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Stories from the Trenches: The Ultimate Prison Champions

In an effort to increase the interactiveness of the site for our readers, we will be running a “From the Trenches” story from a member of the Potato Nation every week. If you have a story to share about a fight you had, a douchebag you met who claimed to be a fighter or an experience you had meeting a real fighter — anything you think your CP brethren would like to read about, send your story to If we use your tale, we’ll send you a devil horns shirt so you can rep us at the office, your niece’s Christening or your grandmother’s funeral.

By Aaron Powers (Jawbreaker_46)
(What the hell is ‘Rampage’ doing in this photo?)

I have been a correctional officer for five years now, and it would be an understatement to say that I’ve seen some crazy shit.

The institution I work at, which shall remain nameless, specializes in mental health. Think half psych-ward, half prison. There are inmates and patients who eat their shit, throw their shit, and smear their shit. Once an inmate shoved a pencil in his pee hole and about half way down the shaft, poked it out through the top and ripped it out, slitting his unit up the middle so it looked like a micro-waved hot dog.  There is a patient who, every month or so will bash his head on the wall to get Satan to stop talking to him. His forehead looks like that old In Living Color skit where the family had asses on their heads… and they couldn’t figure out where the whistling was coming from on the roller coaster…. You don’t remember that one? Trust me it happened. So yeah like I said, crazy shit.

For every nut job, there are roughly 7.8 inmates who are just plain stupid. Now before any ex-cons out there get all over my case about stereotyping, I’m not saying everyone who is in, or has been in prison is stupid. I’m just saying there is a reoccurring theme of a lack of common sense that a lot of them share.

Anyway, the subject of MMA will come up from time to time if someone comes up to my desk and sees me reading a magazine or reading the live round by round updates on Cage Potato since I work every weekend. The conversation usually starts the same but can take two very different paths. They ask it I like UFC, I say “yes” but never tell them that I used to fight, because then I’d just be ,“That fighter C.O.” and I’d have a target on my back. The inmate, obviously behind on current standings, will ask about who the champs are, and who’s fighting whom. Most of the time they know somebody who fights on the local circuit, and a lot of times I know said person as well, so we talk about that. This is the point, however, where a normal conversation can take a drastic turn to the absurd. In an attempt to either intimidate or impress me, around one in every five of these jokers has to take it to the next level and tell me that they, “used to do UFC.” This phrase instantly sets off any educated fan’s bullshit detector. If he isn’t savvy enough to call it mixed martial arts, the odds are he has never stepped foot in the cage.

In my time in this profession I have seen a handful of legit fighters come through the doors, including a UFC vet, a few guys I knew from the local circuit — even a past opponent. Do you know what they all had in common? None of them went around bragging about being fighters! Doing so would put a pretty sizeable target on their backs, even more so than it would to me if I let it slip that I used to fight. Hell, I dropped a decision to the aforementioned former opponent, which would be the ultimate bragging right for most inmates, but he never mentioned it.

So what do I do in this situation? Do I immediately call bullshit? Shit no! Where’s the fun in that? I do what I’m pretty sure most of you would do in the same situation: I ask questions and see just how far they will dig that hole until they realize I’m just messing with them. I’ll ask them where they train, what their records are, and what shows they’ve fought on — the basic stuff. The crazy thing is none of these guys have ever lost!!

I’ll ask if they like to stand and bang or if they prefer the ground game, and to my surprise, they are all knockout artists. Knockout artists who are shockingly utterly unfamiliar with boxing and muay thai techniques and terminology. The last guy I had one of these conversations with told me that his favorite move was, and I quote, “the one where you grab the guy’s head and put your knee in his face,” also known as, the thai clinch. Talking to him made me miss talking to the dude who talks to Satan. I shouldn’t have been surprised; the same guy once told me that he had football and basketball scholarships to LSU that he would have taken if he hadn’t gotten locked up. Tough break for LSU. Maybe he would have been the difference against Bama.

So, are the baddest men on the planet behind bars? I’m going to have to go with no. No need to stop watching all the big boys and start YouTubing prison fights. Although I do recommend it if you’re bored. I’m sure we’ve all had someone tell us that they’re a fighter, only to have no clue what they are talking about when pressed about the finer details of the sport. I say have fun with it. Ask questions and make them think you are buying every word they say, then tell all your friends what a tool the guy is, or, if you’re at a party or a bar, make a game out of cock-blocking the shit out of him all night.  With the inmates, I like to walk by their cells later on and tell their cellmates (who are usually much bigger than they are), “Don’t mess with this guy; he’s one of those UFC guys.” You should see the look on the “UFC guys’” faces… priceless. I’ve only gotten one guy raped so far, so that’s not too bad.

That’s a joke. Nobody was raped. Although there may have been some consensual finger play.

Cagepotato Comments

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nickyroose- February 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Damn you and your controlled logical response! It's funny actually I get along better with the COs better than the deputies which I still get along with better than most cops. I once talked to a guy who I represented a couple of itmes who was in so often I would use him for information and he said, "I got to be here, who the fuck would choose to be here?" which always struck me as funny. Then I saw it in a book called "New Jack" about a journalist who became a CO. I didn't mean to suggest you were bullied in high school (not that there is anything wrong or unusual about that) I just meant the pay to educaiton level is pretty dope. But again at a certain risk. I understand. the craziest shit to me is that while most COs laugh at dope busts and petty bullshit the union routinely funds massively shitty laws to increase revenue. that's a little sad, both as a big union supporter and as a person who actually has to watch people have horrible shit happen in their lives. So in summary good on ya for being a good human even if you never see this.
KeithHackneyWindmillPalmStrike- February 13, 2012 at 8:24 am
Good stuff....MMA is infested with chatches that have no idea what they're doing, but because they went to an MMA practice one time, or train with their buddies in their basement, they can tell girls their a 'UFC' fighter...I've never EVER been to an event without being able to spot about 20-50 of them, and that's at the small shows.
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Todd M- February 10, 2012 at 8:38 pm
Great read Jawbreaker, I agree with keeping these Trench stories going, good idea CP.
fatbellyfrank- February 10, 2012 at 6:57 pm
SeanMcCorkle’sBruisedEgo Says:
Fri, 02/10/12 - 09:15
IVE FUCKED BETTER WRITERS THAN THIS GUY IN PRISON ...........................................................................................................................DONT YOU MEAN FELCHED, YA DONKEY FELCHING KNOB JOCKEY
The_Dead_Cow- February 10, 2012 at 6:47 pm
Have you ever been hit by a flying turd while at work? You have to elaborate on the eating, throwing, and smearing of the poo poo.
pinkyslayer- February 10, 2012 at 4:35 pm

the fact that he has a record that you were able to find indicates that he is indeed a fighter....where's your record, internet tough guy?
casewon1- February 10, 2012 at 12:13 pm
I think this guy works at CMF (California Medical Facility). Sounds about right LOL
XENOPHON- February 10, 2012 at 11:58 am
@Me likey and the Jawbreaking mofo - As a two time vet I don't like petty laws, but I am glad men like you are willing to look after the hardcore trash, deviants, or in most cases those dumb enough to get caught. Hand Salute!
Jawbreaker_46- February 10, 2012 at 11:49 am
Submit stories guys!! This thing has potential!!
Jawbreaker_46- February 10, 2012 at 11:43 am
Thanks for all the feedback guys. Cant believe there werent any comments about me reading a magazine and messin around on the internet, I do work 3rd shift if anyone was wondering. @SeanMcCorkle’sBruisedEgo: I knew I remembered you. You're the one we found sucking his thumb in the shower, right?
@XENOPHON Nah, not from Cal, Im out in the midwest. Im sure theyd let you write it from your user name, I just know that nobody I work with checks CP and Im only telling friends about it.
@nickyroose: I didnt pass the bill man, but I got a family to support. I know a few people that have been screwed by it. I didn't go into corrections to make up for being picked on in High School or because I wanted authority. Its just a job to me, and I want to be there for 8 hours without incident and go home safely to my family.
@NomadRip: I wasn't anything special, but I was 5-3 (3-1 in my last 4) and looking to turn pro. Then I ate a shot in training that snapped my head back and my finger tips went numb. After a year of thinking I had a pinched nerve, I found out it was a herniated disc and had to be fused. So no mas fighting.
@Me likey: I hear ya! Yeah, I work at the place that they get shipped to, lol. Its our specialty. And Ive had that with other shifts Captains and LTs. They knew me as "the fighter". I haven't had to straight up throw down with an inmate ever, but Ive had to roll around with a few.
XENOPHON- February 10, 2012 at 11:41 am
@ nickyroose - I get your sentiment. In the case of my close friend, he deserved to be put down for a few years. He knocked off (robbed) a heroin dealer and body guards who owed money to another friend - not so bad - much like the debt collector CP writers deal with to keel their androids turned on. Ended up home slice had to take some hostages that walked on (left them a few hundred in the pocket for the troubles), carjacked a taxi - tipped him a fer hundred also, and then eventually went gun sight to gun sight with the swat team vectored in by a helicopter. The chase was one of those OJ settings but in Northern California. After taking cover in a big Victorian house, the 2-3 concussion grenades left him bleeding from the eyes, ears, nose, throat, and likely the bung hole too. So yeah, that DOC union is strong...and but a few who actually have to walk to walk the tiers get paid too much, its a job that is fucked up. Especially for those who have to call for help with cell extractions. As for my bro, after renouncing gang affiliations as a way to stay safe for 12 of 14 years, he is now locked up next to a few cops, some guards, and a highway patrolman that caught murder convictions of their own. He would have been out a long time ago if he hadn't used a gun in the commission of a crime...but hey, there is something to be said about going big or going home.
ArmFarmer- February 10, 2012 at 11:36 am
I have no idea how this ended up on this website or if it's even really relevant to the sport.. but that was freakin awesome. I lol'd when I read "I've only gotten one guy raped so far..". And yes, I have definitely run into guys that "do ufc" that don't know what a butterfly gaurd is. Also guys that wrestled that can't name their favorite takedown.. or any takedown for that matter.
XENOPHON- February 10, 2012 at 11:24 am
@EP - hahaha - funny! Where'd you find shit like that.
El Guapo- February 10, 2012 at 11:02 am
Chill, Xeno, nobody here's gonna steal your fruit cocktail while I'm around.
The12ozCurls- February 10, 2012 at 11:01 am
^^^^^ Well done Lockefan -- GG ALLIN "LIVE AND PISSED" VHS was a hit back in high school.
Lockefan- February 10, 2012 at 10:51 am
great article. I work security at an inner-city hospital. I can relate to some of that stuff.

BTW, was the guy banging his head against the wall to get Satan out this guy by chance?

Me likey- February 10, 2012 at 10:40 am
"never tell them that I used to fight, because then I’d just be ,“That fighter C.O.” and I’d have a target on my back."
i have worked for the fed. bureau of prisons for 8 yrs. i never told the inmates i train but they all know because prison staff tell them all of your business. i do however walk around looking like rich franklin with a black eye half the time so they would either think i am a fighter or have a serious drinking problem. the only problem i have ever had associated with being known as an mma fighter came from prison officials after having to utilize force on an inmate.
i too have seen some crazy shit. i had a similiar occurance with the pencil incident. an inmate would shove paper clips and staples (straightened out) into the head of his dick. we ended up putting him in ambulatory restraints again and again until we shipped him. the bad part is he was completely sane and just doing it to go to a medical facility.
NomadRip- February 10, 2012 at 10:39 am
That was hysterical. Great job, nameless internet mental health prison guard guy with ambiguous MMA record.
IronClad- February 10, 2012 at 10:38 am
^^^Yah? Well your fucking back is gonna hurt cuse you just pulled landscaping duty.
El Famous Burrito- February 10, 2012 at 10:24 am
My weiner hurts.
nickyroose- February 10, 2012 at 10:04 am
I did not really enjoy this. Isn't is awesome that with a high school diploma you can make so much money and be part of the most powerful union in the state? Aren't you happy your union paid for the three strikes laws to put guys away for life when they steal a bike. You sir are an American Hero
bootystar- February 10, 2012 at 9:56 am
@The12ozCurls, he was prolly saving it to write a letter to his mom, they aren't allowed sharp stuff. no diff than having ten condoms of diamonds in your tummy & getting punched in the gut. better than stealing from K-mart, tummy fulla viagra condoms
XENOPHON- February 10, 2012 at 9:55 am
J. Jones (and your CP crew)- y'all must have lived a sheltered life. It's a good thing you guys make sandwiches, play X-box, put paint in your hair, and write for a living. You'd of never made it as a gun-slinger.
If you decided to ever pop tall, first I suggest you move to the Castro district in Frisco, and start out "swordfighting" amongst gay men...cause you come across as the biggest group of pussies I have ever had to listen to. GRIN
The12ozCurls- February 10, 2012 at 9:49 am
I was wondering what happend to my pencil. Damn criminals always stealing my stuff and shoving it up there cranks.