The fact that I am writing a second instalment to this blog so soon after posting the first, is in no small way attributable to the popularity of Che Mills and the ease at which people can connect with his background.
It is also testament to the great feedback that I received from the readers at www.thecelticnetwork.com/ who it would appear were either already fans of the top British UFC Welterweight prospect or who from reading part one had begun to develop an interest in a man who is both a compelling individual and charming personality.
It’s very easy to write about Che Mills, his background is so distinctive, so intriguing and yet it’s also so familiar and so easily related to by much of the Celtic fan base. Che has spent his life fighting injustice, fighting for dignity, fighting for honour and fighting these battles, by and largely, successfully so.
As I briefly touched upon in the first instalment of this blog, Che is no stranger to injustice, his father Gary Mills was subject of a ‘proven’ miscarriage of justice which robbed Che of his fathers presence for 14 years…somehow I suspect a ‘sorry’ from the authorities just doesn’t cut it somehow.
In the face of such a serious miscarriage of justice, Celtic’s trials could I guess seem somewhat trivial to some folks. Che however is one of those guys with a great passion for our club, he shares our deeply held affections and our bond with the club, further proof, if of course more was required, of how injustice may help spur this competitive individual on. We’re talking about a lad who’s felt our pain but more importantly who’s enjoyed us conquering more than an establishment could ever have prevented….he’s shared in our achievements and remains a proud and vocal ‘Bhoy’.
Of course, the injustice of being robbed of a dad is a far more personal loss but having been in those particularly steep walled trenches and having courageously fought his way to victory…I guess it’s safe to say that Che, his father and his family have also been way more successful than certain establishment figures ever hoped they would be.
A rousing Tiocfaidh ár lá moment for the proud Mills clan, I’m sure!
Anyway lets not dwell on the establishment, we’ve got a top Bhoy to ‘big up’.
Che began Mixed Martial Arts, hereafter referred to as MMA, as a 19 year old kid. He had no desernable martial arts pedigree, indeed he was a virtual novice having no background constructed of a combat sports speciallist skill set, well beyond having the heart of a lion.
Che was a warrior, a fierce competitor and as it turned out to be, a particularly adept one. He immediately found his striking power, pace and precision to be a perfect platform for Muay Thai boxing. Muay Thai for those not already aware is akin to kickboxing but with the addition of grappling Muay Thai boxing forms an even more daunting and more technically challenging experience.
Che first fought professionally in 2003, his relative inexperience initially and understandably showed. Che had begun training under the stewardship of head coach, Mark Weir who began to construct a well rounded MMA fighter through the additions of Brasilian ju-jitsu and judo techniques.
Che has an under-rated ground game, possibly as result of a few submission defeats, two of which came in his first three professional fights but for anyone with a knowledge of martial arts, ju-jitsu is a very complex discipline and is a key part of the armoury of a successful mixed martial artist. Submissions are common place in MMA and often the fighter in the seemingly weakest position at any particular point in a fight can reverse the intense pressure upon one’s self by virtue of such craft and such split second opportunism as an armbar, a rear naked or a guillotine choke. Being a novice in a sport which is the reserve of the most tactical, most disciplined, most canny and crafty individuals can be quite a painful experience…trust me Che Mills career record is a very enviable and decorated one. Few, if any, mixed martial artists go through top level careers without the odd defeat or three.
I could endlessly list for you stats and technical mumbu-jumbo, only some of you would however be either interested or indeed understanding of these. (Warning the link below is only for those particular connoisseurs)
You see, MMA involves a particular skill set not best described to another person, the best way of understanding it is to actually experience the requirements, both physical and mental, of a fighter. Even at a lower level of training or of competition most would realise how under-estimated the technical precision involved in judo, ju-jitsu, Muay Thai or indeed wrestling to be, how physically and mentally demanding even a minute or two of battle can be and just how painful and how sensuary shocking a solid blow to the head, body or even legs can be. Great fun for all those of a sadomasichistic disposition admittedly.
With that in mind I have chosen a slightly gentler introduction to the demands and the skill-set of Mr Che Mills, please take the time to view a few of the following videos;
and possibly the best example of the lot
Che Mills is of course a welterweight fighter so to put that into perspective, Che stands 6 feet tall, he weighs 170lbs at weigh in’s pre fight, that is give or take 12 stones 2lbs…on fight night he may of course be a little heavier especially if he’s had to significantly cut weight. If he’s cut weight, which is a term for rapidly dropping weight to meet an aim, he will require to re-hydrate and this adds significantly to a fighters weight on the night.
Even assuming he makes 170lbs with ease, his opponent, like Che, has a level of physical strength which would far exceed your expectations of a normal 12 stone individual. Therefore if you imagine even a grappling exchange, no striking required, whereby every ounce of physical excertion is being exchanged between two finely honed athletes…even 30 seconds can seem like a lifetime when pinned against the floor or against the cage. All the while of course, the fighters are constantly and very tactically looking to seize the upper-hand in any exchange and every move is carefully considered…now add someone smashing your face with elbows, knees, fists, feet, forearms and even shoulders whilst also looking to seize hold of your jugular or a stray arm in order to inflict further, indeed severe, pain.
Quite a tough gig I’m sure you’ll agree!
That said, the aggression and the barbaric stereotypes of fighters though is a highly unfair stigma. In MMA circles especially there is a lot of respect, admiration and concern for each others well-being, after-all these are very skilled and disciplined individuals each and every one of whom have spent way too long learning the art of defending ones-self to not to appreciate the courage, the technique, the commitment and the stamina of an opponent.
In fact, I’d go further, in praise of mixed martial artists I’d say that often they rank amongst the most intelligent, most thoughtful, most dignified and most religous of sports men and women. In Che’s case I make the notable exception concerning intelligence…I of course jest and beg his forgiveness! 😉
I really hope that in Britain, the media and the fanbase get behind MMA events more so, at the moment guys like Che are under-estimated, under-appreciated, under-paid and under-exposed.
There seems to be a reluctance on the part of both the media and the public to move on from the assertion that MMA is a bullies pastime, an utterly barbaric and un-skilled sport, devoid of rules and of honour…nothing could be further from the truth.
Indeed I have a son and without a word of a lie, I would much rather he was exposed to both the level of discipline and self-respect involved in MMA training than not in his young life. I would not care if he ever wanted to fight, as a dad I would obviously have concerns but the skills and the respect both taught and demanded of persons involved in martial arts is rarely matched elsewhere in life. (see the two links below for example)
As an example, I would of course hold Che Mills up as a near perfect role model, this man has a very pleasant, very amiable manner about him, he also has a very clean cut lifestyle and knows levels of comittment to his ‘profession’ that in general terms far exceeds that of football players, to name just the most topical example.
I have said many times before and will no-doubt continue to say so, but Che Mills is a softly spoken individual, he is a gentleman and a very engaging character, he embodies more professionalism than most sportsmen I have ever known and worked alongside.
The fact that the bhoy loves the Hoops, only serves to endear him to persons with whom good taste is a naturally given quality.
Ladies, or gents if your so inclined, the bhoy ain’t called ‘Beautiful’ for no reason…he deserves every bit of luck and all the adulation that comes his direction.
Please feel free to let @Che_Mills know how much we appreciate him…the bhoys done good…the bhoys a star!
‘The proud Celt’ – Images of the Bhoy;
and Che’s dog
Thanks again for reading the blog folks, please Re-Tweet and to share on as many platforms as you can. Lets make Che Mills the first truly massive MMA star in Britain.