In honor of Mother's Day, Cagewriter spoke to the mothers of several fighters. Read Part I here.
As with most mothers, MMA moms wear several hats. They've served as managers, coaches and motivational forces. Consider what Shirley Ann Evans told her son Rashad about his fights.
"The last fight with Machida, the one he lost? I had warned him. I said, 'Rashad, Machida feels that if he has your mind he can win the fight.' Rashad thought that was so funny. I said he feels like he can conquer your spirit, and Rashad thought that was funny. I said it's a mental fight, and he thought I was so funny, and then he lost. And I look up, and he's telling someone on national TV, my mother warned me about the fight."
With that in mind, Shirley also offered words of wisdom for Rashad's next bout, a scrap with Quinton "Rampage" Jackson at UFC 114.
"I told him, Rashad, he's coming to knock you the hell out. He's not playing with you. Look for every opportunity you can to give that to him. He wasn't laughing this time!"
BJ Penn's mother, Lorraine Shin, drew criticism for writing the Nevada State Athletic Commission about the greasing allegations that were made against Georges St. Pierre in the bout against her son. But to Shin, writing the letter was the correct thing to do because of her experience working with fighters in shows in Hawaii.
"I have been involved with producing shows in Hawaii for years," Shin said. "My viewpoint, as BJ Penn's mother, was from the producer side and being involved with fighters. I have never said or felt that my son would have won the fight. It just wasn't fair."
Still, most mothers know that there are times they must keep their distance. Shin said though she and BJ are close and he lives just two doors away from her, she tries not to disrupt him while he is in training camp.
"When he is training, I just go and peek in. I am very careful not to disrupt any of the training. We don't want to distract him. They need that time to focus and train."
But the distance doesn't keep mothers from the advice-giving role. For Debbie Guida, the mom of Clay and Jason, she offered career advice early to all of her children, and is happy that they took it.
"I tell all three of my kids to pick a profession that you like because then you'll get up in the morning and give it your all. I know that all three of my kids have picked a profession that they want to be in."
Shirley Evans also gave her son career advice. She told him how to deal with the many times he's been booed.
"Don't worry about the boos. All you have to do is win. You have to honestly know that everyone who is booing you, you don't know those people! You got to be good, stay good, and if they boo you, they boo you. They won't boo you when you do bad, they boo you when you do good, so which boo are you going to take?"
A very Happy Mother's Day and thank you to all of the mothers who took part in this post. To my own mother, thanks for putting up with me as a daughter and Happy Mother's Day.