The Black Eye: I’m Going to Wreck this Guy
There’s a documentary series being shot in Halifax called “Cubicle to the Cage” and it follows some regular office workers as they undergo a Mixed Martial Arts training regimen for a year and then fight in a pro MMA fight. I’ve seen a few episodes, and its very good. The director is a great storyteller and its some really good TV.
They asked me if I’d like to fight the main character, a 35 year old with one year of training in his first pro fight.
My first thought: are these guys nuts?
Look, I realize I’m far from the top of the heap in this sport, but it’s time to put on my analyst hat for a second.
I analyze fighting for a living and have done so for most of the past five years. I work as a color commentator and have called in excess of 2000 fights. As I said, I’m not a top fighter. I’m not even a middle of the pack fighter. But I’ll put my analysis and color commentator skills up against anyone. So let’s break this down.
There is no way a 35 year old non-athlete can learn enough in one year to beat a guy with nine fights. No way.
Yes, yes, “it’s a fight and anything can happen” but, barring some perfect storm of new guy having the perfect moment at the same time as Mr. 9 Fights has a brain fart, the nine fight guy should be able to use the many advantages that he has and win this fight 19 times out of 20.
I believe that fighting skills, like all skills, are honed through deliberate practice. And one year of practice is not enough to be proficient in fighting. It’s just not enough. I will be more skilled everywhere.
I believe that a person gets acclimatized to the pressures and the mental battle of fighting only through doing it. This guy has not done it and has no way of knowing what he’s in for. I will be relaxed and confident and he will be a mess.
I believe that the physical and mental conditioning is developed exponentially through time and repetition and, in this fight, he is in the shape I was in four years ago. I have trained even harder with top people since my start. I should be physically able to wreck him.
This guy has some top coaching at Titans MMA with Peter Martell, so they are not taking this fight because they are stupid.
So why would they want this fight?
Do they think that he has a chance because, at 43, I am old and over the hill?
Do they think I am so low level that this guy can give me a fight?
Whatever their reasoning is, I’m offended.
Speaking of ‘Why’, the analyst in me has to ask ‘why I would want this fight?’
Well, I really did not think there was a winnable fight left out there for me at 43 years old. These young guys coming up are too much for me and the ol’ body starts breaking down.
People who take softer fights will often make up bullshit reasons to take the fight – reasons like pretending the opponent is legitimate or claiming no one will fight them or using cliches like “I’ll fight whoever they put in front of me”.
Not me man. I’m honest. I’m taking this fight because I believe this is the easiest way I can get a win in what is either my last fight or is at least very, very, very likely to be my last fight.
Also, it is a pretty cool way to go out. I mean, I basically was this guy four years ago. I trained hard while cameras followed me around and documented my journey. It was a ton of pressure. It was tough, dealing with all the extra stuff that came with it. A debut fight is hard enough. Never mind all this crazy pressure.
This is exciting for me, and awful for him.
I know what he’s thinking.
I know how bad he wants it.
I’m going to use that against him.
Also these days, really, my main reason for fighting is to become a better analyst and commentator. By having all of these different physical and mental experiences, I get a truer understanding of the sport to do the best job I can to do right by the great athletes I analyze and commentate on. I’ve experienced wins and losses and weight cuts and business things and diet and etc, etc, etc…
I’ve never experienced being a heel. At least not since I played one with my band.
So, if I’m going to fight this guy and contribute to this documentary, this is a great time to get to experience that too.
I am going to wreck this guy.
Really show him what it means to be in a violent confrontation with a professional athlete.