoy. On many occasions, people would stop me on the street and ask if I fought on TV. They would tell me how they believed I had what it took to make it in MMA. Battlefield Fight League does a great job of getting the fans of our sport to know who we are as fighters, and as people. With this pseudo-fame in the small world of local MMA, it brought real pressure. Each fight more people knew who I was and expected bigger and better things from me with each outing.
For some people I’m sure this sort of thing would have gone to their head, but for me it did the opposite. It made me work harder because I didn’t want to fall from the pedestal I had build up inside my head. Tearing my MCL in training gave me an unexpected break and made me really look at what I was doing. I knew it was. My whole life was geared towards this.
I come from a very athletic family. Like many kids, my older brother picked on me. Unfortunately, my older brother was a national champion wrestler. Having him torment me as a child turned out to give me what my friend Clay would call a “psychological edge” on anyone who I enter the cage against. I know I can take a beating, and mentally I can not and will not be broken. If I am in the cage, no matter who against or how the fight is going, I will always be looking for a way to win. That’s the beauty of mixed martial arts, there are a million ways to finish a fight.
My next fight is sure to be my hardest. My opponent, Stephan Fritsche is 5-2-1 as a pro and I’m sure my amateur experience won’t scare him one bit. He has won fights by knockout and submission, and has had a long time to prepare for me. Now we just wait and see. As Tom Petty says: “waiting is the hardest part”. I feel like a kid in line at Disney Land for the first time going on the ride Space Mountain. The anticipation is building and I’m getting antsy. Soon enough my time will come and they will lock the cage door and the ride will start. Who knows which way it will turn first.
I’m nervous, and not many things make me nervous. This is why I do this sport. Anything can happen.