Rick Hawn has been competing in combat sports for a very long time now. Some fans may not know, and I mean then they probably live under a rock, but Rick Hawn has been in combat sports well before his MMA days.

“A lot of people do not realize that this is my second career in combat sports,” Hawn told The MMA Corner. “For me, mentally and physically, it is just really tough to go out there and do this; especially as I get older. I had a long judo career and that is really hard, but it was worth it. I made the Olympic team in 2004 and that is something money can’t buy. I did not win any money for it, I got in debt, but that is fine. Money can’t buy and Olympic team. It was a dream come true.”

It was surely a dream come true to compete for team USA. That is something people wish they could have for just one second and Hawn accomplished it. He finished ninth in the Olympic games, but then failed to qualify for the games again in 2008.

After his Judo career in the Olympics, Hawn made the switch to MMA at the age of thirty-two.

When Hawn talked about his career in combat sports, you could hear the sense that the end may be near. Hawn talked about when he may walk away from competing in combat sports after years and years of competing.

“You know, I am taking it one fight at a time,” said Hawn. “I take it one fight at a time right now. We will see how I feel after this fight. It is not getting easier the older I get. I kind of want to enjoy life more. I was recently married and we got a house, you know, fighting is a young mans sport. Recovery takes a lot longer.”

Hawn is taking it one fight at a time and his next fight is a big one, a Titan FC lightweight title fight against Pat Healy at Titan FC 35. Hawn talked about his title fight at Titan FC 35.

“I am really confident with this fight,” said Hawn. “He is a big name and has fought a lot of tough guys. I am definitely preparing the best I can for him. I feel confident in my abilities. It will be an honor to face someone like him. I am looking forward to going out there and hopefully putting on a good show for everyone.”

This is a big fight for Hawn, but it could also be his last fight ever. Hawn talked about if the title fight will be his last fight of his career.

“I can’t say,” said Hawn. “We will see how the fight goes. We will see how I feel. I am training harder than I ever have before. It is a title fight so I am training hard even if I will retire after this fight. I am putting everything into this fight. This is obviously a big fight, win or lose.”

For someone who has been competing in combat sports for years, it would be hard to walk away from the sport entirely. Hawn has some awesome plans for his life outside of competing in combat sports.

“Fighting does not pay the bills anymore, so I am now working part-time and I am getting ready to open up my own school,” said Hawn. “It opens this winter, so I am transition to getting that all set up for when I do retire. I will run the judo program and the jiu-jitsu program. Maybe even the MMA program. I think I will have a successful school. That is what I am focusing on. Like I said, it is harder as I am getting older and I do not know how much longer I will be training full-time.”

Hawn seems to have a good plan for life after competing in combat sports. Sometimes in life, you need to plan ahead, and Hawn is doing just that. Hawn talked about if he has been thinking a lot about life after fighting.

“Yeah I am thinking more about life after fighting,” said Hawn. I think you kind of have to. It is not healthy to fight too long. I do not want to go down that path. Life after fighting, I probably should have done that several years ago, but I am doing it now.”

With Hawn being very close to walking away from the sport I asked him about the legacy he feels he has left behind in combat sports.

“I do not know what my legacy will be,” said Hawn. “I was never one of the best fighters out there, but I was not horrible. I was just a middle of the road guy, so I do not know if those kinds of guys have a legacy. I am defiantly happy. I have had more success than I envisioned when I first started. A lot of people told me that fighting at age thirty-two was a bad idea, but I was able to show some people up and show I could do it.”

Hawn certainly has a legacy in combat sports. It is not everyday that you win two Bellator tournaments, make the Olympic judo team, and finish ninth in the 2004 Olympics. Hawn has had a very impressive MMA career, even if he humbling would tell you that he was just a middle of the road guy. The sport of MMA will miss Hawn when he steps away, but they will be happy that he is doing what he wants to do. Hawn talked about if he would be happy with his career when he steps away from the sport.

“Yeah, when I look back at it, I will be,” said Hawn. “I was fighting very tough guys at that time. I always look back and think I did pretty well for a guy who started at age thirty-two. Overall, I am happy. It is not a stellar career in some people’s eyes, but that does matter to me. It is personal for me and I am happy with it.”

 

About The Author

Jeremy Klump
Interview Coordinator / Video Manager

Jeremy Klump is a Sport Media major at Ithaca College and has been writing about Mixed Martial Arts for over a year now. He interned at MVC Sports Management and AMA Fight Club. While interning at MVC and AMA, Jeremy found out that he had a true passion for writing about Mixed Martial Arts. He has interviewed and wrote articles on top UFC fighters while also having knowledge of regional fighters and the top new comers. He looks to grow as a writer and expand his knowledge of Mixed Martial Arts while being a proud member of The MMA Corner team.