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Why fight it? MMA success keeps Mike Morahan coming back for more

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    Mike Morahan works the bag during a training session at Ruf House Martial Arts and Fitness on Thursday, July 25.

    THOMAS FETCENKO / CHRONICLE

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    Mike Morahan trains for his Aug. 24 heavyweight fight.

    THOMAS FETCENKO / CHRONICLE

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    Mike Morahan gets his kicks during training.

    THOMAS FETCENKO / CHRONICLE

  • MMA

    Mike Morahan hits the focus mitts during a training session with coach and business partner Michael Kaczmarek at Ruf House Martial Arts and Fitness on Thursday, July 25.

    THOMAS FETCENKO / CHRONICLE

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    Mike Morahan tries to go 3-0 when he meets Anthony Wise on Aug. 24 at the Honor Fighting Championship Fight Night 2 at the Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica in Cleveland.

    THOMAS FETCENKO / CHRONICLE

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    Mike Morahan wrestles with coach Vaughan Sayers-McCoy during a training session at Ruf House Martial Arts and Fitness on Thursday, July 25.

    THOMAS FETCENKO / CHRONICLE

  • MMF

    Mike Morahan

    THOMAS FETCENKO / CHRONICLE

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Uncertainty has been the ongoing theme in Mike Morahan’s MMA career the past few years as multiple times he’s informed his wife, Melissa, that he was done fighting.

The only sure thing during that time was Morahan’s success in the cage.

Morahan has again decided against early retirement and will try to improve upon his unblemished record Aug. 24 when he takes on Anthony Wise in a heavyweight matchup at the Honor Fighting Championship Fight Night 2 at the Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica in Cleveland.

“At this point I don’t know,” Morahan said.

“Now I kind of have my wife (bought) in and I don’t want to tell her I’m not going to do it again.”

Morahan, 31, grew up in Avon and wrestled for two years at St. Edward before he began training in boxing at 23 and jiu jitsu at 25. He and his friend, Mike Kaczmarek, trained together, then decided to invite others to train with them.

“We came back and we started a little club,” said Morahan, whose fight nickname is The Mountain Man. “People started showing up and we charged $10, then even more people started showing up … and here we are.”

What began as an impromptu exercise space in Kaczmarek’s garage six years ago, has blossomed into a business.

The pair approached gyms throughout Lorain County and eventually were given the green light to rent space at Powerhouse Gym in downtown Elyria. After several years there, they found a spot down the street from the gym and Ruf House MMA was born.

“It’s crazy how fast time goes by. Now me and Mike have purple belts. We’ve evolved,” Morahan said. “We have a store front. People come in and do cardio kickboxing with us, and MMA, and we have a cage.”

While Morahan steadily added to his skill set, the desire to do something with his expanding fight repertoire continued to grow.

“I wanted to (fight) when I was like 25 or 26,” he said. “But I didn’t take my first fight until I was 28.”

Morahan earned a second-round technical knockout over Collin Poling during his MMA debut Dec. 10, 2016.

“After the win against Collin, I told my wife, ‘Yeah, I’m not going to fight again,’” he said. “We’re married with a kid and I have a job, a house and a mortgage. So I just figured I’d run my gym and work on getting my black belt in jiu jitsu.

“Then I kind of just got the itch for it again. I talked to my wife and I was like, ‘I think I’m going to fight again.’ I kind of had to talk her into it.”

Morahan improved to 2-0 with another second-round TKO, this time a bit quicker. He knocked out Poling at the 1:28 mark in his first fight but needed only 31 seconds of the second round to finish Winston Witherow.

Again he thought his fighting days were done, but realized a little quicker this time the fire was still burning.

“I like everything about (fighting),” Morahan said. “I like the camp, I like watching my diet, I like how it keeps me on my P’s and Q’s with exercise and the whole balance of it.

“I’m actually a very passive guy. I’m not confrontational at all. A lot of us are pretty chill.”

The laidback attitude may be a byproduct of fatherhood. His son, Mason, will turn 5 in a couple months and Morahan said he’s excited to get him started in wrestling.

“Hopefully he likes it,” Morahan said.

Morahan said the indecision surrounding his career is taking care of itself with every victory.

“I’m kind of in it already,” he said. “I’m no spring chicken, but I’m not 45 years old. I’ve got a couple years and then after that I’ll work on running my gym.

“If I win this one, yeah, I’ll fight again. I’ve already told my wife that if I win I’ll do another one.”

Contact Shaun Bennett at (440) 329-7137 or sbennett@chroniclet.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him @ShaunBennettct on Twitter.
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