Friday, July 29, 2016

My next fight, and my future in this sport

I'm excited to be returning to the Battlefield Fight League cage on September 10! My opponent this time is Vaz Lep. He trains out of Titan MMA/10th Planet in Coquitlam BC. I know that he's been around for a while; here's an amateur fight of his from 2011.

This is the only video online, but I haven't bothered to study it. It's unlikely that his game in 2011 looks anything like it does in 2016. My first amateur fight was also in 2011, and I know my current game doesn't look anything like the 2011 version. I expect him to be a tough opponent and that's that.

Fight 7 of ?

I think that the Terrence who debuted in 2011 would be surprised to learn that the 2016 Terrence is still fighting. Back in the late 2000s when I started training MMA, I thought that maybe I would have one fight, just for the experience. I figured that I would get it done, and check it off my bucket list. But here I am about to enter my 7th fight (3rd as a pro), at 35 years and 9 months, with no thoughts of exiting the sport. In fact lately, I feel like I'm on a mission to prove that an older athlete can thrive in this sport, and in a division that's dominated by younger fighters*. I've been doing this through ridiculous amounts of time spent researching nutrition, sleep, exercise, and movement. I recently went to a movement coach in Salt Lake City to get help with how I can train my joints to keep them working stronger and better throughout their range of motion for a long time. My opponents have youth, but hopefully I have wisdom.

I know there is risk in this sport. I know that no matter how well I take care of myself, this is a sport that is hard on the body and brain. But I am taking the long view; that if I take care of myself, that I can extend my career as long as possible. Put simply, I refuse to stop participating in this sport because of my age. I'll stop if I feel old, but I won't stop because I am old.

* success at advanced age inversely correlates with fighting weight; see here and here. Flyweight and lightweight are the only weight classes with no fighters over age 33 in the UFC's top ten.