Football to fightingPublished 8:50am Tuesday, April 5, 2011
AUSTIN — When Nate Williamson was playing football for Lyle/Pacelli, he loved to play the game hard and he loved contact.
It served him well as he was an All-Southeast Conference running back for the Athletics during his senior year in 2008, but now Williamson has found a different way to find contact.
He has recently taken up the sport of mixed martial arts fighting and he hasn’t lost a fight yet.
“I loved hitting people (in football) and it’s something I want to keep doing,” Williamson said. “Football experience helps because you’re pretty much spearing people (in MMA) and that’s what I did (on the football field).”
Williamson recently started his amateur fighting career after a conversation with a friend in Iowa led him to sign up for a fight. He won that fight with ease and went on to win all but one of his fights in the first round so far.
He won one fight at Torge’s Live in Austin in 31 seconds and he overcame an illness to win his second fight in Austin in the second round.
“I was pretty surprised,” Williamson, who has signed with Brutal Genesis, said. “I thought I would do pretty decent, but I just pummeled through the first guy and then I kept going through guys.”
Williamson started fighting with raw ability, but now he’s practicing at least two hours a day. He’s taking jujitsu classes and working on kick boxing, while also getting advice from Austin grad Bobbie Dulitz, who is also an MMA fighter and James Snyder, a fighter who lives in LeRoy.
“First it was instincts but now it’s technique because I’ve been working on it every single day,” Williamson said. “I want to keep doing it. It’s the only thing I do in my spare time. After school I’ll go hit the bag or I’ll go grapple with Bobbie.”
While Williamson loves fighting, he’s also able to make a little cash off his fights as he took home $350 from one of his Austin fights.
When he’s not working on his new MMA moves, Williamson is attending Riverland College, where he is working on a criminal justice major. He hopes that his MMA techniques will help him when he becomes a police officer.
“I know a couple of pressure points from grappling, so I can get people where I want them to,” he said.
But for now, he’d rather focus on his next fight, which will likely be in Austin at Torge’s.
After playing team sports in high school, Williamson, who sometimes trains with Team K.O. in Albert Lea, has learned to embrace the one-on-one nature of MMA and it’s what keeps him going.
“It’s all on you if you win or lose, and I love that,” he said.