Don't let his sweet demeanor fool you.
Seth Golay, 19, is a cage fighter. All his life, he had wanted to participate in the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and last year, after the conclusion of a successful high school wrestling career, Golay was finally able to experience his first cage fight – coincidently, his first fight ever.
“I was very nervous,” he said with a grin. “You can ask anybody, I've never been in a fight … There's no other rush like it though. The adrenaline is crazy when they call your name, and you walk out and everyone's looking at you – then when that door shuts behind you – there's no other feeling like it.”
Golay graduated from Carthage High School in May of 2011, and his first fight was in September at the Cage of Honor hosted at the John Q Hammons Trade Center in Joplin. He won.
“I told myself I'd never fight during school ever again,” Golay said.
Besides excessive training everyday, Golay is also a full-time student at Crowder College and holds a night-shift position at Convenient Stores Services in Carthage. After experiencing a bit of an overload, Golay said he planned his next cage fight this summer.
“It's definably my passion,” he said. “I love training. Growing up, I would watch UFC fights and think, 'man, I can't wait till I can do that.' … So we'll see where fighting takes me.”
The age limit to fight is 18, but opponents are based on weight. The sport has two divisions, amateur and pro, but Joplin only hosts amateur fights. Though it's Golay's dream to someday win a belt, he said the sport isn't everyone's cup of tea.
“Some people think it's wrong for two guys just to get in a cage and beat each other,” Golay said, “but it's the fastest growing sport in the U.S. I do it to stay in sports. I guess I'm an active person, and I've always been interested in it.”
Golay trains with numerous other fighters from across the area at D.J. Randall's Provin' Grounds Gym in Carthage. But physical training is one thing, mentally preparing for a fight is another.
“You just have to tell yourself you're going to win,” Golay said. “The guys I train with are great. They understand I'm going to school and working.”
Golay is studying to earn a degree in applied science, he says after that the opportunities could go anywhere. Golay is the son of Brad and Krystal Golay of Carthage, and he has one sister, Taylar, CHS junior.
For more information on the Cage of Honor and events, visit www.fightforhonor.com.