Some people say that they have had a rough life growing up, but compared to what UFC fighter Drew McFedries has been through, they haven’t seen rough. McFedries has seen the lows more often than most, and is currently dealing with the lowest of the lows as he prepares to step into the Octagon on Wednesday.
On December 27, 2007, just days after Christmas, McFedries’ mother was found dead in a Davenport , Iowa alley. 51 year old Agnes McFedries-Kennedy was a victim of what investigators have deemed a homicide. Her extensive criminal history can pretty much explain where and how Drew’s rough upbringing began.
In 2006 McFedries was suffering from Crohn’s Disease, which is an inflammatory disease that affects the small and large intestine. It does not allow you to properly digest food, while draining you of all your energy.
“I was going to the bathroom like 30-40 times a day,” recalls McFedries. “When I went to the doctor, I was on the toilet so much, there was almost no point in getting up. People have actually died from it.”
It is tough enough trying to function with Crohn’s, let alone striving to become a professional MMA fighter. However, that is exactly what McFedries wanted, and instead of using the disease as an excuse, he used it as motivation to propel himself to highest MMA organization, the UFC.
So when the MMA powerhouse came calling in November of 2006, in dire need of fingind a last minute replacement to take on UFC veteran Alessio Sakara, McFedries jumped at the chance, even though it only left him 17 days to prepare for his opponent.
“When the UFC knocks on your door, you don’t say ‘no,’ proclaimed McFedries. “I think that it was a fight that they expected me to lose, they kind of treated the fight like I was another guy that Sakara could walk through and you would never hear from me again.”
Well, McFedries had other ideas and came out as he always does, as if his back was against the wall. He took it right to an overwhelmed Sakara, knocking him out in the first round. Not only did he catch the UFC Management of guard, but he also made a name for himself among UFC fans as well.
“That win was huge for me,” explained an excited McFeries. “That fight gave me not only a good paycheck, but also another chance to fight in the UFC.”
Then when things started to look up for the hungry fighter, his Militich training camp was infected with a wide spread case of Staph infection, and of course it was McFedries that walked away with the worst case of it all. In fact, he required a skin graph in the back of his leg in order for it to heal properly. After months of recovery, he finally thought that he was ready to re-enter the Octagon, then came the fateful night when he received word about his mother.
“It has been tough, I have been going through a lot and wish that I had a couple more weeks to get my conditioning where I want it to be,” expressed McFedries. “But, my skills and everything else are where I think they need to be. I will be ready.”
Going through what he has, one could understand why he wouldn’t be ready. However, talking to him you would never think that he has suffered such a devastating past. In fact, he has put a positive spin things, using those factors to mold himself into the person that he is today. A hungry, hard working, thankful man.
“I just appreciate everything that I have,” said a sincere McFedries. “That’s why after all of my fights, I always thank the fans for coming out to support me, my friends and family…everyone.”
McFedries is the epitome of what MMA is all about. He understands the dedication that is required to become a champion, yet never forgets the rocky journey that one has to go through to achieve greatness. He has no time to be depressed about his past, he is too focused on his future.
Another difficult obstacle lies ahead on January 23rd for McFedries at UFC Fight Night, where he will be facing his toughest opponent to date in Patrick Cote. In fact he will be entering the fight as an underdog, but then again, what else is new?