“It was an adrenaline rush. That is what got me hooked. I didn’t play any sports so feeling the rush from fighting, it was a new experience.” – Muscogee (Creek) citizen Sampson Tabbytite
Tabbytite says rough road leads to success
OKMULGEE, Okla. — Muscogee (Creek) citizen Sampson Tabbytite said that he has been fighting his whole life.
“I grew up fighting, mostly with my brothers,” he said. “I always wanted to box.”
Tabbytite, 22, thought of the idea to turn fighting his brothers, into a professional occupation. He said his dad took Kung Fu and would show him Ultimate Fighting Championship fights.
“That is what made me want to do it,” he said.
Tabbytite said his upbringing was not always good for him. There were times when he would go to foster homes or live with relatives as a youth.
“That was tough but I got through that,” he said. “Not having my mom and dad around was hard and I had to deal with that.”
He said there were a lot of bad elements that surrounded him and his family growing up, and he told himself that he was not going to fall in that.
“That’s not going to be me,” Tabbytite said. “I had to surround myself with people that would push me to be better.”
He said he changed his viewpoint on life, but with that came some sacrifices.
“I lost a lot of friends because of that,” Tabbytite said.
Tabbytite said that he is more self-taught with his fighting skills. He spoke about not having a place to train.
“I had people who were boxers to help me with boxing,” he said. “Other than that, I had nothing else. I did not have a background in training with any gyms.”
Tabbytite was skeptical and doubted that he could compete in mixed-martial arts.
“It was hard and difficult, and to be honest, I didn’t know if I could fight,” he said. “If I didn’t get a fight before I was 21, I was going to pursue something else.”
He did not give up. He said he was relentless in training because he wanted to get better and do what he could to get a fight.
“Two weeks before my 21st (birthday), I ended up getting a fight,” Tabbytite said.
He still remembers how he felt when he had his first competition.
“It was an adrenaline rush,” Tabbytite said. “That is what got me hooked. I didn’t play any sports so feeling the rush from fighting, it was a new experience.”
Tabbytite said now that he started, there is no reason to stop.
“I won my first fight, in the first round, by TKO (technical knockout),” he said. “They raised my hand for the win. That is what I fight for every time.”
He said it is not all about winning, but getting the hand raised in triumph makes it better, worth it.
Tabbytite said he finally found a gym that he likes and felt everyone that has helped him in the past and present is shaping him to achieve success.
“The gym where I’m at now has helped me a lot with my training,” he said. “They have given me pointers and they are constantly helping me.”
Tabbytite won his most recent fight on April 14 at Xtreme Fight Night 341 at River Spirit Casino Resort.
“I won by rear naked choke in the first round,” he said. “I wanted to get the knockout or TKO but he went for the takedown and I was able to take advantage and put a choke on him.”
Tabbytite said, like a lot of other fighters, he has to balance a job and a time to train. He knows that is a lot of pressure, but knows it will help him for the future.
Tabbytite said he almost had to work the day of his fight. He was scheduled to work and they found someone to cover for him the day before so he could prepare for the evening’s bout.
“I planned on working but they told me that I could prepare for my fight,” he said.
He is already back in the gym preparing for the next fight.
“All I need to do now is get back to training and wait for the next opportunity,” Tabbytite said.