While the fight game is filled with many forms of pressure, few fighters have the kind of motivation to go out there and do what they do like American Top Team’s Jeremy May.
“Honestly, as far as the next level and the exposure thing, that’s not what’s on my mind most of the time walking into a fight,” May told MMAWeekly.com. “I fight to be able to take care of an orphanage in Columbia, South America.
“All the pressure that rests on me is that the 78 kids there stay fed. That’s an awesome driving machine behind you, walking into a fight knowing you have to do this to make sure the kids can eat.”
As May explains, having such a responsibility has helped him transition to adulthood.
“My kids are a main drive, and it’s helped me mature,” he said. “I started out young in this sport and I’m trying to grow into it and grow up a little bit.”
May’s maturity and training at ATT in Vero Beach, Fla., has helped him become a more successful fighter, having won four of his last five fights.
“The adrenaline I used to feel as a new fighter has been replaced by calm,” he commented. “I’m relaxed and focused on what I know, my strengths and taking my opponent out as quickly as possible and not get caught up in things.
“I had a few fights where I could have won it, but I let the adrenaline take over and got a little wild, so I’m relaxing more and using my skills more to grasp the situation.”
When May returns to fighting at Shark Fights 15 on Friday in Albuquerque, N.M., against former UFC fighter Dave Branch, he intends to showcase an aspect of his game he feels gets overlooked.
“Dave is a really good grappler and is really good at taking guys down and stuffing them, so I’d really like to showcase my wrestling,” stated May. “I’ve worked a lot on it, and I believe instead of me being the one taken down, I plan on taking him down and ground and pounding him.”
May points out that getting matches against fighters such as Branch represents the fulfillment of his main goal.
“I just want to fight top guys and compete at the top of the food chain,” he said. “I want to fight in the promotion that best supports me at the moment, and whatever fights I can get against guys who are ranked fighters that’s what I want.
“Whoever I fight, I want the next guy to be better than the guy I last fought.”
While everyone has their own motivations to fight, May hopes that people feel the need to come watch him fight on Friday night at Shark Fights 15 for whatever reason best motivates them.
“I want to say thank you to my sponsors: New Breed and Cauliflower Fight Gear,” he concluded. “To all the fans that are going to be there to watch me either get beat up or beat somebody up – whatever the reason is for watching me fight – thanks for coming.”