Top Flight MMA of Aberdeen, a divison of Team Lloyd Irvin of Camp Springs, recently had one of its fighters make his competing debut in a special event in New Jersey. Jesse Watson defeated his opponent not far into the fight with a choke. If you would like to see a video chronicling his debut, it can be found here.
Watson's opponent appeared to want to take the fight to the ground immediately, whereas Watson seemed content to exchange strikes until he seized an opportunity to display his own ground skills and finish off his opponent with a choke in a fight that I don't believe went past the first round.
Watson said in an e-newsletter sent out by Top Flight that he has been waiting for 3 years for his first fight, which speaks to the discipline and training required for sports like MMA. While the sport's popularity has surged, I'm hopeful that enough of its fans realize that success is definitely not immediate, if it ever happens at all, and even the opportunity to compete in your first actual fight is often months, if not years, in the making.
Speaking of aspiring grapplers, Evolve Academy in Gaithersburg recently had two of its students place second in their respective divisions at the Pan Am Championships out in California, according to an e-newsletter from the gym. It's great to see local gyms putting their students in a position to succeed on a national scale.