Long time BE memberlooks forward to an exciting opportunity tonight. After just two years of MMA training, he'll enter his first amateur bout at Gladiators of the Cage in Pittsburg, PA. While training he works as the Program Director/General Manager at Stout Training Pittsburgh Team Renzo Gracie BJJ & MMA.
On top of the normal struggles of training and learning how to fight, Anderson suffers from cerebral palsy, a nervous condition that effects body movement. However, Andy says his rigorous training has helped him overcome that hurdle:
I did have cerebral palsey when I was younger. But I really feel like I've totally overcome it to the point where my style's not effected. I'm no worse than anyone else that's not ambidextrous. I'm just left handed.
As an undersized teen, Anderson decided to pursue wrestling through high school and community college. He wasn't a standout star carrying a .500 record, but wrestling drove him and shaped his MMA fandom. He recalls the team watching the second season of The Ultimate Fighter to see Rashad Evans who his coach had wrestled with in college (the same school he attended as well).
After college he followed the sport as a fan up until November 2011 when he saw Dan Henderson and Mauricio Rua put on a Fight of the Year at UFC 139. The fight inspired him to get into the gym and work toward getting inside the cage himself.
For Andy, this fight is just the first step. He intends to take a few amateur bouts before taking the step into professional competition, then his dreams get big:
My goal is to go as far as possible, and this will help me professionally running a gym so it is much more than a hobby. Right now I am focused on my amateur career and getting as much in cage experience as possible, but my dream scenario is winning a UFC title and being one of the most exciting fighters ever. I also really would love to fight in OneFC before I make my way to the big stage. Essentially I want to make a lot of money and win a lot of fights and titles while doing it. It all starts tomorrow.
As a former wrestler, his focus and strength is of course in grappling where he prides himself on his defense. However, he boasts wide improvement in his striking due to a new boxing coach. He took an amateur Muay Thai fight back in October in preparation for his MMA debut and pulled off a split decision victory.
For now, all his focus is on the fight tonight and hoping to pick up the first victory of his career. You can watch his debut right here for Gladiators of the Cage live on U Fight Live TV for free, starting at 7PM Eastern/4 Pacific.
NOTE: THERE IS NO VIDEO EMBED AVAILABLE, PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO WATCH THE EVENT LIVE (AND FREE).
Andy had some shoutouts and thanks he wanted to make:
My fiancee Teresa for putting up with me talking about MMA and jiu jitsu and wrestling and everything else I ramble on about all the time as well as supporting me 100%, my coaches Warren Stout, Mike Wilkins (best pro fighter in Pittsburgh), Will Morrill, and David Reese for putting in a ton of extra time working with me to make me the best, all of the other instructors, training partners and my fight teammates who help me out so much. All of my fans, most of whom I have never met, all of my friends and family who are watching the fight online at ufightlive.tv as well as Bloody Elbow. My sponsors Intimidation Clothing, who did a lot more than most do for amateur fighters, Dark Star Gear, same thing with them, and they are good people, as well as my gym and place of employment, Stout Training Pittsburgh Team Renzo Gracie.