Saturday, June 29, 2013

Taking his opponents to school

The mixed martial artists at the very top of the ladder, your Georges St. Pierres, Anderson Silvas and Cain Velazquezes, make a pretty comfortable living for themselves. Unfortunately, many fighters have to keep day jobs in order to receive a steady income, as payment from fighting is generally not very high.

A good example of this is Maik Ferrante, a Harford County resident who prevailed at a Maryland Cage Combat event on June 15. Ferrante won a unanimous decision and fights while attending community college and working at a restaurant in Baltimore.

However, many mixed martial artists forgo working and train full-time, even if the paychecks from fighting are meager. It speaks to the passion and inspiration MMA can create among fighters. Those who compete in MMA almost always fall in love with the sport and want to commit their lives to it. It also speaks to the commitment the sport demands. If you want to be the best, you have to put in the time, or more accurately, almost ALL your time.

Ferrante plans to go to school while continue training, but I'm sure he's still leaving open the possibility of making MMA his life. He looks to be off to a good start.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

If you're going to dream, dream big

Having mixed martial arts becoming more and more popular means more and more athletes who begin as boxers or wrestlers want to become MMA fighters. Sometimes, they know they want to get into MMA while they're still in high school. That's the case with Mansur Abdul-Malik, a 15-year-old wrestler in Laurel, Md. who's being homeschooled by his parents.

Abdul-Malik qualified for the 2013 Maryland National Team, according to the article, and is quoted as saying he wants to win an Olympic gold medal for wrestling and become a champion in the Ultimate Fighting Champion. Other Olympic wrestlers have found great success in the UFC, including Randy Couture, Dan Henderson and Daniel Cormier. So if Abdul-Malik realizes his dreams, he will be in great company.

The article also states that Abdul-Malik trains with Team Ground Control in Columbia. Team Ground Control is the backbone of the annual Shogun Fights card in Baltimore, so training with MMA fighters who compete on some of the biggest local stages is a good way for an aspiring fighter to learn the tricks of the trade.

Competing in MMA isn't a full-time gig and the risk of failure is fairly high, as it is when trying to pursue a career in any professional sport. But if you're as talented as Abdul-Malik appears to be and you keep your eyes on the prize, the sky is the limit.