I have been wanting to do a story for Now in Salt Lake on MMA fighting for quite some time now. In fact, it's been since March of this year since I did my first story on MMA 21, a local gym that is owned by Griffen Reynaud, a jiu jitsu black belt who trains fighters around the world. Reynaud told me back then that there are some stigmas attached to MMA fighting that are just not accurate. Some of the things that he mentioned that stood out to me are that many of the fighters have bachelor degrees, are family men and are anything but aggressive, something that seemed strange to me given the nature of fighting.
After meeting Reynaud, I decided to take some classes at his gym because I wanted to learn self defense. It has been eight months and I have learned a lot. And I finally got to write my cover story. For the story, I interviewed Reynaud, a fighter that he trained for an upcoming fight (at least it was upcoming when I wrote it), a full-time fighter who used to be an eighth grade science teacher and a UFC fighter.
I had taken nearly five weeks off from working out at MMA 21 but by the time I finished my story, I was reminded of why I love it so much. So, I am back at it. And it feels good.
I will post each story separately. And you can read the article here.
(Photo: Local fighter, Jordan Smith, taken by Leah Hogsten for Now in Salt Lake)