This was my first MMA show I have ever been to in the US. let alone Rochester. It feels like an end to a quick journey.
It started out with a chance meeting with Caitlin Phillips daughter of long time friend Renshi Chris Sackett. Chris owns and operates Jesus Strong Martial Arts and The Templar Dojo of Phoenix NY. I had never interviewed any fighters before and truth be told I hadn’t done any podcasts in months. Got to love ADHD.
I asked Caitlin if she had wanted to do an interview. After her and I bonded. She was a little scared because it was her first interview ever. I could tell she wanted to represent her Dojo in it’s truest form. She did.
Then something strange happened her opponent Shotzie friend requested me. This wasn’t something that didn’t happen before when I wrestled a show. But it was the first time a MMA fighter I had never met did. So after accepting it I shot my shot. I asked her if she would come in for an interview. She said yes. Days leading up to the interview I reached out to her on the phone and realized that her and I had ALOT in common! We quickly became friends. This made things complicated. I had to stay unbias.
Thanks to Shotzie I was able to speak to the promoter of her last fight. It was cool to hear about the inner workings of his business.
Then I was contacted by Sensi Phu. To see if I would interview his fighter, Darnell Parker. Panda and I went to his Fusion Mixed Marsal Arts dojo in Rose NY. It was a very old-school feeling. I liked the energy when we got there. Little did I know I would find more kindred spirits here as well.
The fight with Shotzie and Caitlin happened. Shotzie won by decision. Caitlin stayed determined. I was going to have a sit down with the two of them because it felt like a good ending to this story. But fate stepped in and Shotzie was unable to make it. Caitlin did and promoted her last fight of the year.
Ironically, it was also Darnell’s last fight for the year as well. So I had to go. Thanks to Renshi Chris I was going to be able to come in and see it all from the other side.
But first came the weighing in I had never seen this in person ever. The energy was kinetic. It felt like I was in the begining sence of Mortal Kombat.
After it was done we had a last supper before the fight. It was a relaxed feeling before the insanity of show day.
Show day was overwhelming.
It was a true spectacle. So many warriors putting everything on the line.
In the end Darnell won his match with total dominance. He was proving that he will be one to watch. I have had the honor to watch on his journey.
What happen to Caitlin? It ended in the first round. Caitlin lost her last match of the year. She was not as prepared for her opponent as she thought. If you spoke to her, She had a lot going on. In my humble oppion with the recent death of her team mate weighting heavy in her mind it was a lot for anyone to carry.
The next day she asked me if we were good. I said why wouldn’t we be? She cared more that she embarrassed me then the fact that she lost. I called her and said I was not embarrassed. I wasn’t going anywhere. My concern was how she was dealing with it. She said was going to learn and keep training.
Since then I have heard that she has made connection with members of Shotzie’s former team and a few other Dojo’s in the area, to add to the training she is getting at JSMA. I’m over joyed for the fact she has not given up and she is showing that she has a true Warrior Spirit.