When We Were Bouncers: John Lober
Actor/stuntman/fighter Paul “The Mauler” Lazenby has an awesome new Facebook page – When We Were Bouncers. Every Monday he presents a crazy new story from former security personnel who went on to become became actors, fighters, comedians, pro wrestlers, stuntmen and other standouts in their chosen fields.
Recently he profiled MMA pioneer John “The Machine” Lober.
While I have worked as a bouncer before, I’ve never been considered much of a bouncer or security force — not in the professional sense. I’m more the guy who’s usually gonna take everybody down and ask questions later. Basically, if you say “bouncing”, I automatically think “fighting”.
In the [early 90s] before I got into MMA, my only training came from street fighting. Almost every night, bro — if there was a night when I wasn’t in a fight, I was looking for a party so I could find a fight. Get drunk, get in a fight, get laid — that was pretty much what my life revolved around at the time.
Around 1995 I was working occasionally at a place called Margaritaville in Newport Beach [California]. My buddy [UFC veteran] Todd Medina used to work at the front door, and he’d hire me to work with him every once in a while. It paid $150 for the night so it was a pretty good deal. This was just after Kimo beat up Royce [Gracie at UFC 3], and Kimo was a local guy so there was a real UFC buzz going around. I actually grew up watching Kimo beat guys up at a place called Mozzotti’s on Main Street in Huntington Beach. I think it’s a police substation now, but back in the day, that place was a battlefield. That’s what I did, just watched the criminals and gangsters beat each other up every weekend before the city finally cleaned the whole area up.
One night that Todd wasn’t there, me and a guy named Craigie, who was around six-foot-five and 280, were on the front door, and Craigie gets into it with some guy. Within a couple of seconds he grabs the guy by the neck, three of the guy’s buddies jump in, and I get into it with them as the whole thing spills out into the street. I’ve got one guy by the neck, one guy by the shirt, and the third guy is on the ground and I’m knee-dropping him in the face over and over. It’s funny, even though I’m not a huge guy — about 5’11” and 180 — I’ve always been more comfortable fighting multiple opponents. For some reason, it just seems easier to me.
Anyway, I’m just blasting the guy on the ground with my knee because I don’t want him to get up, you know? And as all this is going on, I look up and see this chick looking out the window from inside the bar. And then — it’s funny the things you notice in the middle of a fight — I clearly read her lips as she says, “What an ASSHOLE!” (laughs) Thankfully, I never cared about winning any popularity contests, so I just carry on and beat the shit out of the other two guys as well.
A couple of minutes later the Newport Beach cops roll up, and the three guys I pummeled go running up to the cruiser. I’m thinking I’m gonna get busted for sure, but the cop just looks at them, then looks at me, and says, “No way did that guy do that to all three of you — get the fuck out of here!” And he gets back in his car and takes off! (laughs) That was awesome.
Check out www.facebook.com/FamousBouncers for more stories and Renzo Gracie (bouncing in a brothel at 15), Pat Miletich (crazier still), and more.