Sep 22, 2012 - Oglala MMA Fighter David Michaud on FX Ultimate Fighter
A little over 4 years ago a friend asked me if I wanted to go watch the MMA fights in Rapid City, SD. I never watched MMA and get real queasy around blood, but I said ok. I grew up watching boxing matches both in real life and on TV. Watching my Uncle Mark Lone Hill in smokers and Golden Glove bouts, boxing was exciting to me. I appreciated the strategy and beauty of the sport.
So I thought, well, MMA cannot be much different.
But it was. I was very unfamiliar with it, but it was exciting. Being in Rapid City, I was especially excited to see our young Native men bring out the warrior in them and represent. The main fight was Dave “Bulldawg” Michaud, who had graduated high school just that year and was going for a belt. We watched the Natives and all the other young men battle it out. When the main event rolled on, we got fired up. He was from our hometown, our rez, and he was Lakota. My sons looked up to him. However, I noticed, it wasn’t exclusively our Tribe that was fired up. It was all the Natives there, in fact it was the whole civic center. Dave came out carrying our Tribal flag amongst war hoops and cheers. He won the belt in the second round with a reverse arm bar (I learned this sport quick). After he won, he did a victory round with the Tribal flag and though he made my friend and I proud to be Oglala Lakota. I noticed he made every person there proud that he was from the same state. He unified us all for a few minutes.
So I decided to ask Dave a few questions regarding his upcoming adventure with reality TV on FX’s The Ultimate Fighter. Dave told me that he chose to focus on MMA in college, even though he started at age 15 when he won his first bout in Sturgis, SD. He realized he was pretty good at fighting and he could possibly make a career out of it.
Dave said he wants to be good at being himself, because it is very important to him to be a good role model to children on the rez since there is a shortage of good role models. He especially thinks that with so many fans of MMA, he can get maximum exposure to show the children on the reservation that there is a way to do things, the right way.
Dave appreciates all of the support he receives, not only from the Pine Ridge Reservation but from all of South Dakota. The feeling of having everyone behind him and not trying to pull him down only makes him want to do better, especially when a parent tells him how much their kids look up to him. It gives him more motivation to succeed.
In Dave’s own words to all his supporters:
“I would like to tell the kids that dreams do come true. Sometimes it takes a little longer than you would like, or it is harder than you thought it would be, but as long as you keep working hard to achieve what you want it will happen. Also, don’t let people bring you down or make you do the wrong things. You don’t need to skip class or smoke or drink to have fun. I would like to thank everyone who has supported me throughout my life. There have always been people behind me, supporting everything I do, and I want everyone to know how much that has helped me. Without all the support I have received I wouldn’t be where I am today. Now I want everyone to continue with support, but for all the kids they know and see.”
Be sure to tune in this Friday, September 14, 2012 on FX to watch David take on 31 other fighters in the 170 lb. weight class until just one remains the champ and earns a contract with UFC. The show has finished taping and will run on Fridays for 13 weeks. David is not allowed to say the outcome, but he knows we all have his back all the way.
Ultimate Fighter Fridays – David Michaud: http://youtu.be/crXVSubdlX8