Colin Wright talks with MyMMANews
Heading into his bout with Jesse Butler to defend his American Kombat Alliance featherweight title, Colin Wright had a lot on the line. He was coming off a loss that was heart breaking. If he defeated Cameron Graves and defended his second belt for Fury FC before the Butler fight, it was very likely he would’ve been looking at signing with a major management company or the Contender Series. But the fight didn’t go his way and he couldn’t afford to lose two in a row, especially now that he is in his early thirties.
But the biggest obstacle he had to overcome was himself. After the Graves fight, Wright went into almost a depression, he found himself lacking motivation and wondering if his window to accomplish his dreams was closing. He had gotten so close, but has always had the rug pulled out from him before he can make that last leap like many of his friends already have. Quite frankly, it was a tough time period for him. But, the win over Jesse Butler to retain his American Kombat Alliance belt put him in a much better place.
“Being fully honest, I was super depressed after that fight. I think part of the reason I struggled preparing for the Jesse Butler fight was exactly that. I was having trouble focusing, I was a little bit depressed. Maybe my focus wasn’t a 110 percent there. To be honest, the Jesse win is really what rebounded me and re-lit the fire under my but again. I feel that spark again, it’s not a hopeless cause, I still have the ability to do this. It took a lot to refocus. I think one of the hardest things about this sport is that you’re battling yourself a lot of the time and it can be a really lonely sport. Sometimes you expect to be there always aren’t always there, sometimes the people you want to be there aren’t going to be there for you. I had to get to a point where I had to believe in myself again to be honest.”
The loss had Wright momentarily thinking about his place in the sport.
“I wouldn’t say I that I was questioning whether I wanted to continue with MMA so much as was the juice worth the squeeze. I’ve been doing this for twelve years. It’s no secret that I’m a little ripe in the tooth as far MMA is concerned.”
But things haven’t been perfect for Wright during his career. He’s felt he hasn’t gotten his luck break yet.
“Missing some of these big opportunities has really thrown into question how much I have left and how much I have to offer. I’m just not getting the opportunities I feel I like maybe deserve at this point in my career. I have been kind of questioning if I have the ability to take at the highest level. Every fight that I’ve been taking the last few fights has been a step in proving that. I think that’s why this fight is so important to me right now.”
Because he is in his thirties and he hasn’t made it to the big leagues yet, Wright feels he needs that to validate the dedication he is putting into the sport and the opportunities he has passed up outside of the sport.
“I need to see some return on my investment.”
To do that, on March 13 at Fury FC 43, Wright will have to defeat Kai Kamaka III, a Hawaiian fighter with a record of 6-2 and is on a four fight win streak. Kamaka presents similar challenges to Wright as his biggest challengers have been, ground fighters, Kamaka was a college wrestler at the NAIA level. Additionally, Kamaka presents another credible opponent to get a win over, which is what high level managers have told him he needs to earn bigger opportunities.
“Kai has won mostly by decision and mostly by wrestling people. Anytime you put me in there with a wrestler I like my chances, even if I haven’t performed traditionally well in those fights. Usually those losses have been by minor, minor mistakes and I think that with the right amount of preparation it’s a great matchup for me. I think Kai is very well respected. I think Kai is fairly well respected, he is ranked sixth in Hawaii at featherweight, last two wins were at Bellator. I think this is exactly what the managers were talking about, this is a good quality opponent. I don’t think a lot of people expect me to win so it makes the possibility of beating him even sweeter for me.”
In order to ensure he is prepared properly, Wright is training with Kru Bob Perez, the Muay Thai and head coach for Mainstreet boxing and Muay Thai. Colin Wright says, working with Perez who also work with UFC fighters Derrick Lewis and Lauren Murphy, has been key in this camp.
“He’s really helped round out my striking game and helps physically and mentally prepare me to fight hard the whole fight.”
And with a win, Wright hopes he is closer to the likes of his friends and training partners such as Valentina Shevchenko, Juan Adams, Alex Morono and Domingo Pilarte and he doesn’t think that will take a long time.
“It’s definitely inspiring to see people that you’ve kinda came up with and train with make it to the biggest stage. I don’t think I’m that far off from any of those guys.”