Charles McCarthy MMA Lifer Extraordinaire

Charles McCarthy MMA Lifer Extraordinaire

Charles grew up in Miami, in a nice neighborhood, where right near him, was some not so nice areas, hence he grew up going to school with people of all kinds. There was really no segregation over there in his time. He told me that he was like any child who went through the normal angst kids have in growing up, but also had some major anger issues, when his dad bounced from the scene, when young Charles was about Six years old, and that left him tons of weird emotions.

I write this story telling you right from the start that it may have been one of the best interviews, I’ve ever had, and that Charles McCarthy is a first rate, class person, who loved his departed mother with all of his heart, and gave me a clear vision into the soul of what being an MMA fighter is all about. I am grateful to be his friend, and consider him to be of the highest character.

As an aggressive child, he tended to gravitate to combat sports, and Football, was the first outlet. He told me he also enjoyed watching all the big Boxing fights on TV, but he never got the chance to compete at all in Wresting or Football in high school due to bad grades. He was a technology guy, starting around age 11 to write codes, and actually helped teach his own high school’s IT department what to do.

Around 13 he saw his first UFC, and said immediately he knew that this was what he wanted to do with his life, although at that time there was no reality in thinking it could be a career, like it is today. He just new he wanted to do be involved.

Charles was a member of the reality show, Ultimate Fighter 4, The Comeback, which was a different show, in that these guys were not up and comers to the sport, but rather guys that were looking to get their careers back on the right path. Most of them had been on a downward spiral of results, and this would be their chance to show the UFC, that they still belonged on the biggest stage. The talent level in that house was at an all-time high for the show, with guys like Travis Lutter, Matt Serra, Din Thomas, and Chris Lytle amongst many others. Charles told me that so many people wonder why throughout the seasons of the show, that the fighters come out of the house so much better, and he credits it to the fact that the have to fight under the worst possible conditions. For a normal fight you have time to prepare, but here on the show you may have to fight at any given moment, you don’t have your teammates, training partners, mentors, coaches, agent, and all you have next to you is your enemy. You’re warming up in the locker room; with guys you’re going to fight. It’s not a very pleasant experience, but it grooms you to be better, and said He's used this methodology with guys he trained, in making things difficult for them in their amateur career, so that they’ll be ready when their professional careers are about to start.

I had always wondered what the feeling would be like in the moment of “The Walkout” Charles explained that it is a liberating moment as you approach the ring, as you know, or at least hope you’ve done all you can, and you might succeed, or you might not. You are walking up to something that is bigger than you. Everyone fights for different reasons, and that reason flashes in front of you. It will change throughout a person’s career due to what’s going on in your life at the time of the fight, or your opponent, the circumstances of that particular fight, and you latch on to emotional experiences to guide you through that moment.

Charles explained that he’s really an “on the whim” type of person, and not a do the same thing everyday person, and that he had left a really good career in the computer industry, to go live in his car, and become a fighter, rather than sit in a cubicle all day in his suit and tie. Charles is heavily involved in the training aspect of the sport now with several impact guys making their name in the industry.

I asked Charles about the impact of Martial Arts on a child’s life, and he gave a great list of thoughts on the subject.

  • There are no wasted moments in life, and Martial Arts teach so many valuable lessons of discipline and respect.
  • Humility lessens your ego
  • Flexibility and Dexterity
  • Hand-Eye Coordination
  • Strength
  • It’s a positive influence in all the other aspects in the child’s life, especially in school.

In closing I asked Charles for his favorite memory from his fight career, and it turned out to be his final fight, against Englishman Michael Bisping. The fight took place in Montreal, at the Bell Centre, in front of was the largest attendance in North America for a UFC fight, at the time, and that going into the fight, he had some thoughts in his head, that he might be hanging up the gloves. He had his mind on some other things and he’s not the type to do things half heartedly, so this was likely his last hurrah.

One thing for sure was that he entered that ring to win. The result of the fight did not favor Charles that evening, as Bisping was the better fighter that night, but he told me what had transpired on the walkout, would definitely stay with him for the rest of his life.

It was an unusually long stroll through the arena that night, from the locker room, and Charles said it seemed all in slow motion, as he enjoyed the whole experience, starting with the feeling on vibrations in his skin, while the crowd was roaring. He said that he could remember every picture on the wall, and that he kept thinking how lucky he had been to achieve goals in places he had set out to achieve them in. There were many fighters along the way, who for one circumstance or another, had not been able to achieve having moments on the biggest stages, but Charles McCarthy has now made it his life’s work to help the next generation get there.

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