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Inside the Octagon with Patrick Gorman and Ben Gallagher

May 27, 2009 - Craig Harvey
Patrick Gorman and Ben Gallagher share the same passion in Mixed Martial Arts fighting.

It is Muay Thai that has brought the two together and helped start a friendship as the two talk over the phone approximately twice a week. However, on June 13, the two will be enemies as they step into the octagon and fight each other in the 185-pound Division at Raging Wolf's Defiance.

The event will kick off at 7 p.m. at the Gil Lay Memorial Arena in Irving. Gates will open at 5:30 and tickets start at $20.

"Thank God Raging Wolf is doing this," Gorman said. "Who wants to drive 500 to 600 miles for fights? Until these guys started doing this, you really had to travel. Now we never have to travel again."

Gorman, fighting for Team Ortiz from Lackawanna, will be making his MMA debut while Gallagher, fighting for Family Dojo of Hamburg, is competing for the first time since 2007.

"I always like to say to people who don't know the sport, it is all about camaraderie," Gorman said. "Me and Ben are going to have a drink after all this. It's what separates our sport — you become friends. People think it's barbaric. If they only knew the camaraderie, you might have second thoughts of it. These guys are great friends. It's really not that bad. There is so much camaraderie and respect. You know the other guy has gone through the same thing you have gone through to get ready for the fight. He went through the pain that you did to get ready for the fight. You get hurt more in practice than you do in the ring."

Gorman was a U.S. Marine where he was undefeated in his platoon in Muay Thai and boxing.

Both fighters bring a very similar fighting style into the ring as they are both standup fighters who hope to keep the match off the mats and use their power and strength to knockout their opponent. Gallagher says standup fighting is the way fights should be.

"I don't want to knock on grappling," he continued. "Grappling is wrestling. I don't want to wrestle. If I wanted to do that, I would do that in high school. If you see a barfight, you don't see them rolling on the ground trying to tap each other out. That's what fighting is for. I love using my tools — hands, elbows and feet. I have them, why not use them? I think it will be a fight worth watching."

A common event first-time fighters talk about is running out of gas before the fight even begins because of the adrenaline rush. Gorman feels he has done enough training to prepare himself and hopes getting gassed won't be a factor early on.

"I have done a lot of training to keep my composure," he said. "When someone gets on top of you, you get so nervous. We have done so much training where they gas you then put you on the ground with someone much bigger on you to get a feeling for it. Adrenaline does take over."

Gorman says one way he keeps his composure is by talking to himself. He knows MMA is a thinking man's game

"You can't go in all guns blazing," he said. "If you get caught, you're done. You must have discipline to not over exert yourself — especially in the first round. You can't be dumb, you have to think and keep composure — especially in first round."

Gallagher is known for having a heavy right hand with a brick for a jaw. He doesn't fall but Gorman thinks what goes up, must come down.

"My strength is standup, his strength is standup. I feel mine is superior," Gorman said.

One thing is for sure, while the two will be enemies in the octagon, when it's all said and done, the two will remain good friends.

"You learn discipline and respect," Gallagher said. "You still have respect for what you're doing. It's a sport where some look at it as human cockfighting, but when the fight finishes, it's back to normal. You say nice job and it's fun to see who is the better fighter. You don't take it personal."

If you have any information about an upcoming Mixed Martial Arts event or want to step into the octagon with me (figuratively), e-mail me at


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