Mixed martial arts and professional wrestling are frequently compared to each other. This is understandable, given that the two industries increasingly intersect. Whether it’s Brock Lesnar making his mark in both the Octagon and the squared circle, the UFC’s signing of former WWE superstar CM Punk, or former UFC champion Ronda Rousey’s rumored entrance into the pro-wrestling ring sometime soon, it happens. Another thread that weaves MMA and pro wrestling together is that the competitors in both fields travel all over to ply their trade.
Shogun Fights welterweight champion Micah Terrill is a perfect illustration. He is a titleholder in the only MMA promotion in his home state of Maryland, but he continues to compete for other regional MMA organizations, including Cage Fury Fighting Championships, CES MMA and Xtreme Caged Combat.
“I love fighting, but it does hurt me,” Terrill told Combat Press. “Shogun Fights only puts on two cards a year, so I have to stay active. But it does shoot me out.”
Terrill, whose record stands at 10-7, won the Shogun Fights welterweight title at Shogun Fights 16 in April, after knocking out former champion Chauncey Foxworth in just under three minutes. It was the last fight on the card and the competitors did not step into the cage until roughly 1 a.m.
“I was composed and I felt great — I didn’t have a care in the world,” Terrill said. “He had a lot of movement and was going in and out and not really setting stuff up. He was a little sloppy and I was patient, and when I saw an opening, I took it.”
Terrill didn’t rest on his laurels after winning a title. He stepped back into the cage two months later for XCC to face Strikeforce, Bellator and UFC veteran Nah-shon Burrell. Unfortunately, Terrill suffered a first-round knockout loss.
“I felt pretty good going into that fight, but he wasn’t the fight I was expecting to have,” Terrill said. “I was expecting to face someone else and I was also dealing with some recurring personal issues, so I didn’t want to be there. But I’m a competitor, and I can’t let personal issues get to me and affect my career. I’m more laid back now, and I’m having fun again.”
Terrill’s title victory at Shogun Fights 16 was his second one at welterweight, after he previously won the belt in 2015.
“It’s a very prestigious opportunity, but some people get shots that they don’t deserve,” Terrill said. “I like having higher standards, including for myself. If I don’t think I deserve it, I’ll say so. I was offered this title fight after winning three in a row, but I told [Shogun Fights owner] John Rallo [that I didn’t deserve it] unless I won four or five fights in a row.”
However, Terrill is certain that his opponent for his next title defense, Maik Ferrante, who holds a 3-1 mark, doesn’t deserve the opportunity he will receive when he faces Terrill at Shogun Fights 17 in Baltimore, Maryland, on Saturday, Oct. 7.
“I don’t think it’s going to be much of a challenge,” Terrill said. “He’s won three in a row, but he went to decisions against guys I destroyed. I don’t feel he deserves this, and he talked some trash to me in the locker room at the last event. I was nice to him and congratulated him on his win, and he looked at me and said, ‘I’ll see you in October.’
“This isn’t my first rodeo, and he’s not on my level. I’m fucking pissed, but I’ll still toy with him a little. I have no concerns about him, but I’m not going to take him lightly. If he tries to take me down, I’ll take him down just to prove a point. If he tries to stand with me, then I’ll show him something he won’t like. I just feel like I have to take him down a notch.”
If Terrill successfully defends his title at Shogun Fights 17, he might have a big opportunity waiting for him. He was offered a spot on Bellator’s card at Penn State University in November. However, Terrill was told he wouldn’t be allowed to compete at Shogun Fights 17 beforehand, so he turned it down. He remains on Bellator’s radar, though.
“I have to make the big money, and I’ll make more for Shogun Fights, so it was a no-brainer,” Terrill said. “I love to fight in front of my hometown crowd too, but my goal is still to make it to the UFC or Bellator.”
In the meantime, Terrill, 33, is beginning to consider a new life after fighting. He believes he’ll have a better idea about his future after his next two fights.
“I’d love to fight forever, but I know it’s not feasible,” Terrill said. “It will just come down to whatever my body can take.”