Bobby "King" Green (13-3) got his start fighting in backyards with no thought of YouTube stardom.
Green sized up who he wanted to fight that day and put socks on his hands to protect them while 100 or so acquaintances milled about. Then, it was go time.
"I just tried to entertain the crowd," Green recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
When a trainer told Green he had potential after spotting him at a grappling tournament he did on a lark, "King" leaped head-first into MMA and took fights on short notice. Sometimes, it was very short notice, as little as 20 minutes. But it was always about giving the audience a show – being memorable.
"Win or lose is not important for me," Green said.
Green has fought 16 times in a little more than two years. He's taken fights stateside on Friday and driven across the border to fight Saturday in Mexico. Matchmakers know he doesn't turn down fights.
One week ago, Green, who trains out of Pinnacle Jiu-Jitsu in Redlands, Calif., defeated Ricky Legere Jr. for the King of the Cage 160-pound championship.
"I do it whenever they call," Green said. "This is a lifestyle – versus a lot of guys that are doing the business right now. They're doing it because it's cool – maybe I can get a girlfriend or two out of this, maybe a little respect from their friends. But to me, it's just a lifestyle. This is what I do every day."
Green said he likes fighting so much, he'd do it for free. But with a new son in his life, that isn't in the cards. He isn't keeping his pace out of greed or a well of rage, but because he never wants his son to go without.
"Becoming a father changes you," Green said.
He usually makes between $3,000 and $4,000 dollars a fight – enough to last him a couple of months at a time if he spends it well. Like most up-and-comers, Green's not getting rich. He's fought but once on a national stage.
That fight, the first pay-per-view bout on "Affliction: Day of Reckoning," angers him to this day.
The battle lasted 4:55. Green faced current UFC fighter Dan Lauzon and was deducted two points for kicks to his opponent's groin.
Lauzon, brother to top UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon, pulled guard during the fight and quickly worked himself to Green's back at the end of the first round. With five seconds left, he tapped Green out with a rear-naked choke.
Lauzon returned to the UFC in the wake of Afflliction's collapse, while Green continues to make his way on the smaller circuit.
Green claims only one of his kicks went south and that Lauzon faked the rest for show.
"He was trying to get a breather because he couldn't handle the pressure," Green said. "He got his butt whooped the whole fight, and then he ends up catching a lucky choke, and then, all of a sudden, his balls don't hurt any more and he can do backflips.
"He was crying all day that I was kicking him in the balls, and as soon as it's over, he's doing a back flips. If my balls hurt, I would not be doing back flips off the rope."
Green took a little over a month to lick his wounds and got back to work. He amassed a 4-1 record in 2009, including a victory over Charles "Krazy Horse" Bennett, before his King of the Cage victory this past week.
It's Green's dream to compete on "The Ultimate Fighter" as a lightweight. He wants another chance to prove he belongs in the big leagues. No more fighting month-to-month.
That's why when he fights, he tries to bring the backyard to the big stage.
"The most important thing is that the fight is exciting and people remember it."
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