By Chace Saumell

So Chace, what got you into MMA?

Ahh… crap! I hate this question. I know why people ask it. I expect it. Yet I haven’t quite figured out how to answer it. I’m trying to come up with a canned, scripted response but despite my brilliant creative mind and writing abilities, I haven’t quite mastered the answer to this question.

I think I would rather answer the question, “What does it all mean?”

There are way more cliché’s that have evolved through the years to placate people for that question.

So, here is my attempt to hash out all the reasons why I do MMA. How it makes me feel. Don’t worry… I won’t get all Freudian on you or anything. Trust me; you don’t want to hear about the real underlying reasons why I fight. That would certainly scare you and that is not my intent.

Plus, I am going for canned answers remember?



Wait for the autobiography like everyone else!

Ok here goes:

Normally I answer that question with this statement; some people have fighting in them and some people don’t. I do. It’s in my heart. Its part of what makes me, me. It makes me whole.

Usually that statement doesn’t satisfy the questioner. So here is my attempt at an explanation.

I have a lot of things that I juggle during the course of a typical day.

I have 2 jobs. One of which is as an Executive Assistant for a CEO, that in and of itself will teach you just how versatile you can be and how many times a day you can recover gracefully.

I’m not even going to try to explain my other job to you because it will blow your mind.

Then I also have 2 kids by myself, one of which has recently become a teenager. I’m also 99% sure that some sort of alien has taken over her body and turned her into some sort of crazed monster.

To compensate for the insanity, I train incessantly. One of my many life mottos is “Train hard, fight easy.” And believe me, I train hard.

As I sit here typing this I have a plethora of ice packs on various discreet and not so discreet body parts because I train hard and often.

My social life suffers.

My love life… well lets just say there are bumps on that road. Living mi vida loca doesn’t always leave a lot of time for relationships.

Dating me is no picnic.

A lot of guys who start off thinking that my training is cool, end up feeling it’s a burden and even get jealous. I spend a lot of time on the mats with a group of guys. Apparently that’s threatening. I don’t really get it, because if you spend more than 2 minutes around any of us you see that we are more like 8 year old siblings than anything else. But I digress…

I’m committed to my sport because I love it and despite some pain I feel as a result of doing it, I literally never feel better in my week than when I am training. I’m committed to the people that I train with because I love them. They are my family. Not blood relatives, but family none the less. I would drop everything to do anything for any one of them in a hot second and I know that would be returned for me. No questions asked.

I like being there with them. It’s hard for me to take a day off from it, because it makes me feel so good to be there doing something I love with people I care about. It actually causes me a lot of anxiety to not be there.

Weird I know.

Is this a healthy addiction? I don’t know. I mean, it could be much worse right? I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I eat chicken and veggies almost exclusively, I work out a lot, my kids are involved with my sport, so we are all spending time together. I guess being addicted to anything isn’t healthy, but I definitely could have done worse.

I know it sounds like I’m trying to make justifications.

Maybe I’m trying to understand it myself.

Honestly, I don’t know why I do what I do.

Except… It makes me happy. It heals me. Emotionally, physically, spiritually, I literally feel more complete and more healthy and ready to take on life when I leave there.

Isn’t that reason enough?

Don’t I deserve that one thing in my life that is mine and it makes me happy?

Sometimes I feel like everything I do and say and work for is for other people.

Not this, this is mine.

Sure, there are all sorts of psychological reasons why I do it. I like that it makes me feel powerful. I know for a fact that if anyone ever tried to hurt me again, they would be in for a serious beat down, I might not even win, but by God, I would go down fighting and do some serious damage on the way.

I like that it helps me feel good about myself. My body reacts quickly to the workouts. I lose weight fast. I have muscles that I never knew existed. I’m proud of that.

I’m proud to be different from most girls. I like that I’m unique.

I even like the fact that I am underestimated. Here I am a 5’3”, 120 pound, blonde headed, blue eyed white girl.

People never even see it coming.

Someday I may look back in regret on this choice of sport. Probably not, but you never know. I might.

But for right now, I need it.

So, I guess I didn’t really get the scripted answer I was looking for in that little rant. And if I know people, and I do, they will start poking all kinds of holes in my logic and label me as crazy.

I’m strangely comfortable with that.

I’ve embraced “crazy” as one of my many fine character traits.

That which does not kill me, better start running.

Peace and Love,



Written by The Sundown United

The SUNDOWN UNITED is a multi-faceted project that houses an apparel and accessories brand, and online-magazine(weblogs/articles). All ends of and begins with the Sundown United our trademark, lifestyle, attitude, and personal perspective on Americana art/lifestyle subculture.


  1. Great article Chace! I was telling some pilots I was working with that I had girlfriend who fought MMA. They asked me why and I didn’t know! Now I’ll tell them to read this article. 🙂


    1. Everything we’ve been through, are going through, and end up in works out for our ultimate good according to scripture (all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose). I think sometimes we’re in seasons and we don’t realize the moment in which God is working in us until we’re on the other side of that experience/season. My dad used to run a plant farm and there were so many life lessons he learned just by the parallels between biblical principles and plants. I look forward to seeing the growth.


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