Marine Corps Creates MMA Gym in Afghanistan During Deployment

via Marine Corps Blog

Mixed Martial Arts is full of stories, and the stories that tend to get most the attention are those about who compete and win on the sport's biggest stage. But outside the UFC's bright lights, fighters shed tears and blood hoping one day to reach that pinnacle achieved by so few.

One of those toiling fighters is Chris Mesnard, a 22-year-old who fights in small promotions in the Midwest and is still an unknown. So unknown, in fact, that there is no information on his official record.

Chris Mesnard is also a Navy Corpsman, serving with the 3rd Battalion of the 3rd Marine Regiment, currently deployed to Afghanistan.

Mesnard fills the hours when not on duty at the Battalion Aid Station, by running his own personal MMA training program in a small gym he calls the combat-zone gym. This young man and his gym were the subject of the Marine Corps official on-line blog. From his interview it seems very clear that Mesnard, refereed to as 'Doc' by his comrades, has all the symptoms of an MMA-lifer, saying:

“After winning my first fight in 2007, I knew I couldn’t stop,” Mesnard said, relishing memories of the 47-second victory. “I loved MMA before that, but at that moment, I knew it was something in my heart.”

“I wake up thinking about it, and I fall asleep thinking about it,” he continued. “Training to fight isn’t only the best thing I can do in my down time here. It’s the only thing I want to do.”

Mesnard uses a few heavy bags, a set of gloves, some weights, an improvised medicine ball, a homemade training mask, and truck tire in his self-created training program. He makes it very clear that this training both meant to fill his time now because of his commitment to the military, but after his tour of duty is done his goal is to become a UFC fighter. While it would be a stretch to call his equipment even second hand, there are some advantages to being deployed overseas;

“Being out here restricts your diet,” he said. “I have a sweet tooth, especially for cake. Cake deprivation helps me stay in my routine.”

So Mesnard will keep training half a world from home, serving his country and dreaming of that not too far off day when he will return home and pursue his dream.

I fully encourage you to read the full blog post on the official Marine Corp Blog website:

Killing Time (Fighting Through the Wringer)

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