Brennan Ward has given a far reaching interview with MMA Junkie in which he described the less than idea preparation for his 2015 fight with Ken Hasegawa. He submitted the Japanese fighter at the Rizin New Year’s Eve show and the result was an impressive one under the circumstances.
“Iâm like drinking f**king Japanese beers in my hotel room at f**king 4 oâclock in the morning, trying to catch a couple of hours of sleep before I got to fight this motherfu**ker,” he recalled.
The fight which took place in the Saitama Super Arena in front of over 18,000 fans. But according to Ward he arrived at the venue in such a bad state that he couldn’t even warm up,
“I was just dragging ass. I didnât warm up. Bob Sapp still has our mitts. Like we just gave our mitts to Bob Sapp because he needed mitts. I was like, âyeah, Iâm not using these f**king things. Go ahead…’.”
Hasegawa was undefeated at the time and came into the fight with a record of 12-0-1, the sole blemish on his record being a draw. It would have been an intimidating fight for anyone, let alone a fighter who had been scouring the internet for places in Tokyo to score drugs less than 12 hours previously.
But Ward was somehow able to pull himself together as he made his way into the arena,
“Once they stuffed me in this f**king chute, this tunnel to bring me up, once I seen that crowd, it was crazy. The adrenaline. The goosebumps. I remember jumping down the flight of stairs. I felt so weightless. I really did. I felt good at that moment, and I got in there. Plus, I had wrestling shoes on, so I was like, âYou know what? I might be able to f**king crack this dude and win this f**king fight.”
He submitted Hasegawa early in the second round. In the moments before the fight Ward admits he had tried to make a bargain with a higher power but it was a deal he would rapidly renege on,
“I swore to God. I said, âGod, if you can get me through this fu**king fight, Iâll never do fu**king drugs again. And I mean, obviously not one minute after it landed at LaGuardia did I have fu**king dope in my hand.”
It sounds like a story from the Pride days. In the modern era of MMA, fighters take their preparation and training very seriously and Ward’s chaotic lifestyle makes his 14-6 record and the 2015 win over Hasegawa all the more impressive.