Saturday, August 27, 2011

Preparing for his moment

Not too long ago I wrote about Mike Easton, a local fighter who trains with Team Lloyd Irvin in Camp Springs and who is making his UFC debut Oct. 1 at the organization's first even at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. Word of Mike's appearance is spreading, due to the fact he recently gave an interview to The Washington Times.

In the interview Mike talks about his background growing up in Southeast D.C. and how he has trained with current UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz, complete with a photo of the two sparring. Easton and Cruz will compete on the same card Oct. 1, as Cruz is set to defend his belt against Demetrious Johnson in the main event while Easton will square off against Jeff Hougland.

In the interview mentions how he first beat death when he was first born, weighing at a paltry 2 pounds, 3 ounces and surviving. He also mentions breaking his elbow while fighting, which while it's something I have not experienced personally, I can't imagine feels very pleasant.

I was able to secure tickets to the UFC event in D.C., so I'm very excited to see my first UFC event in person. I will post a brief recap following the event, which while it's not a Maryland event, I feel an exception can be made for the biggest MMA organization in the world.

Also, be safe this weekend with the hurricane.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A man of many talents

When I was a fan of pro wrestling, I had read interviews with several wrestlers who said it was highly recommended that people looking to break into the industry get their college degree first, since the probability of success in pro wrestling was so low that you needed to have something to fall back on.

In that regard I feel like pro wrestling and mixed martial arts have something in common. While the big stars like Georges St. Pierre, Brock Lesnar and Anderson Silva make a comfortable amount of money each fight (and through endorsements) to where a second career is not needed, most fighters are lucky to make a few hundred bucks each fight and as such, many hold second jobs in addition to their MMA career.

That thought process entered my mind after I read this article by one of my former co-workers about Kyle Sefcik, a local fighter who just a signed a three-fight contract and is expected to make his professional MMA debut soon.

The article also mentions that Sefcik is head director at Frederick Fight Club and is pursuing many different endeavors, from self-defense instructor to personal trainer to club DJ. The article makes it appear as if there is rarely any down time for Sefcik, which I think is how most MMA fighters like it. While a break from the grind is necessary to avoid injury and burnout, MMA is a sport that requires and creates such a passion and commitment in fighters that many times, they can't see themselves doing anything else.

Though for people like Sefcik, it appears as if the more things you do with yourself, the better. At least things should never get boring.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Making the big time

Apologies for taking so much time between posts. I became pretty sick after my last post and then enjoyed a very relaxing vacation to Florida. Unfortunately, once I returned this weekend, I woke up Sunday morning and my previous illness had returned. So it's been an eventful few weeks for me.

But I finally am able to make a new post and share some information about another local mixed martial arts fighter who is getting an opportunity to compete at the highest level in the UFC. Mike "The Hulk" Easton, a member of Team Lloyd Irvin in Camp Springs, was recently signed by the UFC and the gym shared the news through a YouTube video.

Easton mentions in the video that he wants to compete with everyone in the 135-pound division, which lends one to believe he is a bantamweight and it would actually put him in the same division as UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz, who has also trained with Lloyd Irvin in the past, including for his most recent victory at UFC 132 over Urijah Faber.

Irvin mentions in the video above that Easton will make his UFC debut when it holds its first show in Washington, D.C. Oct. 1 at the Verizon Center. Coincidentally, Cruz will defend his title on the same show against Demetrious Johnson.

Easton is just another example of the homegrown MMA talent in Maryland that is getting their chance to shine in the UFC. From Brandon Vera to Christian Morecraft to Zach Davis and others, Maryland continues to carve out its niche in the MMA world and the UFC holding an event (with a title fight no less) in its backyard, in our nation's capital, is just another step toward Maryland establishing itself as a player in the MMA world.