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.

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