There's always ineresting stories at the many amateur events around the country. Fighters trying to live out their dreams with the hope of one day reaching heights like Randy Couture. Matthew Polly took that first step on Saturday night. Fighting out of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, Polly posted a win in his first MMA fight during an amateur card at The Orleans Hotel. On to bigger and better things, right? Not even close. Polly is one and done. His MMA fight was all done to benefit a book he's writing about MMA:
“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."
Only one other thing made Polly cringe as he climbed through the ropes:
"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.