I have a great time watching boxing, Muay Thai, K-1, UFC etc fights whenever possible.
UFC 68 saw one of the biggest upsets in fight history, when Randy Couture (44) defeated the giant Tim Sylvia to win back the UFC heavyweight title. An amazing feat in such a sport.
What I found equally amazing was the number of testimonies given by other fighters of their Christian Faith on the night. If memory serves me right, there were five, with some form the UFC’s main stars. They spoke of their relationship with Jesus and His influence in every part of their lives.
Here are what they said on the night…………..
“…I want to dedicate this fight tonight to two people. Jesus Christ who died for our sins and the American G.I. who steps up and dies for our freedom on a daily basis. This is for them!” Randy Couture
“I want to give thanks to God who saw me through my training and I honestly want to thank him for October 14th as well.” Rich Franklin
“I’ve become closer to God, I’m born again.” Tim Sylvia
“The Lord our God is one. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Matt Hughes
“All thanks to Jesus. I gave my life to Jesus.” Jason Lambert
Everyone who knows Manny Pacquiao knows that he prays daily, and he does so publicly. He has a deep faith in God, and he always puts God first in his life.
Here in Ireland our very own Katie Taylor after each fight gives thanks to God…..
Many times in fighters will thank God before starting interviews and or they will credit God for their success. Many times fighters will Pray to God for a victory before a contest. One of my favourite quotes from the bible comes from psalm 144;
Blessed be the LORD, myrock, who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle; he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.
Although you will get those who disagree with all of this, personally I think it was wonderful that they thanked God! I believe that God is the giver of all talents and gifts. Yes, we have to put the work in to be great, but God blesses us with the ability. He blesses us with opportunity. He opens doors for us to showcase our talent. And that is worth thanking God for.
Think about it this way. When we graduate from school, we thank our parents. Why? Because they cared for us and made sure that we had everything they could possibly give us to be successful. God does the same thing but to an even higher level. He blesses our parents with the ability to provide for our needs. He watches over us and protects us. Why is it okay to publicly thank our parents when we graduate from school, but it’s not okay to publicly thank God whenever we have success?
Everyone likes praise. If I give y son or daughter something, I expect them to show appreciation and thanks for what I’ve done for him. If they didn’t say thank you, I’d be quick to remind him about his manners. While we are working on our jobs, we like and expect to be recognized whenever we’ve done an exceptional job. Well, God loves praise too! In Psalm 100;
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name
I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. You may not have a world title, but I encourage you to give God thanks and praise for all that he has blessed you with.