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By: John Albert, TUF 14 Competitor
Throughout this final season of The Ultimate Fighter on Spike TV, 24-year-old bantamweight competitor John Albert will be providing MMATorch readers with his take on each episode after it airs. John defeated Orville Smith via submission in the first round of his elimination round fight, and you can watch him each week of the show on Spike TV. John's blog on this week's first episode will be slightly delayed, as he's on a hunting vacation, but he'll chime in with his thoughts later this week.
* Born - Reno Nevada, St Marys Hospital October 13, 1986
* Graduated - Gov. John R. Rogers High School, Puyallup, Washington June 2005
* Fighting out of - Puyallup, Washington (home town)
* Height - 5'9"
* Weight - fighting at 135 lbs bantamweight (walk around at about 160)
* Training - Train at Victory Athletics in Yelm Washington.
* Coach - MMA coach Dennis Hallman (Victory Athletics, amateur and pro) , Wrestling coach Brad Schwartz (Vision Quest, Auburn Washington, pro) Boxing coaches Carlos Hernandez & Todd Para (Seattle Washington, pro), Amateur Kickboxing Marty Robertson (amateur before I turned pro)
* Experience - Four years total; two years as an amateur, two as a pro. I've been working as an electrician full time my whole fighting career. For about half a year of each year in my career I worked nights and couldn't train and didn't fight. The Ultimate Fighter was my first opportunity to train full time as a pro. Coming into TUF I worked until two weeks prior to the fights to get into the house.
* Amateur record - 12-1 with 4 titles (who really cares it's just amateur)
* Pro record - 6-1. My only loss is listed as a submission by guillotine choke, but that's not entirely accurate. I dislocated my rib when Roy Bradshaw fell on me in that fight while I had him in a triangle, I swept him down and he literally fell on me - not a slam he just fell on me - I was unable to move and he just lept to full mount while I was just laying flat on my back unable to move. He put me in a guillotine, but my rib is what stopped the fight. I did not tap to a guillotine I was hand fighting the whole time, but the pressure on my rib is what made me tap. The commission deemed it submission by guillotine, I was at the hospital and could not dispute it.
* How I got into sport fighting: I've have always been in love with the sport, very into martial arts. Jackie Chan and Jet Li were my idols and I've always wanted to be a "karate master," haha, but the only experience I had as an adolescent was Tae Kwon Do. I received a third level belt which is orange I believe hahaha but that ended because we couldn't afford the classes.
I've always been intrigued with MMA. When the Gracies started the sport, looking for "which martial art is the best" with the first UFCs, those were the only ones I had seen until High School where I watched every PPV at a friend's house. I had tv off and on in junior high and didn't really have it in high school, so the first time I saw TUF was the finale of season one at my friend's house.
I've always thought those people fighting were total savages, and I really looked up to every single fighter, anyone that was willing to step in the cage and face off against another skilled opponent just amazed me. So I never missed a UFC event after graduating in 2005. They were the highlights of my weekend. Until one day a friend of mine asked me if I would help his wrestling because he fought. He knew I wrestled in junior high and my brother was a three time state participant, placing eighth in his junior year and second his senior year. I told him "Absolutely." I couldn't believe someone I knew actually did this.
So I exchanged my wrestling for some kickboxing with him. After two weeks he invited me to Dennis Hallman's. After a week of learning the basics and getting my ass handed to me on the ground, we had our first sparring session, and I'll never forget the first time I just got f***ing rocked, and at that moment I knew this sport was for me.
It wasn't just some fun activity to keep me in shape since I graduated high school. I knew that moment that I wanted to fight, and that this is what I want to do. I grew up pretty poor; my mom had us living off my dad's child support our whole lives. There were good and bad times, my mom did what she could but it was always a struggle. I moved out before I graduated and growing up the way I did I knew how to appreciate things and how hard work is what it takes to survive.
I started construction and just busted my ass, never getting laid off even with this recession. I made a good name for myself and started making a lot of money, and for me that was what I definitely wanted; I achieved middle class and I was very content and happy.
I got a cool truck, TVs and what not, but I never felt satisfied; these items didn't really fill my life. Then I started fighting and it was filling that void I was feeling. I spent my whole fighting career working, which every fighter who works knows how much of a struggle that is to actually compete at a top level and progress as a fighter. To add to that, I got stuck into needing a constant income to survive, and I couldn't just up and quit and commit my life to fighting. That's when the ultimate fighter came and gave me that opportunity, that chance to hopefully train full time and be a true pro fighter, not a "part timer" as I call myself. My goal now is to one day hold several UFC championships and open my own gym.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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Frank Hyden - Rich Hansen
Chris Park - Matt Pelkey
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