This match is the most symbolically important fight of my career. This is the first time I got paid to grapple. It wasn’t much money, but it meant a lot to me.
To kick off the start of a black belt tournament that had a substantial cash prize there were two exhibition matches that took place before. Mine was the first match against an opponent who I didn’t know much about, but had heard that he won a large tournament at the blue belt level. I also knew that the winner of my match would get $50. I still have the check framed.