“My dad used to be quite physical. He punched me the first time, I was nine months. My grandfather came with a shotgun, put it to his head and said ‘If you ever do that again, I will kill you.’ So he didn’t do it ever again — in front of my grandfather. But he was doing it quite regularly at home.”
Wait, it gets worse:
Liaudin and his mother left the family home when he was 14 and lived with fellow homeless people in a church, eating food left over from markets.
“It was a very tough time,” he recalled. “We lived like that for six months, like bums.”
They graduated to an apartment in the roughest part of Bourges in central France. Surrounded by impoverished immigrants, Liaudin says he was “the white boy in the neighbourhood everyone wanted to beat up.”
“I was fighting every day. When my mom sent me to the grocery store to buy bread, I knew I would have to fight. It was pretty rough.”
And you know what? Things didn’t improve that much when he became a pro fighter.
After winning his first five fights, Liaudin went on a 2-8 skid, which he chalks up to not being able to train full-time and a repeatedly broken nose. The low point, as Liaudin explains to Thomas Gerbasi in a separate article on UFC.com, was a fight against Hidetaka Monma in September 2005:
“That was just terrible, that wasn’t even me,” said Liaudin. “I was very low mentally and physically at that point in my career. I didn’t even know what I was doing it for. I got the fight in Japan and was like ‘okay, let’s just do it.’ I went over there and didn’t even have my cornerman and my team with me; I didn’t even train.”
Two minutes and 14 seconds into the fight with Monma, Liaudin was submitted by an armbar. Now saddled with a losing record, Liaudin couldn’t even be considered a journeyman – he was an “opponent.”
Luckily, that defeat was just what Liaudin needed to snap himself out of his funk. He rededicated himself to the sport, joined up with Team Quest’s California outpost and has won every fight since that fateful night in Tokyo. He faces Marcus Davis at UFC 80 on Saturday and hopes that his sacrifices pay off:
“I don’t go to work, I don’t do anything else — all I do is train. My birthday was in December, and I spent my birthday hitting a tire with a hammer.”
Wonderful, so he has no friends either? Can we please just give this guy the win out of sympathy?