This is me with my brother Eric circa summer of 2010. Yeah, we’re that hot.
I have a crazy story to tell you, but before I get too far into my it, I thought I’d show you how the story ends…
That’s my brother’s ulna. Snapped clean in two. Now for the story.
For the past several years, my brother has been talking about being an ultimate fighter, cage fighter, whatever they call themselves. He’s had a dream, and he never backed down from it. He’s a second degree black belt in Bushi Ban Karate and he has been training in martial arts since he was a preteen. Basically, the guy is tough. He could Chuck Norris me into the next century.
A few months ago, he called me and told me he finally got the go-ahead from his wife (who understandably didn’t want to see her husband killed while the world cheered on) and that he was going to have his first fight in June. I told him that I didn’t have any money for a trip to England, but I’d find a way to be there anyway because brothers do that for each other.
So, last month Noah and I loaded onto an airplane and headed across the Atlantic so that Dad could go watch his uncle in his first big fight.
First of all, let me tell you how much it blows to be on vacation, visiting somebody who’s trying to lose 20 lbs. in three weeks. Usually when I visit England, my brother, his wife, and I all pig out until the sun goes down and then pig out until the sun comes up. It’s our ultimate excuse to be as unhealthy as possible. Well, this time Eric had to “make weight” for the fight, and so he was dropping weight as fast as he possibly could. This left me sitting over with my Cadbury and Galaxy chocolate bars, sniffing as I ate them, feeling like the fattest turd of the century, secretly mad at the whole world for it.
But, I couldn’t complain. The man had his dream, and he was going to make it happen.
Leading up to the big fight, we would laugh a lot about how this might be his one and only cage fight, and how if it was, forever more he’d be the cage fighter who never won a fight or the cage fighter who retired undefeated depending on the outcome of the fight. “You don’t want to be the cage fighter who never won a fight,” I would tease him. “That’ll be yours for the rest of your life, so kick his trash.”
Well, the night of the big fight came. He somehow miraculously made weight (he had to hit some number that ended in KG, whatever that means) and was medically cleared to fight.
After getting to the fight arena, I staked out some seats and waited for him to make his debut. He would be the first fight of the evening.
They announced his name, started playing his fight song, and he entered the ring, ready to take down his opponent. Man, I won’t lie. I was nervous. Have you ever seen “the cage” that these guys fight in? It’s a small octagon chain link enclosure. Definitely not a place you’d take kittens or babies unless you wanted them to be traumatized for life.
But, inside the Octagon he was standing, and his dream was about to be lived for better or worse.
Now… I don’t have pictures of what happened next, I only have pictures of what happened after that. And, I somewhat lied to you before when I said the broken ulna was how this story ended. It’s actually how this story started.
They dinged the ding, or rang the bell (or did whatever they do) and the fight started. The fights end with a knockout or after two four-minute rounds (whichever comes first). So, the ding dinged and they headed toward each other. Almost immediately Eric’s opponent made a nice high kick toward Eric’s upper torso. Eric, in turn blocked it with his left forearm. And… well, you already saw what happened. Wanna see it again?
The first kick of the fight, and the bone in Eric’s arm snapped. What’s crazy is that Eric didn’t realize it (that’s how much adrenaline he had going) and neither did anybody else. The two took a few more kicks at one another and quickly found themselves on the ground grappling. The only thing Eric knew was that he couldn’t find the strength in his arm to get his opponent off of him.
He fought two entire rounds with that broken arm, eight minutes in all. And he never stopped. He never gave up. The final bell dinged signalling the end of the fight, and the two fighters ended things amicably. Cage fighting is, after all, a gentleman’s sport.
My brother… fought and made it two rounds using a broken arm. He’ll always be undefeated in my book.
And that is the story of my brother the cage fighter. Damn, that just sounds tough. If he ever started a blog, he could write about his brother the pot-bellied writer who sits around on his computer all day. Yeah, cage fighting is way cooler.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing