A great profession that’s working out for a few ex cons is becoming a professional mixed martial arts fighter. Especially if you are a convicted felon who has served time for fighting and assaults what better way of channeling your natural aggression then to get paid for it?
Some people live to exist on that dangerous knife edge for the thrills, the kicks of cheating doom. Whether adrenaline addicts, professional criminals, or ex athletes, mixed martial arts is becoming the new arena that is being used to work through some pent up energy or for people to bone up on there competitive urges. People are also using this sport to leave there past behind where it belongs, and make a positive start and beginning for themselves and there families.
What makes MMA different from other sports is the fact that regardless of how old you are or how much or how little experience you’ve had in the MMA field , the sport is in early enough stages that pretty much anyone can just give it a shot and find some success. After a criminal does a long stretch in a prison facility he can’t get out, and go join up to be in the NBA or NFL, but one thing he can do is decide whethere MMA and/or boxing could be viable for consideration. One of the most known if not the most well known former convict to reach the big time was Bernard Hopkins “the executioner” , he spent 5 years of his 18 year jail sentence in Graterford Prison. Starting off his pro career at the young age of 23, he lost his first fight, but he then proceeded to put together 20 wins and was triumphant in a few championships.
It seems that Hopkins was an exception and this is not usualy how things go in this area. Most boxers have long amateur records before entering into the professional ranks, and they’re under the pressure of knowing that even one slip up and loss could be devastating to a young boxers career. MMA could be a new opportunity for ex-cons who want to go in a new direction in life . Octavio Morales is an example of just this thing , where he kept himself off the drug infested and gang driven streets of his hometown Pomona, California, instead of getting caught up in these destructive scenes he joined a Jiu-Jitsu gym.
“It was difficult trying to grow up under those conditions, fights continuelly breaking out, drugs all around you. says Morales, who himself was in a lot of street fights, was stabbed 4 times and ended up getting his lung punctured at the tender age of 15. That’s when i decided to start training with Jiu-Jitsu. The process of learning the art of Jiu-Jitsu taught me humility and i started walking away from fights in my area knowing that i could beat those guys if i chose to. There is a lot of macho behaviour going on but if you know in your guts you can take the guy down , you know you dont have to prove anything to anyone.
Morales kept his nose clean for the following years, as being a professional fighter kept him out of trouble, but then in 2002 disaster struck because his gym closed. “Now i had nowhere to do my training, i started acting up again, before when i had a fight coming up, my friends would help me stay away from partying and getting drunk, without my training i started sinking back into the “why not?’ mentality.
Before he knew what was going on , Morales found himself aimlessly walking the streets of California completely hooked on drugs and getting busted for robberies. It reached boiling point when he was arrested in Target, what would have been a simple misdemeanor charge turned serious as Morales went nuts and beat up one of the security guys of the retail chain store and scored himself a long term jail sentence.
Carted off to the LA County Jail gave Morales time to see how he was messing up again and put him back on the sober path he needed to clean up his act. Morales is now older and wiser and at 27 he teemed up with Steven Arredondo, who is a manager with Jags Sports Management (www.jagsmma.com). Still residing in his hometown of Pamona, Morales has got under his belt 3 straight wins in the cage , and now his record is 3-2.
“I’m relieved to say i got myself together again and this sport gave me the will power to get my life back in order” Morales now has 2 young boys of his own. “I Know there are drug deals going on right outside my house, professional fighting to me is a shot to get my family out of this situation. I take fighting very seriously and its the focus and main issue of my life.
If you are an ex con looking to become a professional fighter then what are you waiting for?
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