Sports have always been a big part of my life. I started out wanting to be a hockey star and I played avidly when I was younger. That was my chosen sport, but it got to be an expense that my family could no longer afford, so that’s when I got into wrestling, which was a blessing in disguise, as I turned out to be good at it. That ended up being a big game changer for me and seeded the roots of my career.
I know there are some fighters out there that don’t pay much attention to outside sports, but I’ve always enjoyed them and managed to pretty much stay up to date with who’s doing well across all the major sports leagues. With so many teams to choose from, it’s kind of hard not to find interest in at least one of them.
I’m a fan of sports in general, and while I don’t have as much time to watch them as much as when I was younger, I have some favorite teams I always support. I still watch hockey whenever I can, and the Islanders are the one team that I’m a loyal fan of. It’s not a case where I root for whatever N.Y. team happens to be playing. I never pull for the Rangers—I hate the Rangers and I always will.
When it comes to football, there are a few teams I root for, but not the ones you would expect. I’ve gotten to meet several players and have become friends with some of them, so I pull for their teams. With the Giants and Jets, I’ve really got no blood in the game, so where they’re concerned, I kind of swing back and forth with whoever is doing better.
The one NFL team that I always stick with is the Denver Broncos. Even though I grew up in New York and didn’t really get to travel that much, the first football game I ever went to was a Broncos game. My aunt married into the Broncos owner’s family. They’re not the owners anymore, since this was back in the ‘80s. Anyway, she still gets tickets because of that relationship, and I got to go to a pre-season Denver game when I was visiting her. That was a fond memory for me, and I will always be a fan of the Broncos because of it.
As far as basketball goes, I’m a Knicks guy, and with baseball, I’m a Mets fan. I don’t catch the games like I used to, but when I’ve got some down time, and one of my teams is playing, I take the time to check it out. These days, I’ve got plenty on my plate with my family, fighting career, and promotional responsibilities to my sponsors, so if I miss out on a game here and there, it won’t have been in vain.
My main focus is being part of the sport that everyone wants to tune in to, MMA. I figure after I’ve retired, I’ll have all the time in the world to be the best armchair quarterback in the world. Until then, I’m striving to be the best middleweight in the world.