Fueled By Death Cast Ep. 15 - MATT SECOR
UFC MMA FIGHTER - MATT SECOR
“What is the real definition of hell? It is dying and meeting the person you could have been.” - Matt Secor, MMA fighter, former Ultimate Fighter contestant
ON EPISODE 15:
NASA aims to create the coldest place in the known universe, in space, and all the details are on this week's Science segment. Then accountability and what that means in everyday life is the discussion on What Fuels You. In the update this week, Death Wish Coffee Company reveals some new events they will be a part of, and a brand new way to take your coffee on the go is now available from the World's Strongest Coffee.
ABOUT MATT SECOR:
Matt Secor is an experienced mixed martial arts fighter and a former contest on the Ultimate Fighter reality television show. He joins the podcast this week to talk about what got him into training and fighting professionally, some of the lessons he has learned along the way, and how he has trained under Eddie Fyvie, the first guest on Fueled By Death Cast.
Jeff: How is your new school going?
Matt: Good. We have about fifty-something students already in the three months that we've opened. Really good.
Dustin: And that's in Glens Falls?
Matt: Yep. Glens Falls, New York.
Dustin: Yeah. My girlfriend says she sees you every day.
Matt: Every day.
Dustin: That's funny.
Matt: I awkwardly wave to her every day.
Dustin: That's awesome. She said you give her some weird stares sometimes.
Matt: Yeah, I'm like...
Jeff: How different is it for you to go from someone who was a student, obviously, and now being a teacher. Was it a learning curve doing that?
Matt: No, not really. I've been teaching Jiu Jitsu for a while. It was just a lifestyle change. I feel like for me, it was, for the last ten years I've been taken from the sport. Like, “Hey, what techniques do you have?” Or “Hey, come help me train.” "Hey let's drill." To, now it's time to give back.
Jeff: That's awesome.
Dustin: Trying to find a balance.
Matt: Yeah, you know, you've got to give back. I'm not there just to charge people. I'm there to change them too. I want to help people's lives the way Jiu Jitsu helped mine.
Dustin: That's cool, man. I feel like, in my experience with teaching, I've always learned more than I ever could do...
Don't mind the ping pong balls.
When I was snowboarding, I was an okay snowboarder. Once I started teaching, I became a great snowboarder. I think it was because, you just kind of rethink everything that you learned in the first place, but you get to kind of like, break it down. Do you feel that same way?
Matt: Yeah, you know, it's basics. You're just teaching the theory of it all. So, you get the concepts down, why you're doing everything. I think that's the biggest thing for me is like, why am I moving into this move, or how can I be more functional in this move. Why does my body move this way, not that way?
Dustin: Like a little bit more mindfulness.
Matt: That's it. It's just perspective, I guess. They say perspective is our reality.
Dustin: That's cool, man. Can you talk about your, now you're mostly Jiu-Jitsu. Can you talk about your Jiu-Jitsu lineage at all?
Matt: So, we come from, well if you want to break it down to where it all came down [crosstalk 00:02:23]
Jeff: Yeah, let's go way back. This will be fun.
Matt: So way back, it comes from Gracie Barra. So, Gracie Barra was formed, I think by Holes Gracie if I'm correct. Then, that's where Rickson came from, those guys. Then, Gracie Barra was where Renzo came from. Renzo moved to New York City and opened up Renzo Gracie Academy, and then one of his pupils was Ricardo Almeida. So, we got lucky enough to have Chad Beatty, which trained under Ricardo Almeida. Which, I think, Ricardo was one of Renzo's first black belts. I'm not sure. [crosstalk 00:03:03]
Dustin: Yeah. That's what I thought.
Matt: I think he might his first black belt. I'm not sure, but I know Chad's Ricardo's first black belt, one of Ricardo's first black belts.
Dustin: Oh, I didn't know that. That's cool.
Matt: So, we got Chad, and then we have Eddie Fyvie.
Dustin: If listeners know, we had Eddie Fyvie in as our first podcast.
Jeff: Episode number one.
Matt: Eddie's a genius when it comes to game planning and all that stuff. He's the guy I go, "Hey, what do you think about this dude?"
Jeff: That's cool. Speaking on game planning a little bit, and a little bit back to what I've learned from Hickson, he talks a lot about always moving one step forward. Just one step forward, and never letting somebody move you back at all. I saw that brilliantly displayed bayou on the Jeremie Hollway fight. Do you remember that fight at all?
Matt: I do. I actually had an adrenaline dump in that fight. I thought I fought like crap.
Matt: Oh, man. It was so bad. I was like, I won, and I just go to my corner and I'm like, I'm so sorry, and they were like, "What are you talking about?" I'm like, I looked like shit. I'm like, I'm so sorry. They were like, “No, you've got to watch the fight.” So I watched the fight, and I was like, oh my god I licked that shit good, but it was my first fight then, and I just had a different perspective. I felt great. The game is about mentality. It's about believing in yourself.
Jeff: I just feel like you got him down, and you just passed his guard. It was just like, one step forward. One step forward. Were you thinking that at all?
Matt: I just think Jiu Jitsu. When I go in there, I just say, “Hey, okay. What do you gotta go? Let's progress into the positions and react on what the other person's doing.” You can't really go in there with a game plan like one, two, three, four, because it doesn't work like that, because it goes one, four, three, two.
Jeff: Yeah, it just seemed like you knew what was going to happen before it happened. It looked really good.
Matt: Well body movement's easy to see. The body only moves a certain way. The anatomy and physiology of the body is it only moves a certain way. So, when you can understand body movement then you can understand where people are going to move. So, I think that's what made my Jiu Jitsu as good as it is, is I started studying more of the body, and I started being able to control my own body that way. They say if you can't control your own body, how do you think you're going to control someone else's.
Dustin: It's almost like [inaudible 00:05:37] like, know yourself.
Jeff: That's cool, man. Speaking of game plans a little bit, do you have one for Nurmagomedov?
Matt: I'm going to punch him harder in the face than he punches me [crosstalk 00:05:49].
I'm going to punch him faster. I'm going to take him down more, and I'm going to submit him. The game plan is just to go in there and react. Kick him. Punch him. See what happens. See where he wants to bring it. If he wants to make it a grappling match, lets grapple.
Jeff: Have you fought him before?
Matt: I have not.
Dustin: Do you know much about him? His background at all?
Matt: He's Russian.
Dustin: He's probably a heavy wrestler guy?
Matt: He's a good wrestler. Stand-up is okay, but he likes to wrestle and stay on top.
Dustin: That'll be perfect for you, man.
Matt: He gives me his leg, it's getting ripped off. He gives me anything, it's getting ripped off. I have a mentality of when I get something in a fight, I take it home with me. Ricardo Funch can actually pertain to that in my last fight. He is one tough dude.
Jeff: Did you break both his legs?
Matt: I broke his one leg, and tore his knee.
Dustin: He didn't even react either.
Matt: Like, five times. Whatever dude, it's your knee. Then when I kicked him. In the first round, I kicked him with a body kick. I broke his ribs too.
Jeff: Dude got punished.
Matt: Yeah, dude. Unfortunately, tough in this sport gets you hurt.
Dustin: Probably put him out for a while, too.
Matt: Yeah, yeah. For a while. I think he was on bed rest for like a month.
Dustin: He's a cop, isn't he? A Brazilian cop?
Matt: No, Springfield, Massachusetts he's a cop.
Dustin: I wonder if you get disability for that at all.
Jeff: So, when you're coming up on this fight this week, what is prep like that for a fight like this? Do you just focus on your side of the fight? Or do you do a lot of research on the guy that you're gonna fight? Like somebody, you've never seen before?
Matt: I just drink Death Wish Coffee. [crosstalk 00:07:48]
Jeff: I love you, man.
Matt: I just fucking wing it. All pumped up on Death Wish coffee and say "Fuck it, let's do it." For fight week, I try not to think too much about the other guy. I can't control what he can do. So I just go in there and game plan. My coaches watch a lot of tapes. We game plan, and train. Then, the last fight week is just staying safe and staying uninjured, keep getting my weight down. Making weight's the first fight. If you miss weight in a fight, one, you're an asshole, two, you're very unprofessional.
Dustin: It's disrespectful.
Matt: It's just, you know, you don't miss weight. That's one thing you don't do. Someone was saying, I think it was Joe Rogan, said something like, "You should get suspended for a year if you miss weight. I think that's a fucking phenomenal idea.
Dustin: Because then no one would ever miss weight then. Make the crime punishable.
Dustin: Yeah, accountability.
Matt: People are like, well what happens with guys, the guy I'm fighting could be his brother.
Dustin: I was wondering if they were related.
Matt: Yep. It's his, well it's his cousin's brother, village mate, whatever the fuck they are. They all freaking say they're related.
Jeff: For the listeners, Khabib Nurmagomedov fights in the UFC. He's number one contender in..
Matt: He was supposed to fight two weeks ago for the...
Jeff: That dude always gets injured.
Matt: Well, he missed weight.
Jeff: That's right. He made weight but had to go to the hospital.
Matt: He never even made weight. His kidneys shut down or something. What they do is they just train, then a week and a half before the fight they're like "Oh, let's see what I weigh." He probably weighed like 175 pounds. It's like, I got ten days to cut twenty pounds.
So, you have to have a nutritionist. You have to have a nutrition plan. I'm on actually a really good one right now. My weight, I'm in the 70s.
Jeff: In your fight, 170 right?
Matt: 171 I got to make.
Jeff: Okay, cool...
Matt: So, I'm like 178 right now. Probably even better, less than that after drinking this [crosstalk 00:09:54] natural diuretic.
Jeff: That's cool, man. You're fighting that 170. You've got to make 171. You don't have that much weight to cut, that's awesome. How do you feel about the whole weight cutting scene? Because it's obviously been a very controversial thing where. For those who don't know, like rehydrating is very difficult afterward, especially. I think they say it takes 72 hours to rehydrate the blood/brain barrier, which is the thing you need hydrated most the day before a fight. The idea that these people are going out and having the biggest fight of their lives right after the worst day of their lives, it seems ridiculous.
Matt: Comes on to me, don't be an idiot. Prepare. It's just like, if you want a good jab, you're going to go do a jab ten thousand times. Get a freaking nutritionist. Keep your weight down.
Dustin: You've had this fight booked for how long now? Like,
Matt: Well, four weeks for me, but...
Dustin: Still, the machine has been working to that point, so you're getting yourself prepared. It's not like they call you up the week of and say...
Matt: Obviously, it's not like these guys are on their first fight. This is their like thirtieth fight. Come on, man. Be professional. Make weight. It's like if you guys had coffee, and then someone said: "I want to buy coffee." "Oh, well we don't have any made right now."
Dustin: It hasn't happened in a while.
Matt: You know what I mean. "Hey, can I get two pounds of coffee." "Oh, we got like half a pound. You're going to have to wait a week. It's very unprofessional.
Dustin: You think there's an answer to like, maybe a rule we can put in place to maybe curb some of the...
Matt: Yeah, if you miss weight you get suspended for a year.
Dustin: You like that then?
Matt: Yeah! Accountability. It's just like everything in life. Accountability. You do something, you touch a hot stove, what happens? You get burned. You go, "Ow, that hurts." Now, what happens nowadays is there no accountability. My students have all accountability. Listen, if you get hurt in training, it's your fault. That simple. There's only a few scenarios where it's not going to be your fault. One, someone falls on you. Another one, someone at a higher rank can do damage and they hold a submission longer than they should.
Dustin: It sounds like they shoulda tapped.
Jeff: Sounds like it should on you at the point, huh?
Matt: Or if you don't tap, right? There's only a select few things, so if you get hurt, it's your fault. It's just like anything. If you don't come to training, you're not getting better. It's accountability but no one wants to hear the unspoken truth in life. No one wants to hear why they lost a fight. You know why I lost my last loss? It was against Chris Honeycutt. I lost because I mentally wasn't fighting in there.
Jeff: I want to bring something because, the Michael Hill loss on The Ultimate Fighter, it's been counted as the worst decision in MMA history. I mean, how do you count that? How do you move from that? How do you take from that? How do you build from that?
Matt: Michael Hill, nipple tattooed Michael Hill. I literally have tried to fight him so many times.
Jeff: Yeah, but he's been ducking you [crosstalk 00:13:14].
Matt: Oh, man. That little pretty boy from Canada. I would slap the taste out of his mouth. I would literally fight him in a parking lot at any times notice, and I'm sure he wouldn't have a shirt on.
What happened in that fight is, I came out. I threw one punch, broke my hand. I don't have a knuckle anymore. It's supposed to look like that, but no more knuckle. Yeah, dude. Broke my hand. The first round was kind of lackluster because I broke my hand. Then I'm like, I go back into my corner, and the coach was Leicester's Wrestling. She's like, "fucking beat him with it." So I went out and took him down for two rounds, took his back, everything. Somehow they gave him the fight.
Jeff: It went to the overtime round, and in that round, you were on his back for four out of the five minutes.
Matt: One of the judges was like a 65-year-old lady. I'm sure she knew a whole bunch about MMA. Again, accountability. I couldn't finish the fight. If I woulda finished the fight, I would've never had to...
Jeff: So you take responsibility for that?
Matt: 100%, it's my fault. Listen, when I fight, I fight 110% mentally when I get in there. Ill die in there. But, it's my fault if I don't win a fight. And that's what happens in life, right? We don't say "Hey, you wanna know what, well I didn't get this because of this person. I didn't get any sleep last night." Listen, I got a 16-month-old kid. I'm in fight camp with a part-time job and a full academy. It's my choice to keep myself accountable. I have to keep myself accountable. You wanna know what? I didn't get a lot of sleep last night because my kid was up. Well, guess what, don't have a kid if you don't want to do that. Well, having a kid is one of the best things I ever did in my life, so I'll wake up any time so my wife can sleep because my wife takes care of my kid. She's the one that takes care of everything else, but I'm accountable for that. Guess what, suck it up.
Dustin: I always think like, I mean, if you fail there will always be an excuse there, but their person who would succeed would probably have that same excuse available, except they didn't use it because they succeeded.
Matt: You only need one excuse. You can come up with 150 excuses why something went wrong. You only need one to fix it and change it. My philosophy on that is, it's very easy to be good. Very easy to be good at something you do. It's very hard to be great. Now, I don't want to be great. I want people to be like, "Hey, I want to be like him. I wanna help people out in life. I joke around a lot and I have a really funny personality. Sometimes people don't take me very seriously. But, I've done a lot of things in my life where I've been told no. Listen, my sisters a doctor. Could you imagine when I told my parents, "Hey, I'm going to be a professional fighter. They looked at me like I had five heads. "No, you know, you can't do that." This and that, that and this. I said, "well guess what.." I made a choice in my life that I was going to do something that I loved for a living.
Dustin: That's sick, man.
Matt: If that meant that I had to sacrifice a lot of stuff, then that's what it meant. I can't truly say that every day that I wake up, I do not have any regret. I never wanted to be that uncle. You ever have that uncle that woulda, coulda, shoulda uncle. "Of I coulda, woulda, shoulda done that." Or they won the section two wrestling championships 35 years ago, and they're the toughest person in the world.
Jeff: Al Bundy.
Matt: Yeah, he scored the last touch down.
Jeff: Yes he sure did.
Matt: That's my worst fear. Now, there's a quote that I live by. Any time that I have any self-doubt or anything like that or if I'm tired or anything, the quote is "What's the real definition of hell? It's dying and meeting the person you coulda been." So, that hits really at home with me, because there's a lot of times in life where I didn't live up to my potential. I said, "Hey, you wanna know what, I was tired." Or, "You wanna know what, my girlfriend, we got into a fight." Actually, she's my wife now. We don't get into fights, because she always wins. I just say yes. But, it comes down to accountability. What are you accountable for? Do you want to be great? Everything that you have, your goals. Do you want to achieve those goals? It's all up to you. It's not up to someone else. That's what's wrong with this world. There's no accountability. No kid gets spanked. Listen, ill spank my kid in front of anyone. My kid is a bad kid.
Jeff: That's how I grew up, man. Not saying that I'm a role model for the world or anything, but ill tell you what, if I stepped out of line my mom put it to me. I learned real quick.
Matt: Even if you didn't step outta line, you were like, dude I would get my ass kicked. Well, I thought about it like this, because I was a bad kid. If I get caught, I'm going to get my ass kicked. I still did it, I just tried not to get caught. But what can you do? My kid's going to be accountable. My sister yelled at me the other day. She was home, and my kid likes to eat an apple, but when he's done he'll eat it and just start strategically placing pieces of the apple around the house.
Dustin: I remember doing that. That's one of my earliest memories.
Matt: I'm like "Ian, if you do that again, I'm going to throw out the apple" He's only a year old. I go, well, guess what, accountability. It's my kid. So, guess what, his apple got thrown away, and he didn't do it anymore.
Jeff: So we've asked this question a lot, of like, rock stars and survivalists. I feel like, with a fighter, this question means a lot because it gets touch being a fighter. You deal with a lot of shit, and whether it be the time that you have to put in or the injuries that you have to deal with. You're in the middle of a fight and it doesn't go the way you want it to. So when shit gets really tough, what keeps your going? What fuels you?
Matt: Back to one more quote, they say adversity makes soldiers into kings. So, adversity comes into your life, and perspective is our reality. So, I know, if I go into a fight, one, if I lose, my family is still going to love me, the sun is still going to come up. I just look at it in perspective of, if I gave it everything I have, it doesn't matter. Obviously, I want to win. Obviously, I'm training to win.
I actually don't train to win. I train to get better every day. I just want to be the best version of myself. Some of the best things happen in life through adversity, but sometimes in peoples lives, adversity makes them stop. They hit that wall, they say "Oh, it's too hard. I can't do it no more." That's where you strive and breakthrough. But, failure is going to happen. Why do we fall? Batman said it right? Why do we fall, so we can learn how to get back up. That's just part of it. I love to compete. The reason why I like to compete is because I want to see if what I have is just as good as everyone else's or better.
Jeff: That's awesome. Correcting your perspective.
Matt: That's right. Or saying, I should probably do this. Don't get me wrong. When I lose, I lose sleep over it. Ask my wife. I'm just like "Oh, dude." I remember when I got TKOed one time. I wasn't even out. I got my guard back from [inaudible 00:21:18]. I thought I got stopped early. Again, accountability. I didn't keep my hands up and I got hit.
Dustin: You're not going to learn anything if you don't have accountability.
Dustin: Because if you're like "Well, he should've stopped the fight." You wouldn't be thinking, I gotta keep my hands up because what you should be thinking is "I got to keep my hands up." Shouldn't have been there in the first place.
Matt: Well I was winning the fight for four and a half minutes and I was whooping his ass. And then all of a sudden I'm like, oh shit I think I got hit. And I'm in my guard and then they stop the fight and then I rolled backward got up and like, fuck is this over or was it the round? And Eddie came in he's like, "Aw, dude it's over." I'm like, "Fuck," And I remember I'm rewinding watching me getting hit, and I said, "That's never gonna fucking happen ever again." I said, "I'm gonna keep my fucking hands up." And I lose sleep over that. I still do.
Dustin: If it gives you any comfort, being a student of you and Eddie, and watching you guys go through, you know. I can watch you win then it's just gonna keep my perspective of how you guys are. That's cool. That's awesome and that gives me pride. But when you guys lose, it brings a sense of reality to me where like it's okay to lose. Even the guys that I look up to like they go through it too. They have to go through it and if it gives you any comfort, I've learned a lot through your and Eddie's trials. Even when that like, oh shit, he'll learn more he'll get better but it gives me a sense of, I don't know, righteousness. Not righteousness but like-
Jeff: We could go with that. Relief.
Dustin: Relief, that's what it is because going into competitions it's like "I've got to win or else I'll be totally embarrassed." But it's like you don't have to be embarrassed. Everybody goes through that shit, man.
Matt: Listen, there's so many factors that could happen in a competition. So many uncontrollable factors. You could literally fucking trip on the way to the fucking cage. And they'll be like, "Hey dude, can you fight?" It's happened before. People have hit and slammed their head and got knocked out literally in the back. And there's nothing you can do. My dad told me a couple things in competition when I was a young kid. He said this is gonna sound messed up. I was really young and I wrestled for 96 pounds in ninth grade. I didn't hit my growth spurt until I was tenth going into eleventh grade. So he said, "Listen if you lose to a girl, you're not going to wrestle." You know as messed up as that sounds, so I never lost to a girl. And I'm not sexist by any means, women should have whatever, but that's just one thing. And he said, "If you're a poor loser, you'll never wrestle. You'll never compete."
And it sticks with me, you know. You get the people that lose and they're like, this and this and that. After Michael lost, I said, "Whoa," I shook his hand like a man and they interviewed me and they said, "Well hey, what can I do?" There's nothing I could do about the situation. How many times that something went wrong like, for example, you get into a car accident. Then you get out of your car you're like, "What the fuck. Fuck you dude." What are you gonna do to make the situation worse? You know what I mean? So you just say you deal with it. And you say hey and then you [inaudible 00:24:38]. I take care of that other stuff in my own time. If I want to be a little bitch about it, I'll do it in my mirror. And say, hey, I feel sorry for myself.
Now I think we get that from my mother too. My father passed away in 2011 and this is also gonna sound messed up. But my mother said, "You have one month to feel sorry for yourself," to me and my sisters. She put a timeline on our grief. And she said, "because listen, you guys have stuff to do. We have life to handle." And so we felt sorry for ourselves for a month and then we moved on and thought about the great times and had our dad motivated us. So, unfortunately, bad stuff's gonna happen in your life. People you love are going to die. It's the only thing that we know.
Dustin: It's the only constant.
Matt: So you get it. You feel sad. You do it. You deal with it and then you move on, you become great, right? You keep working on being good.
Jeff: Fueled by death, man.
Dustin: Fueled by death.
Matt: That's right. Fueled by death wish [inaudible 00:25:46]
Jeff: So speaking back on this week, correct me if I'm wrong, this is the first time that you are having this big of a fight in New York. First professional New York fight?
Matt: First time every fighting in New York.
Jeff: That's exciting. That's got to feel great.
Matt: Even as an amateur, I didn't fight in New York.
Jeff: Oh really?
Matt: Because when I did it,
Dustin: They had a loophole as you went pro.
Matt: And then we got all the sig smokers in there.
Dustin: Oh geez, really?
Matt: I call 'em Base JJer's Basement Jiu Jitzu Guys. They don't train, they just, I don't know, launch MMA.
Dustin: So talk a little bit about how exciting this is for you, fighting in New York.
Matt: I'm pumped. We've got about 400 people going.
Matt: We're pretty excited. So we're really pretty pumped about it.
Dustin: So this is gonna be on the World Series of Fighting on, that's NBC right?
Matt: MSNBC, yeah.
Dustin: MSNBC, cool man.
Jeff: And for people like me out there, what is the difference between the World Series of Fighting and UFC?
Matt: So there's three main organizations. You've got WSOF, you've got Bellator, and you've got UFC. Around all the networks, the three networks. And then you have like the more regional promotional stuff.
Jeff: Right, right. But this is something like-
Matt: International ones like Rizen and 1FC and stuff like that but as far as like, national fight corporations it's UFC, it's Bellator, it's World Series of Fighting.
Jeff: And for all of our listeners out there, I know that if you go to the World Series of Fighting dot com which is wsof.com, I believe there are ways to free stream this as well through their app. They have streaming services so hopefully, we'll all be watching and rooting for you on Saturday.
Matt: I'm gonna go on and just quit, so.
Jeff: Oh, that's awesome.
Dustin: That's cool man. So that will be at the Turning Stone Casino, right?
Matt: Yep, Turning Stone. Yeah, we're pretty excited. It's only like an hour and a half away.
Dustin: Yeah, that's really close to home, man. That's so cool.
Matt: If you drive fast like me.
Jeff: Yeah, yeah totally.
Dustin: Is there any shout outs you want to give? You wanna give our listeners any way to follow you for your progress and-
Jeff: Fighter school or anything?
Matt: Yeah. Matt Secor Brazillian Jiu Jitsu on Facebook. Eddie Fyvie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy. Rock out your lineage, right?
Dustin: Yeah, gotta.
Matt: I want to thank Daren Raffety. He's the head coach for this, for my fight camp. Dude, this guy is a savage. He's a veteran, he's a marine. I mean his mentality alone just trying to say he's a marine pirate. And he also has his master's degree in exercise science. So he's not only my strength condition coach, he's my head coach, my boxing coach. [inaudible 00:28:37] partners, Ryan Monger, Matt Huntington. Matt Huntington is an amateur boxer. He has about 70 amateur fights.
Dustin: Wow. That's hot.
Matt: So yeah, he helped me out a lot. Correl, we'll give him a shout out even though he's Russian so we don't want to respect him that much because we're fighting a Russian.
Dustin: Let's be fair, he's American now.
Matt: Yeah I guess he switched sides. You never know, he could be a spy. Could be a [inaudible 00:29:02] right? Or what do they call those? Sleeper cells.
Dustin: We're gonna see him in the other corner when we get there. It's all good.
Matt: I told him he can't talk in his devil tone. He's in the academy with us. I don't know what he's trying to do.
Dustin: Oh that's funny. And a little bit- I want to talk a little bit about this because we talked a little bit about it off podcast but, you work with a mental- with a psychological fighting coach. What would you call him?
Matt: Oh, he's a sports psychologist.
Dustin: Sports psychologist. I've always been super interested in that because you see a lot of the top guys. You see them totally switch over from being like a timid whatever fighter to being a world beater because of that one switch of a mental- I've lost it again. What is he called?
Matt: Sports psychologist.
Dustin: A sports psychologist. Can you talk a little bit about what you go through with this guy? How he walks you through this?
Matt: A lot of it's just preparing, right? But the same thing is like setting up a takedown. You know, you have an entry, you have the technique, you have all this stuff and it's the same thing. Visualization, hey, we're in the back. How are you feeling? We're walking to the cage. Your song comes on, you walk out to the cage.
Dustin: What's your song?
Matt: Bill Withers "Ain't So Sunshine"
Dustin: It's so good man.
Jeff: That's awesome.
Matt: Yep, Bill Withers "Ain't No Sunshine". Somebody asked me, "The DMX one?" I said no.
Matt: Not the DMX one.
Dustin: So he's walking you through it, he's walking you out.
Matt: Just visualization, you know. You're getting emotional while he's talking about it. And then mediation. How to keep yourself calm when there's nerves around.
Dustin: How do you keep yourself calm?
Matt: Distraction. A lot of its distraction, right? A lot of it's taking your mind off of what's there and turning it on at the right point because if you run hot too long, you'll burn out. So it's just a lot of actually simple stuff. It's just knowing what to do.
Dustin: Nobody told me how to relax when I'm worked up, you know. That's so cool.
Matt: We do that at my academy a lot, especially in the competition classes. We walk through- there's another thing that I do it's called the perfect match. I write down my perfect match, what happens. So in the three rounds, you write down first round happens du-du-du you have adversity in it. I did that for that Chet Pallard fight where they stood me up in the mount and they were like, someone asked me, "How did you stay so calm and not flip out?" I said, "That was in my perfect match." They stood me up I said, "Hey, guess what? I'll just take him right back down. Not that big of a deal." So it's again, perspective is a reality. You can look at a situation 500 million different ways. But you just stay focused. Focus is a huge one because you couldn't work without focus. So focus is what we need.
Dustin: Would you call that mindfulness? Would you call that being in the present moment?
Matt: You got to.
Dustin: Because I feel like, yeah it's so tough to do to win a competition and everybody's watching.
Matt: I remember when I was [inaudible 00:32:20] I was standing there dancing around I'm like I hear my sister, I'm like, "Oh, there's my sister yelling, like oh wow. What's that smell?" Like, dude, I'm fighting. What am I doing? I gotta fight here. This guy's trying to kick and punch me really hard. And then I'm like, alright focus, focus. So focus took him down and got it done.
Dustin: Did you feel like it switched over when you decided that mentally?
Matt: Yeah, I usually get the switch in the back. Usually, when I put my gloves on, that's when I start making that switch and start getting. I can't think too much about it or I'll start getting pumped up. But it's good. It's good to get that way. It's so fun, dude. It's so exciting. People, they say nerves are like butterflies. You know you get butterflies in your stomach. As long as you can get them right in the right formation, nerves are good. Nerves are a thing. They say you don't back a cat up into a corner. Or a lion or whatever, a cat, probably just kick that thing.
Jeff: My cat's a jerk.
Dustin: We don't condone kicking cats. [crosstalk 00:33:24]
Matt: No, we don't kick cats. But a lion, you'd back up. Predatory animal into a corner, it's not gonna be a good thing and not be scared but, they're gonna hurt you. So nerves are a good thing. They keep you aware, they keep you sharp.
Dustin: How long have you been working with the sports psychologist?
Matt: Two years.
Dustin: Two years. So it's been a long-running thing.
Matt: See, the times I lose is when I get emotional. That's when I lose.
Dustin: Do you find yourself getting angry or-
Matt: Chris Honeycutt, I got emotional. I shut off, said I don't care. That Edwardo Tallice match I was legitimately trying to break his neck, trying to rip his head off.
Dustin: So that was angry?
Dustin: What sets you off?
Matt: He just didn't do anything. I'm just like, "Dude, you're not even doing jiu-jitsu." I was trying to push him off the stage. If you watch part of the match, the EBI, I was just trying to throw him off.
Dustin: Well, I watched that from the outside. He came in with that game plan. He was just gonna get people into overtime and just get the time because the way EBI works is that it's a submission-only grappling match so it's a ten-minute match. If at the end of that ten-minute match you go into overtime and you trade positions as far as like if it's an armbar or back mount, and if he gets out of the submission, they stop it. But if nobody gets submitted by the end of those three rounds of overtime, it's whoever has the least amount of time spent in compromising positions wins. That was this guy's game plan was to come in, get it to overtime and just stall. Just stall out the whole way. To be fair, he was an older guy. He was like that old wise-
Matt: Started doing jiu-jitsu when I was like two.
Dustin: So that pissed you off, huh?
Matt: I just, you know-
Jeff: Pisses me off and I wasn't even there.
Dustin: Did you know he was coming in with that game plan?
Matt: I knew that's what his game plan was but I just was like, "Dude." He literally sat there and did nothing.
Dustin: Yeah, anti-jiu-jitsu.
Matt: And I was like, oh I'm just gonna break his neck. I was gonna be the first person to break someone's neck in a jiu-jitsu tournament.
Jeff: Oh geez.
Matt: But it did work like that. He watched me put the knee on the back of his head and crank his neck off.
Dustin: Yeah you were being gnarly, that was awesome. And he got you in a very close armbar. How close was that?
Matt: Well what happened was his legs were covering my ears. So he said, hey are you ready? Are you ready? And I didn't say anything because I didn't know so if you watch my hands won't even grasp and he just said go and they went and I'm all, oops gotta move.
Dustin: Oh shit.
Matt: And I do a lot of preparation and tight submissions, you know. What happens is people flex their arms.
Dustin: Because they're trying to just pull back the other way.
Matt: Have you ever tried to cut a rubber band when you're not flexing it? What happens to it? It does in between the scissors. Right? So a tenant is like a rubber band. So when you flex it, what happens when you stretch a rubber band and you cut it? It snaps. So you relax your arm but you stay engaged and you stay connected and you just go.
Dustin: I just learned something.
Jeff: There you go.
Matt: It's crazy. So watch it. Have one of your partners put you in an armbar and relax your arm and see how much farther it takes him to submit you, than if you're actually flexing your arm.
Dustin: I feel that almost goes with everything with fighting. If you come out really stiff and like really try to punch him, as soon as you get hit and you're stiff you're gonna get knocked out. Whereas if you're loose and roll with everything, it's usually the way to go in. It's usually the guy's totally relaxed it's like, wow he's in there battling to the death. It just looks like he's chilling on the beach. That's the way to do it, right?
Awesome man, well thanks for joining us on the Fueled By Death Cast, man.
Matt: Thanks for having me, man.
Dustin: And on future fights, you know feel free to come back on. We'll pump you back up and get you back out to our masses and once again, for those who are listening. It's gonna be on the World Series of Fighting on Saturday, March 18th.
Jeff: We'll all be rooting for you.