Antdawg is the New Jr Flyweight King of the Cage
Discipline, Honor, Strength Respect ingredients in Champions
By Arnold Flores & Roger Barlow
Coach Anthony ‘Antdawg’ Figueroa is a disciplined passionate loving community leader, teacher, mentor, friend, father, husband and family man. Passion and focus are intertwined in Antdawg’s MMA four pillars: Discipline, Honor, Strength, and Respect. The four pillars are the philosophy of Antdawg’s mixed martial arts gym and the backbone of a community. More importantly, these values are the foundation for building healthy disciplined future leaders.
During the last several months, Coach Anthony could be seen around the gym training kids of all ages as well as transforming the lives of many adults who want to be lean, mean, in shape machines. After training the adults and kids, Antdawg continued with his personal training in preparation for the fight. Antdawg’s training was intense and he was frequently seen with beads of sweat dripping like an open faucet from his brow. His gym clothes stuck to his well-engineered body; defined shoulders, chiseled abs and chest, bulging calves, defined arms and legs. More important than training the top engineered body that has been in the making since he was a young kid is Anthony’s laser like focus. Ant’s eyes were intensely concentrated on the target, his opponent, because Antdawg wanted to be crowned new champion in the Jr. Flyweight King of the Cage fight. Thanks to this intense physical and mental traning, that is exactly what happened at the Gold Country Casino on November 30th as Antdawg outmaneuvered, countered, blocked, slugged, elbowed, kicked, and wrestled his opponent Josh Paiva to take the throne and title of Jr. Flyweight King of the Cage.
However, bringing the 5 intense life changing, bone crushing, and hard hitting rounds of fighting to be crowned the new champion to a conclusion was not an easy feat. The short 10-15 minute fight is life changing for any well-conditioned and disciplined athlete. There is always more than meets the eye. Many people who have never set upon a goal such as this, or honed their physical and mental skills for such a highly physically and mentally demanding activity, might get the impression that these guys are Neanderthals who want to pulverize and destroy each other. The extraordinary feat to become a champion involves discipline, honor, strength and respect. Antdawg lives and breathes this philosophy. In order to outlast the entire five rounds, conditioning exercises must be incorporated in every workout. Every 5 minute sweat drenching round causes oxygen debt as a result of dealing and receiving powerful blows, defending, countering, and attempting submissions. As the body strives to achieve the maximum output, the lungs expand to full capacity. The fighter’s body must be in astonishing shape to combat oxygen debt and fatigue as well as to capture a full lung of O2.
Anthony explains, “Training is geared towards knowledge, technique, conditioning, and defensive skills. I practice what I preach and instill the four pillars philosophy to our kids and parents.”
Honor, strength, and respect follow discipline, but must have a motivation. The motivation must be set in motion to accomplish goals. Honor means integrity. Integrity is the essence of everything successful. Antdawg did not cheat or take a short cut to become champion. He endured many long days of disciplined training. He nourished his body properly. He’s spent countless hours building his mental, emotional and physical strength. Strength is not just muscle within bodies in motion. Strength is the ability to take a crunching blow, kick, or body slam, and have the will power to stand ground. Will power is a type of new muscle that must be tapped by the mind, body and soul. Strength ebbs and flows in our mind, body and soul. Antdawg possessed a strength, passion and will power that delivered the championship. Oh, and “Keep your hands up at all times!” says Anthony Figueroa.
Antdawg fought an incredible fight and brought home more than the championship. For our (his) kids, families, and community…he brought home HOPE for our future leaders, and showed them the road to championship.