They put themselves through unpredictable hell every single night that they enter the workplace. In front of them, a challenge is set and the other party just doesn’t want to give up. Four legs stand in the way of greatness.

Four legs?

Before he took the path of being a professional fighter, Rusty “The Wrecking Ball” McBride went through many journeys, one of which was being a bull rider.

There are many parallels that can be drawn between the sporting of bull riding and MMA. In both, only one can stand tall in the end. In both, it only takes a split second for the tide to turn. And in both, you can come out with more bumps and bruises than you could ever imagine.

McBride (top) batters his opponent (Facebook.com/TheWreckingBall01)

“No man can hit harder than a bull or a horse,” McBride revealed in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “It was character building. I did it for three years and got into it when I worked on cattle and buffalo stations in the Northern Territory.”

He probably could have continued down that path, going out every night and risking his life to entertain the masses. However, his fate was seemingly set from an early age with the help of his parents.

“I have been involved in martial arts since I was a kid,” he admitted. “I was doing karate because my parents were instructors, but I did that mainly for fitness and a bit of fun to build a skill set.”

There was a gap in time between his participation in karate as a youngster and his eventual MMA debut, and like most Australian boys, McBride played rugby in his teens.

“I was playing rugby from the age of 16. I liked the physical nature of it and I excelled pretty quickly. After a little while, I was selected to join the AIS [Australian Institute of Sport] and started playing for Australia. I used to get frustrated with teammates letting you down, whether it was at training or in the game. It came to the point where I kind of had enough of team sport,” he confessed. “I really wanted to try an individual sport and since tennis wasn’t my thing, I started fighting.”

Life isn’t all about fighting for McBride though. He has a job that helps pay the bills while he continues to progress his career as a professional fighter. With career choices ranging from bull riding to being a bouncer for seven years, McBride now opts for a profession that is a little more low key: he’s a personal trainer.

“As a lot of fighters would know, it is pretty hard to get sponsorship here in Australia,” he admitted. “In my training, you have to earn a spot. I only want to work with people who are dead set committed to getting results. Having a profession that is going to complement my training as a fighter is certainly an asset to me, especially in my fight preparation.”

McBride works for an armbar (Facebook.com/TheWreckingBall01)

McBride holds a professional record of six wins with just two losses. The last time he lost a fight was over a year ago against Daniel Hooker at Australian Fighting Championships 3 with the promotion’s lightweight championship on the line. The fight went to the second round, at which point it was stopped by the doctor due to a cut sustained by McBride. It’s something that has lingered in his mind and has been fueling his preparation for his AFC 5 rematch with Hooker on May 10.

“This time my motivation is avenging my loss,” he explained. “Last time, I was too concerned with winning the belt, since it was my first title fight. This time it’s about the fight and getting the win. I think that everybody involved, especially me, will be hoping for a definitive outcome and it will be good to see who can finish the fight rather than having it stopped. ”

McBride goes into the fight at AFC 5 seemingly having the hometown advantage since he is based out of Melbourne. That hometown fight is something that a lot of fighters will seek out—there is no better feeling then being successful in front of friends and family. However, McBride sees the fight in Melbourne as something else entirely.

“It doesn’t really matter too much,” he admitted. “There are a lot of Kiwis in Melbourne too, so it may be like last time. A lot of the crowd was there to cheer him on too. For me, it’s just a fight and it’s a challenge that presents itself that I need to overcome.”

It has been a long 12 months for McBride. When a fight ends due to a cut, it leaves a lot of doubt in the mind of a fighter and it begs the question, “What if?” Having the chance to prove once and for all who the better fighter is when he faces Daniel Hooker at AFC 5 is a chance that McBride is not going to let slip through his fingers. Having won his last two fights, he is in a perfect position to add the AFC lightweight title to his resume. It could almost be said that it is time for McBride to get back up on the horse—something that he is all too familiar with.

Rusty would like to thank Dominance MMA in Richmond along with his training partners and also his dad—Neil McBride—who puts in a lot of hard work and money to help establish and progress McBride’s career as a fighter.

Top Photo: Rusty McBride (Facebook.com/TheWreckingBall01)