I think about the sound that it made when Heath Herring punched my brother in the face. I could hear it clearly from 60 rows up at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. That was Brad’s last fight in the UFC, over four years ago.
He has won plenty of fights since that evening. Two first round submissions by gogoplata stick out of course. Today he conquered a 5K run loaded with large obstacles, water crossings, uneven ground and hills.
Watching him finish Warrior Dash reminded me of why I love fighting. It’s the spirit in a man that is so admirable. In no other arena can his frailty be so unveiled. Hard to find the warrior in a hot, wet, swamp, in Missouri, in July.
But he was there and it drew a familiar ire from the lookers on. One gentleman actually approached to capture a photograph of the UFC veteran.
No matter the venue, promoter, time, place, discipline, reward or duty… a fighter will travel the high road behind his presence. The example is their mission. My brother is far removed from a once successful fighting career, but his heart hasn’t lost a step.
I still train daily and could only best his time by a few minutes. Brad serves on the Jefferson City Fire Department these days. He also serves as husband to wife, Michele, and as father to daughter, Carolynn. On his days off he builds custom homes with our dad, Harold. He is still young at heart with plenty to keep him busy.
Gone are the large crowds and deafening blows, but what remains is his passion. Brad went after that course like it was his job. That’s what makes someone a professional. After 21 career fights he is seasoned at conquering fear, pain and doubt. Thanks for the memories, brother.
We are headed to Bartenders Brawl 2011, Kansas City. This promotion has toured the country and stops in my stomping grounds for this evening’s entertainment. My sister and I will promote and sell our brand, Hillbilly Fight Wear. It is a brand that was inspired by the Hillbilly Heart Throb, Brad Imes. I only hope that we do his legacy justice. Local servers and bartenders will do battle in a sanctioned amateur MMA event.
I spent nearly 10 years managing bars in this great city. Too often I had to come around the bar and thump a stranger. It was good for the community, but not always popular with my bosses. Some people just need to be told and some men are designed to do the tellin’.
I have been training and teaching regularly. No fight booked yet, but we are excited for Jeb Chiles, who will be fighting at Shark Fights on September 10th in Kansas City. Jeb proudly wears Hillbilly Fight Wear and travels to train with me and my team whenever possible.
All three members of the Hillbilly Fight Team won their fights last Saturday at Good Time Promotions’ Barnyard Brawls. Andy Fleming finished his opponent via strikes in Round 2. Jay “Buggsy” Segal finished his opponent by rear naked choke in Round 2. Adam Roberts won his amateur debut by KO at the end of Round 1. He thumps bones, literally. I am so proud to be their coach and training partner.
The more popular fighting becomes, the more independent our communities will become. Young men and women are finding their own way in life. When we stand for ourselves and by ourselves, we strengthen everything around us. Keep fighting the good fight, brothers and sisters. Thump a stranger.
Brian Imes’ “The Human Cockfighter Blog” is part of ProMMAnow.com’s ongoing series of blogs from professional MMA fighters who give readers a look inside the life and mind of a professional athlete. Be sure to check out Brian’s MMA clothing line “Hillbilly Fight Wear” at www.hillbillyfightwear.com.