While I was there, a group of us traveled to Wyoming for a regional tournament. There was a junior level and a senior level at this tournament. I competed in the junior level while some of the Olympic hopefuls that we traveled with competed in the senior level. Sergey also came along to coach the older guys.
There is one moment from that tournament that I will always remember. I was having a rough match and things just weren’t going my way. I had made a few mistakes of which my opponent immediately capitalized on. Going into the second period, I found myself one point away from a technical fall (the slaughter rule of wrestling). As the final period began, I saw Sergey out of the corner of my eye. He came and sat in my corner to coach me. When I saw this I felt enormously honored and privileged to have the best wrestler of all time sitting in my corner. I told myself that, “I am unbeatable with Sergey in my corner”. I was immediately filled with an intense energy and will to win. My mindset completely changed and I immediately began the most epic comeback of my career. Listening to every word of broken English coming from Sergey in my corner, I felt untouchable. Now I was wrestling for more than just myself. I felt a responsibility to live up to Sergey’s name and do everything in my power to represent him well. When the final buzzer rang I had gone from almost certain defeat to a 2 point victory! The joy and satisfaction I felt from that win was unexplainable. I wasn’t excited because I won the match; I was excited because of the look approval I saw on Sergey’s face. I had made him proud.
Now, as a professional fighter, I have the same feeling when I step into the cage to fight only multiplied by 1,000. Every time I fight I have the greatest champion that has ever lived in my corner, Jesus Christ. All of the positive feelings I had when Sergey sat in my corner come back to me when I think about Jesus sitting cage side. I tell myself, “I am unbeatable with Jesus in my corner.” I listen to everything He tells me and I feel untouchable. I am fighting for more than just myself. I have a responsibility to live up to Christ’s name and to do everything in my power to represent him well. When the final bell rings and the fight is over, the joy I feel is unexplainable. I am not excited for the result; that means nothing. I am excited because I know the man upstairs approves and is proud of my efforts. Can you imagine the power I feel when I fight with Jesus in my corner? I am fighting with the power of God. What greater power is there?