War­rior’s ded­i­ca­tion

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - OUT & ABOUT - By JAMIE LOWE

Dy­lan Hare has fi­nally com­pleted his jour­ney from ‘wimp’ to ‘war­rior’.

The Sydney-based 29 year-old, who grew up in Deni, com­pleted his time as a com­peti­tor on the in­ter­na­tional re­al­ity TV se­ries Wimp 2 War­rior in Sydney on Satur­day night.

The show’s ‘wimps’ were trained by pro­fes­sional mixed mar­tial arts (MMA) fight­ers and coaches, with com­peti­tors orig­i­nally set to take part in a six month MMA camp be­fore hav­ing a pro­fes­sional fight in the oc­tagon.

Dy­lan started his jour­ney in Fe­bru­ary 2017, but var­i­ous in­juries had post­poned his fight date un­til the past week­end.

The 18 months of hard work cul­mi­nated with a fight against Gino ‘ The Peru­vian Night­mare’ Espinosa, with Dy­lan forc­ing his op­po­nent to tap out 36 sec­onds into the first round via rear naked choke.

Dy­lan said it was a re­lief to fi­nally step into the cage.

‘‘It all hap­pened so quick,’’ he said.

‘‘I was told be­fore the fight that my op­po­nent had a bit of a jiu jitsu back­ground and that it would be quite a chal­lenge. Be­cause of this my head coach said to try and avoid go­ing to ground.

‘‘Right be­fore the fight though, my jiu jitsu coach said that I had a strong ground game and that he felt con­fi­dent in me to take it to the ground if I needed to.

‘‘I re­mem­ber start­ing the fight by throw­ing a push kick and land­ing a kick to his ribs soon af­ter.

‘‘Gino tried to throw a push kick of his own but made the mis­take of not plant­ing his bal­anc­ing leg to the ground.

‘‘I de­fended it with a leg sweep and was quick to con­trol him on the ground.

‘‘He ini­tially de­fended well by tuck­ing his chin so I couldn’t put the choke hold on. So I pos­tured up and threw a cou­ple of punches.

‘‘As soon as he lifted his chin I went for the rear naked choke. I wrapped my legs around him like a koala and had com­plete con­trol.

‘‘When I locked in the sub­mis­sion I knew I had it. I was al­ready smil­ing at my coaches telling them that I had it and Gino tapped out.

‘‘Part of me feels that it would’ve been nice for the fight to go longer and that I could show off ev­ery­thing I had learnt over the past 18 months.

‘‘I’d worked hard on my head kicks and strik­ing but didn’t re­ally get to show that off at all.’’

Dy­lan first signed up for the show as a trib­ute to his late friend Clark ‘Grubby’ Jones, who sadly passed away in Novem­ber 2016.

When they were chil­dren Dy­lan and Clark dreamed they would play bas­ket­ball in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls as well as com­pete in the ring as pro­fes­sional wrestlers in a team called ‘Bull Bash­ers’.

While he doesn’t play bas­ket- ball, Dy­lan car­ried that dream over to the oc­tagon for his fight, wear­ing a cus­tom made mouth­guard with a child­hood photo of him­self and Clark in a fight pose with the words Bull Bash­ers on it.

‘‘It was awe­some to be able to ded­i­cate this jour­ney to Grubby,’’ Dy­lan said.

‘‘He was my driving force to make sure I got up for my 4am starts to train and push me through all the tough times dur­ing my train­ing.

‘‘I came out to the song ‘Hold on to the Vi­sion’ by Kevin Chal­frant, which is the song Grubby and I were go­ing to use as our fight song. The song was from one of our favourite movies, No Re­treat, No Sur­ren­der.

‘‘I’m so glad I got to do all of this in his hon­our. It was al­ways some­thing Grubby had dreamed of do­ing too and he was there with me for the fight.

‘‘I want to fight again but I’m not sure if I can com­mit to the early starts and train­ing like I have over the past 18 months. I need a break for now but hope­fully in the fu­ture I can step in the cage again.’’

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