Updated: Mar 14, 2022
Yoo Radojunkie reporting in,
So first things first, I was able to secure the W on Roar Fighting Championship 23 on February 26th.
Before I get to thanking everyone as that’s what we usually do. After we win a fight we want to pay our dues to everyone that helped us achieve the win but scrap that this time around. I really want to let you all know a little bit about how I felt deep inside as I did had a three-year hiatus from the game. The pandemic contributed to this. Also, how it felt to secure the victory and what feelings come with it.
Let’s start this story by taking you back to the end of 2019. I know the pandemic happened in 2020 so I’ll keep this part real short but promise this all ties in with one another.
On 10th October 2019, my granny passed away and for those who know me, my brothers and my mum knew how close we all were. She was literally the pillar of the Simon family. My brothers and I were 100% “Granny’s Boys” meaning if we had plans and she requested our physical presence, you were getting dropped without a second thought and you could never change the outcome.
I guess it’s safe to say that the world we live in is so fast-paced that we never really processed it and continued on as any normal person would. The same goes for my mum. Even after her mother's passing or “miserable old pensioner” as she would refer to as.
Life goes on...
We fast forward to 2020 when coronavirus is at large...
The pandemic has contributed hugely to how I have felt over the past three years. Combat sports had become such a huge part of my day-to-day life and to have it suddenly taken away for such a long period of time really took its toll on me. Martial arts or Muay Thai in this instance is my Zen.
A time of day where nothing else matters other than training. Nothing could cause my mind to waiver once I left the office and made my way to Fightzone. At the time, I was working closely with the healthcare sector I could kind of predict a lockdown happening but not to the extent that it would have me unable to train for over a year due to restrictions.
Some people would say you could still exercise which is true, but "training" is a completely different story. Puts you into a mindset that I guess people who do sports competitively would understand. The thought of knowing I was unable to push my body and mind to the limit through training due to the world coming to a halt was taxing my very soul of its energy. I speak for myself but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who felt this way.
Now, working from home and unable to train I was losing my whits but not only was I starting to go marbles, but more family also passed away.
My big cousin Ben on March 25th
and my granddad on April 29th.
This compounded with the loss of my granny prior slowly rooted itself into my head and had a ripple effect on everything I was doing. The worst thing is that I hadn’t realised how much it had affected my mental health until a work colleague said to me “Andre, are you okay? You’ve been through a lot recently and you haven’t stopped.”. At that moment it hit home and I had reached a low that I’d never experienced before. As hard as those times were, being alone in my own headspace for a couple of months did me really good. I was able to internally process the events, let out my tears and make the life changes I needed in order to move forward in the direction fit for me. If I had never gone through it then, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
To add to the icing on the cake after overcoming what 2020 had to throw at me, I lost my second mum Michele Sadan on 24th July 2021. This was really hard for me as I received this news 20 days after my 30th birthday. She had baked her famous chocolate cake for me and our late sister Nathalie's birthday on 3rd July. We destroyed that cake and I took extra servings home to eat with custard. Having known me my entire life I was always referred to as the "best looking son" despite having two of her own.
Let’s fast forward once again to 26th February 2022 RFC 23.
Without being able to train properly since 2019, someone had to hold this beat down after the 6 weeks of torture. Everyone that saw me on the day mentioned that I looked really relaxed, more so than they had seen me before. In actual fact, I was filled with so much emotion that I think I had zoned out the moment I stepped into the venue. I did my greetings and medical, then it was time for me to get ready for my showdown. Before I knew it, I was in the ring throwing relentless knees for 3 rounds and secured the victory by unanimous decision. It was nice to get the win but nothing felt better than being back in the ring doing what I love.
It was nothing but a pleasure to fight against the strong, young and hungry Daniel “The Polish Juggernaut” Ryzowicz from the MCMA gym. He is currently 17 years old and I expect to see him do great things over the coming years. So if you see his name pop up as an opponent, you better be ready. If you haven't seen our fight, make sure you watch it below.
That being said, the performance I displayed couldn’t have been done without the help of my coaches, my teammates and the TT gang. So I’d like to say a huge thank you to all of you for keeping me in check. A massive thank you to those who came to support me on the night and to everyone who has continued to be there for me in time of need. Huge shout out to Sassy Nails LDN in Canary Wharf for keeping my hands and feet in check so I didn't take any eyes out during camp and my fight.
The next fight date has already been set for April 30th on RFC 24. So you know that means I am already back to work on the next task.
Before that, we have something better to look forward to. The legend himself Jose “Pitbull” Varela returns to the ring to fight on April 3rd on the MTGP weekender.
It's not easy to write these but thank you for taking the time to read my 2nd ever blog.
Hopefully, I will get to see some of you at some of the upcoming shows.