Who is to say when you are to old to begin your mixed martial arts career? Nobody, but you, and Matt Bernd is living proof of that.
Bernd, 45, has a thriving chiropractic practice in Santa Rosa, yet will step inside the cage this weekend for his first mixed martial arts bout.
Bernd trains at NorCal Fighting Alliance under David Terrell and will compete at the Sho-Ka-Wah Casino in Hopland.
As a chiropractor Bernd has worked on professional athletes, movie stunt men as well as celebrities such as Cate Blanchett, Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton.
“I had worked on a lot of UFC fighters and they kept telling me to come to David’s gym and check it out,” Bernd said. “OK. I went. I tried it out. It was a 90-minute workout. I was choked, beaten, battered. At the end of it I went outside and threw up.”
“It drew me to the flame,” Bernd said. “For some unknown reason.”
“It stimulated me physically, emotionally, cerebrally, spiritually,” he said. “People have this misconception about MMA, that it’s brutal, no-holds-barred animalistic, primitive. I see it more as an art form. I see it as a chess match.”