Column: Before the fight

By Gus Bode

Before mixed martial arts fights, participants have to go through a number of preparations. Fighters train for months before the actual match. They stretch and drill before the fight begins, tape up their wrists and knuckles to prevent injury and apply cocoa butter or Vaseline to their faces to glance off punches.

A fighter told me that the day of a match, adrenaline is pumping from the moment he wakes up until the end of the match. A match may be over before the first round, maybe even before thirty seconds.

Fighters walk out of the dimly lit prep room from a doorway filled with fog from a fog machine and bright spotlights onto a walkway as their name, weight and background information are announced. Screaming fans surround the walkway that leads up to an octagon shaped cage, bathed in light amidst an otherwise dark room holding the complete attention of the audience in the Williamson County Pavilion on Saturday night.


A referee slides a large, metal pole into a lock to hold the cage door into place, as the fighters prepare themselves for what’s to come.

The fighters tap fists, the bell rings and the fight begins.