Motivation is a tricky thing. If you ask 10 different fighters what motivates them, then you might get 10 different answers. They might range from money, prestige, competition, or fame to simply getting to punch someone in the face without going to jail. The point is everyone is different and they have different reasons for becoming a fighter. Sometimes things change. Goals change, people change and motivation changes.
My motivation took a serious hit after my last fight. That split dec loss really got me thinking about things. Is it worth it? For all the training, discipline and sacrifices to come down to some judge who might have been sneezing during a takedown, or blinking during a punch, or simply has never been educated on the intricate details of our sport, to write down a number that might decide a fighter’s entire life or dream? Is that right? Is that fair or worth it? What was I doing it for? I, just like all of you, could do a number of other things and make a hell of alot more money. I have student loan debt that is steadily piling up and compounding interest. I’m not really paying it down and I think about it ALL the time. Why do I do it? Logic would say I should just go do something else. Take the old 9-5, punch the clock and pay off debt.
But there in lies the problem. I feel ALIVE in the cage. I smile before I go out there. I enjoy the moment. Your body is primed and ready to deliver. Standing in the arena with thousands of people screaming and cheering and you can’t even hear a sound. You are so focused on the task at hand that everything goes silent. So focused that thoughts fly faster than you could ever imagine. You make dozens of calculations and decisions in the blink of an eye without even being aware of them. Adrenaline courses through your veins. Your muscles fill with blood and your body is ready for one of two things, fight or flight. And flight isn’t an option. Finally the overwhelming thrill of victory! It’s a high unlike any other, it’s the ultimate individual competition. No other sport can replicate it, and certainly no office job, clinic position or otherwise can produce it. This is what we do it for! This is why we make the sacrifice, and this is what makes it all worth it.
Had I lost this last fight, I might have forgotten what it was like and I might have moved on to something else. But after officially winning a fight for Strikeforce at near the highest level of the sport, all I feel is validation. Validation that it IS worth it. Validation that, as I have always felt, I CAN compete at this level, and validation that all my sacrifice has not been in vain. Thank you to all my teammates and coaches at Paradigm Training Center. We have built something amazing and I am happy to be apart of it. Thank you to God for giving me the means to follow any path I choose and blessing me many times over. Lastly, thanks to all of you for all of your support. I read every single comment and post and I deeply appreciate every one.