With that, Emet walked away, he hugged and kissed his wife who was now in the cage. Before he left, he took his gloves off and left them in the cage as was the tradition for fighters retiring.
Two hours after they left the arena, they went back up to their hotel suite and went in. Their babysitter was missing and the smiles of the Emet family faces were gone.
They went to the crib their son was supposed to be sleeping in. He picked up the note left in the crib and read it.
“We’ll talk in the morning.”
He looked down at the crib where he picked up the note and saw his gloves that he left in the cage staring back at him.
The above is an extract from The Dreamer, a story which follows MMA fighter Matt Schwartz and his fights inside and outside of the cage. I spoke with author Douglas Geller (@thedreamer_off) about the writing process, MMA in fiction and the inspiration behind the book.
Hi Doug, for those interested what sort of genre would you say this book is? Purely an MMA story or more?
Douglas Geller: I’d say this is a sports fiction book, it is not a story based on action such as fights and training of MMA, though there are several portions of it in the story. It is more of a story of the MMA lifestyle; how the main character has to overcome failure and pick himself back up. Struggle through hard times of going through the toughest sport in the world and maintaining meaningful relationships and becoming an adult.
And have you always wanted to write a book on MMA?
DG: I’ve always wanted to write a book but I didn’t know what it would be on. I thought it would be much later in my life.
How long did the entire writing process take?
DG: The whole process took around nine months. Writing the book took about three to four months, editing took another couple months and putting the design of the book together took another month or so. It was a much faster process to write it since I was on bed rest from breaking my ankle and this was what I mainly did while in bed.
I suppose the silver lining in the ankle injury is that it gave you the time to put this book together. You mention on the website you’ve written for a couple of different NY newspapers. What did that writing work entail and how does it differ from fiction writing?
DG: I covered sports and some general stories for a couple of different newspapers including my college paper. It differed a lot, when I wrote for papers I was very straight to the point and with this book I had to be suspenseful. Also framing the dialogue in an intriguing way was something I had to work on.
It’s clear reading the descriptions and terminology describing the MMA action in the book that you know what you’re talking about. What are your own experiences in MMA and what attracted you to writing about the genre of MMA specifically?
DG: I’ve been training in karate since I was five, I earned the title of Sensei and am a fourth-degree black belt. I’ve done a little bit of Jiu Jitsu as well. My dad is a Shihan (master teacher) and a purple belt in Jiu Jitsu. I’ve been working with the University of MMA (an amateur promotion in LA) for a couple years now as well. I’ve had the luxury of watching amateurs grow from the beginning of their careers and have worked with the likes of Big John McCarthy, Jessamyn Duke and Mayhem Miller. MMA and martial arts have been a big part of my life and I feel people should write about what they know, and I know about the martial arts lifestyle.
Certainly sounds like you have the qualifications! Which real-life MMA fighter is our protagonist, Matt Schwartz, most like?
DG: Style wise I’d compare him to TJ Dillashaw or Demetrious Johnson. I’m a big fan of how they use movement and angles. Personality-wise I think he’s pretty unique but if I had to pick one well-known fighter it would be Rose Namajunas, because they are both so young and talented but have had a lot of struggles in their lives that they had to overcome. They also tend to overthink things.
And what made you decide to self-publish?
DG: I chose to self-publish because it gave me more control over the message of my book. I want to create conversations and get people to think in a positive way. Everyone has a dream and I am trying to showcase that.
Just before we finish, you’ve mentioned that you worked at MSG in the past, did you catch UFC 205 and what were your thoughts on the event, best show in UFC history?
DG: That was the best card I’ve ever seen! Still disappointed I wasn’t there but proud to have had a card like that in my home state.
Thanks for your time Doug!
*Live Updates* UFC Winnipeg Official Results
The UFC returns to Canada for the final Fight Night card of 2017. In the cold of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the UFC will host eleven of the originally twelve scheduled fights. Unfortunately, Tim Elliot will not fight in the north country. His scheduled opponent, Pietro Menga, a newcomer to the promotions roster, failed to make weight after taking the bout with just over a weeks notice.
An exciting main card will be capped off with a potential contender eliminator bout featuring, Robbie Lawler and Rafael Dos Anjos. The former champions (Lawler at welterweight, Dos Anjos at lightweight) both put together impressive win streaks which dispatched top contenders in their respective divisions. Elsewhere on the main card, Santiago Ponzinibbio takes on the outspoken Mike Perry.
The card begins on UFC Fight Pass at 4:30/1:30 ETPT.
UFC Winnipeg Official Results:
MAIN CARD – FOX – 8PM/5PM ETPT
- #2 Robbie Lawler (28-11) vs. #4 Rafael Dos Anjos (27-9) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Rafael Dos Anjos def. Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
- #3 Ricardo Lamas (18-5) vs. Josh Emmett (12-1) – Catchweight bout (148.5 lbs)
- Result: Josh Emmett def. Ricardo Lamas via KO (punch) 4:33 round 1
- #10 Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3) vs. Mike Perry (11-1) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Mike Perry via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- #3 Glover Teixeira (26-6) vs. #7 Misha Cirkunov (13-3) – Light Heavyweight bout
- Result: Glover Teixeira def. Misha Cirkunov via TKO (punches) 2:45 round 1
PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 5PM/2PM ETPT
- #14 Jared Cannonier (10-2) vs #15 Jan Blachowicz (20-7) – Light Heavyweight bout
- Result: Jan Blachowicz def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Julian Marquez (6-1) vs. Darren Stewart (7-2) – Middleweight bout
- Result: Julian Marquez def. Darren Stewart via submission (standing guillotine) 2:42 round 2
- Chad Laprise (13-2) vs. Galore Bofando (5-2) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Chad Laprise def. Galore Bofando via TKO (punches) 4:10 round 1
- Nordine Taleb (13-4) vs Danny Roberts (14-2) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Nordine Taleb def. Danny Roberts via KO (head kick and punch) :59 round 1
- John Makdessi (14-6) vs Abel Trujillo (15-7) – Lightweight bout
- Result: John Makdessi def. Abel Trujillo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Alessio Di Chirico (10-2) vs Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3) – Middleweight bout
- Result: Alessio Di Chirico def. Oluwale Bamgbose via KO (knee) 2:14 round 2
EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 4:30PM/1:30PM ETPT
- Jordan Mein (29-12) vs. Erick Silva (19-8) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Jordan Mein def. Erick Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Added to UFC Orlando
The UFC has now added more bouts to the front end of their 2018 schedule. Gilbert Burns (13-2, 5-2 UFC) will face Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2, 6-2 UFC) in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) December 14, 2017
Alongside a few other high-profile fight announcements, is the addition to the UFC Orlando, Florida card. The two lightweights will join Jake Collier and Marcin Prachnio, as the second fight set for the event.
It has been a while since the UFC hosted an event in the state of Florida. Last seen by the Floridians was UFC on Fox: Texeira vs. Evans, on April 16, 2016 in Tampa Bay. The card was a success, despite the cancellation of its planned main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Drawing a gate of $1.05 million and 2.13 million viewers.
Gilbert Burns signed with the UFC after accumulating an undefeated record of 8-0. His first loss came in his home country of Brazil, as Rashid Magomedov defeated him via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3, in November of 2015.
In his most recent bout, Burns defeated Jason Saggo by KO with five seconds remaining in the second round at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch.
Aubin-Mercier will come into the contest as a winner in his last three bouts. The Canadian fighter trains out of the Tristar gym, alongside legends such as Georges St. Pierre and head coach, Firas Zahabi.
In 2011, Aubin-Mercier was chosen to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Nations. Competing in the welterweight bracket, he became a finalist by defeating both, Jake Mathews (unanimous decision) and Richard Walsh (rear naked choke). In the finale, Aubin-Mercier lost to Chad Laprise by split decision.
UFC Orlando will take place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.
Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida Officially Headlines UFC Belem
Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida is officially booked to headline UFC Belem in Brazil.
Following his unanimous decision victory over Markus Perez on last weekends, UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Swanson, undefeated middleweight, Eryk Anders, called for the match-up with former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida. The UFC heard, and obliged.
First reported by The MMA Kings (@mma_kings.)
EXCLUSIVE: My sources tell me that Eryk Anders (@erykanders) has gotten his wish. He'll headline UFC Fight Night: Belem against Lyoto Machida (@lyotomachidafw) in Brazil. Ask and you shall receive. #UFC pic.twitter.com/qX62A9qH6k
— The MMA Kings (Nolan King) (@mma_kings) December 14, 2017
Anders holds a 2-0 undefeated record in the UFC. The Alabama native made his promotional debut against Rafael Nata in July of this year. A bout he took on short notice, replacing Alessio di Chirico whom withdrew from the fight due to a neck injury. Anders defeated Natal by knockout in the first round that night at UFC Long Island.
Prior to his indoctrination to MMA, the undefeated middleweight played for the University of Alabama football team, between 2006-2009.
Machida recently returned to the UFC roster after an 18-month suspension handed down by USADA, stemming from a failed out-of-competition test leading up to his April 2016 contest against Dan Henderson.
In his return to the octagon, Machida faced Derek Brunson in the main-event of the UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Machida, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “The Dragon” lost the bout via first round KO.
UFC Belem, Brazil is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018, at the Mangueirinho Arena. The card will also feature the flyweight debut for Valentina Shevchenko as she faces Priscila Cachoeira.
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