Glory 11 Chicago’s Brian Foster: ‘I rose from the ashes after being in a dark place’

brian_foster_2Brian Foster was at the peak of his career when a brain scan nearly ended it. The talented Team Takedown fighter was forced to pull out of a UFC 129 fight when some abnormalities showed up in the pre-fight medical screenings. He was back to competition by 2011 and was quickly scooped up by Bellator but once again, his history came back to bite him and he was not allowed to compete due to concerns about his prior scans. Foster was forced to take a step back from his career and as he tells it, he was in a “pretty dark place” contemplating whether he’d ever fight again, even resorting to taking some unsanctioned bouts in Mexico. He finally got the all-clear and returned to active competition earlier this year, but perhaps he’s found a new calling. The 25-fight MMA veteran will be trying his hand in a new art when he debuts in Glory World Series tonight (Oct. 12, 2013) taking on Ramond Daniels in a kickboxing bout for Glory 11: Chicago on Spike TV. Foster discussed some major changes in his life, his new training team and what drew him to kickboxing competition in this exclusive interview with MMA Oddsbreakers. Check it out: Brian Hemminger:  You’ve had such a strong MMA career and you’re finally starting to get back on track. What was your motivation to try out kickboxing? Brian Foster: I got to know a few guys at Glory. We developed a little bit of a relationship and they saw an opportunity and I’m not the type of guy that turns down a chance to earn some money. They’re giving me an audition man. We’ll see how it goes. Brian Hemminger: You also recently started training with the guys at Team Takedown. How much has that benefited you? Brian Foster: They have amazing coaches at every discipline. They’re a bunch of really great guys, but Steven Wright has really helped me with kickboxing. He’s got me ready and rocking in this situation. Everyone had a hand in it. They’re a great group of guys down there and I couldn’t ask for a better place to train. That relationship is still in process as well. I can help them and they can definitely help me. It’ll hopefully be a long-lasting relationship. Brian Hemminger: Do you feel re-energized by switching things up and working with them? Brian Foster: Most definitely. I feel like I’m back to learning. In doing that, it’s amazing. I have a new chance to start over laid out in front of me working with a great group of guys, such amazing athletes that push each other every day. They’re a great example for the sport and martial arts and I feel blessed. They push me and I have very good energy today. This is a legitimate team. Brian Hemminger: Is this the perfect thing for you to get passed all the brain scan stuff that was keeping you out of fighting for such a lengthy amount of time? Brian Foster: Yeah, it helps. I just want to put all that stuff behind me. We did all the tests that they asked us to do and I’ve got a clean slate. I couldn’t be healthier. Brian Hemminger: A few other MMA fighters have had success in kickboxing. Most notably Dustin Jacoby, who won the US tournament and even made it to the semifinals of the major light heavyweight tournament recently. Do you look at that as a potential example to follow? Brian Foster: Yeah man. I was actually in Dustin Jacoby’s corner when he got the call to make his debut in Glory and he ended up being the Cinderella story of the event. I was able to see how they work firsthand and he’s a really good guy. I’m pretty sure you’re going see a lot of good stuff out of him in the future. Getting a first person view of how Glory operates and the amazing fighters they bring to the table, it just made me really excited to be a part of it. Brian Hemminger: What are your expectations here as you head into this fight? Do you feel confident? Have you done much research for your opponent? Brian Foster: Yeah, I’m pretty jacked, man. It’s  a glorified sparring match for me. I don’t have to worry about him taking me down. The last time I had an MMA fight where I didn’t have to worry about them taking me down, it only lasted about 30 seconds. It all ranges. He’s got different tools and I’m really excited. The worst thing that could happen is him knocking me out but I think that’ll be very, very hard for him to do. I think I’ve got a lot of tools in my arsenal to cause a lot of problems for him. I don’t think it’s as much me worrying about him as much as him worrying about me. He’s the one with all the people standing behind him saying he’s supposed to win this. I’m an MMA guy. He’s got to protect his resume and bring a good fight and do everything to win and I’m gonna do everything in my power to make that not so. I’m gonna take it to him, get a victory and score this upset for sure. Brian Hemminger: Do you have any long term goals with kickboxing or are you waiting to see how this plays out? Brian Foster: I’m not sure about my future. I’m just taking each day as it comes, having a great time training with these great guys. I’m just really happy every day and thanking God every day that I have a chance to compete again. Brian Hemminger: Just from talking to you, you seem to be in such a better place mentally. Is that how you feel as well? Brian Foster: Oh positively. Mentally, physically, everything. I have a lot of things in the works for once in my life. I was in a pretty dark place not too long ago but I totally rose from the ashes. I’m a better person overall, have grown up a lot and I think that’s the biggest thing people are going to see of me. I’ve grown up and I’m not that crazy kamikaze kid going out there to murder people. I’m actually using technique, pacing myself and having fun doing it. I plan on shining just like at my peak. Brian Hemminger: When you picture victory this weekend, what do you see? Brian Foster: I just see myself giving my hand raised, simple as that. Brian would like to thank Glory for the opportunity to compete, Team Takedown, all the guys who’ve helped him out and everyone who’s supported him. You can follow him on Twitter @BrianFoster170.

Written by Brian Hemminger

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