Competition is more mental than physical.
You’re probably already rolling your eyes at this popular cliché, but it may actually have some merit in the case of Maryland fighter Micah Terrill.
This isn’t to say that Terrill’s recent run of success in mixed martial arts isn’t due to his physical attributes, however. With four wins in his last five fights, including three consecutive knockout victories spanning across three different organizations, Terrill’s current ascension has him primed for another opportunity at the Shogun Fights welterweight title when he faces current champion Chauncey Foxworth at Shogun Fights 16 on Saturday, April 8, in Baltimore.
Terrill came up short in his first Shogun Fights title opportunity against Cole Presley at Shogun Fights 12 in 2015. It’s a fight that’s still talked about among Maryland fight fans. Terrill rebounded with a knockout victory and claimed the Shogun Fights welterweight title at Shogun Fights 13. Then, he dropped it to Jon Delbrugge at Shogun Fights 14.
“I’m back to having fun,” Terrill told Combat Press. “I’m on a tear right now and I have a different mindset. When I fought Jon, I worried about his ground-and-pound so much that I got away from what I do best. But now I really don’t care what anyone has. If I know what I’m doing, no one can stop me.”
The other two of Terrill’s recent three wins came for regional organizations Strike Off Fighting Championships and CES MMA. Terrill knocked out Bobby Flynn in just 70 seconds at CES MMA 39 in November in front of the passionate fans in Boston.
“It was fun to fight in Boston against a guy I was supposed to lose to,” Terrill said. “The production quality that AXS TV put on for that fight was phenomenal. And I didn’t hear anything from the Boston fans that I haven’t heard before.”
While Terrill has fought for other organizations in the northeastern United States, including the aforementioned CES and Cage Fury Fighting Championships, the Maryland native considers the Baltimore-based Shogun Fights his home and the cream of the crop in regional MMA.
“I see how other places are run, and I believe we still have the best at Shogun Fights,” said Terrill, who’s fought 10 times for the organization and has an overall professional record of 9-6. Terrill is relishing another opportunity to win a title at Shogun Fights 16.
“It means a lot to me,” Terrill said. “If I’m given something, I want to know I earned it. I’m excited, happy and humble, and I’m not taking Chauncey for granted. I know what he can do, and I’m a nice guy out of the cage and even when I’m going in the cage. But once that cage door locks, I’m not satisfied until I win and you’re on the mat — but I still may buy you a beer later.”
Terrill feels confident after training with some his fellow Maryland fighters who are fellow promotional mainstays, including the Shogun Fights lightweight champion, Rob Watley.
“He’s a killer,” Terrill said. “We’re best friends, and he’s definitely ready to move on to the next level. He recently beat another undefeated guy and won another title, but couldn’t get a fight at Shogun Fights because no one wanted to fight him.”
Finding a fight is no problem for Terrill. Nor is finding motivation. That part comes in the form of his two and a half year old son.
“It’s stressful at times, maybe 85 to 90 percent, but he makes me want to push harder to provide for him and for my family,” Terrill said. “He provides so much encouragement, and it makes me feel a certain way. I get really zoned in, and that’s what I’m fighting for.”
Terrill, 33, knows he can’t fight forever. Once he feels he’s reached the highest level of his fighting career, he plans to step away. He wants to run his own gym and give back to those who helped push him on his current path in MMA.
“I come from a big sports family,” Terrill said. “My dad has 10 brothers and sisters. Fighting saved me, and if I can even give back a tenth of that, I feel like that’s a life worth living.”