This little goodie popped up on my Facebook Memories today. It's been a year since stepping away from MMA to focus solely on Dapper Dangerous (or Style Made Easy - Boston, as it was called at the time). A lot has happened in 2020; we've all gone through some serious changes, which made it all the more fascinating to have a glimpse into my mind last January.
Perhaps you'll find some amusement as well.
Alright, here is my official post-fight statement:
My MMA “career” has officially ended as of Saturday. I’ve been chasing the dream of competing at the top level for 11 years and never quite made it. I’ve had some great fights and some decent accomplishments to my name, but I never got the call while the fire burned bright in my soul.
Now my heart is in another place, and possibly has been for a little while. After my last fight in August, I took a few months to give Style Made Easy - Boston 100% of my efforts and the business flourished! For the first time in my life, the hard work I’ve put in was yielding me compensation proportionate to the effort and expertise I bring to the table.
What people don’t realize about fighting is that, except for a VERY small subset of the population, it is not a profitable endeavor. You do it for the love, the thrill, the glory... but it will not feed you, and in a material sense, it will take far more from you than it will give. It’s 100% worth it for the enrichment of your soul, but when that no longer nourishes your spirit, then the price you pay is far too great. For me at least.
Another thing that many don’t realize is that FIGHTING is a very small part of being an MMA fighter. The fight is a small fraction of the work that goes into the process: it is the reward that you get for countless grueling hours in the gym, on the track, striving and starving — sacrificing time with your friends and family, sacrificing comfort, sacrificing your health... that’s most of what being a fighter is. The glory that others see is the tip of the iceberg: the rest of which is neither glorious nor sexy.
A lot of people have said to me “you can’t retire, you’re so good in there. You look like you were made for this.” And they’re partially right:
I am comfortable in the chaos. I am at peace with violence; with being the hammer and the nail, switching between roles at any given moment. I am ready to fight until the light in my eyes is snuffed out. Or my opponents is.
That’s not what I’m burnt out on. I could do that once a month. Once a week, maybe. What I’m burnt out on is the work the leads up to 15 minutes of battle. For me, the juice is no longer worth the squeeze.
That can’t be it for me; there was a time when that was enough but that time has passed. I’m starting a new chapter in my life, in which MMA will no longer be my highest calling.
But don’t worry, I’ll still be around! I’ll always train as a martial artist. I’ll help my teammates and friends get ready for their fights. Who knows maybe I’ll even compete again. But whatever I do in martial arts from here on out will be for fun — not because I want it to be my career.
This is true even if I get a call from the UFC (though I won’t, since I failed to finish). But hey, if they do — or if I ever get bored and decide to play fisticuffs again, I bet I’ll ironically perform better than ever before because there’ll be no pressure.
In any case, I’d like to thank everyone who’s helped me along the way; my coaches who’ve guided me since I was 16 years old, my training partners, my fans who’ve loyally bought tickets from me, my sponsors for this fight, and of course Cage Titans for giving me one hell of a send off!
Kong is out, Kin is in. Let’s eat ice cream and wear suits. 😎
I've provided a YouTube link to the fight here, if you're interested in seeing me get punched in there face.