Somewhere in the Middle East…


Being in the army and being a fighter have their pros and cons. Long days, field training exercises, and deployments can often conflict with a routine and a regular training schedule. It makes it difficult to prepare for an upcoming MMA bout. It takes a lot of dedication to branden soldierget up extra early every day and put my nose to the grindstone and get a sufficient amount of training in. On the other hand, the army also provides me with a top-of-the-line training facility and the opportunity to represent the Fort Riley Combative program as well. Finding a balance between the two can seem difficult at times, but like anything else, if you love something, you will find a way to accomplish all of it.

Now, a new “obstacle” has been placed in front of me. I have recently been deployed to the Middle East. Some would look at this as time off, or a break from training. Well, let me tell you, that is the farthest thing from my mind. Yes, the dedicated guys I normally train with aren’t here with me, and yes I don’t have the same top-notch gym to train in but where there is a will, there is a way. I look at this time to fine tune my skills, get stronger, faster and smarter. I find it quite amazing too, that no matter where you go in this world; you will find someone to train with and somewhere to make it happen. shane primmThe other day for instance, I was sitting in the DFAC (dining facility), enjoying my delicious army omelet (best part of my morning) and I look across to the table in front of me and see Shane Primm from season 8 of TUF. I met a guy from Minnesota who has fought an Omaha fan favorite Troy Nawrocki, and gave Troy his first loss. It is pretty amazing to know that half a world away from my home gym at Combative Sports Center in little Manhattan, KS I can still find people who are as passionate about this sport as I am.

So far since I’ve been here, I’ve put in some serious work in the weight room. In between training, maintenance, and whatever other randomness the army throws at us on a daily basis, the gym has been like a sanctuary for me, and boy has it been good. I’ve put on 20 lbs of muscle and gaining by the day. The great thing about being deployed is, the food is free and so is the gym! I’m going to come back a suped-up version of what I was when I left. I know that somewhere my next opponent is training hard, getting ready to go to war, therefore I must work harder. branden fightOne thing I have always lived by is this: You may be stronger than me, you may be smarter than me, you may be faster, bigger, and scarier looking, but you will NEVER out work me. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. So beware, whoever you are, wherever you are, because I will bring you that war!

I have to thank my unit, C.O. engineers 1-1 BSTB for always supporting me in my goal to make it to the top, My team back at CSC for always pushing me to work harder, and my sponsors for taking some of that stress off my back and just letting me focus on training. JJOD!

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