Whiskey & Wisdom

Fighting with a Purpose and Passion, with John Salter

November 09, 2022 Tyler Yaw
Whiskey & Wisdom
Fighting with a Purpose and Passion, with John Salter
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Show Notes Transcript

This week we bring on John Salter, professional fighter in Bellator MMA and gym owner. We also shake it up a little bit and put Palmer Grigsby in the co-host seat and let him ask the questions we all want to know from a mixed martial artist. We discuss how John got started in fighting, the worst punch to be hit by and the ups and downs of such a crazy career. You don't want to miss this one!

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Welcome back to the Whiskey and Wisdom Podcast. I am Tyler y and we're switching up a little bit today. Chris, our typical co-host here is Gallivanting, New York City. So I have brought on our regular guest, Palmer g Rigsby. What's up guys? Thanks for having me on. Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for filling in and our special guest for today is John Salter. Hey, how you doing? Thanks for having me on. Absolutely. And since Palmer decided he doesn't want to drink anymore and and John Salter, just like most of the best makes martial artists that I know abstain from alcohol because it's not good for your body. We are going to do water and wisdom today, which is never a bad thing. So before we get into too, too much of the questions John, tell everyone about, about you. I'm a professional fighter. I wrestled my whole life as a national champion in college. I got out got into jujitsu and mma while I was in grad school. I started fighting. Went seven and os in amateur. So I turned pro and pretty quick was in the ufc. And I, I was in the UFC way too fast. I've been training like two years and Wow. So I was there for about a year and then bounced around some other organizations, then got signed to Bellator and. I've been in Bellator for pretty long while now. Had a good run there. Fought for a world title last year in Bellator, and moved to Wilmington in 2015, 2016. Started my gym here. So here, here to stay. And everything's going. Pretty good now. So we like it here a lot. Yeah. What brought you here to Wilmington? So my wife all went to California for me to train out there. It was, it was good for us, not something that we were gonna do long time or long term. We knew that. And it's kind of funny, it's a god thing. My, we were came back to visit family for Thanksgiving and we were in the Birmingham airport flying back to California and my wife broke down crying and she's like, I can't go back to California. I can't do it anymore. She's like, I, I hate it. And but she had a good job out there. I said, Well, when you got hired, you told them you give them two years. It's been a year. It's like, so let's start looking for options where we wanna come back. We want to go back to Nashville. Yeah. And it's like, you know, so then we'll do that. Well then Monday morning, her boss called her and was like we're doing away with your position across the whole company, but we're gonna give you a promotion and. We need to move you somewhere. You can go to LA or San Francisco and we're like, Yeah. We're not doing either one of those. So we just said get us as close to Nashville as you can and you know, if you can basically stay there until we moved to Nashville and they gave us a couple of options and places that we really didn't know anything about. Wilmington was one and I, we both wrote Wilmington off immediately. And we had. Said we'd go the Asheville route because I had friends in in Knoxville, that trained friend was o Stru and all the guys that trained there at Knoxville mma. So I was like, you know, it's a two hour drive. Her family's in Knoxville. Like, I can stay some nights in Knoxville, some nights in Asheville, and I can still train, you know, full time like that. Right? And they said, Okay. And then they took the, the Asheville job out from under her. And she was already so sad on leaving California. I was like, All right, we'll make Wilmington work. And it's actually been a huge blessing. It's going really well since I've come here. There's a lot of guys in Wilmington that train, but nobody trained together. Right. And I've kind of, that's why I started my gym. I didn't wanna start a gym. Really? Yeah. But it's like, I gotta kind of try to get people to train together. And so that's kind of how my gym started. And now we've got, had people move in from kinda all over to train here. Yeah. So it's going really. That's really cool. And you have a bunch of good guys coming out of your gym now too, that are making it to the UFC and elsewhere. Yeah, I've got Joe Lucky there who is on a good run in the UFC right now. Mm-hmm. got Jamie picket that's been on in the UFC for a while. Yeah. And several other up and coming amateurs and pros that are gonna make, make a good run. That's awesome. It's a small, like Wilmington's a very small place to have such a fight. Mm-hmm. you. There's a lot of guys out, like you kinda said, there's a lot of guys out here and for a smaller town like this, like this is not like a very prevalent, you know, you wouldn't think Wilmington, North Carolina, you'd think like mixed martial arts, but it's very prevalent here. It's very surprising. How many athletes just in general come outta Wilmington, you know? Right. Just for all sports. It's you know, it is just, it's a very athlete rich place. The goat Michael Jordan. Right. We can't get a Jumpman statue downtown or anything, but like the, Came out in Wilmington. That's nuts. Yeah, that's crazy to think of. And even right now too, in a county of 250,000 people, there's four active professional fighters and, and large organizations. Mm-hmm. not including all the other smaller organizations. Yeah. Yeah, that's I mean, you know, typically it's hard to get that kind of environment like, so Chris Wideman moved to Charlotte. He lives in South Carolina in Fort Mills, but outside of Charlotte. Right. And we do a lot of training in Charlotte. Kind of my head MMA coaches there and a bunch of my friends are there. And it's funny cuz Wideman moved from Long Island where he trained up there in a gym that people a lot of people have heard of, you know Ray Longo's gym and. He came in to Charlotte and he was like, I've never been in a room with this many good guys my size before. Oh, wow. And he was like, This is this is impressive. And it's just kind of funny like that. It's, you know, places you wouldn't really expect that and how that's how it's built like that. I found that kind of interesting in the UFC in general is you have these gyms and it's really focused around weight more than anything. Mm-hmm. So like, you'll find a really good gym that's mostly for. 45, 1 55 ERs, and you'll find this area that has a lot of middle weights and like light heavy weights mm-hmm. and stuff. It's, it's interesting how it kind of builds around that. Yeah. That happens a lot. And then you've got your mega gems, you know, like you got your what it, it was San it's co cliff now. Mm-hmm. And you got your mega gems in like the Bay Area of California. But it's so hard because if you're not one of the very top guys, You just get overlooked. You don't get coaching, you don't get time, anybody spending time with you. You know? So it's, I think that MMA is becoming more like boxing where you're seeing guys go, Okay, I'd rather have a camp of four or five guys that are gonna push me and a coach that spends time with me than I'm gonna go pay a mega gym money to train there. And nobody ever spends time with me and we just spar and beat each other up. You know? You know, it's somebody that's strained in a gym that's kind of that environment of we're just gonna try and kill each other every. Not great for a long term. Right. Yeah. You know, on your body. Well, certainly. Well, that kind of got me, you know, it's kinda like if you were trained at like Jackson Wink or something. A lot of great athletes are there, but like you said, like you're just beating absolute piss at each other. Mm-hmm. like day in and day out. And then, you know, you have so many people just flocking to that gym. Right. And like, you could have real potential, but maybe you're not a favorite of, or you know, like I'm sure there's politics within the fight world. Like everything, you know, like everything. And to have, I don't know, just to have like your own place here and you know, kind of, Cuz isn't like Wonder Boy in South Carolina as well. He's in Greenville, I believe. Okay. So really just the Carolinas, like we're mm-hmm. a bunch of fighting dudes around the Carolinas. Mm-hmm. like, it's really impressive. Yeah. It's, it's nuts too because you know those, a lot of those gems, the mega gems, especially like, you get people that go out there and they do their camp there. So if you live there and you train there full time, like, okay, you're here. Eight weeks to get ready for a fight. So I'm gonna help you for eight weeks, but now I got a fight coming up and you take off and leave. You know, And that's that's kind of how it was in Nashville when I trained. There was I loved the gym, but you know, we had all these really good fighters that would come in and they've got a eight week camp going on, and then their fight's over and they disappear for a month and a half, you know, I'm like, I'm trying to get ready or something, you know, And so it just. I'm not a fan of that environment. Yeah. Because it's all give and get nothing back, you know? Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. makes sense. That's a good point. So what, you said you kinda went to grad school, like kind of taken it back a bit. So when you were so college guy, I think a lot of people in the outside world think MMA fighters are so much like dumb dudes that like, you know, there's just a bunch of like brawny, like high school guy education guys that just wanna like beat the piss at each other. So like you went to college, you're going through grad school, but what made you kind of realize. I'm gonna go in this fighting route, like I'm gonna see where this takes me cuz you, you know, you're in your late thirties now. Mm-hmm. So you really went to the MMA route kind of at a early, you know, at an early time, like before it like really blew up and got super popular. Yeah. So when I was in college my college roommates from Huntington Beach, California, and he used to always talk about Tido Ortiz. Yeah. And you know, that that wrestling world in Huntington Beach, Tito's. Always there everywhere. So he knew Tito and he's always talked about him. So that kind of got me into mma. And so I knew I wanted to fight, but it was more like, I wanna do some amateur fights, you know? And had a couple guys on our team that had done some low level pro fights, like, Oh yeah, I might do that some. But My senior year of college, my senior year eligibil, or the year I graduated with my junior year eligibility was, so I was planning on coming back and wrestling another year. And three guys on my team, we all had kind of the same situation and two of us won nationals that year. Wow. And my coach had told me, you know, like, Okay, when when this year's over, I'm gonna do the same deal for you for grad. I was like, Okay, well, so my kind of plan was I'm gonna wrestle through grad school and then I'm gonna take the LSAT and go to law school. And after nationals is over, my coach came and like offered me my new scholarship. And in my mind I was thinking when he said like, Okay, it's the same deal. Like, I'm gonna have the same amount of money left over that has to be covered at the end, which would. Almost nothing, you know, or very minimal. And it was, I'm gonna offer you the same amount of money, but grad school's more expensive, right? And I was like, I just won a national title. Why would I do that? Right? So I told him like, I don't wanna wrestle anywhere else so I'm just going to move back home and go to grad school there. And then one of the guys, he ended up going to Oklahoma State and they gave him a full ride for his grad school year to wrestle there. And then the other one, I don't even know what he ended up doing. But anyway, so we all kind of just went our separate ways, you know? And so that kind of just ended up at University of Alabama, Birmingham and grad school there, and started training in Birmingham that year. That would've been my last year wrestling. And just kind of went from there. You know, it was one of those things I fought. Seven times in the first year went seven and oh my second. I say he has an amateur. My second amateur fight, my guy backed out and there was a guy who was an undefeated pro on the card, and they're like, Do you wanna just fight him? And Alabama didn't have a commission, so I was like, Yeah. And the guy had like kind of talked down to me, so I was like, Yeah, I wanna fight him. Yeah, a hundred percent Now. So I beat him up pretty bad. And then it was like, it's hard to get fights then, you know, that was kind of dumb. I should have done that So then I was having to travel. I had to go to Oklahoma for two amateur fights, you know, and stuff like that. So then it became one of those things I tell everybody as an amateur, don't travel, and then I'm traveling everywhere to go get fights, you know? So but yeah, so that's kind of how it started. And then it just kind of became my, a passion, you know, that that's like, okay, this is where I want to go with my life. So, From law school, right? Yeah, from law school. I wanna go to law school and it's like, eh, you know what? I enjoy bouncing dude's heads off the, the mat. Like that's, that's kind of where I'm like wanting to go now. So what, cuz it's a crazy sport, right? Mm-hmm. I mean, I, besides like mixed martial arts, I'd say bull riding, you know, like as far as sports goes, like those are the two like insane like sports that you can take on personally. So like, just what was it about it that was just like, that just kind of got you. I, I guess it was just the fact, especially back then, I mean, you're talking about you know, 2003, 2004. Mm-hmm. And then I graduated college in 2007. You know, so you're talking about long enough ago that if you were a good wrestler, you just dominated the sport, you know? Right. Okay. When Matt Hughes was on his long tear Sure. Without throwing punches on the feet, you know, and yeah. So it's just like, Oh man, these guys are doing it, then this is gonna be great, you know? It was a different world by the time I got outta college because then there's so many wrestlers going into it, you know? Right. I remember my first fight in the ufc looking around. There was like 10 guys on the card that wrestled in college, you know. Oh, wow. I was like, you know, three years ago when you watched the ufc, there was one guy on the card that wrestled in college, you know, and he's just wrecking everybody. He fights, you know, so, You look at Tido Ortiz made his run and became the champion. I don't think he ever started a day in college, you know? And then then it goes to the point where you got, you know, two, two all Americans fighting each other, you know, so, Right. It was a it was a big change pretty quick in the sport. So you're extremely good at Jiujitsu as well. So how did that all come into play? So, I figured from the wrestling background, it was kind of a natural transition of. Where did you get the, the passion and the ability to go into that? And what do you think made you do so well? So one of the things that drove me nuts was like, you watch fights, you watch these guys that are wrestling and you know, good wrestlers, they're taking everybody down, slinging em around, and they get choked, you know? Right. It seemed like everybody's getting triangles, you know? And I was like, I can't be that guy. So the first thing I did was find a place to train jujitsu, and that's how I started. And. It was really all just like, I'm training jujitsu because I want to fight, you know? And then a friend of mine who only wanted to do ge, he kept trying to get me to train with him in the ge. So I started doing that. I hated it at first, and then I just got more and more where I liked it more and more. And then I kind of became the jujitsu guy. You know, I was the wrestler that was triangling people from my back Yeah. And stuff like that. So that changed. Kind of the way I looked at myself. It's funny, like years later somebody asked me like, Okay, what's your background? I said, Jujitsu. I'm like, Whoa, My background's wrestling. I don't know why I just said that. Right. But and then I really, you know, I thought, Okay, I like jujitsu. I do well at jujitsu. And then my coach, when I was in Nashville, I was a purple belt. Mm-hmm. and he was like, There's a tournament in. Ohio and Columbus. That's invite only you got invited if you, when you get money, you know, and stuff like that. There's, it's four guys. It's a guy, one of the best brown belts in the world, and then two or a good black belt, and then a guy that wrestled for Ohio State. And so I was like, Okay, yeah, I'll do it. So I had the guy from Ohio State first. I submitted him pretty fast. And then then the Brown Belt guy, John Toth, he won. I had him in the. Well, I beat him. And then we were under Lloyd Irvin at the time back. You guys had been in the sport long enough to, to know that whole fiasco. But anyway, Lloyd was like, Well, you, you just beat a guy who's one of the best brown boats in the world. You have to compete at purple about worlds, which is like, Two weeks later. Oh wow. So I went to Purple Belts Worlds and John Toth won the brown Belts. Then I won purple belt. And so not that, you know, it's purple belt, not super prestigious or anything, but then that kind of got some recognition about jujitsu. Yeah. And I ended up, when we went to California They brought me out to be a part of the pro team, but also to be the head jujitsu instructor there. Wow. When I was a brown belt. So I got my black belt out there, you know doing that. So that kind of just, you know, then I, all of a sudden I was the, the head jujitsu coach of not only a big gym, but also a fight team, you know, so then my. Life really became jujitsu, you know? And I really don't like getting hit much so in fights. It's great to take people down and submit 'em and I always said like, I'm not gonna have a jujitsu jam. It's too much of a headache and all that. And then here we are years later, right? That's what I do, you know? That's awesome. So actually Palmer has a great question. Talking about getting hit. Yeah. So, kind of pairing off not wanting to get hit. So as a fighter, you know, what kind of kick or punch. That, that gets landed, that it's just like, man, like if only, like, if he, if I can come outta this fight and not get, like, kicked in the liver or if I can like, without getting like this punch, like what's that punch for you? Probably one of the worst things that people don't ever really realize is when you block kicks and they, if it hits your forearms, really solid. Okay. And I'll say I fought Rael Lavato. I stepped in with a hook and I think it was in the first round, and I threw it, and I felt like we were so close. But just naturally, my arm, my hand was up and he threw a head kick. I don't know how he got it in there cause we were so close, but it chopped down on my forearm and I was like, Oh my gosh. I think he just broke my forearm. Yeah. And it ended up being all right, but then like for weeks I couldn't hardly train after the fight, you know, And then I had the same thing happen. Kendall Grove threw a kick that hit me in the farm and I couldn't train for like two weeks. And then another one fought Costello van who probably. I'd say probably hits way harder than anybody ever, ever fought. He kept kicking me in the forearm and they kept saying on the over the, on tv like, Oh man, those kicks are landing heavy. They thought he was hitting me in the body, but it was hitting my forearm. And I was, I would rather him hit me in the body like I think I'm gonna throw up if he kicks me in the forearm again. And that just, to me, that hurts so bad. I guess that kind of makes, would make more sense cuz if you get kicked in the body, like it's gonna, it's gonna obviously hurt a ton. But it's not that last, I guess, that lasting effect of like, just your arms being wrecked. Well, you know, and I say that cause I've never been really hit hard in the body in a fight. I've been hit hard enough in a fight and like, I didn't like that. You know? Mm-hmm. sure. But never enough that like, oh man, I might go down, You know? Right. Okay. So I I've never, I've, I can think of like two times, two or three times in a fight that I've been hit in the body enough that I'm like, Okay, I don't want that to happen again. Right. But you know, I mean, obviously those, those shots that hit you and drop you, like, that's a different world, you know? Makes sense. Tyler would know I've done that to him a couple times. So every once in a while, I got you back with the calf kick. Most certainly. That's why I don't like calf kicks Like that's, I just, I think they're, I think once the calf kicks like really started to be prevalent, like I think that changed a lot. Oh yeah. I think that changed a lot. And even with jujitsu, I, you know, I wasn't really privy on jujitsu. Obviously I've always watched the UFC and whatnot, but I think when I finally took notes, it was the first Anderson Sil Chelsea son fight Uhhuh. Cause you saw a wrestler just dominate Anderson Sil like no one had ever seen before. Mm-hmm. I mean, that fight was insane. Like Chelsea son and just had him the entire fight. Took him down, beat him up, just warm 'em down. But then you had that situation where he took him down, he, you know, shot low. And Anderson was able just to throw that, you know, Hail Mary of a triangle and it's like, that's like, that's jujitsu. Mm-hmm. like that's at the end of the day, like that's what it is. Like you can be getting puled for four and a half rounds in the last minute. You still have a shot. Yeah, we were gosh, it was probably a month after that. And I think I was in Boston fighting on UFC one 18 and I was sitting on a cutting weight and what's his name? Gray Maynard was fighting on that card, so he was cutting weight, but one of his corners was cutting weight. And it was a young guy who was a wrestler and we were talking about that fight and he was like, I was like, Yeah man, I just don't understand like why, like all these wrestlers don't wanna do jujitsu. And he was like, I mean, if your wrestling's good enough, it doesn't really matter. And I said, Wait, just talking about a loss here. Yeah, Yeah, sure. Why not? Yeah. Yeah. People's mentality. It's so crazy how many wrestlers, just like, I don't wanna do jujitsu. And I think the problem is there's, I mean, look how many jujitsu gyms are in Wilmington. You know, like most, most black belts, they can't handle a call wrestler. They're gonna get ma by, you know? So I mean, I, I, I know there's a guy who's a good black belt in Nashville and a friend of mine who wrestled for Nebraska, he went into that gym one time and. He went and just maed the black belt, sling him around cuz he's a good wrestler. And then they tried to sign him up after and he's like, No, no signing up here. I just struck everybody, you know? So, you know, it takes, it does take an elite level black belt to be able to handle that, you know? And so I get why so many guys, it's a. You get that false sense security, you come outta college wrestling and you go and you roll somebody who's an okay black belt and you submit 'em five times with shoulder pressure, you know, and you're like, Nobody's gonna submit me. And then you go against a good black belt and you get submitted over and over and over again. You know? So I think that's just one of those things that if you don't find the right gym, you can believe things that aren't true real fast. Right? It's kind of like, you know, so it's kinda like that false sense, you know, a false insecurity. But what is it about wrestling you think that is so dominant? Because, you know, look at, you know, most recently in the ufc, kib? Mm-hmm. like just someone that was just buzzing through everybody. Didn't matter really what the discipline, What is it about wrestling though that breeds like, That kind of success. I mean obviously it's the only sport that really focuses on like grinding into getting takedowns, right? Even like judo, people, you know, compare judo to wrestling, but judo is all about a throw. If I get your feet off the ground, I don't need to end up on top, right? I can score points just by getting your feet off the ground. Then you land on top of me, you know, so, Wrestling's. The only sport that really focuses on in American wrestling more than anything, even Greco people talk, you know, people say Greco and free stocks, they don't know what it means, you know? Right. Even Greco Roman wrestling, like if I throw you and I back arch and your feet go over our heads mm-hmm. you know, I can win the match with that throw and you can still land on top of me, you know? Mm-hmm. So it's not really as applicable as American wrestling for mma. But the other thing is wrestling's just so much more physical, you know, in jujitsu, you guys trained some, you said. So like, what do people say right away? Oh, don't spazz, you know, Don't do this, don't do that. In wrestling. It's like, kill that guy, you know, And and I always tell people the difference between wrestling and jujitsu is like, if you're trying something in jujitsu and it's not working, like if I'm coaching you, I'm gonna tell you to do something different, you know? Mm-hmm. in wrestling, I'm gonna tell you to do it harder, you know, and that's just a different mentality and a different level of physicality that makes it really hard for people to handle a lot in ju. Yeah, I agree a lot with that. I, I wrestled since I was in first grade. Mm-hmm. so definitely have the background in wrestling and everything too. And ju-jitsu was a like perfect segway into um, fighting a little bit and stuff. And it's just that grind in the body pressure that there's nothing else that compares to it. Yeah, absolutely. But then, you know, the thing is too, with wrestling, like you can't do it forever cuz it's so hard in your body. So that's why Jujitsu's great, you can make that transition. Still grappling, but it's not, You're not trying to put your shoulder in somebody's eye socket all the time, you know? Mm-hmm. geez. Just getting grinded on just, Oh, it's so uncomfortable. But it is, It sucks. It sucks to be hopeless on the ground against like, just like an animal such as yourself would just be hopeless. Just completely hopeless. You know, it's like trying to fight a fish in water. You know, if you don't know what you're doing that what are you gonna do? You know, just like, just like tap pray. Just something like in this, I know you mentioned Cutting weight too. So how is that process doing it professionally? Cause like I, I did it in middle school, high school, like it's completely different ballgame, I would assume. Well, everybody has this mentality and I, it's funny, even in wrestling, people think like, Oh man, like when you get to college, there's somebody like tells you how to cut weight. There's not, you still cut like an idiot, you know? And then I even, I cut weight the same way all the way. I was a pro for a while. I had somebody tell me the proper way to do it a long time ago, and I didn't really listen to 'em and. As I've gotten older now, I've kind of learned how to do it, you know, do it the right way. But still, it's funny, you go to Bellator fights, you go to UFC fights and people still cut weight completely wrong. Like, what's one of the main things that people believe now because of the show, The Ultimate Fighter? This. This is probably my biggest pet peeve. I wanna rip people out of the sauna when I see it is people put on so suits and get in the sauna. Yeah. Yeah. It doesn't make you sweat faster. Doesn't make no, you're, you're just hotter and you're just more likely to die. Mm-hmm. the thing about the sauna is it's hot and it opens up your pores cuz it's dry, you know? Right. And then people get in there in a sauna suit and think they're doing something, you know? And another one that was just amazing that I saw this is a professional athlete. Now, Bellator and the ufc, they supply you with personal saunas, you know, so that way, Oh wow. If I'm going to cut weight, you know, we don't have to worry about everybody fitting the same sauna. And my last sorry, not my last fight, but when I fought for the world title against Maasi they had all the personal saunas set up in the same room so we could see what everybody in my corner was. And this guy, I don't know if you guys ever seen a personal sauna. Mm-hmm. But it's got a little seat in there. You sit your head's out. Yeah. This guy took the seat out so that he could sit down in the sauna. And the whole thing about the personal sauna is you can breathe cold air so your, your body doesn't go into as big of shock, you know? And they came up, they were looking for him cause it's time for weigh-ins. And they were like, Is he in there? And I looked over and I was like, No. Like, do you see a head And they were like, he gets down in it. And I was like, What? Why? And they went and like looked down in it and then another official came and like looked down in it and I was like, I've never seen somebody do that before. But everybody was talking about it the whole time. He was trying to get down in, of course he didn't make weight cause he didn't know to cut weight, you know? Right. That's crazy. Yeah. So what was your, kind of like, what was, so when you're, you know, you're fighting 180 5 mm-hmm. so what are you walking around like, you know, just, you know, like right now, like, what are you, you know, you don't have a fight on the books I'm aware of, so like, what are you, what are you walking around at? Between two hundred and two oh five? I try to, you know, if I, if I deadlift heavy. Then I'll shoot up to like two 10, you know? Okay. But I try not to do that just cuz it slows me down and it's just more weight I gotta cut in the long run, you know. And so when you're get out of your fight camp, then what do you, you know, what's like your ideal weight outta fight camp? When I'm out, I mean, I would prefer to walk around like 200 to 2 0 5. Okay. You know, when I'm in fight camp, a lot of people cut a lot more weight. But I try to walk around in the mid nineties so I'm not, I don't have a big time. Okay. So yeah. 10 pounds. Yeah. You know, I, and some people cut well and rehydrate well, I don't really. So, you know, anything over, you know, if I'm the week of, if I'm more than 14, 15 pounds over, then I'm gonna have a hard time. But if I can be that 10, 11 range, then I'm gonna have a pretty easy time. Nice. So what's so, so it's just, you're just straight sauna and like, that'll like knock it or, So I water load all week. And then you know, that kind of puts you at a. False number cuz you're a little higher than you really are. And then that last, so now they've moved for the UFC and for Bellator they've originally moved way to noon, which I thought was amazing cuz that way you know, I can sleep till eight o'clock, I can get up. And I've got three hours to cut before I even gotta think about anything being an issue. Right. And I'm not cutting a ton of weight. So three hours is plenty of time, you know? Then they started, then they moved at like 11 o'clock. Now it's Either, sometimes it's 10 o'clock, sometimes it's nine o'clock. That's, that's tough, you know? Cause now I gotta cut weight the night before. So, you know, I'll try to cut my water out the morning of the day before weight ends. Mm-hmm. So that way, you know, I get time to get that outta my system. And then I'll cut like half my weight the night before and then get up at like six o'clock and cut the half the next morning. Oh. How good's it feel to eat after that. You know, everybody always thinks like, Oh, what do you want to eat? Like, you just want drink, right? That's all you, That water is just like, Boy, this water hits so good right now and it's such a, and it just shows you how bad it is on your body. You cut and you cut and you cut and you get super drying. Like, I can't sweat, I can't get anything out. And then as soon as you start drinking water, your pores open up and you start sweating again. And it's like, okay, so this water was in me. My body was so shut down that I couldn't sweat. And now I take a couple sip of water and I start sweating. It's so weird. Yeah. Do you think that, you know, mixed martial arts will have a move into a point where they don't cut weight? Cause it is so like it's not good for you, right? Yeah. Like it's a lot of stress on your body. And I forgot, what was it? One championship that's starting to do like, Are they fighting like at your weight? Same day, weigh same day. I see. Yeah. So like, do you think that you'll ever, we will see like a Bellator move to something like that? Cause the science kind of shows it like how bad the cutting is for you. It'll be interesting to see because you know, number one, you got people just like the ins the day before. You know, people show up to weigh in, take pictures and videos, stuff like that. So, you know. You gotta get, do away with that. And the other thing is, it really doesn't matter what you do. I mean, wrestling, we weigh in an hour before a match. Yeah. And we cut weight, you know, So really? Mm-hmm. So I would say that there may, may be more moves to try and do away with it, but you'll never do away with it. Cuz people are gonna go, Well, I don't care. I'll cut weight anyway. You know, And then you're, you're gonna be more unhealthy. You know, if I'm, if you give me same day weigh-ins and I just say, Well, screw it, I'm cutting weight. Then I'm more unhealthy than if I did cut more weight the day before and did it. You know? So I don't really know that, that that helps a whole lot. Well then you just brought up a really good point. The day of, you know, or the day before, you know, that's kind of like, you know, another event, like the arenas can make their money and like all that stuff. So that kind of probably cuts into profit if you do away with that, cuz that's a huge marketing stick. Yeah. Yeah. For a lot of companies, you know, have Joe Rogan out there screaming or hollering and like everyone get riled up the day. So, yeah, I think that you know, I think that's, that's one of the big things is there's, there's money in it. But I think the other thing is they've done a really good job of, you know, we were, gosh, when I was in the ufc, the hands down, the worst experience of my entire life was how they ran, weigh ends. And they would say, Okay, we have weigh ends at five o'clock. Well then we have to leave the hotel at three o'clock. Mm-hmm. So now, okay, I gotta make, I gotta be on wait by three. And then you get to the event, you'd sit there for an. Everybody would do physicals and everybody's blood pressure's, you know, bottomed out. Like, Oh, well, you know, we gotta figure out one of your blood pressures later. Well, I wonder out here, and I'm, you know, I'm 15 pounds lighter than I walk around. You know, I hadn't had anything to drink all day. And Then you get done with your physical and they put you back there and you just sit there and they wait for the arena to fill up and then you walk out there and weigh in at 5 45, you know? Right. So it was one of those things where it, it was so dangerous because not weight cutting's not good for you. But if I can cut weight and I can be on weight for 10 minutes and jump back up. Right. That's really, my body can handle that. Sure. If you make me get on weight for three hours, I can't recover from that, you know? so then they started moving, weight ends up and they started. Real weigh ends and mock way ends, you know, and now you're getting into a little healthier atmosphere, I think, you know? And so now you know, you've got over 24 hours to rehydrate your, I mean, I walk, I do not do well when I'm at weight. So I like, I'm miserable. It's like I am on weight for 10 minutes, you know, like I'm okay. I'm not, I'm never gonna be that first guy. On the scale they do weigh. Nine to 10, I'm not gonna be there at 9:00 AM I'm gonna be there at 9 45 cause I'm gonna get to wait just in time to step on the scale and start drinking, you know? Yeah. So and there's been a lot of times my dad will call me after, wait, and he's like, Do you have a hard one? They said you made weight with three minutes to go Well, I wasn't planning on doing it earlier in that but yeah, so that's kind of the. Know. I think that it's getting better in that aspect. Just going the other way. Doing early, early weigh ins. Okay. It's cool to know, It's so wild that there's not, you know, as prevalent as the sport is now, that it's not like an exact, like everyone does it differently. Some people, like you said, don't have a clue what they're doing. It's wild that it's still like that. It's still kinda like the wild west a little bit. The, probably one of the funniest things that was kind of eye-opening to us that, cuz you know, once you learn something and you do it for a couple years, you forget people don't know it, you know? Right. And so Joe Likey was I don't remember if it was a first fight in the UFC or second or whatever, but anyway, we were at the event and they have a team that kinda, if you want their help, they can kind of guide you, you know, and they do a really good job of getting liquids together for you after weigh. So they asked Joe like, Do you have a plan for your weight cut? He was like, Well, yeah, I've been water loading since gosh, weighs were on Friday, so he's probably been water loading since Sunday. Mm-hmm. and so I started water loading Sunday. I've got two gallons to go, or I'm drinking two gallons today. I'll do a gallon on Thursday, and then you know, I should be within this weight and I'll cut this. And the. Oh wow. You're ahead of the game on this you're talking about like, all these guys have been professional fighters for years and they don't know this. But there's still people I know, people that still start cutting like Tuesday for a Friday weigh in, you know, and like I've. You know what, what do you say to that? You know, like there is there now we have the internet, like you can learn how to cut weight. That is true. That's true. The ignorance is really on you. Yeah. Right. Yeah. And especially being around all of the professional fighters that you are at that level. Mm-hmm. like copy someone. At the very least, it's like, yeah, this guy does it pretty well. Yeah. And that's the thing, you know, and at least in college, you know, like, it's so hard because even in high. You're wrestling two day tournaments. There is no way to prep for a weight cut. You know, like you gotta cut weight, you gotta make it Today we wrestle and then you gotta, you won your last match, now you gotta go cut weight again. Cause you gotta weigh in in the morning, you know? And like there, there's no way around that. But there's no question, like, you're not gonna pop up with a weigh in that I don't know about. We pros, you know, it's, you know, in college they might say, Hey, we just added a match. I know one. Probably the worst day and a half of my life. It was you know, I was a freshman. I thought like by the time I was a senior in high school, I'd be more mature about keeping my away down. I was a senior in college before I felt that way, but was a freshman in college and it was right before Christmas break and we had we didn't have any other matches cuz we were going into our finals week. So we couldn't wrestle that week then we were gonna be out until Christmas. I. Two and a half or three weeks to eat whatever I wanted. So I was just seeing how much weight I could gain and I was wrestling 1 65 and we we finished practice and I walked in and got on the scale after practice and I was 180.5 and I went to dinner and so I ate as much as I could at dinner. So I have no idea what I weighed after. But it was well over 180. Yeah. And me and my buddy who was a freshman too we go walking into the weight room for our night practice, you know, and mm-hmm. it's a lift and run, but you know, like, yeah, it's Christmas is coming up. We're gonna breeze through this. And coach goes, Hey guys, we just set up a Missouri Valley wants to do a freshman only dual match this is Tuesday night. He's like, on Thursday. So, We'll we'll be wrestling on Thursday. If you guys need to, you know, start cutting weight or anything, head back to your dorm to grab your weight cutting gear and start. Oh wow. Oh my gosh. Like I'm too full to run or do anything and I've got well over 15 pounds to cut in less than two days. So that was, you know, what, nine o'clock on a a Thursday night? On a Tuesday night, we had to make weight like five on. Thursday, You know, so let me start by, you know, pressing my fingers down my throat and getting a ball of apple pie and Turkey. I just like devoured. Yeah. So, you know, so like when you're in college, like stuff in high school stuff can spring up. Where you gotta make weight be like right once you're a pro. Like there isn't, there's no like, hey, you gotta make weight tomorrow. You know, we should be able to plan it out pretty well. Yeah. And you know, you see all these guys as they get older in their career, like all of a sudden they don't make weight anymore. Their body can't do it. So that really worries me. Like, One day I'm gonna have that day that my body doesn't cut weight like it did before. So I try to plan for that. I try to beat ahead of schedule all the time and it's just amazing how many guys don't do that, you know? Yeah. You've had a pretty long career fighting right now anyway, as, do you think about kind of the end like near or are you still gung ho and ready to keep on pressing just as hard? You know, I'm still driven. I still train hard, you know, And especially I train with so many guys that are driven all the time. I've trained with them, you know, But yeah. I'm not gonna be in the sport another five years. I'm not gonna be that guy fighting at 42, you know, or anything like that. I made my run, you know, I got my shot at Maasi I lost and you know, and then I tried to fight my way back by fighting another top contender. I lost a decision to him. So now it's more just kind of finishing out my career finish, you know, it's not less of a drive or anything like that, but it's just, you know, I've done. What I could do. Right. And now it's more for my family and then kind of just cementing my career, you know? Yeah. So you're still obviously extremely young too. So what do you see after the fighting career? You know, I'm, I sell real estate. Right now I'm not you know, it's not as, I'm not, I'm not putting as much time as I probably should because I have so many training sessions and stuff like that, you know, And I have my gym and I know there's things I could do at the gym that would probably make it more successful. But I don't have that kind of time, you know? And when I've got a fight coming up, I spend half my week in Charlotte, you know, training there and stuff like that. So when that's done, I'll be able to put a lot more time into those two careers. I had one before we entered the outro fighting phase. you've cut weight. You're all looking good. I'm back on that train. So like, what's it like you're walking out to fight some dude in a cage and there's the lights. The worst. You know, like I've, you know, obviously never been in that situation, but like, I just can't, I'm a nervous dude, like as is like, I get kind of like, you know, nervous, your stomach kinda gets in knots. It has to just be, I, I mean, I don't even know like, what's it like, Walk us through like that feeling and the emotions of it all. You know, I would say now it's better not, not because I'm less nervous or it doesn't get better. People are like, Oh, it's better. No it doesn't. It's always that's somebody that hasn't done it long enough, you know? Cause if you care, you're gonna hate every minute of the lead up, you know? But the guys that corner me, you know, and I'm at a point where I'm not trying to have someone. There to tell me, Okay, what do I do on the ground? What do I do here? Like, I've got my head coach there, Jeff Jimmo, who is gonna help me a lot. Right? But then other than that, it's one of my training partners who's one of my best friends, Corey Crumpler, who, you know, he's gonna keep me calm in the back. Yeah. And then another one of my best friends that I trained with for years in Nashville Chris Barn Heer he wrestled for Indiana. So he knows what it's like, you know. And so it's a lot of, you know, we're in the back like, Oh, this sucks, doesn't it? You know, and joking around about stuff like that and how my buddy Corey, his thing that he always goes to is, Okay, we got, you know, cuz when you're on tv. There is no question of what time are we gonna walk? Like, you know, you have your schedule, right? Mm-hmm. it doesn't matter if this fight ends in a decision or a knockout in the first round, we walk at this time. So we always know. So he'll like, Okay, well we got an hour and 15 minutes. Still plenty of time for a natural disaster, And so when I was fighting Chitty and Jaqua mm-hmm. Who that guy's on a tear in the UFC right now. Yeah. We were getting ready to fight him and, you know, you're having. Feeling, God, this is terrible. You know, He's so fast. And that's what my, my friend Corey, Corey kept saying, he's like, You're gonna beat this guy. You're gonna submit him. It's just how bad is your leg gonna hurt by the time you submit him? Cause he has such good leg kicks. I'm like, Okay, I can take that. You know? And There was a, we was in Oklahoma and there was a really bad tornado. And we, I mean, we're in a, we're in the largest casino in the world. Large casino in the world's in Oklahoma, by the way, in the middle of nowhere. Interesting. So we're in the largest casino in the world and a very, you know, a large arena. And the weather's so bad outside, you can hear the hail hitting the top of the casino. And so that's how bad the weather was. I'm, we can't fight we're, we're the, we're the main event. So I'm like, The casino's gonna be torn up by the time, time to fight. We're not gonna fight. This tornado's gonna hit us. Well that's great. We don't have to fight tonight. You know, And then of course the weather goes away. And so then, okay, now we gotta fight. This sucks. And we start to walk and they're like, All right, you ready to go? And then the guy told me to walk and then a commercial started So I'm like in the edge of the. And he is like, Oh my bad, we're on a commercial break. Oh, that sucks. So we're having to just stand there and you know, people are leaning over screaming at us and stuff like that. You know, you got people, positive, people negative or whatever. But just standing there like, well, okay it's freezing cold, you know? Yeah. And cuz it's always cold in the arenas and we're just like watching the big screen, seeing what the commercials are, you know, and like and then they finally pop back up and like, All right, walk. Just terrible, you know. So when does that feeling kind of like, is it when the cage is shut, You know, the announcer says his spiel and then it's like, okay. Does it kind of subside then guess when your hand gets raised? Um, No. It's it's kind of always the same thing. Every fight. You're like, either, either you're thinking, Okay, this guy hits like a truck. This is gonna be terrible. Or you think, Okay, I can, you know, go back and forth. This guy's not gonna hit that hard. And the first time they hit you, it, you know, I say hit you. Like, it might be the head might be the shoulder, you know, like somebody's gonna throw a punch, just gonna hit something. Sometimes they hit your hands and either you kind of like, I just fought. Oh my gosh. He's the Deb Bellator champ right now. Johnny Elin and he's knock, knocked everybody out. And the first time he hit me, I was like, Oh, this guy doesn't hit that hard. He could never knock me out, you know? Mm-hmm. And so I'm like, Okay, well we need to stay on our feet as much as I want. Don't have to worry about that. You know? And I mean, he's very good. He beat ma, beat me, beat Maasi, you know? Yeah. Then the fear of like, am I gonna get knocked? Out's gone? You know? Or then you have somebody, like, I've had so many people I've fought that I'm like, Well, at least he doesn't hit hard and they hit my hands the first time and I'm like, Oh my gosh, I felt like a baseball bat. You know, So, you know, but that kind of, then it goes away of like, Okay, well this is what I gotta deal with now, you know? And so that's probably when. You know, the first time you like make contacts, it's like, okay, well no matter what, I gotta deal with this. And going back to the Chitty fight, the first exchange there, all, my whole thing was like, am I gonna look stupid? Is he gonna be so much faster than me that I look stupid? You know, and we had the first exchange and we both like threw three punches and missed each other. And I was like, Okay. Right. We just both threw combos at each other. It looked pretty even, you know? And then he jabbed me and hit me and I reacted by the time his hand was back to his face. And I was like, Oh man, And I so then I was like, I gotta, I gotta do something right to get some respect here. And he threw a jeep up the middle and I hit it with the, my elbow. And I know it felt like it broke his foot. It's like, okay, we're good. I'm just, Even the playgrounds now, or even the stand up Nick, cuz he's hurting. So, Oh, that's too funny. I really appreciate that answer cuz you know, I always kind of thought that it was, you know, every guy has like this, I'm the man, like, you know, like I'm the man, you know, like I've got the confidence, you know, like I'm just walking around, you know, like the McGregor mil, you know, billionaire walk. Like, you know, just like being overly confident in yourself. But to know that there's like some legitimate fear in there, like it kind of makes it a lot more person. Because it, you know, like I said, you seem like, it seems like this big machisma, just like I'm the guy and like no one's gonna, you know, I'm gonna break this dude in half. But it's really like, man, this dude could like really like tear me up like real fast and like, I don't know how this is gonna play out, but I'm gonna try to win, you know? Mm-hmm. I guess that's more of an honest answer than I thought it was gonna be. Yeah. I mean, I think pretty much everybody goes through that and you've got your head cases. You know, like I know people that just like, doesn't matter who they fight, they're like, Oh, he's terrible. I'll be fine. That's good But I mean like, I don't know if you've ever seen the movie The Warrior? Yeah. And you know, as I think as fighters, people are like, think you are gonna hate fighting movies. And I, I don't like any other ones, but I love that movie and not because of anything more. The crazy brother that Tom Hardy plays like you wrestled in Pennsylvania. I know. You know 10 guys like that, that were just stud wrestlers. Yeah. But they act just like that. Yeah. And that's such a wrestler thing, is that like his character in that movie, like every good like team I've been on in wrestling, there's at least one guy like that, you know? And those guys, they don't get nervous. They don't think anybody can hurt 'em. They don't. They just go out there to wing it, you know? And they're successful a lot of times, you know, But other than that, most everybody has that like, Oh man, what's gonna happen? Especially when you're doing it for a career. Cause like, what happens if I lose and they cut me? Am I, you know, now I don't get a paycheck and I gotta find a way to make a living, you know? Yeah. By the way, side note, Tom Hardy killed it in that role. Yeah. And he's still killing it. Jujitsu like, what a better like, kind of guy to have. Mm-hmm. rep jujitsu right now to a lot of people that are probably scared to death try it. Right. Kind of staying back on the, the walkout part, is there a point when you're walking out that everything just goes silent for you or do you hear all of it all the time? I think you hear everything you know, and, That's, it's kind of tough. It's nice when you're during Covid it was really nice fighting in empty arenas, you know? Right. Cause you could, you can hear the TV commentators, you know. Oh, wow. There's nobody screaming, you know? You know, I mean, gosh, you take somebody down and you don't submit 'em in 15 seconds, there's somebody screaming, standing up, you know? And like I had the first round with Maasi, I had him against the cage, and I need him in the. And people were screaming, Stand him up. I'm like, like, oh, he's, first of all, he's got to his feet for a second and I need him in the head. Like, this is like, we're working right now. You know? Like, it's not like we're just sitting here, you know? So it's you know, just when that, that element is always gonna be there and it's kind, it was nice during Covid when it wasn't there. Right. I've heard a lot of people say that too. They're like, It's just nice being in there. You the other guy and your coaches. Yeah. And just kind. Having the, the mixed martial arts, the arts part being the main focus of it. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, it's, it, it's cool for it to be quiet enough, like I can hear the commentators talking, you know, that's, that was a different type thing. That was it was pretty neat. Oh, certainly. I know watching the UFC a couple times during those same type of things where they'd be like, Oh, clearly they heard what we said. Cuz they would change up what they were doing. Yeah. When their coaches weren't yelling the same. Yeah. One of the best things one of the fights during Covid, I was fighting oh man, I can't think of anybody's name right now. I'm always like that. It's okay. I was fighting Capelle and He was just like, he's a very slippery guy. You know, people like, I'm sure you've seen Wrestl people have different sweat. There's some people that sweat, like it feels like oil and you can't grab him. And he was that kind of guy. So I spent the whole second round just in mount with an arm triangle cuz he slipped. He in the first round, he like pushed me from mount and I just slipped right off of him. And so I was like, I'm holding this guy a little tighter. And then in the third round I had him back in mount with an arm triangle and I was, Almost had him submitted, like it was very close. Like, I was like, Okay, I got, I'm gonna submit him for this fight's over. And John McCarthy was, you know, like over there, Salter's just not, you know, he's not looking to finish. And if he wants to fight for a title, he's gotta be a finisher. Now granted all my wins I've had one win that wasn't a finish, you know, in my career, right? So all my wins are finishes and he's talking about how I'm not a finisher. And then I submitted him like right after that And then the next day we're getting on the plane and McCarthy's getting on the plane with us. And he was like, So just outta curiosity, why wouldn't you, you know, get out to side control so you could finish that choke. I finished it for out So think so. That's how I do it. Oh, that's too funny. But I mean, you know, and it's just, it's funny cuz they, they've gotta have something to say, so they're always just you. That's not a, a negative. I love John McCarthy, right? I think he's really good way. He does, He knows his stuff. But everybody's gotta have something, right? You gotta have your color commentary. You gotta have. You gotta have some kind of color to put in there. So, especially if it's just like one sided beat down, like you have to, you have to kind of be like, well you gotta give the other person some kind of a saving grace. Or like, this is just, you know, cuz then you come off as biased and everyone always blows up the biased commentators and whatnot. So you have to kind of be like, Well, he might be getting into ice cake, but he's dangerous if you can, you know, Yeah. Escape from this or that. I promise both of you, I'd get you out pretty quick today. So we're. About 50 minutes here. But I do have one last question for you, and that is, if you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be? Oh man, Be smarter and don't fight You know, I don't know. I think when people say like, they wanna fight, I'm like, Why? You know, But it's, it's given me and my wife a great life, you know? We've traveled the world. From it, you know, it's, it's been very, it's been a blessing for us, you know, it's been great. But I do always, you know, I know this doesn't really answer your question real well, but one thing I always try to tell young people, like, don't fight just cuz you think like, Oh man, I wanna go out there and look cool, or something like that. Like Right. You need to be passionate, you know, and you need to have a reason that you wanna do it cuz you can get hurt awfully bad and it takes a long time to make money, you know? Yeah, yeah. There has to be a real, real life purpose behind it. Mm-hmm. And also to have the drive to do it too. You need that purpose because you get, you start doing those grinding wrestling practices and get tapped out a million times at your jujitsu practice. Yeah. You're gonna need something more than feeling cool. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Feeling cool. Doesn't really put any money in the bank, does it? Right now? Not typically. So I, I said it was one last question, but it kind of leads into something else. Sorry. So you're going to school for law. Is that still something that you enjoy? No. I never did end up, you know, going to law school. I went I was, when I went to grad school, it was for mba. Oh, okay. So because by the time I found out I wasn't gonna be wrestling my last year, I was too late to take the LSAT or anything like that. Gotcha. But I could still go take the GMAT and get in. So I went and took that and got into MBA school. But you know, I, I have people a lot of times like, Oh, why don't you go back and finish your degree? You know, and I just I, while I, you know, value education, I don't really know what it would do for, for me at this point, you know? Sure. Yeah. That's something that I probably won't ever do. Yeah. Well I'm good. Yeah, I'm good. I don't have any other questions that, that was awesome. I know Palmer came ready with all of his questions, so I'm glad he got through 'em. I'm good. I'm good. And thank you so much, John, for coming on. Yeah, thank you guys for having me. Yeah, definitely. And thank you Palmer for sitting in while Chris is away. Yeah. Chris, if you just wanna take a couple weeks vacation, man. No rush. I'll, I can sit here and warm the warm the chair. Perfect. Sounds good. Thank you everyone again, and thanks everyone for listening. Make sure you share with a friend and rate and review. Cheers. Cheers.