Jeffrey Earnhardt, the grandson of legendary NASCAR champion racer Dale Earnhardt and nephew of the successful Dale Earnhardt Jr., has some enormous shoes to fill in the race world. The Nationwide Series racer has blazed his own path however, in representing racecar drivers as athletes. An avid MMA fan, Jeffrey began training and competed in his first amateur MMA fight Tuesday night at the Fight Lab 25 event in Charlotte, North Carolina. Earnhardt was victorious, scoring a unanimous decision victory over Chris Faison.
Earnhardt was aiming to show any disbelievers of the physicality of auto-sports that racecar drivers are athletes on par with any other professional sports. Pre-fight he told Autoweekly.com:
“I’ve been using MMA as my training regimen, so I’m excited to show the fans that race-car drivers are athletes just like in other professional sports. I’ve been preparing for this fight since December and think I’m ready. My next race is in a few weeks, so I felt comfortable that now was a good time. I’m a race-car driver first and foremost and have a lot of respect for the guys who do MMA for a living. I take this opportunity very seriously, but whether it’s a roll cage or a fight cage, I don’t back down from anyone.”
Earnhardt made no mention on when he would compete inside the cage again, but will be returning to the Nascar Nationwide Series in July.