Big Fight Experiences: Life of an MMA manager #3

wadeBFE1.1My last guy to fight was Jonathon Martinez at Combate Americas and I have to say it was a little difficult to figure when I could watch Jonathon’s fight. I was searching the web, and was trying to confirm if he was going to be on UFC Fight Pass, on NBC Universo, or both.

Lets just say I was on the phone with Time Warner at 10:45 p.m. ordering NBC Universo. Just in time I saw Jonathon finish his opponent in the first round, thank you Time Warner.

Francisco Trevino and Ben Wall will be fighting in Australia again and both will be working on adding another win to their records. Trevino will be fighting for Hex Fights, and Wall will be fighting for AFC Australia.

Tonight Chris Catala will be fighting at HardKnocks Fighting in Canada. This will be a huge win for this heavyweight, if he can beat his opponent Arjan Bullhar who was an Olympic wrestler.

Thomas Almeida‘s fight is about a month away. I wanted to share one of my favorite stories about Thomas. I have been working with him since 2012, and he was going into a very tough fight in Brazil versus Valdines Silva (Thiago Silva’s brother). Thomas was 10-0, and had the most unbelievable stat of finishing all 10 fights in the first round. The fight was happening in Brazil, so I would have to watch a stream on the Internet. So I staked out the best place, with the best WI-FI… So I roll up to the local Starbucks, which is always packed with people. I find a nice comfortable chair, put my headphones, so I can take full advantage of the live stream, and not bother anyone else in the coffee shop.

You may want to watch the fight, before you hear my comments on the fight.

So like always I am super nervous when any my guys are fighting, but this fight had extra stress wondering if Thomas could keep his first round finish streak going. I am loading up on the coffee as Brazilian promotions have a very hard time of starting on time. I think I was on my third cup of Starbucks blonde roast, and if I was not amped up enough by the fight, the three cups of coffee helped a lot.

Thomas is super aggressive and is always coming forward in his fights. At this time Valdines Silva may have been the best striker he had faced. Thomas had a few exchanges where both fighters landed good shots. I was trying to be courteous to not disturb the other customers. I tried to muffle my cheers and fist pumps as much as possible. All those who have seen me watch my guys fight know how animated and loud I get.

At this point I was thinking watching Thomas’s fight at a coffee shop might not have been a good idea. I start becoming very concerned about the time left in the the so important first round. I also believe at this time people are starting to wonder what this guy was watching. I really think they probably thought I was some crazy day trader trying to make a million on the stock market.

Well then BAM, Thomas takes a big shot, and is knocked down, and It was like my life passing in front of me. Not only was the first round finish in jeopardy but a chance of ending his 10 fight win streak. Well just like Ralphie, when he lost the lug nuts, I yelled out the magical F word, and I am sure it was a lot louder than usual because of the earphones I had on. I was so upset I really did not care what the people thought, I just focused on the computer screen hoping for some kind of miracle to happen.

Thomas is in trouble, but he is still fighting back! And as soon as I thought he could be done, he lands a huge punch and hurts Silva. This makes do a complete 180, now I am cheering for joy. I continue focusing on the computer screen thinking if I did not look up the people around me may not be looking at me… yeah right.

Thomas was very close to finishing him, but now I was concerned if he had time to do it in the first round. And then Thomas knocks Silva to ground and the ref jumps in to stop it. I immediately jump up forgetting that I have on headphones that are connected to the laptop. And just like the BAM of Thomas hitting Silva, the same BAM happened with my laptop crashing to the floor.

At that moment I am back to reality and finally look up and everyone included the employees are staring at me, wondering what happened. In a very non-smooth way I picked up my laptop from the floor. I did not check if it was broke but quickly made my way to front door unable to be embarrassed because of Thomas’s first round victory. I exited Starbucks with a Ric Flair WOOOOOOOO and I was out the door!

Big Fight Management‘s Wade Hampel helps manage several big name MMA fighters’ careers as well as some very hot up-and-coming prospects. Get an inside look at the life of an MMA agent in his weekly column Big Fight Experiences only on

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