The 5 Best Things About Fighting in the UFCBy
I left the house minutes after my wife had hung up the phone. She had just finished ordering close to a hundred dollars worth of food from one of our favourite restaurants, East Side Mario’s. I figured that by the time I drove to the restaurant, which was a fair distance away, the food would be mostly likely be ready to pick up.
Arriving, twenty minutes later, I entered and bypassed the restaurant area instead slipping into the bar area. After a quick word with the waitress that was behind the bar, I grabbed a seat as she headed to the kitchen to check on my order.
It was great to be home, back in Hamilton with my family and friends. A few days earlier I had been in the middle of a U.S marine base Miramar, battling it out inside the Octagon in my first UFC fight. It seems that every time I fight hard for three rounds against an opponent I usually have a few bumps and bruises to show for it. This time was no different. The hat I was wearing covered the stitched up area of skin located just above my right eyebrow line but didn’t do much to mask my nose was still a little swollen from my fifteen minute scrap that I shared with Josh Koscheck.
I continued to wait for roughly ten minutes for the waitress to return. When she did, she was carrying three huge bags packed with the good stuff: Penne and sausage for me, chicken nuggets for my daughter and some other stuff for my wife, son and mother in-law. As I reached into my back pocket for my wallet I faintly heard the words “No charge!” Looking up, I heard those same words again, this time much louder, and realized that it was the waitress saying them.
“The manager says great fight!” pausing for a moment she continued “The place was packed that night, thanks a lot!”
“No prob.” I responded as I grabbed the take out bags, a little surprised by her gesture. I felt a small smile cross my face.
Arriving home, I told my wife the story of what had happened and we all sat down to consume the free food together. I think I ate more carbs in that meal than I had in the entire month leading up to the fight. It was good!
That night I realized something cool. It wasn’t just me fighting within the cage; my friends, family and fellow Hamiltonians were also deeply engaged in the action, many of them maybe even feeling as excited as I was that night.
There are many benefits to fighting the UFC especially when your fight is televised. The first obviously being free food! I’ll spend the rest of this article sharing a few more of them with you.
#2 – You can finally say “Yes” to the question!
When you’re fighting in the lower-tier MMA shows and tell people that you’re a fighter they always ask the same thing. So you fight in the UFC? You then try hard to explain the hierarchy of the different fight promotions, the fact that mixed martial arts is simply the name of the sport, that not every fighter is a UFC fighter and that you have to work your way up to reach the top.
When I returned home from my bout at UFC Fight Night, I found it so strange to be able to answer yes to that question the next time it was asked. It was so cool!
Fighting inside the octagon felt like any other fight had in the past, but when I watched the televised version with the music, the commentators, interviews, tale of the tape and other stuff mixed in, I was like “Damn, I fought in the UFC!” It was a cool moment that I still remember very well.
#3 – You get the best seat in the house
I had never been to a UFC event before the one that I fought in. I had watched a bunch of live MMA shows in the past but never the BIG SHOW.
I don’t think there’s a better seat in the house than the spot I had inside the octagon that night. It’s was well lit, there was no cage obstructing my view of the action and I could easily to see the jumbo fight screen that was positioned high above me inside the aircraft hanger. The only catch is that the spot requires you to fight a well trained fighter who’s hoping to punch your face off, choke you into unconsciousness and stretch your limbs in many painful directions. Oh yah, I didn’t have to pay for it either…well maybe with a few drops of blood I guess.
#4 – I got the official UFC gloves at home!
Deep in my basement, packed inside a storage box, lays the pair of official UFC gloves that I wore during my UFC debut. Picture the container from the movies Raiders of the Lost Ark and realize that it’s not at all like that one. More like a long Tupperware container with a transparent lid. There’s a small tear in the material, by the knuckle area, in the corner of one of them, a result of a successful punching combo against my opponent’s head.
Getting the gloves wasn’t an easy task as the California state athletic commission wanted them back immediately after the fight. Luckily my coach scooped them up before we left as they are definitely a great keepsake. I’ll probably pull them out and put them on when my six year old daughter begins dating. It’ll be fun to scare the guys a little bit.
#5 – Hearing the Stories
This is probably the best part of all, one that I never had thought about before the fight. Soon after my UFC bout on Spike TV I began to hear many stories from my friends, family and even some people that I didn’t even know. The stories were about their experience of my fight in terms of where they were, what they were feeling at the time and what the overall energy and excitement of the other people around them had been like. It made me very happy when I realized that my experienced was shared by so many others.
Here are a few funny things I heard, although there were many, many more;
“Mike jumped on the ground by the television set during your fight, excitedly doing techniques on the floor trying to help you out.”
“It looked as though Tom was going to put his first right through the television screen as he watched the fight!”
“When you had the triangle choke locked up before the bell rang, the bar was going nuts! Too bad there wasn’t ten more seconds”
“John was screaming at the screen throughout most of the fight. He was pumped!”
When I think about it, live television is an amazing thing! People are watching us fight at the exact moment it’s happening. The fact that anything can happen at any moment adds nervousness and excitement for everyone watching.
Well that’s all of them. In my opinion, the five best things about fighting in the UFC. There are others and I’m certain the list changes from fighter to fighter but those are mine.
Remember these all happened after only one fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Unfortunately, post concussion syndrome brought on by a lifetime of training, prevented me from finishing my three fight contract and ended my hopes climbing towards a title shot in the world’s best MMA organization. No worries though because now I finally get to spend more time with my wife and kids. It’s been a blessing in disguise.
What would happen after winning the title? Tough to imagine, it must be crazy.
Train hard and maybe you can find out for yourself in the future!
Now…check out an article I wrote a while back on “THE FIVE DOWNFALLS OF BEING A UFC FIGHTER” to see if pro-fighting is really the job for you.
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