More Rules.

UFC loves rules. Fighting has to have rules or else we’ll just have guys murdering each other for entertainment purposes. That sounds pretty uncivilized to me! So the following things are considered fouls in a UFC fight: biting, eye-gouging, fish-hooking, groin attacks, small join manipulation, hair pulling, putting a finger into any orifice/cut/laceration, throat strikes, grabbing the trachea, clawing, pinching or twisting the flesh, grabbing the clavicle (until recently), intentionally attempting to break the opponent’s bone, kicking to the kidney with the heel (until recently), spiking an opponent to the canvas on the head or neck (piledriver), throwing an opponent out of the ring or area (this ain’t WWE), holding the shorts or gloves of the opponent, spitting, engaging in unsportsmanlike conduct causing injury to the opponent, holding the ropes/fence, using abusive language within the ring/fence, attacking an opponent during a break, attacking an opponent who is under the care of the referee, attacking an opponent after the bell has sounded the end of the round, flagrantly disregarding the instructions of the referee, timidly avoiding contact with the opponent, interference by the corner, using any foreign substance that could give an unfair advantage, head-butting, striking to the spine or back of the head, and striking downward using the point of the elbow.

I like having rules, structure, and limits and knowing that those opposing me are being held to the same rules, structure and limits. This is another hugely attractive element of the UFC to me.

And there is match conduct rules which I find valuable in validating the sport. After a verbal warning a match can be stopped by the referee if they reach a stalemate on the ground, this keeps the action moving and keeps everyone interested. If the referee pauses the match, it is resumed with the fighters in their prior positions so the ref can’t pause based on allegiance with either fighter. And it is preferred that trash-talking be limited to prior and following a match so that the match itself is about the fighting not the mental mindfuckery!

FANDOM

Being a UFC fan is reason enough to start training. I started my interest in UFC by simply catching a fight on Fox and realizing that I needed something in my life to look towards. Being a white Southern good ol’ boy with a 10th grade education and barely-there parents didn’t give me a lot of upward mobility in life. My teachers had no confidence in me, my family barely realizes I exist, I have no girlfriend and no friends from high school. I needed something that would going to get me through, give me purpose, and toughen me up. Being bullied in school is a huge motivator!

Some of the rules of UFC really appealed to me – moreso that traditional athletics. For example, the top priority in any fight is the safety of the fighters. If the ref is under the impression that a fighter is unable or unwilling to intelligently defend himself, they will be removed from the fight. While it may be more of a spectacle to see a fighter get entirely took and could generate more income for the organization, the focus is on the safety of the individuals. I like the idea that the organization knows where their bread comes from and protects it.  It’s safer than boxing because when a fighter is knocked out, he stays out. In boxing, the fighter can get up within ten seconds to continue the fight leading to lots of concussed boxers getting more and more concussed! Also, a boxer fights in a ring which is pretty easy to fall out of, creating more opportunities for injury. An octagon is pretty hard to fall out of. It’s far superior to find oneself pressed up against the wall while still in side of the fighting grounds than on his busted ass outside of it and a few feet down!

Nobody in my life ever really looked out for me, if they had I probably wouldn’t have made the questionable choice to leave high school. I feel that UFC looks out for me, my best interest, and sees me as an athlete rather than an entertainer. This is valuable not just to us fighters who are training to become a part of the UFC family. But for the millions of UFC fans out there who need something to believe in, I feel that athletes can be great role models and I’d like to be one for some of these guys considering dropping out of high school too. I want to remind them that they can start training in their teenage years as a supplement to school and exit the hallways of their shitty school with a degree AND a career path! Two options are always better than one or none.

APPS! (No zerts)

So, you’re probably thinking; this guy has access to start-up bros, some great ideas for how to train for UFC, and some working knowledge of app development – why not start a UFC Training App! I even looked into iOS app developers. This is a solid idea, and one I’ve greatly considered but here’s the thing: every hour I spend on app development will be an hour lost in training. I want to continue my training, work my way up to the Octogon, kick ass in the ring, and get UFC support for a career with the organization. To start a UFC Training app before I have an official UFC affiliation is kinda putting the fight before the training – or the cart before the horse.

UFC (the fastest growing sports organization in the world) was created in the United States in 1993 and designed to be competition to determine the best martial art for unarmed combat interactions. It originated from Vale tudo in Brazil. The fighters decided they needed to train in additional principles allowing them to become well-rounded, balanced fighters who could remain upright throughout a bout. This is what we now refer to as Mixed Martial Arts. There are now 40 fights every year with UFC hosting the top-ranked fighters in the world.

To try to accomplish anything UFC-related without the support of the organization responsible for bringing this fight style stateside would be discourteous and ineffective. I respect the sport, I respect the fighters, I respect the platform and the rules of the organization. I want to demonstrate that through professional goals without giving any reason for them to tell me to fuck off when I land at their front door.

Further, there is a pretty impressive list of rule and regulations that I would want UFC backing on while implementing in my own training, they are categorized as follows: Definitions, Weight Divisions, Ring/Fighting Area Requirements and Equipment, Stools, Equipment, Specifications for Headwrapping, Mouthpieces, Protective Equipment, Gloves, Apparel, Appearance, Round Length, Stopping Contest, Judging, Fouls, Injuries Sustained by Fair Blows and Fouls, and Types of Contest Results.

So, as you can see, there’s no option to just step into the ring and fight. There’s coaching and preparation necessary. Someday I’ll be in a position to provide this kind of coaching and preparation guidance – at that point I’ll be a retired fighter and I’ll be able to have all the beers and pizzas I want!

Goals

Another frequent side-eye is in response to my long-term goals. My long-term goals are all associated with my UFC dream. I wanna be the UFC Champion and then retreat to coaching other men to greatness.

Fighters have to maintain a crazy strict diet and I’ve spent years fine-tuning my own and eliminating the desire for “cheats” or “snacks.” After all, no slice of pizza tastes as good as whooping ass in the Octogon feels. Some fighters are trying to put on weight, some slim down, and some just fine-tune their nutrition to improve their performance. I’ve been on my own for this process but would love the opportunity to whoop some other jabroni into shape. Plus, if they got cash, I got skills to share. Eating, for fighters, is not for fun or socializing. It’s fuel to allow my body to do the work it needs to do to get me into that damn ring.

And our bodies have to be hard and sturdy not just for the fighting but for the intensive training required to even get the privilege to fight. This includes cardiovascular endurance, strength, and power over ones heartrate. It took me years to learn to mentally return my heart to its resting rate. It’s also not easy to create the microfractures required in the forearms and shins allowing me to take more blows and deliver stronger blows to my opponent. One thing I love about the fight is knowing that my training is being held up against another man’s training. And the few times I’ve lost, I’ve reached out to my opponent to find out what I need to add to my training regimen to beat them next time.

I’ve never lost twice to the same man.

We also have to be prepared to always be healing from something. Whether just sore from training or broken from an unfortunate fight, a fighter has to respect that his body is his weapon and when his weapon is damaged, he’s not as effective. Mitigating harm to the body/weapon may include ice baths, recovery shakes, acupuncture, and massage or chiropractic intervention. And healing harm done to the body may include allowing bones to heal, seeing the UFC doctor for a complete work-up, resting, and for some (not me though) medicating.

And finally, the mental tenacity required during training or as a fighter is profound and will change your life. You know that feeling where you set your alarm early but when it goes off, you realize how much warmer your bed is than the room so you don’t move. This is not an option for training fighters or fighting fighers. Ya know that feeling where you bros wanna go out, chug some beers, eat some pizza, and bang some broads and you’ve been real good for the last couple of weeks so you feel like you’ve earned the night out? This is not an option for training fighers or fighting fighters.

Your lifestyle, your goals, your dreams, your actions become all about getting one step closer to the Octogon. And I just can’t imagine having a more profound experience with a piece of chocolate cake or a morning spent in bed than I’ll have with my arms raised above my head as I tower over my opponent in the ring.

Day in the LIFE

My current job is doing temp work as a coordinator (basically I get paid (barely) to make spreadsheets all day) for a start-up trying to compete with Uber and Lyft. If I cared about their business at all I would remind them how saturated the market is with ride-share apps and how name recognition is everything and how people can’t recognize more than two names relating to the same service. But I don’t care so I just run their reports, fill in their spreadsheets, and watch them go round and round and round in discussion for literally hours about a business that will go under by the end of the year.

Anyway, the least important part of  my average day is the time spent at work. I get up at 5:26 and kill a protein shake, get to the gym at 5:45 to do 90 minutes of strength training. I got back home at 7:30, eat four eggs, a side of vegetables and 3 ounces of cod. I get to work around 9 and sit until 11:30 when I go for a walk to avoid having to talk to any of my coworkers. I then sit at my desk and eat 8 ounces of chicken, sweet potatoes, mixed vegetables and rice. I leave work right at 5:30 and get back to the gym by 5:45 where I do 90 minutes of cardiovascular endurance training. I get home around 7:30 where I have 12 ounces of steak, two cups of brown rice, a salad, and once in a while, a beer.  I try to do something social or enriching after dinner but always to be home by 11 when I have my “midnight meal” of a 10 egg-white omelet, a cup of veggies, a dash of fish oil, and a Gatorade. Then I go to sleep and start it all over.

I get a lot of looks and unwelcome feedback from losers about my lifestyle but they’re usually fat and/or ugly. They definitely couldn’t compete in the UFC ring. But they don’t always accept “I’m going to be a UFC fighter” as enough of a justification for my “extreme lifestyle.” So allow me to break it down.

It takes so much hard work and dedication to be a UFC fighter – to break out of the small rings and make it into THE OCTOGON – and I want to be the kind of man to demonstrate this dedication and training capacity. I didn’t receive the gift of life on Earth to sit around watching Netflix. And while I may get the occasional side-eye or eye-roll about having dropped out of high school and never getting my GED or going to college, I would challenge any high school or college graduate to get their caloric input and output down to this exact of a science. That’s something you can’t learn from school.