Given the set of circumstances and opportunities presented, a fighter’s intuition is always geared toward the sole motivation of reaching the highest standard in their mixed martial arts career. It’s what keeps one hungry, growing and always digging deep to find ways to achieve their goals.

A promising figure out of the Easton/Grudge Training Center camp, Tony Sims carries with him some very unique assets that can easily make him a future star in the sport. Far from the doubtful type, his eagerness, determination and skillfulness gives him a great boost to his credentials. With the current success he has obtained, it seems as though his talents have aided him quite well thus far in his career.

The fighter that spectators see destroying opponents today wasn’t always like this. On the contrary, it would take years of physical and mental construction to mold him into becoming the man he is today.

Alongside his older brother, Sims was introduced to the combat sports field of boxing at the age of seven by his mother in an effort to enrich the pair’s lives with the core principles of respect and discipline. For the next few years, the two brothers would be infused inside the competitive lifestyle. However, the younger Sims child always seemed to be the one with the most capabilities at anything he performed in.

With older brother Ryan seeing the spark of talent that existed in Tony, he was prompted to take on the role as a mentor for his younger sibling. Encouraged greatly by his brother, Sims used the motivation in an extremely beneficial manner in pursuing a successful boxing career and also high accolades as a wrestler.

Sims (L) delivers a punch (

“By high school, I had over 100 amateur boxing bouts, seven state titles, two regional titles and a top-eight finish in the National Silver Gloves and Junior Olympics,” Sims told The MMA Corner in an exclusive interview. “At [age] 12, I joined my brother for our first wrestling practice. I picked it up more quickly than him and won the majority of my youth matches prior to high school.

“Before high school, I told my brother that I wouldn’t be wrestling. He was adamant that I wrestle, and because I held his opinion in such high regard, I gave wrestling a chance. I ended up a three-time varsity letter winner, a two-time Iowa State place winner, and still hold a number of high school records.”

Sims’ competitive drive would later dwindle due to his focus on his college education. Not satisfied with Tony abandoning his athletic abilities, proud brother Ryan became hell-bent on steering his brother down the combat sports path once more.

“My brother played college football, and in his second year, left to join the National Guard,” Sims explained. “There was a college boxing team at my school, and again he urged me to compete in it. I shrugged it off and just tried to focus on the college life. In April 2005, he passed away. In our last letter, he challenged me to not waste the talents that I had.”

After Ryan’s passing, and feeling obligated to fulfill his brother’s request, Sims would make the choice of returning to fighting sports once again. The hiatus didn’t deteriorate his skills, as Sims proved in his participation with the National Collegiate Boxing Association. As his older brother predicted, Tony was a natural at athletics and excelled to great heights in his collegiate boxing venture, until an unfortunate dilemma that derailed his dreams.

“I was not allowed to compete for the national title when the NCBA deemed that my amateur experience was too much for that tournament,” Sims said. “I was upset, frustrated and felt a little helpless that I couldn’t finish what I set out to do.”

The devastating setback wouldn’t put a total damper on his aspirations for too long. It would illustrate a mere closing of one door which opened another door to a new chapter for Sims. It was then that he made his entrance into mixed martial arts fighting. Seemingly taking the words of wisdom from his brother to heart, Sims used the motivational premise to develop a drive in MMA of doing what other contenders aren’t willing to do.

Since his start in 2007, Sims has undoubtedly honored his brother’s legacy through fighting. Already holding an impressive boxing and wrestling pedigree, Sims, from the training aspect to competing, has embraced his style to stay ever-evolving on the grueling course. Even with his full-time job as structural engineer, Sims doesn’t let the long hours at work stop his daily routine of getting in the gym to become the best he can be.

“A typical day for me includes working between around 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. At night, I make the trip to the gym and train or teach until 9 p.m. It makes for long days. The gym is the glue that holds it all together,” Sims admitted. “Having the ability to dedicate that time is a blessing, and I am gracious that it has become a passion.”

From striking and dueling on the ground, Sims’ performances in battle have earned him an undefeated record as an amateur and a 6-1 standing in his current professional run. Far from finished, Sims hopes to reach UFC prominence and strives to realize his ultimate potential with no stone left unturned when looking back on his career.

“My goal is to be a top-tier fighter in the UFC like so many others,” he confessed. “Being a professional athlete has always been something I was certain I could do. I just hope to have a career that I can look back on and have zero doubt that my accomplishments equaled my potential.”

From reluctance to willingness, Sims’ persistence and confidence has without question transformed him into the prized athlete he is today. His success attributes to what happens when one makes the most of what they have toward chasing their goals, because after all, success comes in cans, not can’ts.

Tony would like to thank his coaches Christian Allan, Eliot Marshall, Leister Bowling and Pat Garland. He would also like to thank Anchor Engineering for allowing him to pursue his passion, and he’d like to thank Sustainergy Energy Bars.

Top Photo: Tony Sims (Casey O’Day/CMO Photo)

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.

  • Mary Sims

    What a beautiful article re: my son. Thank you so much for writing this.

    • Tony sims

      I’ve just came across this article by accident being my namesake I was reading about myself then dropped down a page to read about this young man
      I was moved by the article as this young man has great belief and desire which is what you need in life to succeed
      I’m a top professional boxing coach in uk I’m actually in USA at this time as my pupil and professional boxer Darren Barker is contesting the world middleweight title on HBO on sat nite and he has had a similar life pattern
      Keep training my friend
      And believe in god as he will take you through
      God bless
      Tony sims

      • Tony Sims

        Thanks for your words on this article Mr. Sims. It is a small world. Maybe one day we can work together! I wish you and your fighters the best. Darren is very gifted from what I have seen.


  • JM

    Nice article Monta. Tony will be a UFC champion, I believe that.