Wrestling has been a constant in my life ever since I was a kid. It’s the foundation that helped me get into jiu jitsu, and the cornerstone of my MMA game. Wrestling also happened to help me out of a tricky situation a few years back, and because it's #FistFightWeek, I'll tell you about a time when Gian Villante and I went out in the city.
I was maybe 2-0 as a pro, and Villante and I were at a club with some friends, when some major juiceheads walked in.
These three guys were real wannabe gangsters, wearing big chains, dressed up like pretend drug dealers or something. But they were big dudes, like 6’4,” 270, and they started stone-facing everyone, shouldering people as they took a lap to circle around the club.
Villante and I weren’t really feeling these guys, and when they walked passed our table, he slapped the biggest guy on the back and says “hey buddy, relax, have a good time tonight,” in a real sarcastic tone. "Big juicehead" was in shock that Villante would have such nerve.
As the night went on, I kept an eye on them; I could see them kind of staring at us, but eventually I stopped paying attention, until someone ran up to me. They came from outside and said “you gotta stop Villante. He’s arguing with these kids, and he’s gonna fight them.”
Now you have to realize that Villante and I are a bad match. He’s the type of guy that talks a bunch of shit, but he’ll never do anything. He just thinks everything’s a joke. I’m the type of person that, if you disrespect me, we’re fighting.
I ran outside and see these other guys are in their car, talking crap to Villante. VIllante looks way tougher than me, he looks way scarier than me, so these guys won’t get out of their car, but they’re just talking shit. Finally, one guy ends up saying “alright, let’s go around the block.”
Villante’s response: “it’s way too cold outside, you guys gotta give me a ride around the block.”
So Villante decides to open up the back door and get in the car with the three juiceheads, and they got all mad. Still, they didn’t get out of the car and try to fight him. Of course, as soon as I opened my mouth, once, the biggest one of them all stormed out of his car and comes right for me.
I looked at Villante, who was talking shit the whole time and said “okay, here we go.”
So the biggest wannabe of them all runs over to me and throws an overhand right. It was clear as day, slow motion, the most typical punch you can throw.
He threw the punch and I just covered up. Then, I went for an underhook, and I knee picked him down to the ground. As I knee picked him, he pulled my shirt, and now he’s on his back and I’m just standing over him. Instead of throwing punches to a grounded opponent, I just started slapping him around a bit: backhand, slap across the face, backhand, into my forehand. I even gave him a noogie and just laughed; the bouncers eventually pulled me off, but everyone was laughing by now.
The embarrassment definitely got to him. He stood back up and went for an encore: same punch, instant replay, blocked punch, underhook, knee pick, noogie. This time I pulled and honked his nose, embarrassing him further, and the whole time, his big juicehead friends just watched their buddy get pummeled.
I just went up to them and said “you gotta get in your car right now, or you’re gonna get your ass beat,” and they just vanished.
I don’t get in too many situations like this any more. I have a wife and three kids, so evenings out with Villante are rare. Plus, fighting is my career at this point, so I stay away from altercations unless I get paid for them, but at least I know that wrestling is still useful in a whole number of real-life scenarios.