#throwbackthursday – As an MMA fighter, we eventually get to a spot where we are put to the ultimate test. A time when we either break and fail or dig deeper than we thought we ever could and push forward. No matter how much you train, you’re never really sure how you will react in that type of situation until it happens to you.
My test came on July 09, 2005. I was fighting Jon Fitch in Gatineau, Quebec at the Freedom Fight MMA event. Near the end of the 1st round I ate a full force headbutt that knocked me into unconsciousness, ejected my two front teeth from my gums and broke my nose.
I woke up as I was falling to the mat just in time to see Fitch’s silhouette diving in to smash me through the canvas and finish me off. Somehow my instincts allowed me to tie him up and survive until the end of the round.
In the 2nd round, I was still hazy but by the start of the 3rd round I was back! I remember thinking “Nobody knocks my teeth out!” and feeling a surge of energy. I had heard Jon breathing heavy and felt that he was starting to fade. I dug deep and turned up the pressure.
After throwing a jab to draw his jab, I slipped my head out of the way of his punch and landed a solid four punch combination –uppercut, hook, cross, hook. He stumbled back into the corner and his demeanor changed instantly. Jon looked at me then back at the referee while motioning for a Timeout. I thought I won the fight! I stepped back, the referee stepped in and…
gave Jon a 2 minute timeout.
When we continued fighting, I attacked hard to finish him. A few minutes later the bell rang to end the fight. What a feeling! I did it! (in my internal Rocky Balboa voice) I had faced so much adversity and pushed myself through it all! Now it was just time to get back to the center of the ring and have my hand raised.
The referee pushed my arm down and raised Fitch’s hand in victory…