Tomorrow marks the debut effort of UFC welterweight superstar Nick Diaz' fight promotion, WAR MMA. Stockton, CA will be treated to a card that features some notable names along with some you may not recognize. I'm looking forward to it for a few reasons. I'd like to see how the production value holds up to other starter organizations, it's streaming for free (everybody loves free MMA), and a little known featherweight named Caleb Mitchell will be featured in the co-main event.
Why should you concern yourself with a relative unknown with a record that, on the surface, might seem unimpressive? Well, for starters, he's been fighting since 2000, and his losses come to such notable names as Norifumi Yamamoto (at the height of his career), and Baret Yoshida. He then took an eight year layoff before returning to fighting due to a serious shoulder injury, but was victorious over Tony Llamas in his return to action. Now, after more than a year of inactivity, Caleb hopes to score another win for the books when he faces Evan Esguerra tomorrow night.
I digress, though. The most amazing parts of Mitchell's story have nothing at all to do with MMA. This man has been attacked by armed robbers with a machete, had his passport stolen while in Guatemala, and has had Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez play his father and uncle in a movie. Yes, you read that right. The man with tiger blood that has perfected the art of 'winning' played Mitchell's pornographer father in the movie Rated X. Yep, you read that right, too. Mitchell's father and uncle were pretty famous pornographers in the late 70's and early 80's. The story surrounding his father's unfortunate death is kind of tragic too, seeing as how his own brother and partner murdered him.
Do I have your attention now? Ready for some details? Lucky for you, I had the opportunity to sit down with Caleb last week and got the details of his amazing life experiences for MMA Sentinel Radio with my esteemed co-host, Iain Kidd. Here is one of the most incredible stories I've ever encountered, not only from a fighter, but from anyone in general. This is Caleb 'The Machete' Mitchell's amazing life journey:
How he got the nickname 'Machete'
That all started when I was visiting my grandfather down in Guatemala. It was an unfortunate incident. I don't think I would have chosen that name if I had the choice. What happened was, I encountered a roadblock, and three people tried to rob me, two of them with machetes and another one with a rock. It got pretty ugly, and I got slashed with a machete in my side. They were taking my stuff while two guys were holding onto me and the last guy came at me with the rock.
At first, I thought he was going to throw it at me, so I was still kind of being passive and not wanting to get into it with them, being three people, two with machetes and one with a rock. I knew that my odds weren't very good there. Sometimes, we do training sessions with three or four white belts against one person and I realized that three on one is definitely not something that I want to go through.
But, seeing as the guy was about to bash my head in with a rock, I took the initiative to grab the machete out of one of the guys' hands and struck the guy with the rock, so he dropped to the ground and I got hit in my head with the other machete. I swung around and hit that guy, but he ran away and the guy I took the machete from originally was just standing there, so I pushed him down the hill, ran up to him and could have hit him, but instead I told him to get away and he started to run. Then I took off running, and ran about a mile up this hill and went and found the person I was with.
What happened when we initially went there is I started to clear the roadblock, and cleared it enough for the passenger to jump into the drivers seat and she drove off, through the roadblock. They threw a rock at her car and blew out her tail light, so she freaked out and drove away and left me there at about 9 something at night in the dark, so then I went through that battle and eventually got up to the town and found her.
She has two policemen in her car, which was really surprising. Normally, the police, at least in America, aren't going to get into your car to go to the scene of the crime, but that's what happened. In America, they have their own squad cars to do police work. So i'm running up, and my hands were all bloody. I had a machete, and my adrenaline was shot through the roof and I jumped in the car kinda scared, 'cause I don't know if these policemen are cousins of the guys who were robbing me or something. It's just some small village in Guatemala, so I don't know who's who and who's on my side.
We went back to the scene, and the police ran around with guns looking for these guys. I was just concerned with finding my passport because I knew I couldn't get home without it. I knew where the stuff happened, so I asked the cop to come back and look in a certain area. He had his flashlight and he was shining it in the wrong area. Not really thinking, I tried to grab his hand to shine the flashlight in the right area, and the guy gave me this crazy look and jerked the flashlight away from me. I got freaked, then. After what I went through already, and this guy's got a gun... I was like 'Alright, forget it'.
I got back in the car with the girl and said 'Let's get out of here.' We start turning the car around, and I'm like 'Wait, wait, maybe we should tell the police we're leaving.' She tells the police we're leaving and they're like 'OK. Have a good night. Bye!' Never took an interview, never did anything, just, you know, 'Bye!'.
I had a nice sized cut on the size of my head, and you can still see a little line right above my ear where I got hit with the machete. All in all, I survived and it wasn't too bad of an incident. Probably one of the happiest days of my life, just knowing I survived that.
I never found my passport. I ended up having to go back to the police station a couple of days later to get a police report which I had to bring to the US embassy, out in Guatemala City, in order to get a rushed new passport, so I could go home a couple of weeks later.
Why were you in Guatemala?
My grandfather is known as one of the forefathers of the modern day trimaran. He built a trimaran sailboat out of wood and sailed around the world twice. After the first time he sailed around the world, he settled in Guatemala, then built another boat in the jungle of the Rio Dulce. He sailed around the world again, and decided after everywhere he had been in the entire world, that he wanted to be back in Guatemala. He says overall it's because of the weather, the food, and the people being really nice and because he just loved it, so he settled there and built a few houses, and I was visiting him down there.
Charlie Sheen playing his father in 'Rated X'
My dad was known as an infamous pornographer. He and his brother Jim Mitchell are known as the Mitchell Brothers. They came out with one of the first full-length motion picture pornography movies called, 'Behind the Green Door'. and at one point they had 13 strip clubs. My family still owns The Mitchell Brothers' O'Farrell Theatre in San Francisco.
What happened is really unfortunate. When I was eight years old my uncle went over to my Dad's house and murdered him. It became big news, and a few years later, Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez decided to do a movie about it called, 'Rated X', which was a complete slander on my father. My uncle was still alive and was extremely powerful. After murdering my dad, he only served three years in prison, due to the fact he basically helped to legalize pornography, and by doing such, they had lots of connections with lawyers, DA's, with judges.
He had a bunch of people write letters of leniency. He served three years, got out and created a trust fund for all of my dad's kids, he funnelled all of the money out, he sold himself all of the companies, gave us a wrongful death settlement into the trust, then took it back because he said my dad owed him money at the time of his death.
He basically did this huge loop that he used to do for taxes, and instead, he did it to swindle all of my dad's companies and money out from my dad's kids after he killed him, and he got away with it. First degree murder for financial gain is the way I see it, and he almost managed to get an involuntary manslaughter sentence, but ended up with a manslaughter sentence and only served three years.
When he got out, he was in contact with Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen. They came up and done this movie and (Charlie) hung out with my uncle for quite a while. He wined and dined him and gave him girls and things like that, and basically told him what to do, what to put in the movie and not to put into the movie. So they made my dad look like a total jerk, and made my uncle look a lot better than he should have looked.
They got a lot of the information wrong, in more than a couple of instances. I'm in the movie (as a character played by an actor), and they make it look like my dad is trying to drown me at the beach, when really what happened, is we got swept out in an undertow for a couple of hours and almost died. I was like seven years old and he went out to save me, and ended up going to the hospital. They just took his life and tore it apart, so I'm not a big fan of Charlie Sheen. If I see him, I'd give him a nice bitch slap. Emilio Estevez, I pretty much feel the same, but it was my uncle who brought them in and re-wrote history.
It would seem that mystery and intrigue has run in this family's history going back to his grandfather, and appears to have no intention of diverting it's path. Hopefully, Caleb's next adventure results with his hand raised in victory after his fight. It would make for a perfect juncture in a life that could be a movie itself.