“I was talking to my editor about various projects and was thinking of something easier like investigating gardening or something,” said Polly, who has penned articles for Playboy, Esquire and Slate. "Then I told him this UFC thing is huge with young guys and frat boys that don’t know anything about martial arts. He was like. that’s it. ‘Do I have to get in the ring, I asked?"
The answer was yes, so Polly left his wife of one month, moved to Las Vegas and trained for the last six months at Xtreme Couture. Polly told the Las Vegas Sun what it was like to approach the ring for a fight:
"I was really nervous. My first thought when I got out there is, I got Joey Varner (Xtreme Couture trainer), Robert Drysdale (world-class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert) and Randy Couture walking in with me, I was like, 'I can’t shame them. I can’t go out there and get knocked out in five seconds with them in my corner.' Then it was weird. There was a calm right as the music started. I can do this. I can do this."
"It was so smoky in there I got lost going to my corner. That was my first panic. Then I honest to God got caught myself looking at myself on the big screen and said, ‘Can they see the backfat?’"
The dreaded backfat. I'm sure Georges St. Pierre worries about that too. Imagine a soothing Greg Jackson speech in the corner about channeling the power of the backfat. Probably doesn't happen often.
Polly is now done with fighting. It's time to write a book. His last book "American Shaolin" was a bestseller. He traveled to China and spent two years with the Shaolin Monks.
- Randy Couture