“Savage” Steve thought he could remain buoyant in any situation, but three-minutes in to the first-round, he felt as though he were drowning; not because the wrestler—built like a fire hydrant with ears cauliflowered into hardened knobs—on top of him was smothering oxygen from his lungs, but because his flakey coaches never even showed up to the fight.
Stepping into the cage alone in nothing but sponsor-littered underwear and gloves is one thing, but a silent corner is another.
Steve, lonely beyond belief, quit on the stool between rounds, and his team the following day.
For weeks, Nick directed loads of trash talk on social media at his upcoming opponent. He printed his game plan right there in black-and-white, promising it wasn’t a slick trick of some kind.
“He won’t make it out of the first,” was the promise he made to his fans, and each post was hashtagged: #oneanddone.
When the opening round ended, Nick slumped on his stool, and all the things he’d said settled in his stomach like a bad meal. Even if he pulled off the victory in the next two frames, it was a loss in his mind.
The horn called an end to the second round, and each of Kenny’s legs felt dipped in lead as he trudged toward his corner. Ten-minutes of keeping this wrestler from smothering and smashing him forced fire into his lungs.
Prior to this outing at Cage Frenzy 7, cardio had never been an issue for Kenny, but this first fight, fresh off a month-long, country-wide quarantine, highlighted the intense training he lacked while cooped up in his apartment with La Torro, his two-year-old French Bulldog.
Kenny’s cornermen had to hold his exhausted, light heavyweight frame on the stool while encouraging him to continue—though they secretly wondered if he could—and providing some necessary instructions, “It’s time to show everyone here your heart; they already know you’re brave! Do you have the heart to do this, or not?”
When the referee instructed the cornermen and ring card girl out of the cage, Kenny’s chest swelled in rapid succession, the noise from the crowd injected a brief rush of adrenaline, and he marched forward upon hearing the bell, chasing victory or defeat but never giving up on his promise to himself to always compete.
Welcome to MMA Storytime’s 100 Word Flash Fiction Challenge!
Each week, writers who choose to participate will be given a prompt, 100 words, and the freedom to go wherever the prompt leads. Much like two mixed martial artists meeting in the cage: a minimal ruleset can create endless possibility and wild excitement.
Prompted words will be posted each Monday, and writers will have until Sunday evening to share their entry. Once you are done, create a pingback—following the inserted instructions (here)—or add a link to your entry in the comments section.
Write 100 words.
Use the current week’s prompt.
Create a pingback or add your link in the comments section.
There he was, again, flexing his middle-aged muscle to a team primarily consisting of young, amateur fighters. The handful of pros half-heartedly listened, but they, for the most part, tuned out his droning, senseless rambles and did their own thing.
Coach Tim didn’t have a clue what he was doing; everyone knew, but only Kelvin, the most experienced of the bunch, voiced the obvious.
“I think it’s time you go,” Kevin announced before Friday morning’s sparring session.
Echoes of agreement struck the gym’s walls, and the door hit Tim like a roundhouse kick on his way out.
Mark and Monica had been together for seventeen years. Then, on their eighteenth anniversary, Mark came home with a bouquet of flowers, and Monica gifted him a manila envelope; she was filing for a divorce.
The decision of Mark’s future ex-wife was unexpected—a shot to the gut. Depression soon set in, causing Mark to bury his sadness with food and alcohol.
One day, Mark’s friend dragged him to participate in a kickboxing class.
After smashing the heavy bag with his shin, Mark’s bitterness, just for a second, vanished. For Mark, the kickboxing ring’s canvas painted a new reality.