Reece McEwan was the second fighter I contacted about joining Fanboy MMA. Back when I first started I used to create branding and mock ups to send the fighters to illustrate my ideas. Before I sent my designs, I meticulously scoured the fighter's social media presence, dove into their interviews, tuned in to their podcasts, and revisited their past fights. My goal was to get to know the fighter on a deeper level and to identify elements that could be seamlessly woven into the designs.
While immersing myself in Reece McEwan's interviews, one particular line he uttered during a post-fight interview resonated deeply with me. It succinctly encapsulated his approach to not just the world of fighting but life as a whole. This line revolved around his experiences of enduring losses and the adversity he had conquered in the past, and that he would no doubt face in the future. Reece made a resolute promise that, regardless of the challenges before him, he would always face adversity head-on. Those words became the driving force behind Reece's branding and merchandise.
Fast forward to a memorable Saturday night at Cage Warriors 164 in Newcastle, and Reece McEwan's unwavering belief in that motto was on full display. It was a night that offered a rare glimpse into the other side of MMA, a side that often goes unnoticed amidst the bright lights and glamour. Watching fights on television, it's easy to get lost in the spectacle. The walkouts, the adulation from the crowd, and the rewards of victory can overshadow the raw reality of the sport. But on that Saturday, I witnessed something different—a glimpse into the depths of adversity that fighters face, something I will never truly comprehend.
Yes, I can see the determination in their eyes as they dig deep, putting in every ounce of effort to overcome their opponents. I can wince when a powerful blow lands or turn away when blood streams from a cut into a fighter's eyes. I can shout encouragement or offer support from the comfort of my seat. But the truth is, I will never understand what it's like to be in their shoes.
While I will never fully grasp what Reece went through that Saturday night, I can take inspiration from it. Adversity is a universal human experience. We all have that inner voice that urges us to quit when life's challenges seem insurmountable. This is why we are drawn to sports, to MMA, where we witness individuals performing feats we can scarcely imagine ourselves attempting. We find inspiration in their courage, their tenacity, and their resilience.
If your facing adversity go back and watch Reece' fight. But when you do, don't limit your observation to just the battle within the cage. As impressive as the heart and determination on show is try and look beyond the physicality. It's all too easy to walk away or turn the TV off once the final bell rings. But in doing so, you miss out on some of the most remarkable moments.
Watching the fight I felt I witnessed Reece face adversity and overcome a lot in those five rounds. But the moments directly after the final bell also inspired me. I watched how Reece handled himself having just endured a grueling fight where his dream was temporarily put on hold. I witnessed someone who was badly cut and physically exhausted already starting to use the experience to his advantage.
Go back and watch him pacing the canvas, replaying the fight in his mind. See how he gracefully accepted defeat, extending congratulations and gives credit to his opponent. Observe him as he climbs the fence to thank the fans who traveled to support him. Watch him take it all in. You can almost see him using their energy and the experience to refuel, not just in the moment but as if he's storing it away for the future.
In that moment Reece reminded me that it's not enough to face adversity head-on we also have to learn from it. Saturday didn't go Reece way but it serves as a shining example of the resilience that can inspire us all. MMA isn't just a sport; it's a reminder that no matter how daunting the challenge, we have the power to stand tall and confront adversity with unwavering determination but also to learn from it and appreciate it can make us stronger.
Reece McEwan showed us that night that facing adversity head-on isn't just a motto—it's a way of life.