No matter the line of work, everyone strives to be the best at their practiced profession. Whether it’s becoming a world champion or another occupational goal, faith, for some, is the guiding light through the highs and lows on the road to the great prize that awaits at the finish line.

Currently active in the military, The Ultimate Fighter 16 winner Colton Smith has been living out a lifelong dream in his quest to becoming a UFC champion. Each day is an uphill battle to reach the top. Fortunately for Smith, his faith has carried him through the trials that have arisen in his life.

Hitting a crowning moment in his career back in December 2012, Staff Sergeant Colton Smith’s domination over the competition in the TUF house blessed him with the title as the reality series’ season champion. For Smith, who was still going through his molding phase as a well-rounded fighter, divine will may have played a big role in the outcome of that season.

“My faith in Christ has carried me through so much in my life,” Smith told The MMA Corner in an exclusive interview. “It is my divine belief that I have been imbedded with a God-birthed dream in heart to become a world champion.”

It’s always a daily grind for any contender to work toward an athletic goal while also attending to other daily challenges outside the sports field. MMA fighter, husband, father and active serviceman in the U.S. Army, that’s the total package of the many responsibilities and obligations that Smith must juggle. However, with a strong support system nurturing his dream, Smith’s road through his UFC venture has become less strenuous, which in turn has allowed him to devote more attention to ascending in his fight career.

“I am so blessed, this camp, to have so many awesome family, friends, training partners and companies supporting my dream,” he admitted.

Pursuing a dream always comes with its share of obstacles that one must contend with. UFC 160 brought an unexpected blemish of misfortune to the active Army Ranger with a TKO loss to Robert Whittaker. Unfazed by the loss, Smith has used this experience as a learning tool in his enhancement as a fighter. He maintains a proper training routine and has transitioned to a suitable weight class which will allow him to perform at his best come fight night.

Pressing forward, Smith’s renovation in his maturity as a fighter couldn’t be any better than it is heading into his next fight against Michael Chiesa. Taking himself out of his normal element, Smith finds himself training at Jackson’s MMA for his upcoming encounter. There, he is working with some of the top MMA talents in the business, including fellow Army Ranger Tim Kennedy. The experience with the Jackson fight camp couldn’t have benefited Smith any greater. His confidence in his skills and his mental prowess couldn’t be any better heading into this high-stakes confrontation.

“Chiesa is a good wrestler. He’s a very aggressive fighter and really pushes forward,” said Smith. “I think it is a good match-up for me. I feel that I have the superior skills, and [I] look to put the pressure on him. I couldn’t be any more excited heading into this fight.”

Adding extra incentive heading into the upcoming festivities, the fight will take place at UFC Fight for the Troops 3, which will be televised on the military base at Fort Campbell, Ky. For Smith, the honorary privilege of battling in front of his brothers and sister in arms couldn’t be a more suitable way to return to the Octagon. It far exceeds any major UFC card on which the promotion’s matchmaker, Joe Silva, could place him.

With a heavy arsenal of faith, skills and the support of the soldier attendees cheering him on, Smith is more than ready to create a scenario on Nov. 6 where the only outcome for his opponent, Chiesa, is a scene of destruction.

Photo: Colton Smith (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

About The Author

Monta Wiley
Staff Writer

Monta Wiley is an aspiring sports journalist that has covered the world of MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He has been a regular contributor to US Combat Sports. Monta has a Bachelor's degree in Aviation Administration from California State University-Los Angeles. Outside of his writing, you can find Monta at the gym honing his BJJ technique.