In the shadow of a giant: a hillbilly fight story

My first experience with mixed martial arts was November 5, 2005. My family and I made a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada to watch my brother, Brad Imes, compete in the Ultimate Finale at The Hard Rock Hotel. My only education into MMA was watching Season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter on Spike; of course because Brad was a participant.

In the arena was a who’s who of MMA legends. We saw Chuck Liddell, Nick Diaz, Rich Franklin, Matt Hughes, Diego Sanchez and of course Dana White. I stood between my mother and sister holding on for every swing of Brad’s fifteen minute war with Rashad Evans. In the end it was Rashad who got the split decision victory.

After hugging the ladies I crossed the arena to shake hands with Rashad’s brother and fiancé. After all from my short experience with MMA I had deducted that this was a sport for gentlemen. Being the brother of one of MMA’s newest classmates I wanted to show my respect for the rest of the MMA family.

Something about that experience opened my eyes. It wasn’t the blood or the sweat or the screaming fans or spotlights. It was the respect between two willing men engaged in battle. I was amazed by the courage, sacrifice, honor, and humility they embodied.

Where else in life could one harness such an experience? I wanted to learn as much as I could. Upon returning home from our vacation I became an avid MMA fan. I started going to jiu-jitsu classes and reading fight forums. I watched every pay-per-view UFC for two years. I even recorded fights and watched them over and over.

My brother and I are separated by 13 months in age. We started wrestling at age 5 & 6. We have shared so many things in our lives. That’s what brothers do. And when I made the appropriate changes in my life to pursue a career in MMA Brad was there to share. You see, my brother knocked me down my whole life because he was teaching me to get back up. When I realized that discipline it made it possible for me to pursue my dreams. Thank you brother!

After one year as a professional I am 3-2. I started my career with three first round TKOs. In my two fights since I have been choked unconscious and submitted by arm bar. My next challenge is Friday, July 10th versus Dominic Brown (15-12). We are the Main Event at Whiskey Tango in Grain Valley, Missouri. This fight is promoted by True Fight Fan. I compete in the Light Heavyweight division. I live and train in Kansas City, Missouri.

Brad lives two hours down the road in Columbia, Missouri. He works with the Jefferson City Fire Department and trains with American Top Team. He has a beautiful girlfriend, Michele, who he plans to marry soon. As my brother and I continue to grow together and separately I remember my mother’s words: “One day I won’t be around and you two will only have each other.” We love you mom!

-Brian Imes
“The Human Cock Fighter”

Brian Imes is a professional mixed martial arts fighter, brother of TUF 2 finalist Brad Imes, and a contributing writer to PRO MMA ( You can learn more about he and Brad and check out their clothing line at

2 thoughts on “In the shadow of a giant: a hillbilly fight story”

  1. Nice work! This guy is has a great “right hand” as well as a great “writing hand!” We need more sir!

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