Danny Downes Discusses His Transition From MMA Fighter to MMA Writer
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 09.09.2013
Following his UFC cut in 2011...
Danny Downes recently spoke with MMAjunkie about being cut by the UFC in 2011, becoming an MMA writer afterward and more. Check out the highlights:
On finding out he was cut via a text from his manager: "Turns out that he didn't mean to send it to me, but it happened nonetheless. It's not a perfect comparison, but you know how you have someone close to you that's been sick, or even in a vegetative state for awhile, and you know you'll lose them? You think you've made peace with it, but once you actually lose them, it still stings."
On considering trying to make a comeback at the time: "Maybe I was worried that even if I made it back I'd be a gatekeeper at best. I considered the health implications. I was engaged and I thought about the financial future of my future wife and family. I saw a lot of guys that stuck around the regional circuit too long and were as sad as Mickey Rourke in 'The Wrestler.'"
On having a different perspective than mose MMA writers: "Fighters are pretty open, for better or worse. They don't have a lot of handlers, but a lot of people still don't understand the lifestyle or why they do the things they do. It might not be a bad thing that I understand where they're coming from or why they do those things."
On fighters giving cliched interview answers: "I know media people hate it when fighters say, 'I had the best training camp of my life,' but the reason you hear fighters say that all the time is because you feel so good. If you're doing it right, you're always getting better. You think, 'I was this good before, and now I'm faster, stronger, better. Who's going to beat me?' You feel invincible."
On the losses that got him cut: "I don't know what happened. The key was in the ignition but it didn't turn."
On his experience a fighter: "It is an abusive relationship. You're in something and you know it's bad for you. You can deny it like you can deny anything to yourself, but I know. I've seen guys who stayed in it too long. I've read the science on it."
On being involved in MMA still despite his retirement: "It's hard, as an ex-fighter. I can't do it recreationally. Part of it is just my personality in general. When I started MMA I was just doing it for fun, but everything I do it's like I just have to take it to its extreme. It's hard to get back there because, one, I know if I start doing it I'm going to want to do it again, and two, I can't do it just for fun because I take it so seriously."
On why he retired: "I was just going through the motions. I was there because I thought I wanted to be there, not because I wanted to be. Before, you couldn't keep me out of the gym. By that time, I despised being there. The sooner I could leave, the better. Couple my respect for the sport and myself, in addition to a little too much pride, and there was no way I would just go through the motions."