Travis Wiuff as soon as informed the Post Bulletin that he prays for himself and his opponent whenever he steps in the cage.

Perhaps that’s what has kept him going for two decades in a sport that takes its toll on an athlete, bodily and mentally.

Or possibly there’s another, more obvious motive.

“Some human beings are exact with computer systems,” Wiuff stated, “a few humans are desirable at promoting matters or properly at solving issues. I occur to be excellent at combating.”

Wiuff’s talents and preference to stay aggressive have helped him attain a milestone that only a few mixed martial arts opponents accomplish. This Saturday, he’ll face Jeremy Spelts at Fusion Fight League’s Fights Under The Lights 6 in Billings, Mont. The heavyweight bout will the one centesimal MMA fight of Wiuff’s expert career.

The 41-yr-old from Kasson nicknamed “Diesel” has a career record of 76 wins, 22 defeats and 1 no contest.

“This just means I’m really old,” Wiuff said with a laugh ultimate week, as he trained for his milestone combat. “It actually the method I’ve been around a long time. One of my goals when I first started … I simply desired to be remembered as a hard man. I knew I’d never in all likelihood be a world champion. I turned into never at that degree. I just desired to be remembered as a hard guy to face. I suppose that’s as massive of praise as you could give any individual.”

Whenever Wiuff’s preventing career comes to a near, he’ll, in reality, be remembered that way. He’s battled thru damaged hands, suffered concussions, a damaged nose, and different accidents. Yet, he said, he’s by no means had a broken arm or leg and no most important surgical procedures.

“For 20 years in, that’s quite healthful,” he said.

He’s also referred to as a person who loves to present back to youngsters and young athletes. The 6-foot-four, 255-pound Wiuff (said “view”) is a paraprofessional within the Kasson-Mantorville School District. He also coaches seventh-grade soccer at K-M and is an assistant educate with the powerhouse KoMets wrestling software, which has gained 4 country group championships inside the beyond seven years and produced 3 individual kingdom champions closing year.

“It’s a brilliant application,” said Wiuff, who wrestled at Owatonna High School and Rochester Community and Technical College. “We’re led with the aid of the top high school coach within the state (Jamie Heidt). What he’s done for the program is plain, he’s placed us at the map.

“It’s motivating to me to be around kids at K-M who’re willing to work so hard to accomplish an aim. They motivate me simply as much as I encourage them.”

‘A TRAVELING CIRCUS’

When Wiuff agreed to take his first professional MMA fight, the game wasn’t even known as MMA.

“It changed into known as ‘No Holds Barred’ lower back then,” Wiuff said. “I assume the only rules had been no biting, no pulling hair and no hitting within the groin. There wasn’t an athletic fee governing the game, so a promoter could visit a venue and say ‘howdy, I’d love to do those fights’ – it became like a traveling circus – and we’d set up a ring, get some combatants.”

Sometimes, Wiuff could combat greater than as soon as in a night. Sometimes towards unscheduled and untrained fighters.

“Sometimes the promoter would pull guys from the crowd,” Wiuff stated. “I bear in mind one time at a biker bar up north of the Cities, I fought my original opponent, then a biker jumped in so I fought him, then every other. … Compared to how things are run now, it’s not even equal recreation.”

According to MMA internet site Sherdog.Com, Wiuff’s first authentic professional combat occurred almost 18 years in the past to the day that his 100th will take location. He debuted on Sept. 7, 2001, within the northern Twin Cities suburb of Ramsey at the Rumble in Ramsey. Wiuff beat Jeff Greer through TKO inside the first round.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

This weekend’s fight against Spelts can be every other spotlight on a listing of many for Wiuff, but win or lose, it’s a milestone many combatants will by no means attain. And it maybe every other lasting memory for Wiuff, who has made many in his nearly two a long time in the game.

He speaks with top-notch satisfaction approximately his stints with top expert organizations UFC and Bellator. Wiuff fought on two prominent UFC pay-in step with-views, UFC 40 and UFC fifty-two, both of which passed off at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Both of these indicates featured UFC superstar Chuck Liddell, who won the co-most important occasion of UFC 40. That show became headlined by way of two legends, as Tito Ortiz beat Ken Shamrock in the predominant event. Wiuff fought in the co-primary event at UFC 52, which saw Liddell beat Randy Couture through the first-round knockout in the important occasion.

And even though Wiuff became defeated in each of his UFC appearances, he has fond memories of the possibility to compete in this sort of massive level.

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