There’s no better feeling than knocking someone out. There’s no real way to explain it; I’ve been in many street fights, it just feels good.
It’s a rush of adrenaline that makes you feel like you’re on top of the world, but at this point in my career, I have way too much to lose to go getting in fights outside of the Octagon.
When I first started training, I lived in a rough neighborhood. I used to walk my dog at night knowing that someone would come up to me and start something. Back then, I couldn’t wait to try something new I learned in class. Now, I look at myself and I realize how much I’ve learned; I don’t look for trouble anymore.
The last time I got into a street fight was actually the day I won my first amateur title. I was at the bar with my buddy -- he’s a good kid from the valley, straight square -- and we were just chilling out when some drunk dude started yelling at him.
I happened to step outside while all this was going on, so I went over and stuck up for my friend. But, I remembered one thing my jiu jitsu instructor told me.
A lot of police officers come by our gym to train, and they always tell us that if you’re ever forced into a street fight, make sure you’re the one to say “hey man, I don’t want any problems,” even if you want to beat the crap out of that guy. According to the cops that train with me, it’s important to let everybody know that you don’t want any problems, and I remembered that.
I still was young in the sport, so I was still relatively immature. I just kept saying ”I don’t want to fight,” but at the same time, I was taking steps towards him.
The actual fight was over real fast. The guy lunged at me, took a real big swing, and I ducked under. I followed it up with a straight right, right on the button: the one-hitter-quitter. But then the cops came.
Fortunately, the cops heard me when I said I didn’t want to fight, so they just told me to go inside and chill at the bar. It could have been so much worse; I could’ve gone to jail and ruined my career. I realize now how much I have to lose.
It’s like that saying “with great power comes great responsibility.” After that last fight, that saying really kicked in. And that kind of growth and maturity is what martial arts is all about.
So just because it's #FistFightWeek, don't go starting trouble.