UTAH (Sun, May 21, 2017)– What’s up friends and family, fight fans and MMA enthusiasts all over the world! It’s your boy, Jay Durham with FightBookMMA coming at you today with one hell of a story featuring an upcoming bout that my brother David Potter has coming up! Now, obviously all fights are important, but this one has some special meaning behind it So, that being said, my man David, hows it going brother??
DAVID: It’s going great Jay, thank you very much for taking the time with me. Big fan of FightbookMMA and if there was anyone I wanted to talk to about the fight it was a you.
JAY: See, now you got a dude blushing! Haha, for real man, honor is all ours! So fill us in, I know you’re doing big things with this fight, lets get into the intricacies of what makes this fight so important? Or so special you, I should say?
DAVID: This fight is special for me for so many reasons because it’s both achieving and finishing the dream I had since I was young, and putting closer to a book I always wanted to write. I’ve loved Mixed Martial Arts since childhood. You know when kids tell their teachers what they want to be when they grow up, not many get to say they didn’t let their younger self down and they fulfilled those childhood dreams. I was consistent that I wanted to be involved in MMA and Pro Wrestling, from the business side and climbing in the ring to test myself. Even as a young adult, I was so tuned into this passion that was disconnected from everything else. In School, I couldn’t have been more disconnected and more in a rush to get this adventure started and only attended school because it enabled me to wrestle, my sport and base since age 7. You could find me doodling diagrams of the MMA Business I wanted to start (Which ended up being Dreamelitepro.com , almost 5 years old) which my teachers thought was a gambling ring, and I believe it was spring 2004 when one of my teachers in response to wanting to be in the MMA business, said that “There is no money in Cage Fighting”. That’s when I started plotting my escape to prove her wrong, left high school June 2005 after wrestling season and got my HS degree in April 2006. I couldn’t have been more disconnected from Girlfriends, Family, Friendships, and any relationships as a young adult – my first love was always swimming in my head and I didn’t allow anything or anyone to rent anymore space. I was so disconnected with work and responsibilities because I thought living for anything else but passion would be a waste of a life. I was disconnected from everything but this dream, but as I grew older and matured as an adult, I realized how important everything but my passions were, because I wouldn’t have gotten this far without all those variables. This fight is both setting foot in a cage that was my home multiple times, and disconnecting from my childhood dream to be more connected with everything I want to enjoy as a 30-year-old man, happy with what he learned as a kid and even happier with the adult he became.
JAY: Wow. Just, wow. Ya know, David, we have been A1 since day 1, and I believe the term “Real recognize real” comes into perfect play here. But I gotta tell ya boss, I had no idea that it went that far back and held such a tremendous story! As you said, living a life other than chasing your passion, does seem rather pointless. So for you to go out, see it, dream it, live it?? Truly inspiring my brother. So, I noticed you have some awesome shirts circulating now for ECF15, which benefits an incredible cause in all the proceeds go to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, a charity I myself have done multiple fundraisers for as well! It’s just worth while cause, can you tell us more about that? How did you get the idea, is there a back story there?
DAVID: Never giving up is just as important as giving back, because plenty of people played a role in installing determination into your genetic makeup. Besides family, friends, coaches, teachers and others – two of those people were my grandma and my father, both who passed away from cancer, my grandma on December 2014 and my dad a week before my birthday on April 2015. At my dad’s funeral, I remember asking my dad’s childhood friend how I could possibly pay him back for all he did for me, he put on my first pair of wrestling shoes, he took me to my first date, he raised me and 4 other kids who weren’t his and gave up having kids of his own to be the father we never had, how could you pay someone like him back, his response was “Pay it forward”. Paying it forward has been the focus of everything I’m about, and if I was going to climb back into the cage one more time to fulfill this goal, it was going to be for all the right reasons and money isn’t included in that reasoning. Ticket sales and Shirt Sales, proceeds go to St Judes Children’s Hospital, to help kid’s fight a bigger fight than I ever will. When I lost my dad, I told my mother I never want people to feel the way I do at that moment he passed, but the truth is there are parents who are watching their kids fight sometimes a losing battle, and preparing to bury their children. No parent should have to bury their child, no child deserves to be sick, every child deserves to dream, grow, work hard to achieve those dreams, and have a chance to fulfill their potential as adults. This fight isn’t just for me, it’s a statement that wherever there is a cause worth fighting for, I wanna fight with them.
JAY: Whew. My man, I literally just stood up and started clapping. I could have had an hour to prepare that statement and couldn’t have said it any better than you just did. Just, the passion that radiates from you is truly, truly inspiring David. So, is this your last MMA fight? I feel like I had read somewhere that this would be your last outing? Is there any truth to that? And by the way, my condolences for your losses… that breaks my heart brother.
DAVID: My last pro wrestling match was September 2015 and I was given a huge ovation from the New Jersey crowd. It was a beautiful way to end that dream, and just like I closed that book, this definitely my last MMA Fight and I’m closing this book in the greatest city in the wold, in the heart of Manhattan NYC. Pro Wrestling I did everything I ever set out to do, I entertained great fans, I earned the respect of my peers, and I was able to happily put a check mark right by it and move on. With MMA I wasn’t so lucky because I still have questions I needed to answer for myself and with my already consuming schedule with running a business, working for a great company in new york, and other projects – time was running out. I’m coming off two losses in a row, both to heavier champions when my original opponents dropped out of the fights on short notice, and I took 6 years off because with doing two sports that are physically demanding, I was injured and mentally/physically spent. But that question loomed if I could do this healthy and heavier, and I wasn’t going to turn 50 years old, retired, on my front porch still asking myself that question. So I spent the last few years getting healthy and happy again, and while having a 4 month camp to prepare for a fight after 6 year layoff would be called impossible, I surrounded myself with people from Hoboken and Brooklyn to train with, positive friends and family members and people who make impossible happen on a daily basis. I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for them – and while I want to move on to the other dreams I had as a kid, like the whole getting married, having a house and raising a bunch of babies gig, I can finally put a check mark by this goal because when I step into the cage June 24th in NYC, against a challenging opponent, whether I win or lose, it’ll finally be on my terms and I will have no excuses. But I’m going in there to win.
JAY: David, I gotta be honest with you man, the more we speak here, it’s just impossible not to support you 2,000%! You are doing this for all the right reasons and I know I speak for the entire FBMMA family when I say, we are in your corner and rooting you on every step of the way. And I agree, the best place this could go down is NYC! With all the love and support you got backing you, I see the 24th going very well for you my brother. You’re fighting for so much more than yourself and it’s truly a beautiful thing. I’ve watched footage of you in the ring, and I gotta say, you’re looking crisp in there boss! If you had to lay out a prediction for the action to come, what would you say that we are safe to expect come June 24th?
DAVID: My opponent is from tajikistan, and if you aren’t familiar with the country, many of the toughest fighters, grapplers and wrestlers have come from that country and my opponent is no different. “Tough” is in their cultures DNA – and he brings plenty of concepts and variables that will give me plenty of issues, why I liked the match-up so much is I see 20 ways I could lose this but willing to find a way to win. This my last fight, and you can expect I’m going in there prepared, guns blazing and ready to be in his face, bringing the fight to him every second for 3 rounds or less. I’m clearly the underdog, but my best performances in life have come when my back is against the wall, and I’m going to find a way to win, and I’m going to put on an entertaining show while doing it. This isn’t my first rodeo, I love that octagon since I escaped the womb, and June 24th I’m stepping in that octagon to prove it.
JAY: Humble as always, I think that’s what I love most about you brother! I know you’re going to leave it all out there and bring it to the best of your ability and then some! So, you said something very interesting here, you said you could have 20 ways to lose this being you’re facing such a dangerous opponent, is it the uphill battle that drives you? Clearly you are looking for no easy fight and that’s just beyond admirable in a time when it seems like most people want to take the fight where they have the advantage over their opponents. Do you feel you shine more when, as you said, your back is against the wall and the underdog??
DAVID: The challenge of being an underdog is why i came back to fight one more time in the first place. Clearly the sport has evolved since my extended absence and there are tools I’m either relearning or seeing for the first time, and see those very tools in my opponent. But I got an amazing group of people helping me get back up to speed, and helping me make sure I’m as prepared as ever to win. People in life don’t want to see others succeed or they want to make excuses for others success, and people don’t like telling others that they are better than them. I’ve literally seen and supported my friends and others success at this sport, and never had any problems telling people that better than me. So as a result, instead of thinking I’m crazy for doing this, they dropped everything and offered me the support, education and guidance I needed and they never were obligated to give. It speaks volumes about who they are as people. You are the company you keep, and this company is built of positive energy. This is what also drives me, because I’m going to win and I want to make them proud while doing it.
JAY: Very, VERY well said my dear friend! So, in closing, is there any sponsors, shout outs to these incredible people in your life that you would like to take a moment thank and get their names out there? Anything you wanna say brother, this is your time.
DAVID: I just want to thank FightbookMMA for allowing me to do this interview with you Jay, you could line up 5 billion people on this earth and you would still be the easiest choice. Thank you to friends, my mom, my siblings (patti, crissy, joanie, bobby) my girlfriend Denise, her friends, coaches like Coach Chris and teammates/training partners past and present from Lodi/Boston/Teterbero/Hackensack/Hoboken/Brooklyn/Kentucky, ex-girlfriends, former teachers and classmates from my beautiful hometown of Emerson who always supported me and even at my 10 year reunion from the same school I talked about earlier leaving asked to come to my next fight, coworkers who have been unbelievably supportive like Sarah who accompanied me to the hospital when my blood pressure was low due to cutting weight and reminded me we aren’t 20 anymore so now my diet isn’t just air, MMA fans who always got behind me and my brand Dream Elite, The famous fighters who I always talked to like regular people and they always returned the favor by talking to me the same way, my pro wrestling riding buddies like Charlie and Jeff who is no longer with us but his incredible son will walk with me and my coaches out to the octagon, and EVERYBODY everywhere who ever was apart of this journey with me and will be there June 24th when I provide the conclusion. I’m ready to have some fun at ECF June 24th from Stage 48 in Manhattan, and I hope you’re ready to have fun with me. Thank you forever everybody.
JAY: David, the honor and privilege is all ours my man! Thank you, sincerely, from the bottom of my heart for the kind words! You have my support, FightBookMMA’s support, and the support of the entire community behind you boss! I know I speak for the entire FightBookMMA family when I say we are cheering you on and you have every one of us in your corner come June 24th! God Bless you brother and thank you for allowing me to have this very special time with you!
Interview By: Jay Durham
Photo Credit: David Potter
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