When Chad George fought his last fight in 2015, he felt like that was the end of his career.
With a new academy opening and plans to get married, George was ready to walk away from the sport and focus on new goals in his life away from the career he built for himself in mixed martial arts.
See George knows what it takes to be a professional fighter at the highest levels — he’s been doing it for more than a decade — but he didn’t want to keep the focus on himself anymore and instead decided to think about other people in his life.
“It’s not that I ever wanted to stop fighting,” George explained when speaking to MMAWeekly. “I just had a lot of things going on in life that needed to be taken care of. I was in a relationship and I was in the process of getting married and I had just opened the school and I didn’t want to be selfish with all these other things going on.
“Fighting is a very selfish sport and if you have other people that you’re trying to give your time to, it’s really hard and it’s time consuming and I didn’t want to do that.”
Unfortunately, George’s relationship came to an end but his academy really began to flourish with constant growth in student numbers as well as the accomplishments from the people he was training.
As one year bled into two away from fighting, George figured out that he really did miss the sport but he also realized that he had matured so much since his early days in MMA when he was all about winning just to prove something to everybody who doubted him.
“I’ve been guilty of just beating myself down my entire career and just my entire life. I’ve thrived off of bulls–t fake confidence and it got me far but at some point you have to check that and realize it’s not real,” George said. “It’s that fake it till you make it mentality.
“But when you dig down and really feel where your real power comes from, the whole world opens up to you. That’s where I’m at now.”
That’s where George’s decision came to go back to fighting as he’ll do on Saturday night at Bellator 192. Now he’s fighting for different reasons and that’s what really drove George to make his return.
“These last couple of years have been huge for me just in self-development and knowing who I am as a person and what I want out of life,” George explained. “Everyday is goal driven and I’m happy everyday to get in the gym and work on things that are going to make me better. Fighting to me now is a completely different thing.
“Before, I wanted to go out and prove something to the sport and be better than everybody else. Now all I want to do is be better than myself than the day before.”
George can’t use the word ‘excited’ enough when describing his emotions about fighting again and now he’s doing it for the pure love of the sport rather than anything else that may have pushed him before.
“This is the first time in years that I can truly say that I’m going into this fight just believing in myself and ready to test myself out there again,” George said. “It’s just amazing.”