The list of mixed martial artists, or really any athletes, who will say they turned to sports to get away from a potentially rough adult life is long and distinguished. Sports provide an outlet, something to strive for, and both the physical and time-oriented demands of training and preparation make it very difficult to lead a life of drugs and/or criminal activity.
Jimmy “The Brick” Flick has neither the time nor the energy to lead the life he could be living today. With a wife, a five-year-old daughter, and a newborn to take care of, he spends just about every waking moment working, training, or being a husband and father. His journey into MMA may not be unique, but it’s another great story of a man who chose the better path in life.
“I wrestled my whole life, and when I was 17 years old, I wasn’t very dedicated to my school work, and it kind of backfired on me,” Flick told Combat Press. “I ended up getting kicked out of school at a young age, so I pursued mixed martial arts to keep me out of trouble. My family has a pretty bad background with getting into drugs and stuff like that, so I got into mixed martial arts to stay away from it. I wanted to pursue a career.”
Flick is now 26 years old. He is 9-3 as a pro with seven submission finishes. He has also fought across three different weight classes. At Legacy FC 16, he challenged WEC and UFC vet Will Campuzano for the LFC flyweight title. So, how does a guy from the Tulsa, Okla., area find the energy to work 40 hours per week and train before, during and after his day job at Tulsa Plastics, and still be a father to his two young daughters?
“I’m just a guy chasing a dream,” Flick said. “I’ve got a family that I work to take care of. I train, because it’s something that I love to do, and I’m going to try to chase it as long as I can. If I make it, that’s awesome. If fighting takes care of my family, that’s great, but I can’t just give up my family and paying bills. If I make it to the UFC, that would be awesome, so I’m just going to keep chasing.”
The next step in Flick’s pursuit to greatness comes tonight in the Legacy Fighting Alliance cage. The LFA is the newly formed merger of the Resurrection Fighting Alliance and the aforementioned Legacy FC, but it’s like a new beginning for the Oklahoman.
“So far, everything is good, man,” said Flick. “I feel like I got a fresh start. I fought for the title at 125 [pounds] in Legacy, and lost a tough battle against Will Campuzano. In my last bout with Legacy, I got knocked out. So, I’m getting a fresh start against one of the toughest opponents around in Johnny Bedford.”
Flick and Bedford will headline LFA 16, which airs live on AXS TV from the Bomb Factory in Dallas. Bedford was cut from the UFC after going 1-3-1, but he is now riding a four-fight winning streak after finishing his last four opponents.
“I think he’s a great opponent,” Flick said. “He brings the pressure; he brings the fight. He’s been fighting since 2006, so that’s 11 years. He’s had a bumpy career, too, with a lot of ups and downs, but he’s doing good now. They think he’s just going to run through me to get back to the UFC, and I’m planning on messing that up, beating him, and making my run toward the UFC.
“Johnny’s got a lot to lose in this fight, and I’ve got a lot to gain in this fight.”
Flick is young, hungry and fighting for his family. That’s a dangerous combination when a guy really has nothing to lose. A win over Bedford could be a turning point in Flick’s career, and he is more than ready to put on a great show. He’s living a much better life than he could have been living today.
“I had a great training camp,” said Flick. “I feel good, I’m 100 percent, I feel loose, and I’m just ready. I’m excited and I can’t wait until Friday night. The Fourth of July ain’t over. I’m bringing the fireworks, baby!”