WU student trains for MMA

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Sam Sayler / Washburn Review

Most people are perfectly content going through life without the risk of being kicked in the face. Nevertheless, Drew Williams has different ideas about living his life.

The English-born junior business major first became interested in mixed martial arts while attending Washburn Rural High School.

“I worked with a guy who was training in muay thai,” said Williams. “At the time, I didn’t know what it was at all. He got myself and my coworkers involved in watching a pay-per-view UFC event.”

Studying at Kansas State University a few years ago, Williams nurtured a greater passion for MMA with the help of his roommate who was training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

“Whenever he had off days, he would always want someone to grapple with,” said Williams. “I volunteered to do that with him with no formal training in Jiu-Jitsu whatsoever. That’s when I started to develop fundamentals in martial arts.”

Having moved back to Topeka and attending Washburn University, Williams been training in MMA since November. Several gyms expressed interest in having Williams train or fight with them, but injuries postponed Williams pursuing MMA. Yet, he now says he is completely healthy and faces his first formal bout in April at the Kansas Expocentre.

“I’m really calm about it,” said Williams. “I’ve surrounded myself with people I know are the best in the areas of what they do. I’m eager to get the date here because I’m ready to go whenever, but it’s killing me.”

The man responsible for Williams cultivating his fighting ability is his training partner Darion Terry after meeting in 2008 through shared friends.

“I just saw him out a mutual gathering, and basically, we just hit it off,” said Terry. “He was just really into fighting, like I was. I had a really long conversation with about anything that was going on inside MMA.”

After Terry’s insistence, Williams joined his partner training at United Martial Sciences. Terry firmly believes that his protégé will succeed when he confronts his first formal opponent.

“Drew is a quick learner,” said Terry. “Basically, he’s been around the sport long enough to know all the mechanics of it. He has real heavy hands. Once he gets his ground game down, he’ll be a complete fighter.”

Williams and Terry recently returned from an UFC event in Omaha, Neb., where they rubbed elbows and gained interest from business professionals such as Dana White and Joe Silva.