Alonzo Mourning — Miami Heat
Shabazz having a little fun at the rookie photo shoot
Why do you fight?
I fight to fill a certain void in my life. I don’t fight because I enjoy violence or use it as an outlet for aggression. Instead, it instills a certain work ethic and mindset that I haven’t found in any other sport. Because I compete, I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of wonderful people to surround myself with. Fighting mirrors real life: it teaches me how to deal with adversity and dig deep for confidence and strength.
What would you do if you weren’t a fighter?
When I’m no longer fighting MMA, I will still be competing in gi Jiu Jitsu. I will be a lifelong fan of the sport and hopefully help coach teammates preparing for their fights. If I had never started fighting, I would probably be still competing in bodybuilding or spending more time outdoors.
What’s the weirdest thing that happened to you during or before a fight?
I was in Sacramento for a title fight and a few minutes before it was my turn to walk out I didn’t have a shirt to compete in or an approved set of gloves. Luckily, a coach I met at the XFC tryouts on the East Coast lived in the area and bought me the shirt I needed. I wore the gloves from someone who fought a couple fights before me.
What’s a misconception fans have about MMA?
The biggest misconception about MMA is that it is a “thug” sport and all about violence. Many casual fans overlook the intricacies of fighting and the art of each discipline.
What’s something you want changed in MMA?
Same day weigh ins rather than weigh ins the day before. That way, people would compete at their true weight class. Fighters who are not good at cutting water weight can be at a disadvantage with the current set of rules.
Any advice for a new fighter?
Find good training partners (your size/weight) and take care of your body. It takes about 10 years to become an expert at something. Don’t hurt yourself badly before you even have a chance to reach your full potential.
What’s next for you?
In the immediate future, I’m looking for my pro debut at 125 lbs! After that, my goal is to fight for Invicta or if the UFC opens up the 125 division and offers open tryouts I want to attend.
Anything else you want to say?
Thank you for reaching out to me for an interview! I want to also thank my coaches and teammates at Performance Martial Arts (Springfield, OR) and Rose City FC (Portland, OR) for helping me get to where I am today. Also a huge thanks to all of my sponsors, friends, and family who support me in my MMA career.
Steve Ballmer was introduced as the Clippers’ new owner this week. He chest-bumped and high-fived fans and "stole the show with a boldness that included everything from a guaranteed victory to a gratuitous shot at the Lakers."
Photo: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times
Magic Johnson and James Worthy — Los Angeles Lakers
Mitch Richmond — Golden State Warriors