By CagePotato contributor Elias Cepeda
Released in 2007, Sam Sheridan’s A Fighter’s Heart took readers across the globe and inside some of the best camps in the world to access and understand the physical realities of professional fighting. The captivating and often personal tale became a national best-seller, and now Sheridan has followed it up this year with The Fighter’s Mind, which delves into the psychology of competing through conversations with everyone from Randy Couture to top neuroscientists. Sheridan sat down with CagePotato.com to discuss his new book.
CAGEPOTATO.COM: What is this book, A Fighter’s Mind, about to you?
SAM SHERIDAN: Well, A Fighter’s Mind sort of came out of conversations I had with the Victory Belt publishers, Erich Krauss and those guys. They had taken on fifteen or twenty contracts and they were looking for writers to help them. They said, “Hey, do you want to write one of these books?” Like BJ Penn’s “Book of Knowledge,” or whatever. I looked at it and said to myself, “You know, I’m not really interested in doing a technique book. There are plenty of questions I want to ask these guys. But most of these questions have to do with the mental game.”
I’m not really interested in Randy Couture’s Greco clinch trip takedown. I’m not so interested in diagramming the steps to that. I’m interested in Randy’s mental strength, and his ability to gameplan and his ability to stick to a gameplan. He can take a guy and put him the one place that, well, take the Gabe Gonzaga fight. Randy took Gonzaga the one place that he’s going to beat Gonzaga. I mean, anywhere else, Gonzaga is going to have his lunch, pretty much. He’s too big, he’s too fast, he’s too rough. But holding him against the cage, Gonzaga doesn’t know what to do and Randy basically drowns him right there, he just mashes him up. It was an amazing example of how having the right gameplan and sticking to it can allow you to beat somebody that should beat you.
So that was where it came from for me. I started thinking, “I can’t believe nobody has written this book. Why hasn’t somebody written this book?” It was a way to re-pay the fighters and my friends who had helped me in the first book, who are wondering about these things. Because I think a lot of guys wonder how Randy does his thing or how Marcelo Garcia thinks about Jiu Jitsu. A lot of people wonder that stuff but they don’t get a chance to ask it, so this was my gift back to fighters, friends and trainers that were so good to me in A Fighter’s Heart.