It may be the biggest cliche in sports writing, but in this case, it’s completely true. Journalist turned MMA fighter Adam Thompson was already a winner before he stepped into the cage for his first fight on Saturday night at the Sydney Aquatic Centre.
Thompson began the ultimate life project, to go from a MMA fan to fighter in three months, by training six days a week and four times a day and living on a strict nutrition plan, with the finale culminating in a charity bout for the Westmead Children’s Hospital.
Unfortunately for the new fighter, a rear-naked choke (RNC) submission late in round 2 (3:04) by VT-1 Gym fighter Robert Calcraft ended the journey in a way that neither Thompson nor the majority of the crowd wanted to see.
That said, Thompson showed off his newly developed skills, with round one proving to be going in his favour, as he showed cage control and aggressiveness that some Ultimate Fighter competitors would be envious of.
Going into the second round you could tell that both fighters were intending for it to end quickly; both fighters landing some heavy blows before Thompson decided to go for the takedown which resulted in Calcraft taking his back.
Calcraft took this opportunity to overcome Thompson, switching it up from shots to the head and RNC attempts, all the while testing Thompson’s patience and skill.
For a fighter in his first bout, the journalist-turned-fighter successfully defended Calcraft’s offense and for a while managed to get back onto his feet, only to be taken down again, flattened out and caught with a deep RNC submission.
I’m sure it took everything in him to tap, as the crowd was wishing for him to fight through it.
For Thompson what lies ahead for him? He already announced that this was a one fight night deal, and will hang up the gloves – so don’t expect him to be fighting in the CFC or AFC anytime soon.
But importantly, this isn’t a loss.
In a sport where terms such as “brutality” are regularly thrown around by the general public, Adam Thompson has shown the human side of the sport; the dedication, the respect and the sacrifice needed to compete.
He has won not only for himself, but for the sport of MMA as a whole within Australia.
If you haven’t managed to follow Thompson’s journey, it is definitely one you will enjoy: check out.