This was my first fight in MMA. I start off in the corner to the left of the frame, wearing the white Muay Thai shorts.
I had driven up to see some fights with a buddy of mine and had my gear with me in case we stayed and I was going to do some training at a local gym.
Turns out, some of the fighters backed out.
They asked if anyone in the audience would step up and I thought "why not?"
My opponent cut down to 145, I stepped on the scale weighing 138. As I overheard from the guy who was wrapping hands upstairs my opponent had a fair number of amateur boxing and muay thai bouts to his record. Ah, Virginia and the days of the ringer.
At any rate, I'd done some amateur boxing, done smokers for boxing (unsanctioned fights in gyms, that are essentially unrecorded fights), and been consistently training Muay Thai to complement my Judo.
I'd wrestled briefly in college as part of a club team, occasionally putting on my Gi to do Jiu-Jitsu after Muay Thai class, and had never rolled NoGi. I'd never done any kind of MMA style sparring or putting it altogether. I was diligent about Muay Thai but I did not have the patience for Jiu-Jitsu. I liked the bang bang bang pace of Muay Thai and Judo and honestly, had not realized the benefit in training Jiu-Jitsu as a result of the influence of some of my coaches up until that point.
To think that I took an MMA fight is pretty laughable in retrospect, but I wanted to try the things I did over the years in training, and fortunately it worked out.
At any rate, you'll see in the first round how basic my ground game was at this point. It consisted of turtling up to avoid punishment and exposing my back to escape being mounted. I managed a single leg off of a kick, but my opponent got back up and then managed a body lock/reversal but over-rotated and ended up mounted.
The most tired I've ever been in my life was after the first round.
I remember thinking, "how in the *&^% am I going to survive another 3 minutes?"
Fortunately, the slowest single leg ever I pull off was something I'd gotten to doing while working on my mat work in Judo to counter a sprawl.
I'd seen several of the guys fighting before me that day completely expose their necks/backs and I remember thinking, if my guy does that, I'm going to jump onto the neck like a rattlesnake.
Well, every dog has its day.