An Interview with MMA fighter Mark Matthews

| September 13, 2009 | 11:43 am | Reply
Mark Matthews is an inspiring MMA fighter I meet via twitter and immediately befriended him. He will be fighter on Sep. 25th for Gladiator Challengein Colusa Casino. MMAvalor will be on hand for that fight and we caught up with him for a quick interview.
How long have you been fighting?
I started training in all aspects of MMA around August of 2007. I pretty much simultaneously started at two gyms, UnderGround MMA in Jackson (since relocated to Sutter Creek) and Ultimate Fitness in Sacramento. I was trying to find a training situation that worked around my tattooing schedule. I pretty much dove into training head first and went straight to 2 a days, 6 days a week.. I have since made Ultimate Fitness my primary training place. I get looks at other gyms from time to time, but Ultimate Fitness is now my home.
What is your pro record?
I am currently 1-3 as a pro. I took a last minute fight for Gladiator Challenge a few weeks ago. I am a middleweight who could drop to welterweight, But I fought a light heavyweight on less than 24 hr notice. The guy’s name was Nate Ducharme, a two time Grappler’s Quest Advanced Division Champion and a brown belt under Dave Terrell. I weighed 193ish on fight day and he came into the cage weighing about 225. He was simply the bigger, better fighter that day. The good thing was I found out a lot about myself that day. I earned the respect of the crowd, fellow fighters, and event promoters for taking a fight against a considerably larger, decorated opponent on such a short notice. I am now back in my weight class (185) and will be fighting two fights there, one on the 25th, as well as one at Red Hawk Casino on October 10th. I plan to stay as active as possible. After those two fights, it is likely that I will drop to 170 for future fights. I walk around at 190. And although I am physically large for 185, I feel I can get to 170 as well. If I’m big at 185, I can only imagine how large I will be at 170.
Why do you fight?
It was always a dream of mine to fight. Then came the day my daughter was born. I went home that day and was punching on my punching bag, thinking to myself, “What can I do to have my daughter feel secure and protected from the world without totally sheltering her?” Then, the more I thought about it, I figured if she grew up knowing that her father was a fighter on a professional level, combined with seeing the battles, discipline, and effort involved in doing so, she would feel safe. Well, safer than most girls at least. So I vowed to get into shape that very day and make my dream a reality. My daughter Sevena is the spark that ignited the flame. Combine that with the fact that the first time my son Marcos ever told me he was proud of me was when he saw me win my first fight. My children are my main motivating factors as to why I fight. The fact my fiancée Christina has been an encouraging source of support since day one helps greatly also. Through all of the ups and downs of our relationship, her support has been unwavering, that’s priceless. Fighting also just gives my world a balance that wasn’t there before I began fighting. It is a positive channel for my aggressions and everyday frustrations. It has helped me see what is really important in life, as well as showing me WHO is really important in my life. In each of my losses, I found more genuine support from my family and true friends than I had in winning. I literally love this shit. I know that I am not the most skilled fighter out there, but I don’t mind taking an ass-beating to give one. I’m sure there will be many a time that happens in my career and I’m okay with that.
Do you have a goal with your fight career?
My ultimate goal is to be a champion. Anyone who fights, who doesn’t have that goal, should not be fighting. Until I reach my ultimate goal, my goal is to put on the best performance possible in any fight I fight. I have had a few other fighters and fans approach me to tell me that they can tell I love to fight, that I’m enjoying myself in there. I take that as the ultimate compliment and I am glad it shows.
How did you get into MMA?
I was a lifelong fan of boxing. When I got turned onto MMA, it just seemed like a more pure form of fighting. It’s captivated me ever since. I became a very analytical fan. Having the aggressive nature that I do, friends began suggesting that I get into the sport. After my daughter was born, I finally did!
What is you fighting Style?
I am a freestyle fighter. I have a little knowledge of everything. But don’t feel that I am great in any one area yet. I do my best to improve daily. I work Boxing, Jiu Jitsu, Kickboxing, and Wrestling. Before I started training, I had no background in any of these disciplines, so I’m learning on the job.
Do you know whom you are fighting on the 25th?
A guy named Jai Rodriguez. A stocky 185er who won his last fight the same night I fought Nate Ducharme. He fought a guy similar to my build, and caught him in a stand up guillotine. Other than that, I don’t know much about him.
Have you always fought for Gladiator Challenge?
No, this will be my second fight for Gladiator Challenge as my last minute fight with Nate Ducharme was my first fight for Gladiator challenge. I have fought for Rebel Fights, Tachi Palace Fights (formerly Palace Fighting Championships), and now Gladiator Challenge. I would be willing to continue fighting for all of these organizations while working my way up the promotional ladder to bigger and better venues/fights
I feel honored to have meet mark, and cannot wait to see him fight on the 25th. He is a everyday guy living a dream and that touches allot of people. Come check him out on the 25th at Gladiator challendge: Blood Brother or check back here for pictures and event recap. Thanks again to Mark for giving me the time and allowing me into his life. 

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Category: Gladiator Challange, Interview, MMA

About the Author ()

My brain child is MMAValor, something I had wanted to do for a long time and finally it’s here. Been an MMA fan since TUF season one (play catch up all the time) and the obsession started to grow like a weed and as the sport grows so does the love for the sport. I’m a jack of all trades, a very organized person that rides an emotional roller coaster daily.

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