MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
The U.S. Air Force owns the sky through air superiority, but who’s to say Airmen can’t compete on the ground?
On July 14, Senior Airman Adam Amado, 6th Maintenance Group aircraft maintenance unit scheduler, earned a technical knockout victory over his opponent at Cage Fury Fighting Championship 110 in Tampa, Florida.
Mixed martial arts, commonly known as MMA, is a sanctioned combat sport that incorporates multiple fighting disciplines such as wrestling, boxing, muay Thai and jiu-jitsu.
While Amado has a background competing in wrestling during his high school years, it was his striking abilities that separated him from his opponent on July 14.
“I knew I missed no steps in training and went in there with complete confidence,” Amado said. “In MMA, there’s a sense of healthy arrogance you need to carry within yourself. You cannot go in there with any sympathy for your adversary. I was after the finish, and I did just that.”
Amado was able to defend each takedown attempt and ended the fight with punches on the ground over his opponent who brought a 3-1 professional record with him into the cage.
The idea of getting punched in the face is one that many people would flinch at. At a young age, Amado gravitated towards hand-to-hand combat and developed his passion for martial arts.
“I grew up watching Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan movies, and I wanted to be able to throw punches and kicks like them,” Amado said. “As I began MMA, I learned early on that you have to get over the fact that you’re going to take some hits in and out of the cage. It’s about how you respond. You either keep getting hit or fight back.”
Amado’s main card fight at CFFC 110 was his second professional bout. His professional debut did not end with him getting his hand raised.
“Losing my first professional fight hurt,” Amado said. “It was a close fight that I knew I should have won. It made me hungrier, it made me work harder and it made me take fighting even more serious than I thought I was taking it. I wasn’t going to let that happen again.”
Amado said that the toughest part about swallowing his debut loss was the thought of disappointing his family and friends who have supported him on his athletic journey. That feeling led Amado to double down on his training efforts, which included more hours spent in the gym and sharpening his skills.
Since his time at MacDill, Amado has been able to manage not only his duties with the 6th MXG, but has also been able to train and compete as a professional mixed martial artist.
“Balancing the two isn’t easy work,” Amado said. “There are days I want to sit home and spend time with my family. I have learned to unplug emotionally and just stick to the routine.”
Amado said that part of his motivation comes from the support he receives from other Airmen in his unit. One of the members who attended Amado’s fight was his supervisor, Tech. Sgt. Adam Canty, 6th MXG noncommissioned officer in charge of scheduling.
“Senior Airman Amado gave an amazing performance,” Canty said. “He trains daily during after-duty hours to perfect his craft, and to see all that hard work pay off, I couldn’t be happier for him.”
As per the Airman’s Creed, the American Airman is a warrior whose mission is to fly, fight and win. Through his endeavors in and out of the cage, Amado exemplifies being that warrior.