"You're always training to fight someone who is training to fight you..." That is a fighter's life according to Simon Marcus, and that's a very accurate portrait when you think of it. Simon Marcus, is not an enigma, he's not one for shadow games or deception. Who he is however, is a man of ordinary means and on Friday, May 8th, a man with an incredible opportunity, the chance to become the middle weight champion of GLORY, the world's premier kickboxing association. Ahead of this event, I had to opportunity to speak with Simon about what we can expect on Friday night as well as a peek into the life of the "Bad Bwoy".
For people who are unaware, Levin and Marcus have faced each other before. During that bout that was conducted under Muay Thai rules, Marcus was the victor. While he admits that a previous win over an opponent may inspire some level of confidence knowing that you have previously beat that person. Today, Marcus chooses to focus on the task at hand and what it will take to be victorious again. Marcus has also made the choice not to focus on the what ifs, especially 'what if he loses'. He stated that in his life, he continues to strive and even in those instances when a fight does go his way he has a desire to continue to improve and get better as a person. Of the things that has striven to improve in the ring, Simon stated that he has upped his cardio which he demonstrated during open work outs at The Boxing Gym on Wednesday as well as during his hard fought victory during the middleweight tournament last month in Dubai. Marcus also stated that he has challenged himself in improving his conditioning, strength and overall pushed himself to his limits in preparation for GLORY 21. He states that even on the winning side he is never satisfied with his performance and is always looking for ways he can improve. While he is highly critical of himself, Marcus also expressed that he is attempting to learn how to enjoy those successes.
Coming into the world of a disciplined fighter at age 18, as in the case of many other fighters, provided an outlet and an opportunity for him to turn a negative into a positive. Instead of getting into trouble for fighting, it has now become his passion and something for which he now receives praise. As for his personal road to GLORY, Marcus stated that he trained as hard as he could, fought as much as he could and believed in himself. In addition to that Marcus stated that he travelled and made a lot of sacrifices. He also stated that many times he fought for free and did everything he could to get experience, good training and anything he could to get better, not necessarily looking at the immediate pay out but his long term goal of getting to the top.
What does he bring to the ring? Simon Marcus brings a warrior spirit and an intellectual mentality, not to mention a lot of power and heart. Additionally Simon Marcus brings excitement and a willingness to pull out all the stops to get the win.
As for the future, Marcus plans to completely focus on GLORY and winning/defending the title. His vision does not stop there. Simon Marcus would like to be a person who will take GLORY to another level and having people interested and seeing what the best striking in the world is about.
To anyone who might be interested in embarking on a journey such as this, Simon Marcus stated that he would not discourage anyone from pursing a fighter's life, but he quickly differentiated between having a calling vs. having an interest. He stated if a person is just interested in being a fighter for the accolades or whatever comes along with it, that might not be the way to go. He added that if someone has a love for fighting or a person has fighting in them, and they feel that fighting brings out the best in them or develops them, then that would be a more satisfying path to take. Fighting as a career and as a lifestyle is difficult emotionally and physically.
After retirement, which Marcus stated at this point he doesn't know when that will occur, his love of fighting, teaching and martial arts directs his future to remain on its current path, in the realm of combat sports entertaining options of possibly promoting or opening a gym and in that way continuing to pass the tradition on. If we hadn't met Simon Marcus as the Muay Thai/kickboxing practitioner that we see today, Marcus stated that it's very difficult to guess where he'd be today as he was always fighting and getting in trouble doing it. He admits that when he was younger he had an interest in basketball and was a good player in high school but didn't have the focus on school to continue on this path. From where he sits now Marcus appears to be happy, he is an accomplished fighter, a father and fighting in an organization that he feels is right on the cusp of becoming something huge!
Beyond Friday night, Marcus has no one in particular on his radar, stating that he believes his greatest fight is with himself because he has the belief that in anything you do, there is a constant inner battle to become the best version of you.
So while on Friday night at GLORY 21 we won't get to see Simon Marcus vs. Simon Marcus, we will witness a continuation of this young man's journey to champion status in a battle between two of the best middleweights in the world. On Friday night, Simon acknowledges that he has tremendous opportunity and when it's one man's time, it's his time and critics can say what they like, but Friday is his time. He feels he has done the things necessary to have earned this opportunity. To his fans, Simon Marcus sends out a sincere and heartfelt thanks. To those who have supported him and all the friends and family who have traveled to San Diego he expresses sincere gratitude.