An Alternate Family

I’ve done my fair share of watching MMA fights, growing fond of certain fighters, even feeling like I was the one who praised a specific fighter the most. Seeing your favorite fighter win, favorite hockey player score or whichever sport excites you, is difficult sometimes to contain your joy and appraisal. You feel as if you’ve established a type relationship with them, and in a way, sharing the experience. But when I was in the crowd of the “Monster Brawl” fight card that, which featured three fighters training out of my gym, my experience was more exhilarating than I’d ever anticipated.

Friday November 2nd of last year was when this glorious night unraveled, and I had been anticipating this ever sense I purchased the tickets weeks beforehand. Standing within the train of people, in a line stretching around the building, all the hype and Denver atmosphere was hindering me from keeping still with. While waiting anxiously for the doors to open for the Fight to Win “Monster Brawl” event, I was taking note of all the familiar and foreign MMA gyms other people were representing with team shirts put together by the different gyms. I felt a little out of place with my team due to the fact that I wasn’t wearing any Fusboxe apparel like they were. And out of our three fighters that competing that night, Cody Moore’s bout was the most memorable performance.

It was a back forth battle between the two for the entire three rounds, strikes landing on both fighters, blood being drawn and welts accumulating. My teammate was the better wrestler, taking the opponent down at will and stuffing any takedowns thrown at him in return. Cody’s massive beard seemed to provide some cushion to the blows that landed on him, but he got rocked a couple times, appearing to recuperate quickly. It was close, but Cody’s reservoir of unique and intricate skills deemed himself worthy of victory. He caused more damage and imposed his will on his adversary, also ended the fight with a spectacular throw landing him in a dominant position.

Cody was one of my closest friend and teammates at Fusboxe MMA, and when I had the privilege of watching him come out victorious through the battle he unanimously one, my voice was destroyed the next day from the constant cheering and yelling throughout the fight.  A sense of euphoria even lingered in my system for hours afterwards, lasting through the night. I trained hard with Cody, for Cody. I didn’t just watch his growth in the sport, I grew alongside with him. I’ve experienced the satisfaction of victory with him, and more importantly I’ve tasted defeat. We’ve pushed each other to our limits, pushed each other through one more round, one more minute, one more takedown or one more sprawl. I’ve dedicated time working with all the members of my Fusboxe team, but Cody and I had expanded upon the gym. We had established a closer bond through other shared interests, like snowboarding and rock climbing. So seeing him getting his hand raised dug deep into all of my team’s emotions, but especially mine.

Mixed Martial Arts is a sport in which family style bonds and friendships are formed.