Fight Path: Farm living, sister's death put XFC 24's Dave Courchaine on MMA road


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

dave-courchaine.jpgDuring Dave Courchaine‘s professional MMA debut, he took his opponent into a bear hug and was planning to his next move to get him to the ground.

Then he and the crowd at the 2008 “Strikeforce at the Dome” in Tacoma, Wash., got a big surprise. The power went out.

“I thought I got knocked out,” Courchaine told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “It was pitch black. They turned on two floodlights, and I said, ‘Are we really gonna finish the fight like this?’ It was so hard to see.”

The fight did finish, and Courchaine suffered a knockout loss, part of an 0-2 start to his pro career that made him question whether it was worth taking the time away from his roofing company and his family to train. But he continued.

Courchaine heads into a June 14 matchup with Luis Santos (56-9-1) at XFC 24 at 15-5 with an eight-fight win streak, including three wins in consecutive months from January to March. The 30-year-old welterweight will fly cross country from his home in Washington to Tampa, Fla., to try to build on his streak and boost his resume.

His hard work toward those goals began when he was barely 12 and working for the family’s construction company. It continued during his standout high school wrestling career and even with some unintentional preparation while working on roofs.

Courchaine credits his brother’s constant battling growing up (Will Courchaine is a pro MMA heavyweight), his wrestling coach’s drive for preparation and the untimely death of a sister as he was entering high school for motivating him during his career. It’s a career he hopes will take another jump soon.

“Never count me out, because I just have an extra gear,” he said. “I don’t know exactly where it comes from, but I’m definitely never giving up.”

Work like a man

Courchaine was born in California, but when he was about 12 his family moved to Cheney, Wash., a smaller college town that is home to Eastern Washington University. They lived on a farm, and his father ran a construction company, which is where Courchaine and his brother worked during their free time.

They also had 300 head of cattle to feed on the farm and other tasks.

“If it was a break, we were working,” Courchaine said. “Other kids said, ‘Great, it’s Christmas break,” but we would say, ‘Oh no, it’s Christmas break.’”

The family’s mantra was, “If you work like a man, you can act like a man.” That meant extra responsibility, but also extra freedom. So, while going to video stores to pick up R-rated movies because that was allowed as a reward for their work, the Courchaine brothers also discovered UFC videos, which they happily watched with their father.

It also encouraged their own battling with each other, which happened often.

“We were doing jiu-jitsu before we even knew what it was,” he said.

Courchaine progressed to a state championship high school wrestling career, but it came after a tragedy. His sister, who was 22, died from an aneurysm when he was heading into high school. Distraught, he needed a distraction – so he entered wrestling and excelled.

As he increased his skill and his toughness, Courchaine also constructed a take-you-on attitude that would later help his career.

“If you thought you were bad, I was gonna make you prove it,” he said. “And I wouldn’t quit, I would just keep coming at you.”

Building a career

Courchaine set up his first amateur MMA fight because of that attitude. He attended a show when he was 19, and he ended up sharing words with Dennis Hallman, a longtime MMA pro who is also from Washington. Courchaine challenged him, but Hallman couldn’t fight an amateur, so he sent one of his fighters against Courchaine.

After that, Courchaine rapidly built his amateur career before taking a break when he started a family. When Strikeforce was planning its Tacoma show in 2008, the promotion called Courchaine, and he accepted his first pro fight.

Then the lights went out, and he lost. He also lost his second fight in May 2009, and he wondered if he should continue.

“It was a big gut check,” he said. “I had my family and other things going on, so I didn’t know if I should be doing this.”

A six-fight win streak cured that, and it also caused Courchaine to try to build his skills. That’s why he started training at a boxing gym, even though some of the others snickered that an MMA fighter was trying boxing for the first time.

About six months in, he even took a pro boxing fight. To that point, he had been concerned about meeting an MMA opponent who wanted to stand up and punch. After the boxing match, which was admittedly full of beatings, Courchaine was more confident (and he later went on to earn two pro boxing victories).

Starting in April 2012, Courchaine went on his current eight-fight win streak. During that time, he was working daily at his own roofing company, which involved heavy lifting and actions with a roofing gun that mimic punching.

He has even moved back to his family’s farm, getting closer to his roots to raise his family with his fiancee. He believes that has helped his preparation for his upcoming fight and for his career overall.

“I’m training like I did in high school, just hard work,” he said. “It’s a good feeling, and I feel as good as I’ve ever felt.”

Catching up

Last week, we told you the story of Andrew Leone‘s rise from the underground New York MMA to an MMA career he started when he left a college wrestling scholarship. He bounced back from a loss to top Geje Eustaquio by unanimous decision at ONE FC 9 on Friday.

Leone is now 6-1 in his last seven fights and 6-2 overall in a pro career that began in June 2010.

Back in June 2011, we talked with flyweight Sean Santella about his first MMA training session, which caused an injury that kept him out 14 weeks, an unreported stroke that didn’t stop him from fighting and the meaningful tattoo he inked as a reminder on his right forearm.

Since our column, Santella has gone 6-1 to boost his record to 13-3. That included a victory on May 13 against Dave Morgan at Cage Fury Fighting Championships 24 in Atlantic City

For the latest on XFC 24, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Award-winning newspaper reporter Kyle Nagel pens “Fight Path” each week. The column focuses on the circumstances that led fighters to a profession in MMA. Know a fighter with an interesting story? Email us at news [at] mmajunkie.com.

view original article >>

Related News

  • 20 days ago
  • 92 views

Nathan Ng’s fighting team has a name that means much more to him than just the series of letters.Filed under: News more

  • 12 days ago
  • 35 views

Adam Milstead struggled through his father’s death and a failed attempt at a collegiate football career only to persevere into a promising heavyweight fighter. Filed under: News more

  • 27 days ago
  • 22 views

Neiman Gracie grew up with a famous name and a family history of training in martial arts. His path was inevitable, but it started on the ocean.Filed under: News, WSOF more

  • 18 days ago
  • 113 views

From Yahoo Sports: Who is the frontrunner for the Fighter of the Year? Fight of the Year? Dave Doyle looks at who's been impressive thus far. more

  • 15 days ago
  • 22 views

After suffering his first professional MMA loss, Nick Newell has some harsh words for the referee in his fight with Justin Gaethje.
MMA is a sport of trends, at times much more clearly so than other major sports, as it relies heavily on the tactical evolution of its competitors to win fights. When something starts working, everyone starts using it. People start throwing front kicks, suddenly everyone has one, and don't even get me started on the whole wheel kick phenomenon... But, one of the som more

  • 7 days ago
  • 10 views

Around the time of his amateur career’s first loss, Matt Wagy noticed something about the way he was fighting that needed to be changed. The Team Alpha Male fighter was backward.Filed under: News more

  • 6 days ago
  • 96 views

Watch Bellator 122 live stream online on MMA Fighting for the preliminary card at 7 p.m. ET. The fight card for this portion of the event is as follows:Kelly Anundson (8-2) vs. Philipe Lins (9-0)Poppies Martinez (26-9) vs. Bubba Jenkins (6-1)Dmitriy Sosnovskiy (8-0) vs. Manny Lara (4-4)Augusto Sakai (6-0) vs. Matt Frembling (9-2)Linton Vassell (13-3) vs. Virgil Zwicker (12-3)Fernando Gonzalez (20-12) vs. Karl Amoussou (17-6-2)Joe Duarte (10-3) vs. Saad Awad (15-6)Stephen Martinez (10-2) vs. Serg more

  • a day ago
  • 7 views

"Thunder" road to a mixed martial arts (MMA) championship begins on Oct. 24, 2014.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veteran and top-ranked 185-pound mixed martial arts (MMA) standout, Yushin Okami, has earned a World Series of Fighting (WSOF) championship opportunity after just one win with the upstart promotion.
Company president Ray Sefo announced earlier this afternoon during a media conference call that Okami will challenge newly-crowned Middleweight champion -- and fellow Octagon vetera more

  • a day ago
  • 19 views

Nick Diaz took part in a solo conference call earlier today (Weds., July 30, 2014) to talk all things mixed martial arts (MMA). Among the many topics discussed were his new three-fight contract with UFC, his upcoming fight against Anderson Silva at UFC 183 on Jan. 31, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada, his time away from fighting, competing because he has to, turning down fights, rankings and much, much more. He even did his best Forrest Gump and Anderson Silva impersonations. So sit back and enjoy! more