Growing up, I was always very active in sports and was very good at it. I played volley ball, basketball and hockey. Just as I was turning 18 I suffered an injury when I cracked my sternum. I was not allowed to play contact sports for 6 months. The pain was unbearable, I was limited in the amount of activities I could do, and it was depressing for someone that was always active.
I noticed I started to put on some excess weight, from 40 to 50 lbs. in a year. I then started to get into a serious weight lifting program in the gym. By this time I was about 210lbs. I remained in excellent shape until I was about 27 when I had to get my salivary gland removed. The doctor used staples and stitches in the incision. A few days turned into a few weeks, which then turned into months with complications and infection. I had my incision reopened almost once a week for 2 months.
I was basically eating and sleeping from the painkillers and couldn’t do any exercise because of the infection from my incision. By the time I was healed up and ready to get back on track I had ballooned up to 285lbs. My brother Dan motivated me when he signed me up for a mixed martial arts fight with the King of the Cage promotion on March 14th, 2009.
Since I was unsure how to prepare for the fight, I started simply by jogging. I couldn’t really run being so overweight. I was actually shocked as of how out of shape I had become, I couldn’t even run two street lamps. In the next three months I got to my goal weight of 265 lbs to fight at heavyweight. I was terrified; I had no cage fighting experience at all. My opponent was much taller and he had a high ranking belt in karate.
I ended up winning the fight by TKO in the first round after the opponent’s corner threw in the towel. It was one of the bloodiest “ground and pound” fights in King of the Cage history, I’ve been told.
That fight really showed me what it takes to be a Mixed Martial Artist. The hard work, dedication and the discipline of eating portioned meals. The discipline and diet has to be followed strictly. You also have to be willing to learn every single day. In total, I lost 115 lbs, it was not easy; there were days where I wanted to give up, but I knew this weight loss and fitness journey was going to happen one day at a time.
I am currently still fighting. I just had a fight on May 10th 2014. I won by TKO ref stoppage in the first round. My amateur MMA record is 8 wins and 2 losses. All my 8 wins came in the first round within 2 minutes. I’m looking into getting my pro card and making a statement for the Native American people. It doesn’t matter how hard life is. You can always change it.
I would like to thank my older brother Dan “MUX” Martin for always being there through the hard times and through the great times. I also want to thank my coach Brent Fryia and his brother Mitch Fryia for all their help, support and guidance. A big thanks to all my training partners at Steel City MMA in Sault Ste Marie ON.