Andy Ogle: Small-town hero on trying to live the dream
Andy Ogle is a man with a mission. The Newcastle born UK grappler is proud of his Geordie roots and is intent on cementing his name as a top-tier fighter. Training out of esteemed UK gym team Kaobon, 9-3 Ogle is taking on Charles 'Do Bronx' Oliveira in Brazil on the 15th of February. Part of Team Revgear, the man they call the 'Little Axe' works hard to achieve his dreams and has kindly elaborated on the experience of coming from a small corner of the world and fighting at the highest level.
The love and hate of aiming to live the dream but yet not being where you want to be
When fightstorepro.com gave me free reign to write about what I wanted on a blog I felt as if this task was quite overwhelming. I thought to myself about many topics in which I would like to debate and give my point of view on. The topic that kept on recurring back to me was the internet and its relationship with the professional athlete. I thought about how easily accessible my thoughts are to the fans by writing the blog and me giving my point of view on the topic that I felt was the most worthy of writing about. I also thought to myself ‘what will people think about what I write’. Well here I am sitting typing this up and trying my hardest to give my point of views on the things that are on my mind. Love it or lump it, here i go.
Twenty years ago the internet was not as easily accessible as today. Now today instead of having a conversation about what we think the weather is going to be like tomorrow we can search on our phone and POOF….end of topic. If you have a question about history all you need to do is go onto a reliable search engine instead of going into a library (what is one of those). When Mike Tyson was knocking people out in vicious fashion back in his heyday I don’t believe he had a twitter account …..tut tut silly Mike. Now in the year of the Iphone the modern day athlete must have Twitter accounts, personal Facebook pages, fan pages, Instagrams ect. The professional athlete has become so much more easily accessible. This is both positive and negative.
The positive side of this two sided coin is that i get to talk to some awesome fans that really make me feel great when I am beat up after a hard days training. A fan can really add fuel to my fire just by saying something as simple as ‘you rock’ ‘you’re awesome’ and ‘go get him, I know you’ll do it’. You can talk to someone that loves what you do from half way around the world, which is spectacular. Even though you have taken years to get to the international stage of your career it can feel like this is where you have to start it all over again. Being a newcomer to the UFC more than likely means you are not yet on the main card, which means your fights will not be televised. Even though you have made it to the big show, which has taken years of fighting, you now have a new battle of climbing the ladder of the international stage. For the beginners in the organisation the internet plays a large role in getting your face seen. If it wasn't for Facebook we would not be viewed and we would not get the opportunity to get recognition and climb that ladder.
The negative side to the internet athlete relationship is that the sporting athlete is so easily accessible to abuse. Keyboard warriors love to give their opinions about you, your fights and the fashion in which they would want to see you lose, get injured or even die, which is lovely. On a good day these things can be brushed off but on a day when training has kicked your ass it can kind of get you down. I purposefully stayed off the internet for the Connor Mcgregor fight camp because I knew every Irishman and his dog that had an account was going to give me shit. On the positive side you can look at it and think, good for you Connor your fans really love you and support you’ then there is the negative side ‘I don’t deserve this kind of abuse. Shit! These guys want to see me get my head kicked in’.
The dream in action
After my fight in Manchester somebody came up to me when I was in my girlfriend's hotel with my loved ones and said:
“Tough fight Andy. You are a warrior. Let me ask you a question please. Are you gutted?”
“No mate. Had a good night”
“No. I fought a UFC veteran that had more fights in the best organisation in the world than I had fights in my career and he just narrowly won” I replied
“Seriously? You’re not upset?”
“No mate. It was a close fight. You win some and you lose some. I’m fighting the best fighters in the world right now. This is the crème de la crème”
The conclusion of the determined
This brings me to this conclusion. I am just an average guy. The only thing that separates me from a guy in a 9-5 job is that I have went out and am trying to live my dream of making a living with my fists. This is the admirable thing because it is a long hard journey with no certainties. I’m not in a position where I’m flying. In fact I am just barely skimming it but the UFC are giving me the chance to just solely focus on my fighting right now and not work two jobs. The money I make from fights gets spread out thinly right now between long periods of time. I know I still have a long way to go before I start making good money but I am here and that is all that matters. This leads me to believe that with all the internet/professional athlete accessibility that I am still just your average guy trying to live my dream. I find it hard to come to terms with people wanting autographs and pictures because I am still on my mission. I am not done and I feel like I am nowhere near where I want to be. My long term goals are a pea sized light at the end of the tunnel. So If I seem down to earth when you meet me it’s probably because I am. I don’t have two pennies to rub together just like the average guy right now but you know what I’m having a fucking great time on my journey in the UFC. I am living my dream and I have the biggest smile on my face. I have the best team mates possible and I am showing what a Geordie boy with pure grit and determination can achieve if he puts his mind to it.
My beliefs bring a quote to mind and here it is. I hope you enjoy it as much as me. I got this tattooed on myself that’s how much I enjoyed it.
It is not the critic that counts
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
the credit belongs to the man in the arena,
who's face is marred by dust, sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again,
because there is no effort without error and shortcoming;
but who strive to do the deed; who knows great enthusiasms,
the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails whilst daring greatly,
so his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
On my journey I would like to believe I am the tortoise and not the hare. I want to have a long and fruitful career in the UFC and that is what I am doing. Come the 15th Feb you will see me take one more step closer to the finish line (the finished/complete package that is Andy Ogle). If you have read this far I thank you x x much love Andy Ogle.