UFC fighter Kajan Johnson and ET Canada online writer Shakiel Mahjouri invite MMA’s most colourful personalities to share crazy, entertaining and personal stories.
Zak Ottow reflects on his late start in MMA and fighting outdoors in heatwaves and rainstorms early in his career. Ottow also talks the impressive roster of talent at his gym, including one fighter who is currently on “The Ultimate Fighter 28”.
Kajan Johnson: “What were you doing on Wall Street, Mr. Zak Ottow?”
Zak Ottow: “I was a personal assistant to two stock brokers at a building on 50 Broadway. I did that for about a year and couch surfed among friends in New York City. It was a fun year.”
Zak Ottow: “It was an outside fight in the middle of July or August. It was super hot and because I was 0-0 we fought right away so the sun was still high. You had to circle a certain way so that the sun wasn’t in your eyes. The vinyl of the mat got so hot all the skin came off our feet. I had these massive, massive blisters all over my feet down to the flesh.”
Zak Ottow: “The next year it rained the whole time. It was a slip-and-side. The mat was totally slicked.”
Kajan Johnson: “I saw a King of the Cage show like that way back. They called it ‘Wet and Wild’. No one would kick because everyone who kicked fell immediately. It was literally like a slip-and-slide.”
Kajan Johnson: “Tristar in Montreal gets so hot and humid in the gym. There’s a hundred people in a tiny room, the whole mat is a giant mud puddle of sweat by the end of the class.”