Tuesday, October 4, 2016

He gave away his winnings - to his opponent

Most mixed martial arts fighters don't make a lot of money at their sport. They usually work part-time jobs to pay the bills while they train and compete and hope to make it big.

Bantamweight John Castaneda was asked by Combate Americas officials to take an August 11th fight against Angel Cruz. Cruz's original opponent had cancelled on short notice, which would leave Cruz without a chance to compete at the highly regarded Los Angeles event. 
Castaneda didn't need the competition. He already had a shot at the Combate bantamweight title, and a fight with Cruz would put that at risk. Knowing he was in shape, Castaneda decided to take the fight anyway. 
After the weigh-in, Cruz thanked Castaneda for taking the fight because it gave him a chance to feed his family. Castaneda also met Cruz's two young daughters. He told Yahoo News, "That really hit home to me. This is real. This is life. He’s doing this because he has to in order to support his family."
Castaneda won the fight in a TKO, earning him a $2000 bonus. Immediately, he told Campbell McLaren, the head of Combate America, to give Cruz the bonus money. 
“It really choked me up,” McLaren said. “I’d never encountered anything like that. MMA is a very charitable sport and you see fighters starting GoFund Me pages to help each other a lot. But this was a little different situation and it was so impressive. This came in the heat of the battle after a very tough fight.”

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