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Fighting Fate

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BREAKING NEWS!  Shawn Greene has recently come back on the map but not for his comeback match. No, unfortunately, that isn't in the cards for Mr. Greene.

As you recall, two years ago, Shawn Greene was a household name with the chance to win a heavyweight championship. That dream was lost when he got himself into a car accident that killed his mother Annette, and took the leg of his step-father Herschel Greene

That accident caused Shawn to have numerous surgeries to repair his broken back and several organs. He has learned to walk again but sadly, will never re-enter the ring to fight.

The love of the sport must still course through his blood as he has recently opened up a training gym for amateur and professional fighters. This new venture is in partnership with his step-father, whom was a celebrity  in the early 1970s with his boxing skills.

Based in Senoia, Georgia, they are taking these fighters away from the hustle and bustle of big cities, and allowing them to focus on their training, nutrition and mental health. Along to aid them in their journey are personal trainer and ex-military,  Sgt. Abraham Ford and certified nutritionist and medical expert, Dr. Eugene Porter.

They are already seeing a steady stream of applicants wanting to train with such an elite team and there were rumors that newcomer, Zach Smith, would be their headliner; but that was deemed untrue. Especially after the explosive breakup between Zach and Greene's younger sister Beth was seen worldwide at his match last month.

"She's a great girl but she and I want different things. I want a championship belt; she wants me home by 6pm every evening. That's just not going to happen,"

-(Smith spoke to reporters after she was seen slapping him in the face and leaving the arena.)

Beth Greene has always been one on the sidelines of not only Smith but of her brother Shawn in all the years he was present on the circuit so there is a high likelihood that she will be involved with the gym as well. Older sister Margaret has already been listed as Manager of Operations, which will give Shawn and Herschel plenty of time to work with their athletes.

With Shawn's UFC record of 17-1-0, I think it's safe to say that whoever becomes the star of this gym, will no doubt be seeing themselves in line for a championship. Shawn brings a fierceness to his training that is unbelievable to see and from the past matches I've seen of Hershel Greene, determination will also be brought.

I really look forward to seeing what comes from this new endeavor.


They were outside the venue, looking around at the crowd that had gathered for that night. They had heard through the amateurs that this was going to be an amazing fight, but they already knew that. They had been doing their research for the past weeks, watching his every move and all his matchups. If everything turned out like they hoped, he would be signed to the gym and they would have their headliner.


Shawn made sure his hood was up, after paying the admission. So far, no one had recognized him at these events but he was also trying hard to blend into the crowd. He had Abraham with him, who also was hiding under a ballcap and jacket. His red hair was a dead giveaway and he had been noticed the last time he was out.


They were on a mission and they would not be accepting no for an answer. Shawn had opened the gym to applicants a month ago and they had some great people, both men and women, who were wanting to take this seriously and make a go for it. But no one had the whole package.


They were wanting someone who could be the face of the business. A fighter who would give them a good reputation, who fought hard and followed the rules. Who carried himself in a positive manner, but could fight like a demon.


Daryl Dixon was that man.


He was quiet, but his brother made up for it with his energy. He ran his mouth for the two of them and he let everyone know just how powerful his brother is. He held a record of 36-0-0 in the amateur leagues, which around here was unheard of. He was older but experienced. He fought hard, never taking his eyes off his opponent. He was calculated in his moves, and he was observant to his opponent. It was almost like he could read their minds.


He never showed fear, never allowed his adversary to get into his head. He keeps  a calm demeanor on his face through the entire process, and never shows a weakness. No one has ever beaten him in an official match, but by the look on his back, he obviously lost a few in his younger years.


Shawn could relate to Daryl. They both carried scars although Shawn’s were from his accident. He had several scars from the surgeries littering his torso and back, but they were reminders of what happened and how he couldn’t take things for granted. He lost his mother that night and it took some time before he could forgive himself for causing that accident. If he had just kept his eyes on the road…..


He and Abraham has showed up just before the main event, which Daryl was headlining. His opponent was a giant man named Shumpert. He had at least 30lbs on Dixon which was one of the reasons why Shawn and Abraham hated the minor leagues like this. Weight classes were so different and often, too large a gap caused unfair advantage.


It was something that they were trying to change locally in Georgia; getting better organization for UFC minor and amateur leagues. If people wanted to make it to the premiere leagues, or even UFC professional series, than the amount of training they would have to undertake, sometimes turned them off. The money might be good on the other side, but with a longer training schedule, it sometimes took too long for people to make the leap.


Daryl would need to beef up a little more and train for a few months before they even considered getting him his own match-up. Their offer wasn’t up to par of other, more established gyms, but they hoped that with their good name and reputation, he would be willing to fight for them. So far, no one else had scooped him up so they figured, they still had a chance.


The main event rolled around and both fighters entered the ring.  The cage doors closed and the actions starts to unfold. The official goes over the rules and the bell finally rings.  Shumpert is in southpaw stance.  Daryl is tentative.  Shrumpert blitzes in behind some lightning quick hands.  He's got him pressed into the cage right in front of Dixon’s corner where his coaches are giving encouragement to their man.  Daryl gets off the cage and stuns Shumpert.  He isn't able to follow it up though and Shumpert recovers.  


“Shumpert has great movement.” Abraham spoke to Shawn. “He's maintaining distance”


He tries to come in and Dixon is there waiting with uppercuts.  Short time left and the action picks up as Dixon lands some big shots.  The bell rings as we see Daryl launch like a bolt with a knee just missing Shumpert's head.


As each fighter goes into their corner, Daryl never takes his eye off his opponent. It makes Shawn smirk as he did the same thing. Never take your eyes off of them. Keep your concentration on them.


The second round starts with Shumpert doing a tae kwon do style side kick and the crowd launches into a chant of "Let's Go Dixon"    Shumpert is moving more, but Dixon is still controlling the center.  Dixon is cat like in his nimbleness.  He is juke'd out of the center by some creative movement on Shumpert's part.  Once on the outside of the ring he immediately blocks a high kick that follows.  He then takes back the center of the cage.  The action quickens at the end of the round again until the bell rings.


At this point Dixon hasn't slowed down Shumpert's pace.  He's kept him out of the center, had him moving, but not caused any damage.  Shumpert sets up a combination that ends with a kick and Dixon immediately grabs him and drags him to the mat.  The venue is chanting for Daryl again.


The third round starts with a left hook that sails through empty space as Shumpert disappears out of range and Dixon is visibly critical of his attempt, the power he put behind it, and the fact that the opponent is now 5 feet to his left.  He adjusts and takes the center of the cage again.  Shumpert is in and out.  Kicks are coming more often.  They lock in a clinch and Dixon gets loose.  He's working the crowd into a frenzy with the sound of skin on skin from the impact of the inside leg kicks he's delivering.  The bell rings and the fight is over.


Both camps know it'll be close and are both treating their fighter as the winner.  Daryl was being draped with his hoodie, still watching Shumpert over the roar of the crowd.


“Gonna be a split decision,” Shawn interjected as they waited for the decision to be made.  The refs pulled both men to centre of the ring and the crowd kept chanting for Daryl. Finally, Daryl had his arm raised and his team went wild, getting the crowd even more psyched.


“The man has the love of the people,” Abraham said, looking over to Shawn. Shawn could only nod his head in agreement. The crowd did love him and that following is what will escalate him to UFC champion.


Once the show was officially over, and people started to get out of the venue, Abraham and Shawn made their way towards the fighter locker rooms to see if they catch a minute with Daryl and his team. He has two older men, one being his brother Merle, who also managed him. The other seemed to be a trainer and medical aid.


There were a grouping of people outside the locker room doors, mostly scantily clad women who were looking for a little action with a fighter. Shawn knew those women all too well and was embarrassed to say, early on in his career, he came out this way to meet them and indulge a little.


But after watching Daryl the past few matches, he knew he went out the back way, where most people wouldn’t think to look.  For some guys, they wanted the glory and the fame and the women. It didn’t seem like Daryl wanted any of that. It seemed he just enjoyed the sport. He wasn’t getting paid much for these gigs, just a small portion of the earnings from the venue.


When they made it to the back entrance, they saw a few men standing outside smoking. Mostly managers and trainers, allowing their fighters to shower and change before leaving. Abe tapped Shawn on the arm and pointed towards two people leaning against the wall. Shawn recognized them as Daryl’s team and was glad they were separate from the other people. Some managers were so desperate to get to the big times they could smell promoters and recruiters from a mile away.


Shawn and Abe bypassed the others, which caused a few glares from where they were standing, and made their way to Merle and the other man. They were talking in hushed voices but quickly shut up when Merle noticed them approaching. He hit the other man in the chest to turn around and see.


“Merle Dixon?” Shawn asked. Merle just grinned.


“Was wonderin’ when you was goin’ to come talk to us,” he spoke quietly. He too probably knew the desperation of men and didn’t want to alert them to anything.


“So you know we’ve seen his last few fights,” Abe questioned.


“He did. Didn’t clue us in till the last one.” Merle clicked his tongue and looked the men up and down. “Gotta say, you ain’t intimidatin’ as you used to be Greene. Ginger over here got more stance than you,”


“I don’t think you should offend the man who’s gonna offer your brother quite the deal,” Abraham puffed his chest out


“Don’t matter. He don’t want no deals.  He likes the way things are.”


“You and I both know that he’s worth more than the amateur league. He could go far with his career.” Shawn explained.


“I’ve told him countless time. I ain’t the one holdin’ him back. He don’t want the fame.”


Just then the door swung open and Daryl Dixon came out with a bag over his shoulder.  He took one look at where Merle and the other three were standing and continued walking towards the truck.


Shawn knew he needed to talk to Daryl one on one so he bolted after him. Before he could get a word in and introduce himself, Daryl cut him off.


“Not interested,” Daryl said as he slung the bag over the tailgate. He was fishing for his keys when Shawn stopped in front of the driver’s door.


“You haven’t even heard the offer.”


“Not interested,” he stated again. Shawn had a few seconds left before Daryl would push him out of the way and leave so he had to think fast.


“This is my gym in Senoia.” Shawn rushed out as he grabbed a business card from his pocket. “Come by tomorrow and check it out. We can talk things over and if you still want nothing to do with this, then I’ll leave you alone.”


Daryl huffed in annoyance and Shawn could see him rolling his eyes. “If you don’t come tomorrow, then I’m gonna keep coming around till you will talk to me. And if you continue to ignore me, then I’ll get my sister involved and you don’t want her harassing you.” Daryl smirked at the last comment.


“You get your sister to win your fights too?” Shawn could only chuckle at Daryl’s joke.


“I get it man. I really do.” Shawn tried to sympathize with him. “But you don’t want to look back in ten years and wish that you just came and talked with me.” Shawn continued to hold out the business card and slowly inched it closer towards Daryl. He grabbed the card quickly and shoved in the breast pocket of his shirt.


“Ain’t promisin’ nothing.”


“Just asking for a chance.” With that, Shawn moved out of the way and allowed Daryl into his truck. Merle and the other man were saying their goodbyes and Merle got in the truck, alongside his brother. Shawn watched them drive off and Abe came to stand next to him.


“So, you think he’ll come?” Abe asked.


“I have no idea, but at least we can sic Maggie on him if he doesn’t.”


“Even I know not to mess with that hellfire,” Abraham laughed heartily. Shawn knew he at least had a backup plan, but he was really hoping he didn’t have to use it.