Last Friday, I got a text message out of the blue. Mike Haskamp, co-founder and matchmaker for the Legend Fighting Championships (cool CNN story on him), texted me to ask if I was interested in taking a fight on two weeks notice here in Hong Kong. I said hell yes, I am interested.
Legend is a big deal. They have some of the biggest MMA talents in Asia. They don't book freak show fights like a lot of Asian shows or get over-the-hill "name" fighters to sell tickets. They put on entertaining fights with skilled athletes. They focus on Asia-Pacific based fighters but their focus is on ability more than nationality.
Two weeks' notice is obviously not an ideal situation, but since I'm coming off a fight in which I took no damage, it's perfectly fine. I'm healthy and in shape.
Make no mistake, I am probably the underdog here. This is going to be a tough fight. Doing a quick search, my opponent is a veteran of over 20 ring fights in Muay Thai, boxing and karate. He fought in Legend 4 in January of last year where he lost by first-round rear-naked choke, but nearly KO'd his opponent twice. You can watch that fight here. You will also notice that fight was contested at 66 kg (145 lbs). This fight will be at 61kg/135 lbs (Legend does not have a 125 lb division). Since I woke up this morning at 137 lbs, I will much smaller than my opponent.
So I am fighting someone bigger, stronger, taller (by about 5 inches!), more experienced and who, being HK born-and-bred, will likely be the crowd favourite too. Do I care? Not in the least. I'm full of confidence and being the on-paper underdog is only going to make this win taste sweeter.
I'm fighting under the full professional, Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. In fact, even less restrictive than the UFC. Both elbows and knees are allowed on the ground, unlike the UFC where knees to the head of a grounded opponent are not permitted. This is no joke. We are playing in the big leagues now, kids.
If you are in the Hong Kong area on March 30, please come out and watch! You can buy tickets here.
If you are nowhere near Hong Kong, you will be able to watch live on YouTube at 7 PM HKT/11AM GMT/7 AM ET (United States).