Hey everyone, this is Marcus Brimage from the Ultimate Fighter 14 and I’ll be here blogging about the show each week, though don’t be too surprised when a couple of my other favorite topics come up like anime/comics and Crimson Tide football!
Since they can only show so much information about the fighters, especially in the first episode, let me start out by telling you a bit about myself. I’m originally from Birmingham, Alabama. I used to train at Spartan Fitness back home but am now part of American Top Team. I was in the military for eight years as a Staff Sergeant.
Believe it or not, the way I got into Mixed Martial Arts was from skipping school one day and catching a cartoon called Dragon Ball Z. Seriously. When I saw Dragon Ball Z it got my blood warm. I was like, “Man…I want to learn how to fight and fight just like that!” After watching it my brother showed me this highlight reel of a fighter in Japan known as Quinton Jackson. You may have heard of him? When I saw that I knew I had to learn how to do it. After playing football in high school I wanted to find other athletic endeavors I could be involved with. I was still running, getting up in the morning and lifting weights, and I knew there had to be a reason why. I decided I wanted to learn the art of Muay Thai and was about to move to Atlanta when one of my sergeants from my guard unit told me about this place. I checked it out, met my coach Chris Connelly, and together we formed Spartan Fitness. He and Joey Marimberga helped lay the foundation for me and eventually told me I needed to go somewhere else to further my MMA training at a gym with a bunch of top tier guys so that’s how I ended up at ATT.
TUF 14 was actually my third time trying out for the show. Third time’s a charm, right? I was supposed to be on the season with Junie Browning and Efrain Escudero, as well as the USA vs. UK season, but because of injuries I wasn’t able to. While I was out with injury I was able to finish my degree in Criminal Justice. Ultimately that took some pressure off me too as far as going to school on top of working and fighting so I was able to focus more on my MMA career. Then my manager, Rory Singer of Hardcore MMA in Athens, Georgia, told me the UFC was looking for featherweights. He’d always told me I was a natural 145er and I should take advantage of the opportunity so I went for it.
When I got the call that I’d made it to the final 32 I was, to say the least, VERY ecstatic! Okay, I won’t lie. I was running around screaming like a little girl – “AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!” I’m just glad nobody was there to video tape that because it would have been seriously embarrassing. But then again it’s okay, cause I was happy so it’s all good.
To be honest with everyone, it was nerve-racking to fight for the first time on a stage like the MGM Grand. I almost can’t even describe it. First off, I’d never fought at featherweight before. Never. I was freaking out about my weight. Then, you’ve got Dana White there and I’m thinking, “Dana White is cool!” He’s a little shorter than you might think in person but still, “Wow!” And then there’s the location where you’re thinking, “Oh my god! This is the MGM Grand! This is the place!” So honestly, I kind of couldn’t breathe. I was excited, and I’m pretty good at hiding emotions I don’t want people to see, but I was happy…nervous…scared. It was a dream fulfilled, and when something like that finally happens you have to take a moment and take a deep breath.
In terms of my fight, my whole mentality during it was, “Get into the house! Get into the house!” That’s all I was thinking about. I couldn’t think about how to escape the Rear-Naked Choke. I mean I knew the technique to escape. I’m a BJJ bluebelt so I know how to get out of the position and I’ve won a few submission grappling tournaments in Alabama. But when you’re there, the cameras are in your face – Dana and Michael Bisping, Jason Miller are ringside – you forget everything except instinct. So I went off instinct. I started thinking, “I can’t lose! I can’t lose!” And when he let me go because he got tired of holding me there, we got up, and I felt like I’d lost the round and had to kill him so to speak. My mentality became, “Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill!” I wasn’t going to stop punching, stop kicking, or stop kneeing until he hit the ground.
I can’t talk too much about what people can expect to see this season on TUF – contractual agreements and all that good stuff – but what I will say that a comic book / anime geek like me will talk a lot about my favorite superheroes. Expect great fights, not just from me but from everyone. Dana already mentioned that this season had the best fights of any so far and I’d agree. We’re little guys. We have little-man syndrome. We’re good fighters who don’t stop. You’re gonna see knockouts, vicious fights, and the rest was crazy too. From drama to fights to some pranks that are off the chain.
That’s it for now. Make sure to tune in to the Ultimate Fighter 14 where you can catch me in action every Wednesday on Spike TV at 9:00 PM EST. You can also follow me on Twitter (@brim205).
Oh yeah..and Roll Tide all day! Nick Saban for President! Ya’ll better believe it!