Agree to Fight? SHOW THE F@#K UP!
Sean Quinn is a professional Bantamweight MMA fighter hailing from Regina, Saskatchewan. He is desperately looking for a scrap with a professional opponent who will not pull out after agreeing to the fight.
He recently had an extended training camp for a fight that never happened.
Top MMA News asked Sean to write a column on his experience. Here it is:
Anybody can fight. It’s not really that difficult. Fighting can be as easy as trying to hurt someone before they can hurt you. To be honest with you, most people, at some point in their life have been in some form of a “fight”.
What makes “professional” fighting so interesting is the work that goes on behind the scenes. This is the aspect that fans don’t see. The hours, days, weeks and months spent preparing for a single fight. The expenses incurred and the sacrifices made are far beyond what most people that don’t fight professionally would ever imagine.
It costs money to hire trainers and pay gym fees. It costs money to obtain and replace equipment that quickly falls apart with overuse. It costs money to attain the proper medical requirements to be licensed by a commission. It costs money to eat the correct amount of the right kinds of foods that you will need to get through a training camp. With heavy training, the proper nutritional requirements cannot be obtained just by eating alone. You will need to supplement and that can get costly too.
When an athlete is in training mode, money is far from the only thing that he has to sacrifice. Time is a big part of what gets sacrificed. Time with family and friends gets sacrificed in order to make room for time at the gym, which is followed by down time recovering from workouts. Special occasions where you would normally stay out late and enjoy time with friends and family (weddings, graduations, birthdays, etc…) end up being shortened or given up entirely for the mundane… eat, train, sleep, and repeat.
And as a fighter, you accept all of this. It sucks, but it’s worth it in the end. For those few seconds and minutes engaged in combat with the attention and gazes of everyone in the room fixed on you, it is all worth it. To test yourself in one of the most telling ways possible. The chance to have your hand raised in victory – well worth the price paid.
What is hard to accept, though, is when as a fighter you pay the price, but there is no compensation in the end. I do not mean, training for a fight, showing up for a fight, fighting and then not being paid by the promoter. That is obviously wrong and would never be acceptable. What I am talking about is when you do everything that you needed to do to prepare for a fight, only to have the fight fall through in the days or weeks just prior to the event. That is a hard pill to swallow. You pay the price to fight, but never have your moment. Never had the chance to have your hand raised. And let’s be honest, you never see the pay cheque either. This is a reality though. It’s something that will happen to almost every fighter at some point and it can be very difficult to deal with.
This can happen when one of the contracted fighters becomes injured and there isn’t enough time to have him replaced. This is nobody’s fault. It sucks none the less, but you can’t be mad at or blame anybody for this.
Sometimes, however, fights do not happen for less than acceptable reasons. For example, after accepting a fight, some “professional” fighters stop responding to inquiries from promoters/matchmakers and their “managers” do the same. Sometimes, after accepting a fight, a “professional” fighter may have a wedding or a birthday party that he wanted to attend, so they back out for that reason. There are many excuses for people to back out of fights. The bottom line is, if you don’t want to fight, then don’t accept a fight! Once you accept a fight, you have to know that there is a promoter and another fighter that is depending on you to honour your agreement. That degree of accountability is part of being a professional in a given sport.
Once you agree to fight, it sets in motion all the planning, effort, and sacrifices that are required by numerous people to make a fight happen. You waste the time of the matchmaker, promoter, athlete, coaches, as well as affect their family and friends. Think about this the next time you agree to fight.
Be a professional.