With temperatures in Denver falling quicker than Tim Sylvia during his last fight, a group of athletes from Grudge Training Center fought the inclement weather to travel to the Children’s Hospital in Aurora, Colorado. Among them were Nate Marquardt, Brendan Schaub, Justin Wren, Duane Ludwig, several young, rising stars and Grudge founder Trevor Whittman.
The visit was set up by Brent Thompson and the Fight Ribbon crew (fightribbon.com) a cancer awareness organization that has the support of several fighters and this reporter who have been touched by the ruthless disease. The goal of Fight Ribbon is to help find a cure and educate people about the disease that has affected so many people is so many different ways.
This was one of the most moving experiences of my life and having the opportunity to meet these kids who are in the fight of their lives was something I will never forget. These kids bring a whole new meaning to the definition of the word “fighter”.
As we made our way from hospital room-to-room I was impressed with the ease the fighters interacted with the children and how pleased the kids were to have these athletes take the time to talk with them. One of my favorite moments of the day was when one of the kids saw Brendan Schaub and announced, “You’re in my video game”! To which Brendan responded, “Do you win with me”?
The genuine smiles on the kids and parents faces was heart-breaking and gratifying.
As the day concluded, I interviewed one of the director’s at the Children’s Hospital named Kathleen. She has worked there since 1987 and I’m sure she is a Grandmother. When I asked her if she was an MMA fan she replied, ”Do I look like one”?
As our interview continued she mentioned that she was impressed with how many fighters fought the cold weather and snow to be a part of the visit. When I asked her if she had a new opinion on “fighters” she answered, “This has humanized these athletes for me”.
I think we have converted another nonbeliever into an MMA fan.
The feature will air on Inside MMA two weeks from Friday since we are doing live weigh-in shows from the UFC this weekend and StrikeForce next weekend.
– Brendan Schaub is a huge Mirko Cro Cop fan however he won’t get caught up in the fact he is fighting one of his heroes at UFC 128 March 19th. Schaub told me other opponents have made that mistake before and that he’s all business for the fight. He also believes this is the biggest fight of his career and thinks this is exactly where we should be at this point in his career.
– After getting criticized by UFC President Dana White after his performance and November loss to Yushin Okami, Nate Marquardt wasn’t bothered by the comments made by his boss. Marquardt told me he really didn’t pay much attention to what White said and that he has just been focusing on improving and his next fight with Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 128.
I don’t know about you but if my boss Mark Cuban was criticizing my performance after a show, I’m PAYING ATTENTION!!
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