Doing it For Me & the Old Boys by Adam Hollioake 24 Jan 2012
I am not sure if any of you are aware but I am starting a new career as an MMA fighter. I have told limited people so far and to be honest the reaction I have met has been anything but supportive. Why? Well MMA is an unknown activity for most people, they see people getting round with cuts and bruises and immediately think that it is an activity for thugs. Well I guess I’m in a fortunate position in having done several sports and this will be the 2nd that I have been professional at after cricket. I would have to say that whilst on first site there are many dangers involved with MMA I would consider it the least likely of the 2 I have done to suffer serious injury. When I say serious injury I am talking about career ending injury and even death. I would say cricket is one of the most dangerous sports I have done and if you were take out the brain injury aspect of boxing I would say that boxing is one of the safest sports I have done.
The thing which people don’t take into account with MMA is that the gloves offer very little protection from cuts and therefore blood is a regular sight. However it is internal organs where the real injuries occur. So whilst boxers don’t suffer anywhere near the incidents of cutting as MMA fighters they are taking 100s of thudding punches in the head a fight which is the thing that leads to the brain injuries.
Cricket and more specifically bowling remains the toughest physical activity I have ever done in any sport. The rotation on the spine and forces that travel through your body are second to none and I have the utmost respect for anyone who makes their career out of being a bowler. Batting on the other hand isn’t physically demanding at all in comparisons to many sports however there are very real physical dangers and there is nothing soft about facing bowlers above 80mp/h or 140km/h…..
So why am I opting for these activities….sorry if I keep referring to MMA and boxing as activities…My reasons are, you play cricket, you play tennis, you even play football, but you don’t play fighting…Fighting is real, you impose your will on your opponent and attempt to physically and mentally dominate them, in cricket and tennis there are elements of physical and mental intimidation that can be used but they are a small part of the game as opposed to the whole idea of the activity. The reason I am opting for these activities is I always had the desire to fight from a very young age, however I was spoilt for choice in my sporting professions
I have long held the view that people allow themselves to get old and that if the drive remains then there is no reason for why you cant compete well into your 40s…there are several athletes in the world today that are proving this, Bernard Hopkins springs to mind, he is 48 and has dominated the middleweight and more recently super middleweight ranks for the last decade.
I want to go out there and show all the young punks that us middle aged guys are more than capable of competing. Funnily enough it was a similar attitude that got me through my cricket career. Many a time it was suggested that I give up bowling, my action was at best equivalent to a club cricketers and I was once told by a bio-mechanist that I had no place in the game as I was biomechanically retarded. However I managed to make it to international level and have even dismissed most of the best batsmen of my era, including Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Steve and Mark Waugh, Graham Gooch, Graeme Hick, Rahul Dravid. Ricky Ponting. Every time I achieved any feat as a bowler I always thought in my head, there’s another one for the guy who cant bowl.
Life is a strange thing, we often get rewarded for what other people want us to do, meaning if I had said I wanted to get a very safe and secure 9 to 5 well paid job I would have been met with a lot more support, because that is what people want for me. I learnt long ago, in fact almost 25 years ago that if you try and satisfy everyone else’s desires or do what everyone else wants you to do then you don’t end up living your life the way you want to and never truly make yourself happy. When I was a kid at school I constantly was told to forget cricket (in fact all sports) and to stop dreaming about being a sportsman and to concentrate on becoming a doctor or lawyer….well let me tell you, I wouldn’t choose myself to represent me in a court of lawyer and certainly wouldn’t want to be operated on by me ;-)
So here goes, I am loving the training and am pushing myself harder than ever I have already dropped almost 10kgs and am dominating younger and decorated fighters in the gym (of course this is only the gym and needs to be transferred into the cage)