For two years I've been right behind this guy. The words "hard work and sacrifice" don't even do that time justice. No one can possibly know, or understand the depths of what he has done in that time...however, I've been lucky to have the front row seat. Why he came to me two years ago and asked me to be his coach, I'll always wonder. I have to be honest, I didn't want to, I didn't feel qualified and I hate a lot of aspects of MMA. I am not a fighter, I've never pretended to be. LC Davis is. I've told him that since day one, before every fight, but never has it been more evident than Saturday night. In a situation where everything possible was stacked against him, anyone else would have walked away, no shame, nothing to lose, take the money and run...he stayed and fought. Was it the best career decision? Absolutely not. But that is why he is who he is, it's why he is unique, set apart from other fighters, and it's why I love and admire him. He went out there, fought his heart out in a five round battle and lost a razor close split decision.
It absolutely breaks my heart...Saturday night was one of the hardest nights of my life, I didn't know and still don't know how to deal with it...for two years we've had a singular focus, the main goal, pot of gold at the end of the rainbow...the finality of his career to be in the UFC. I've promised him we could do it, we could get there. "Just one more win, just one more win" I would keep telling him after each of the four straight victories after dropping him to the bantamweight class. At 20-5, having fought in every major organization and being 33 years old we knew we were working on a tight time frame, and tragically, it seems the window to that dream slammed shut Saturday night at VFC 41. I am torn up, knowing that right now he is in the prime of his career, better, smarter, stronger and more skillful than ever, a totally transformed fighter from before those two years ago, and yet none of that even matters, and he probably won't get his shot. I have so much respect for him, he motivates and inspires so many people. "Live by the sword, die by the sword" is a concept often mentioned, but rarely ever truly executed. It is because of this, his spirit and character, that people follow and get behind LC. In a vastly growing sport and culture full of posers and pretenders, LC Davis is one true fighter. It makes my heart extremely heavy that more of the world can't, or won't be able to see it like I do.
This two years as an MMA coach and cornerman has been an amazing ride, one I never thought or ever wanted to be on. For two years I've waited in an hour of morning traffic every Tuesday and Thursday to get to LC to train him. I hate traffic. I've given up a night and pay to work LC's jiu-jitsu every Thursday and Saturday. I once picked him up in my unlikely two-wheel-drive truck during the worst snowstorm we'd ever seen just to ensure he made it to weigh-ins and made the weight, a some ten hour adventure affair. I've watched hours and hours of video, studied opponents, new techniques, read and scoured through strength, conditioning and nutrition literature. I've devised and written up workouts and game plans. I walked away from my own Championship title in Colorado to fly to Omaha last time to be there for LC's fight. I missed a very good friends' wedding to be there for LC coming back from Europe in June, and even my college roommates' wedding I passed up this weekend. I will always think I should have done more, I could have done more, but sitting here now, thinking of it all, trying to make sense of it and find direction, knowing that our dream was most likely shattered...I'd do it all again if I had to. It's a surreal feeling when you realize you've dared to care for someone more than you care for yourself. I found out during the fight, sitting there seemingly helpless, yelling instructions over the sold out booming crowd, rushing in round after round trying, wishing, hoping I'd come up with the right things to say, the right words to give him that extra, or that little bit that could give him the edge, make the difference. I wanted to trade places with him, I wanted to be in there, fight his fight, but I wasn't. From after the fight, standing in the cage anxiously listening to the announcer slowly read out the judges score cards, knowing everything we'd done was hanging in the balance, to picking LC up off the canvas after it was announced the other fighter had won...I'll never forget any of it as long as I live. I don't know what the future holds, what's in store next for LC Davis, but I do know that there is still a ton of fight left in him, and I'll still be right behind him every step of the way.