This story is one small part of a large effort by MixedMartialArts.com to understand what really works in martial arts. The process is to study what happens on the street, or in this case the gym, rather than what happens in the arena. If you enjoyed it, check out the Best Of library on:
•Martial Arts on The Street
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"My guy, you put a glove on right now, you will leave this place forever different."
The video below took place at Xtreme Couture MMA, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Founded by UFC Hall of Famer Randy "The Natural" Couture, under the direction of coaches Denny "The Pirrhana" Davis and Eric Nicksick, and using the motto "iron sharpens iron," the gym is home to dozens of elite fighters.
UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou trains there. Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader trains there too. And one day a number of pros, including Chris "Action Man" Curtis, were hard at work training, when a man walked in off the street.
The man, name unknown, so let's call him Jack, said he had 200 street fights, and won them all. Jack wanted to see what the MMA fighters in the gym had, and predicted he would mess a lot of them up. So he put small gloves on, and got into a training cage with "Action Man", a UFC middleweight.
The street fighter too appeared to be a middleweight, as in, all his weight was in his middle. The 200-0 record was, it has been speculated, perhaps a reference to diet - 200 cheeseburgers vs. 0 salads.
Curtis was selected to go with Cheeseburger Jack, because he is so nice a guy. By contrast, another UFC middleweight, Sean Strickland, was standing cageside and asking to be next. Strickland, who is in reality a nice dude with a very marketable madman persona, would still have gleefully taken Cheeseburger Jack apart like a brother dismembering his sister's Barbie dolls.
The sparring that followed was firm, but entirely kind. As is typical, the street fighter gassed almost immediately, and tried to stop; however, a commanding coach voice boomed from outside the cage - "You step in that cage you finish the round.” But Cheeseburger Jack was already done. Curtis pantomimed sparring, and the buzzer sounded the end of the round.
That could and should have been the end of a good, short lesson for Cheeseburger Jack, but it wasn't. Instead, he said he could’ve knocked Curtis out if they were trading, and blamed his performance on a simple lack of conditioning.. That did not sit well with "Action Man", at all.
Al Capone famously said, “Don't mistake my kindness for weakness; I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weak is not what you are going to remember about me.” Cheeseburger Jack forgot that important life lesson.
Curtis adamantly invited another round, promising, "I'll turn him into Simple Jack real quick." More ominously still, he vowed the quote from top, "My guy, you put a glove on right now, you will leave this place forever different. I swear to God."
Strickland, of all people, cooled it down. When Sean Strickland is on camera trying to calm things down, someone has made a monster mistake.
For Simple Jack's safety, a coach escorted him out of the gym, and into the MMA @$$hole Hall of Fame.
There's no doubt that the next day, when talking with his friends, Simple Jack was 201-0.
Thanks to All Access MMA owner Jacob De Leon, who captured what happened. Follow his YouTube channel here.