There have been many inspirational examples of fighters showing a tremendous amount of heart, exemplifying the oft-referenced “warrior spirit” exuded by such MMA greats as Yuki Nakai, Kazushi Sakuraba, and Javi Vasquez (see Crane vs. Vasquez if curious at the inclusion of the latter).
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Minnesota Mixed Martial Arts fighter Chris Tuchscherer to the list.
You may or may not have read about the events and outcome of his UFC debut against Gabriel Gonzaga, a gorilla-chested BJJ black belt with striking skills sufficient enough to crumble one of the top knockout artists in MMA in Mirko CroCop, and the man one could label the fang-bearing packleader of the proverbial wolves that many speculated Tuchscherer was being thrown to for his first big fight in the octagon.
In the opening moments of the bout, Gonzaga, with the intention of an inside leg kick, swiveled a powerful left kick dead-center into the groin of Tuchscherer, accented by a loud, cracking noise of foot-to-cup that may have shattered any china dinnerware sets within audible distance. Tuchscherer obviously experienced the delay in pain commonly associated with absorbing a blow of large force to the testicles, known well by all males as the gut wrenching “calm before the storm”, as he continued fighting for a moment until the first waves of agony hit him, then he motioned to the ref before being reduced to writhing in pain on the octagon floor and vomiting into a bucket.
Goldberg and Rogan had written Tuchscherer off due to the severity of the injury, and were literally astounded when Tuchscherer replaced his mouthpiece with the intent to continue fighting after gritting his teeth through the allotted five-minute respite time. For reference, I’ve taken several days off of work for even the slightest graze to this sensitive area, and Tuchscherer was ready to launch himself back into a full-contact, professional mixed martial arts fight with a top 10 HW after only five minutes.
As if this wasn’t enough to earn your admiration, Gonzaga treated Tuchscherer to a brutal left high-kick to the face, once again dropping him to the canvas after only a few seconds of action. This was the same kick (opposite leg) that nearly put CroCop into a coma, and I was surprised that Tuchscherer was not only still conscious, but fighting with all of his might to snare a leg and stand back up. Gonzaga took advantage of the stunned fighter by peppering him with elbows before attaining the mount, where he landed a full force forearm to the face, which caused Tuchscherer to roll to his back. Gonzaga began to sink in the choke to cries from Rogan and Goldberg that the fight would soon once again be over, but the dynamic duo ate their words for the second time as Tuchscherer fought off the choke while taking several left hands in the process.