Warren ‘The Destroyer’ Thompson’s daily training kit contains two items not found in most professional fighter’s accoutrements: a three-year-old and a nine-month-old baby.
Every day, the Atlanta, Georgia native hops in the truck with his two infant cheerleaders and heads to practice, where the two children roll around and play on the mats while their father goes to war with his training partners a few feet away.
“My wife has a corporate job so she goes to work in the morning and I have the girls with me for the day. I prepare my own things and make sure I have meals, bottles and juice for those two, then we hit the road,” he explains.
“It’s a timing thing, as well as hoping they are in the right mood. They can play at the gym, the older one can watch cartoons on the iPad, while I get my training on. It’s just a question of multi-tasking, really.”
Thompson admits that “toting two babies around every day is a little more difficult than not having to do that” but says that ultimately his little teammates provide him with the motivation he needs to push his campaign forwards.
A win over the Dutch heavyweight Brian Douwes in Thailand a few years ago brought Thompson to the attention of GLORY matchmakers. His road was rocky from the outset though; he found himself fighting at light-heavyweight, often on very short notice, and his record became suffused with L’s.
At the start of the year he dropped to middleweight and met with immediate success, winning a unanimous decision over Mike Lemaire after a barnburner of a fight at GLORY 37 LOS ANGELES. Later this month he will face Canada’s Robert Thomas at GLORY 44 CHICAGO.
“The main difference between me now and me when I first came in to GLORY is my focus and determination. I have two kids now and that has gifted me with a lot more purpose. Previously I was half-assing it at times, now I am all-in” he says.
“This is my obsession again. I was obsessed with training and fighting when I was younger, then I kind of drifted in and out over the years, but now I am right back where I was at the start, just obsessed.
“If you want to get good at a craft, if you want to be really great at something, you have to be truly obsessed, and that’s where I am right now. Kicking the s—t out of people is my craft and I am obsessed with mastering it.”
Thompson’s fight with Lemaire was characterized by constant forward pressure and hands thrown with bad intentions. He hardly threw a kick in the fight, though he now reveals that was due to circumstances rather than by design.
“I tore my MCL before that fight, a few weeks out, and thought I was going to have to pull out, but the doctors told me I was OK to perform. They said there was a good chance it would tear right through in the fight but they could do surgery afterwards, so I went for it. I just threw hands man. Threw hands and just worked, worked, worked and it paid off,” he says.
“I like punching more than kicking anyway. I can control the distance and create pressure better than way. You'll see it in this fight with Robert Thomas; he’s a better kicker than me but I have the better hands.
“If you watch his fight with Mike Lemaire he did good body work with the knee and then used that to set up a head kick. So the thing is not to to give him space; keep him close and put him under pressure. If I do that then fight is mine to lose, unless he keeps trying to hug me to shut the fight down.
“On paper I feel like I kick his ass 99 times out of 100. We've been trying to line this fight up for a while but it never came together until now. He is taller and rangier but I am bigger and stronger; I am gonna get in there and take his lunch money from him.”
GLORY 44 CHICAGO takes place at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Chicago, Illinois on Friday, Aug. 25. and will be GLORY’s fourth visit to The Windy City.
Thompson and Thomas throw down on the SUPERFIGHT SERIES section of the card, which airs live on UFC FIGHT PASS 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
Tickets for GLORY 44 Chicago and GLORY 44 SuperFight Series are on sale now, available for online purchase at searscentre.com and at the Sears Centre Arena box office.