FanPost

Thank You MMA for everything: A letter of thanks

Most of the time we all joke around on here but every once in a while, someone posts a serious fanpost about themselves or some other serious matter. This fanpost is about what the sport of Mixed Martial Arts means to me and what is has done for me. For most of my school life in both elementary school and high school, I was bullied. Physical, verbal, and mental abuse which only got worse as the years progressed. It got so bad I felt i had to go a high school that was out of Brooklyn just to make sure no one from my old school would be there. Turns out that being the short chunky kid who is not good at sports and is a nerd isn't the best combination for making friends. 9th and 10th grade were two of the worst years of my life as i was constantly picked on a belittled. I had my head slammed into a concrete wall, was thrown out of a moving van, pushed down a staircase and I'm leaving out the mental and verbal abuse. By 11th grade I hit my growth spurt and starting pumping iron. Towards the end of the year, people seemed to curiously stop picking on me. I began to think maybe things would change. Turns out that didn't happen as there is always someone who's bigger and stronger. By 12th grade i was probably one of the bigger guys but this one guy made my life a living hell. He abused me and made me his rag doll nearly breaking my neck. He broke my phone and told me it was my fault for being in his way. Just for good measure he stole the only girl that i was ever close with. I figured it was just him but turns out lots of people had to join however they can as someone made a poll with the title: should Ben kill himself. By the time high school finished i had no confidence in anything I did. I was an empty shell who didn't care about life.

Enter Mixed Martial Arts. This sport literally changed my life and helped make me who I am. It started with Brock and now I consider myself as close to hardcore as I can get while having a social life. I have watched virtually every UFC event and as many Pride events I could find. I've watched WEC and Strikeforce as well as K-1 to. I fell in love with this sport and started to train anyway I could. This led to me breaking my shoulder (simplified) and required surgery from which resulted a 9 month recovery. Now I am doing BJJ at Marcelo Garcia's academy in NYC and could not be happier. This sport has allowed me to do so much and actually strive to become something great. I gained confidence in myself slowly and made friends finally. It allowed me to finally believe in myself, a feeling long forgotten. I was able to finally want to live life and no longer hated waking up every morning to face another day as myself. It has also saved me from being mugged and attacked on a few occasions. This sport has become such a huge part of my life in every way and I wish I was able to do the same for this sport. All I can offer is my unwavering support in any way I can. I want to say thanks now for everything.

Thank you Dana and the Fertittas for bringing the sport to the prominence it has today and allowing me to discover this sport.

Thank you to all the legends like Royce Gracie, Ken and Frank Shamrock, Dan Severn for building the foundations for this sport.

Thank you to Mark Coleman and Randy Couture for paving the road for the dominant wrestlers.

Thank you to Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz for being the original superstars of MMA.

Thank you to Anderson Silva and GSP for being the most dominant champions of your time.

Thank you to the new breed of fighters who are coming up in the ranks and continuing to expand this sport.

Thank you Bloody Elbow for allowing me to have a place to speak my mind and crack jokes with people whose real names I don't even and prove a podium to tell my story. I love this site so thank you.

Finally, thank you to the fans of this sport for helping MMA grow into the worldwide sport it is today. Hardcore, casual, and everyone in between, I consider you brothers and I need to tell all of you thank you.

To write this post was hard for me as it brings up so many painful memories. However this mixed jumble of words that doesn't truly give justice to what went through is the best I can do right now. Please read this and I hope it has some impact on what this sport means to people.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything MMA world. Continue to grow and influence people the same way you did for me.

Sincerely yours,

Ben.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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