"If you watch two guys fight in the ring. Just know they are giving it all, and have sacrificed so much for the show. Local fighters need their city behind them." Adam McGurk


A fight is a show.  Where P.T. Barnum would sell the freaks and rarities and build a hype through clever marketing, fighters promise nothing but a chance to witness humans who have sacrificed months of hard work for 25 short minutes.

We watch like it is a film, and in many ways the storylines and arcs are there.  The difference though, is that nothing is scripted and those punches aren't pulled.  Tom Cruise may do his own stunts, but he would never step into a cage.  It is simply a different type of bravery, one in which witnessing two fighters traipse upon the brink is already too exciting for the audience - and that is just a taste.  A handshake with fight or flight.

Tonight Adam "Flex" McGurk is representing El Paso and Red Spider Academy as he fights for the 145 pound title against Mike Hamil in Tuscon, Arizona.  McGurk is respected around town.  Many of the MMA fighters I speak with say that he is one of the better fighters in the southwest.  I got a chance to watch him spar and his clean hands are a sight to see.  Before he took off for his fight I had a chance to talk with this focused, friendly, intense El Paso fighter.

What title are you fighting for?

I am fighting for the World Fighting Federation featherweight title, 145 pound division.

How long have you been waiting for it?

My whole life, we have been working hard waiting for this opportunity.  It is time.

What do you know about your opponent, Mike Hamil?

I saw him fight Bryan Castillo in august. I know he is a wrestler. Throws couple punches but he  is a wrestler. Trying to get on top.  For this fight we have a game plan. We want to take it to the later rounds, keep it standing and prepare to sweep and go for submission if taken down. I want to light him up.

Can you tell us a bit about the road you took to get here?

I started  age 20, 21 with Mando Rosales (current 12th District head coach).  I was a troublemaker and I remember seeing Chuck Liddell beat Randy Couture and winning the title.  I remember seeing him screaming. I wanted to be Chuck Liddell. A friend at planet fitness told me about a gym and I began training. Immediately the troublemaker aspect of myself went away. I became obsessed. I had my first amateur fight and took a break for school after that. Got back into it with Michael Chupa, started the Hayashi's fight team. Went pro in 2012. I trained with Bushido a little bit and then eventually hooked up with Red Spider and have been here since. That is when I found my team, my family. I felt more comfortable. I met Johnny, Randy, B, Phillip Darrell. They have kept me in a good mental state.

So you have been all around El Paso. What do you think of El Paso Gyms?

We have a lot of great fighters here. All we need is the opportunity.

Do you fear a loss?

No, I only fear going in and not performing at my best. I want to show what I have.

What does your team do for you?

I am the positive, happy-go-lucky, motivated guy I am because of them. I lookup to my training partners, they motivate me and I hope I can motivate them.

Have you ever met your opponent?

No. First time I see him will be at the weigh-in.

Do you get into the skullduggery, the stare-downs?

As an amateur I did, now I don't need to make myself mad to want to hurt the other guy. It is all business.

Have you ever felt anything in the stare-down, knowing a win or a loss?

Sometimes you do feel it, you see it in their eyes.

With Red Spider, you lose pretty much every day.  The training is brutal.

We all have our days, we know what it is like to lose through training. We break each other every day. If we train hard the fight is easy.

What separates the fight from training?

It is a showcase of all your training. To show what you have for all those people.

Any outside influences affect you?

Not anymore. This is my life. I train the kids in the morning. I come to the gym and I go home. I don't worry about parties or girls. I try to remain as focused as possible. I try to apply what I learn in training in my day-to-day life.

How has your mentality changed since you began fighting?

When I first started, I was not too confident. As time went on, through experience I have become fully confident in myself, my coaches and my team. I try to be confident in everything I do. I feel I am one of the best fighters in El Paso. Southwest? I just need to prove it, and I am ready to showcase it.

What goes on in your mind the week up to the fight?

I stay confident. I get more antsy and angrier closer to the fight. I try not to think. I wake up when we face each other at the weigh in. I get into the fight mode and get serious.

Do you think about the fight in the ring?

Sometimes I remember the whole fight, sometimes I remember nothing. I try not to think. I use muscle memory and listen to my corner. Thinking can get in the way. When I first began I would analyze everything, the crowd, the ref, thinking about what he was gonna do rather than what I was gonna do.

Do you watch tape?

No, I trust my coaches and training partners and the game plan they give me?

Have you ever lost the game plan? Did it cost you?

I have, and sometimes it does.

Some fighters can improvise, some need a mission in the ring. Do you improvise?

I do, I try to go with the game plan, but the game plan can go out the window. You can get taken down or hit. At that point you have to improvise to get out of the situation. After that, you return to the game plan.

Do you have weaknesses?

I feel well rounded. I have good boxing and jiu-jitsu. It is between that, the wrestling, that I need to work on. But I feel comfortable standing or on the ground.  I can win in any position.

What is your prediction for your fight?

I am predicting second or third round submission or TKO. I have seen a submission when I visualize it.  It just matters how long it takes for me to warm up.

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