It says a lot about someone when they aren’t dealt the best hand in life but they can still manage to make something of themselves. Everyone loves that “rags to riches” type of story. It’s something of an inspiration to see a regular Joe go out and become something.

Luke Standing may not have had the worst hand dealt to him, but at the same time he wasn’t given all of the opportunities that are presented to a lot of the Australian population as they are growing up. What he was given, though, was a work ethic, and that has now led him to where he is one win away from securing a title with Australia’s leading mixed martial arts series.

“I’m from Macquarie Fields and I grew up in housing commissions,” Standing revealed in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “It’s what drives me, to see where I have come from. It shows that hard work really does pay off. It might not come straight away and you might have to work really hard, but when you do, it’ll pay off. Knowing where I come from, that’s why I do this and that’s what motivates me to win. Knowing that I came from nothing makes me want this chance even more.”

Ask any professional fighter and they will tell you that the sport can sometimes be somewhat unforgiving. Standing already had the chance to fight for the BRACE featherweight title previously, but, due to last-minute complications, his fight was canceled, which led him to reflect on whether a career in mixed martial arts was what he really wanted.

“When the Nick Honstein fight got canceled twice, it really hit me hard,” he revealed. “After cutting all the weight and putting in all that hard work and then to have it taken away from me, it got to the point where I just kind of had enough. I also had some issues at home I needed to sort out, so I just wanted to get away from everything. I am ready now, though, and I’m winning this fight.”

Working with some of Australia’s MMA pioneers in Anthony Perosh and Elvis Sinosic at SPMA in Sydney, Standing has some of the best experience in his corner when he steps into the cage on Nov. 29. It’s that experience that is going to fuel the undefeated fighter even more so to do everything that he can to walk out of the cage with his hand held high.

“I train with some of the best guys in the country,” he explained. “I think that they are the best coaches in the country, and they have a wealth of experience in the fight game. These guys are known all over Australia as being successful, and to have them behind me is just amazing.”

On Nov. 29 in Canberra, Australia, Standing faces off against fellow undefeated prospect Martin Nguyen. With the BRACE featherweight title on the line, it will come time for Standing’s hard work to pay off once again.

“This is my dream,” he admitted. “I have fought for amateur titles before in boxing, but all that time I always dreamt about fighting for a professional title. Ever since I started training when I was younger, all I could ever think about was being a champion. Now I get that chance. Winning this belt will definitely put one of our names out there, and I want to go on to test out my skills anywhere that I can.

“I know Martin has a lot of hype behind him and he’s a tough guy. He is very skilled in all aspects of his game, and I know that he’s going to be just as ready as I am. We both have the same sorta aspirations and goals. I don’t have anything against him, he just wants the same thing that I do and he is the only thing in my way from getting it.”

Life isn’t meant to be easy. That’s something that Standing has had to come to terms with many times throughout his mixed martial arts career, as well as in the journey early in his life. Nov. 29 is set to be his biggest night as a professional competitor, and he plans to show that hard work and being true to one’s self can help in overcoming most obstacles that are thrown at you.

Looking back at just how far he has come, a title belt around his waist come Friday night is just going to be a bonus for Standing, because although he may have had a troublesome past, the example that he shows through hard work could be an inspiration for people all over the world who have had to overcome adversity. After all, in Standing’s eyes, it’s not so much about the hand you are dealt in life, it’s what you go on to make of it.

Luke would like to thank his coaches, Anthony Perosh, Elvis Sinosic, Paul Sinosic and the rest of his team mates at SPMA. Follow him on Twitter: @StandingLuke and follow BRACE on Twitter: @BRACEMMA

Photo: BRACE 24 (BRACE MMA)