‘Hey, we got this champion over here. You want to fight him at 155-lbs?’
Those type of phone calls were all too familiar to Luke Adams (5-8), who would receive a bunch of them when he was in California. He doesn’t kid himself. He knows exactly what those calls meant. It meant someone on the other end was in a plight, and they needed him to step up because nobody else would.
In most cases, fighters would turn down that sort of a call. They wouldn’t even consider taking it. But not Adams. He has his reasons for it.
“I trained everyday. I wanted to fight and I had been doing this since I was 18. To be training every day and everyone seeing me train hard, they always ask me questions like, ‘Hey, you have a fight coming up?’” Adams told MMASucka.com. And I’ll reply them, ‘No, it’s just hard training you know… waiting for the call.’”
“I was just having so much inactivity and I was getting no offers. I’ve jumped on fights when my coaches advised me not to but I was always ready to go 3 x 5 minute rounds. Or 5 x 5 minute rounds. I didn’t care. I knew I was in shape.”
“Usually, it would be short notice and in my head, I’ll be like I can beat this guy because I train hard. But then, it doesn’t go so well.”
Adams, 27, started his career with a dismal 1-4 record. However, it wasn’t because he was a bad fighter. A pair of those defeats, in fact, came by split decision. And to hear Adams tell it, he still believes he was robbed.
Nonetheless, in his subsequent battles, he struggled to score bouts in his natural weight class at Featherweight, which might help explain his overall 5-8 resume that stands today. It’s a frustrating situation for someone who has high aspirations for his career in the sport. Especially when it’s never an easy match-up, and it’s just tailored for the other guy to win.
“For years, I haven’t had a fight in my natural weight class. I was only getting offers at 155(-lbs) and these guys were usually either champions in the promotion, or were getting ready to go to Bellator or the UFC,” Adams stated.
“It was hard to get an even match-up. You eventually become a feeder, because a lot of these guys don’t want to take last minute fights. It’s been like that for a long time.”
“What frustrates me most is when they win, it’s like oh, every one else beat him. But if I win, people will make fun of them for losing to a guy who has a bunch of losses on his record.”
And Adams can admit it now: After 13 professional fights, he’s afraid. It doesn’t have to do with his opponents or fearful of being beaten up in front of a live audience, though no one would blame him for being concerned about that either.
Instead, it is the fear of receiving more blemishes on his record. After all, that’s one of the largest downsides in the career of a cage fighter.
“That’s what I’m scared of. I’m not even scared of getting hurt. Actually, I’ve never been hurt in an MMA fight. I just don’t want to lose. I do train hard, it’s not like I’m just screwing around and not doing anything in the gym. In that case, I wouldn’t care if I was losing fights,” Adams continued.
“But it’s hard because I am in the gym, day in and day out, doing conditioning, doing a lot of shit that I don’t want to do when I could be doing something else. But I’m choosing to this because in my head, I believe I can be a really good fighter. And I am a really good fighter.”
“Then when I come up short and when I lose, it’s just hard to tell my friends and family. People don’t really care. They like winners. They want winners.”
Clearly, it’s no secret the 27-year-old loves fighting. He’s been carrying the torch and feels he isn’t ready to put it down yet. But while fighting appeals to his competitive spirit, it comes with a large baggage because of his record – namely people, looking at him as a stepping stone.
“When I was 1-4 and still training all the time, people would ask me, ‘hey, are you still going to fight?’” Adams recalled, looking surprised.
“I had a lot of people ask me that. That if I was still going to fight. And because at the time I was still young, in my head I told myself I still had 10-15 years, so I was going to keep fighting.”
“But yeah, people don’t take you too seriously when you have more losses than wins on your record. I’m sure there’re a lot of people who’d like to see me fail and lose another fight. But that doesn’t affect me. Like I said, every fight I’ve gone into, I stepped in thinking I could beat this guy.”
Frustrated at his less Jekyll and more Hyde spell in the US, Adams recently made the move to Singapore, linking up with Juggernaut Fight Club. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Purple Belt previously trained with the likes of UFC veterans Michael Guymon and Mark Munoz at Joker’s MMA and Reign MMA respectively, and believes that experience will enable him to start on a clean slate as he embarks on a career in Asian MMA.
But more importantly, he’s found an opportunity to train full time – something he was unable to do for the past few years back in California.
“I was working too much in the US. When I was younger, I had a nice job in the gym where I could teach all day and train,” Adams said. “And then it came to a situation where I had to work a lot during the day and I had to teach and train at night, not forgetting my job as a bouncer during the weekends.”
“Right now, I don’t have much to go home to. There’s isn’t much for me so that’s why I’m doing as much as I can here and see how it plays out. So far I like being in Singapore, and I like being in Juggernaut Fight Club.”
Within a month of his arrival, Adams managed to secure a fight too. He’s set to make his debut on Asian soil under the recently launched Singapore Fighting Championship (SFC) flag this weekend.
And while his ultimate goal is to keep on training and to dig himself out of the hole his record has placed him in, he’s just looking forward to more fair match-ups in the future.
“A couple of my pro fights were at 3 x 3 minute rounds. I’ve had 13 fights now and I figured I’m having none of that anymore,” Adams concluded. “Because that’s like meant for guys who have one or two fights. Previously, I had to fight under those limits because the promoter had their guy favored to win and I was the guy they brought in on short notice to lose. But the best thing about my upcoming fight at SFC is that it’s going to be 3 x 5 minute rounds.”
“Right now, I’m looking forward to seeing what the fight scene is like in Asia and of course, evening out my record.”
Luke Adams (5-8) locks horns with Filipino prospect Wilson Managuio (0-0) on the GODS FC pro card portion of the inaugural installment of Singapore Fighting Championship, which takes place December 20 at GymKraft in Guillemard Road, Singapore.
While the pro card also features the return of top Singaporean fighters Syafiq Samad (3-1) and Garie Tang (1-0), the spotlight come fight night, however, will be on the Amateur fighters, where a $300 cash prize along with title straps across multiple weight divisions will be dished out.
*Photos credit: ChingasosMMA