Editors note: We are very excited to announce our second fighter blog on the site. Brian Melancon joins Arron Barringer as an exclusive blogger for TheCageDoor.net. We hope you enjoy the blog.
Last weekend, I cornered my teammate Carlo Prater at the Shine Lightweight Grand Prix in Oklahoma. Eight lightweights came together for an old school tournament where they would fight three times in one night and crown one champion. This was a very good experience that I have gained inspiration from. The guts and spirit that Carlo showed during this event were amazing. No one can really understand what it took to go through this roller coaster ride of emotions unless you were actually there. The sheer devastation of losing the opening round of such a high profile event by what can only be described as a complete robbery of a decision, after being continuously disappointed by events falling through and opponents pulling out for nearly a full year since his last fight, you would think would be too much to take. His night was over just like that. The feeling of disappointment that he had was indescribable. We walked back to the locker room in shock and disbelief.
Then suddenly we got the news! “Prater, you’re back in and we need you down to the ring, now!” No time to gather thoughts, just time to re-wrap and go! I did the fastest wrap job I could, and he ran down the hall to the arena with only one glove on. The other was put on and taped up ringside after his walk out. He maintained his composure and proceeded to go out and obtain vindication by winning the 2nd rd fight. Perhaps not so coincidentally Vindication was the name of his main sponsor for the event. The big man upstairs at work? I believe so. After the fight as I walked out of the ring, the matchmaker pulled me aside and said “He has 5 minutes so just stay here in the warm up area and get ready to go back.” What? 5 minutes? “He’ll be ready” I told him. So, on 5 min rest after going 23 minutes total in 2 fights back to back, he now faces the well rested, old nemesis and tournament favorite, Drew Fickett. He did not win this fight but gained respect from all of those in attendance for his performance over the course of the night. He never once complained about his draw or lack of rest. He simply took on what was placed in front of him and never stopped. When you’re there, it goes by so quickly that you don’t have time to think about the magnitude of it all. His performance was amazing despite not actually coming out as the champion. Some have underestimated his accomplishment and that is precisely what reminded me of my favorite quote:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” -Theodore Roosevelt
To be continued…