After a hectic few weeks of ups and down in the world of MMA, we are back with our ‘Get To Know’ series. This week features Bellator fighter, Ruben Crawford.
Who is Ruben Crawford?
Ruben Crawford (16-4) is a German mixed martial artist who is currently 16-4. He is currently competing in the Welterweight division in Bellator. He is not only a professional mixed martial artist In addition to fighting Ruben is also a businessman and a successful performance coach. Ruben is what we would call a real leader in life. He is an individual, who is passionate and driven in everything he does.
In 2008, Ruben Crawford’s professional martial arts career began. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the start he had planned. Early on it was clear to see the strong mindset which ventures into his performance coaching today. After tasting his first defeat in his first professional fight Crawford bounced back in spectacular fashion winning his next 8 bouts back to back from the Germany regional scene to then concurring Poland.
Taking a second loss at KSW 15: Modern Gladiators, Crawford then returned to martial arts circuit’s across Germany and recovered by going on a 5 fight winning streak before falling short to Ayub Tashkilot in Denmark. Things quickly changed once again, seeing Crawford win 3 fights across his home nation.
Crawford had been out of competition for two years working on other ventures in life. An opportunity presented itself for Crawford to compete in one of the biggest organizations in the world in Bellator. With John Kavanagh in his corner, the German-made his official debut at Bellator 217 in Dublin, Ireland. Time away from the octagon was clear as the more active fighter in Walter Gahadza came away with the win on the night.
Below I got the chance to speak to Ruben to talk about all things fighting, inspirations, and general life.
How did you get into mixed martial arts and can you remember the first time you stepped into a gym and how you felt?
Crawford – “My fighting path really kicked off when I was 15 years old and I got beaten up in school. I got my nose broken in front of everyone watching and I swore myself: never again! I decided it was time to break out of the patterns that I was stuck in. By being the nice guy with regular hobbies aiming for a regular job, I was living for society’s expectations, unable to stand up for myself. But I had to choose my own way. I knew I had to change my body and mind and so the desire was awakened to learn from the greats of the MMA sport, who are arguably the subject matter experts when it comes to finding your true strength.”
What did you do as a job before turning professional? Prior to making a career in martial arts? Do you have any stories in that aspect?
Crawford – “I started my pro career while still being in school. It was my passion so I took a chance and focused on it.”
Have you got any other hobbies outside Martial arts, what do you like to do in your time off to take your mind away from fighting?
Crawford – “I play piano. For me it’s a great way to enter a flow state and to get rid of mental clutter.”
If you never had found MMA and stepped into the gym for the first time where do you think you’d be right now?
Crawford – “I have a deep love for psychology. Right now I’m coaching executive leaders, giving them the mental and physical power to inspire. Without my MMA experience, I would probably have chosen a similar path. However, I wouldn’t even have half the knowledge about how to overcome obstacles than I have now. MMA taught me a lot about mental limits and how to transcend them through the power of the mind.”
Did you have any combat sport inspiration/heroes growing up? If so who and why?
Crawford – “Bruce Lee was my childhood hero.”
What does it mean to you to be a fighter, a lot of fighters would look at this question differently?
Crawford – “For most professional fighters, a fight is exactly just that: Man versus man, measuring, who is the strongest? For me, it is something very different. It is Man versus Mind. It is the fight against all self-limiting beliefs. The struggle with that voice in the back of my head, urging me to stay in my comfort zone, to take it easy today and just start tomorrow.
The battle against giving in to the challenge, the exhaustion, the pressure. The true materialization of my inner battlefield. However, When I look into my opponent’s eyes I see a mere reflection of my own fears and wonders. How far can I go? Where are my limits?
How can I inspire, empower, lead…others…and most importantly myself? But the thing is… No matter if in sports or in life, no fight is won in the actual forefront… It is won behind the curtains. Through every hour you put in… With every time you stand up and go out there…step out of the known. And step into the unknown, the undone, the un-dared.
After fighting’s done, do you have any plans after that? And Do you want to stay in the fight industry or step away?
Crawford – “Lately, I am focusing heavily on my executive coaching business. I am passing on the lessons I learned, giving purpose-driven leaders the power to truly inspire their teams. I guess it’s still a bit of a fighter’s industry, just not in the classical sense.”
5 years’ time, where do you see yourself, and what’s the end goal? To retire and look back and be happy with what you’ve achieved?
Crawford – “To me, retirement is not an option. I will always be fighting in some shape or form. It might not be in a cage. However, as I said, Being a fighter means to transcend your own and other people’s limits, never stand still and keep evolving. My goal is to share this confidence through my coaching business, ultimately making the world a more daring place where leaders inspire their teams to chase their own vision, no matter the hurdles in their way.”
I would like to thank Ruben for his time on this one. Make sure to check out his website and social medias linked below. Defiantly worth the look. An intelligent individual who can help you reach your goals.
Also, be sure to check out the Overtime Heroics Forums page to join in on the discussion!