Fight Club: Senior chasing title in Ultimate Fighting Championship

By: Miranda Cole

After senior Frankie McGlaughlin saw his first Ultimate Fighting Championship, “I was instantly hooked,” and three years later, he’s undefeated in kickboxing, and he has three gold medals and two bronze medals from jiu jitsu tournaments to prove it.

His goal is to eventually become a professional mixed martial arts fighter. He trains at least five times a week at the ROC gym in Waterloo. His mentors are his jiu jitsu coach Greg Haslor and his kickboxing coach Russ O’Connell.

It wasn’t an easy path to success. In his first boxing fight, he lost by decision, but it was only four months into his training. “It was the weirdest feeling ever,” McGlaughlin said. “I couldn’t hear anything, and it felt like a dream.”

Before his second fight, his original opponent backed out, so McGlaughlin had to change his strategy at the last minute because his original opponent was left handed, and he had to use different strategies when fighting left-handed opponents, but he emerged victorious.

“For about a week I was nervous for my fight because there were a lot of my friends and family coming to see me and counting on me to win,” he said. “The day of the fight was weird. I just had this constant feeling of nervousness. I was about to step in a ring with someone who was trying to knock my head off. When I started my ring walk, I had this huge adrenaline rush, and it felt amazing when the fight started. I landed the first punch, which cut my opponent’s lip. I ended up knocking him down twice in the second round and finishing him by knockout.”

The pressure to win becomes very stressful for McGlaughlin, but he has a great support team that includes his mother.

He also looks up to his heroes, Jon Jones and Conor McGregor and said he hopes to some day be like them. “I like the way they fight. Their styles are just so fascinating, and the success that they have attained is where I want to get some day. I also emulate their styles into my own game.”

He has also met several UFC fighters such as Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz, Royce Gracie and Tyron Woodley. Gracie was the first ever UFC champ, and Woodley is the No. 2-ranked welterweight UFC fighter.

McGlaughlin said he is very excited for his next kickboxing fight, which will take place in Mason City at the North Iowa Event Center. His fight is on Nov. 21. Contact him for tickets on Facebook chat, or find him during the school day. Tickets are $25, but for seats closer to the ring, they are $35 and the best seats are $40.frankie

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