Monday, March 28, 2011

From the Streets of Antioch to the Cage, David “Tarzan” and Damion Douglas

From the streets of Antioch to the STRIKEFORCE cage, David “Tarzan” and Damion Douglas, are brothers in battle and have war in their blood.
Even when he was just a boy on the playground, Damion Douglas liked to beat people up. But not because he was a bad kid. He was seeking justice.
In 3rd grade, Douglas beat up the 5th and 6th graders. He wanted to fight the bullies.
“The first time I beat up a kid in my grade, he cried,” Douglas said. “I felt bad about it. Then I realized the bigger kids were the bullies so I took it upon myself to fight them. I would hit them and they would keep coming after me. I loved it.”
And then there’s his twin brother, David “Tarzan” Douglas. Twin brothers are not alike in every way. “I want to destroy everybody,” said Tarzan Douglas, 6-2, with five wins by submission
These fighting brothers from Antioch, California will both step into the STRIKEFORCE cage on April 1 in Stockton, California at STRIKEFORCE Challengers. Tarzan will face Caros “The Future” Fodor in what is expected to be a fast, fierce and furious fight between two hungry cage warriors.
Damion Douglas is at a different stage of his career. He is 3-1 and has not fought since 2008. Standing in his path on his comeback trail is San Jose, California-based Wayne Phillips.
These brothers may be at different stages, but they are fueled by the same emotions and drive. They fight for their families and they both want to conquer the MMA world.
They grew up in Antioch, a San Francisco suburb. Both of their parents were steel mill workers, who worked 16-hour shifts. They were reckless kids.
As boys, while most kids played T-Ball, the Douglas brothers were practicing martial arts. Their father, Danny Douglas, was a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. They didn’t take traditional martial arts classes as kids. They were home schooled by their father.
“We do our own style of martial arts,” Damion Douglas said.
What they learned most from their dad was resiliency, hard work and a killer instinct, the intangibles of a successful mixed martial artist.
Damion, after a fast start in 2007, took a layoff from the sport. It can take several years of daily competitive training and regular fights to rise to a level where fighters can earn enough money to support themselves as a full-time MMA fighter.
Damion took a break and started a family. He picked up jobs as a bouncer. About a year ago, he decided he wanted to fight again.
“I have been ready to get back in the cage for six months,” Damion said. “I am ready. I want to get punched in the face. I want to punch him in the face. I am just anxious.” He’s never watched tapes of his opponent fighting. Damion doesn’t care. He said his opponent looks like someone who “likes to bang.” He’s not really concerned about studying his opponents.
All of his fights, he said, have been on one-day’s notice.

“It’s nothing new,” he said. “I go there to fight. That’s just part of me.”
Fighting is also in his brother’s blood.
David is certainly a man who lives up to his nickname “Tarzan.” With his long hair and lanky body, Douglas looks the part. He’s also vicious inside his jungle  – the STRIKEFORCE cage. When the bell rings, look out. Tarzan starts his fights in the same way, like the Tasmanian Devil, like a caged Pit Bull let loose on a pile of raw meat.
When David  fights, rage is visible in his eyes.
He has a message for his April 1 opponent Fodor. And he’s not joking.
“I want to kill this guy,” he said. “I come to destroy. It’s like he’s sitting on death row and I am the electric chair.”
Both brothers admit to being unconventional inside the cage and out. They don’t like full-time jobs or taking orders.
With that kind of mindset, they were a perfect match for the legendary mixed martial artist Cesar Gracie. They trained with Gracie, who helped them focus their incredible abilities in a productive way.
Damion said Gracie taught him one key lesson: To be a martial artist and to be a fighter are two different things.” In addition to fighting in STRIKEFORCE, Damion now teaches MMA full-time Antioch.
His brother too credits Gracie for making a meaningful impact on his career. “He took his time with me,” David said. “He showed me how to mix everything up.”
Although they have taken two different paths to STRIKEFORCE, one direct and one scenic, the Douglas brothers are poised to conquer the jungle.
In addition to the aggressive styles, they are bonded by a passion to fight for their families. Damion has three children. David has two kids.
David fights for his family. “I am not out at bars,” he said. “I am not at the clubs. I am home or at the gym.”
When Tarzan fights, he sees a man in front of him who’s trying steal from his family.
“These people are trying to take money from my kids,” he said. “They are trying to take money from my family. You try to knock me down, I am going to destroy you. I would give my life for my family.”
Together, the same brothers who once fought side-by-side on the streets of Antioch, will fight side-by-side on the STRIKEFORCE national stage, on SHOWTIME®, in front of the world.

“Win, lose or draw,” Damion said, “this is what we are supposed to do. This is where we belong.”

Source: Strikeforce
Photo's by:Brett Atchley

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