Passion can push one beyond the visible limitations of self. Its prevalence among motivational, and uplifting speech is no accident. One hope we as mortal beings extend is that passion is in all that we do. That our lives are not pushed by the monotony of uninspired work. Such hope is wasted on the M-1 Global featherweight champion, Nate Landwehr for he lives a life of passion, one that he cultivates each and every day.
“There is only one truth, if you are not that truth then you don’t deserve to be where you set out to be. I know that I am one of the best fighters in the world. For me, I don’t put no pressure on myself because I’m not forced into this lifestyle. This is not something I have to do.
You know when you first start fighting you’re like, ‘Man I’m doing this shit for mama. I’m doing this shit for all my people, I’m doing this shit for that mother fucker that was talking that shit.’ But then you realize, man you just really doing this shit because you love it. That’s why there is no pressure on me. If I go out there and fuck around one day and get my ass whopped, yeah it’ll be devastating but it’s not going to be the end of me. I’m not going to die because of it. I’ll dust myself off. There’s nothing that could prevent me from doing what I want to do. I am 30 years old, I found my true passion, I got my wife, I found my true love, I’m a lucky man. I got a home, I got a lot of things going for me.”
Battle in Atyrau
The American in M-1 Global is content in his current situation. Saturday, December 15th, ‘The Train’ travels back across the Atlantic to defend his featherweight title at M-1 Challenge Battle in Atyrau. His first title defense comes against Ukrainian fighter, Andrey Lezhnev.
His plan for Lezhnev is simple. Landwehr plans to institute the same exciting pressure he does in every fight over the course of his career.
“I come at you like a fucking maniac, I’m coming at you like a Viking trying to get into Valhalla, I’m coming at you like Denzel Washington off of ‘Man on Fire’, I’m coming at you with hell in my eyes and I’m coming for a true battle. That’s what I really love. M-1 [Global] knew it from the beginning… I feel like he’s tough enough to stick in there and we going to make one hell of a fight for the fans and I feel like he’s also tough enough where he’s going to do something and he’s going to get himself knocked out. This fight should go down as one of my top knockouts that I’ve ever had and I’ve had some great knockouts.”
Landwehr is the Russian organizations first American champion since Kenny Garner captured the promotions heavyweight title in 2012. Now, Landwehr headlines his second M-1 Challenge event. Again his name links to Kenny Garner, as Landwehr is the first American to headline an M-1 card since his heavyweight countrymen did so in 2016 at M-1 Challenge 69: Battle in the Mountains 5.
The Tennessee resident has a loyalty to the organization. A loyalty that runs deep. Although his ultimate goals see a UFC title strapped around his waist, at the moment, he is more than content with the organization he is with. He enjoys the freedom that the international organization granted him. After all, Nate Landwehr is not just a fighter but an entertainer and one that loves to do so.
“The UFC, they ain’t going nowhere. It’s not like they’re about to go out of business. I got plenty of fights left in me. We’re looking forward to a bunch more great fights… of course I want to rematch [Victor Kolesnick]. [M-1 Global]signed that contract with the UFC, every champion has to defend twice and they have an option to go with the UFC. I’ll fight this guy and another guy then I’ll have an option to go to the UFC but we’ll see how everything goes. The UFC is kind of like, they got a grip on everybody. They tell you what do to, what to wear, what to say, how to do it. I kind of like wearing my own shirt, ripping it off, spitting the water up in the air, I like doing what I do.”
Life Bound to Passion
For now, nothing needs to change. Why would it? He is the champion of his organization, he has a beautiful wife, with an amazing home. His job is challenging while also deeply fulfilling and of course, holds opportunities to move upward. What else would one need?
“It’s a wonderful life, I’m in the driver’s seat… I’m controlling my fate, controlling my destination. Of course, you could go out there and get your ass whopped at any time but that’s the exciting part about it. This shit ain’t easy, this shit ain’t scripted, this shit ain’t fake, this shit ain’t the WWF, this shit is as real as it gets. It’s as close to a true fight as any other thing in the world. There are only a few rules that hold us back from being gladiators… This is what I tell all my cousins and all my little nephews, don’t fear failure. Embrace failure, if you are able to fail that means you are able to succeed too. You can’t succeed without the chance of failing and you can’t fail without the chance of being successful, you can’t fear that.”
Strength comes from many places. One source of strength for Nate Landwehr is his mind. The perils of fighting can shake the nerves of anyone. Facing the drastic consequences of fighting can shake the toughness from nearly anyone.
“Like I tell people; if you don’t get a little bit nervous, can you have heart? If you’re not a little bit outmatched, can you be brave? It’s like if you’ve never been in these hard fights, can you show courage? If you (were) going to never die, could you ever take risks?
If I take an L, somebody whops me that means they’re really a bad mother fucker. There ain’t no average Joe that’s going to put me away. You just can’t beat me, you’re going to have to finish me, you’re going to have to defeat me because there is nothing that a man can do that’s going to break me mentally. There is nothing a man can do that’s going to prevent me from marching their ass down. You could whop my ass for 24:45 seconds and I still feel like I’m about to whop that ass in that last 15.”
In the end, it all comes back to the show. Landwehr holds pride in his fighting style and past fights. Not many fighters on stages as large as M-1 Global can boast as much. With Landwehr, there is only one thing he wholeheartedly guarantees, and that is an entertaining fight from start to finish.
“Download that app guys, M-1 Global, December 15th, you’ll see me Nate ‘the Train’ put it all on the line, risk it all and come out victorious. I’m going to give y’all one hell of a show.”