|Photo courtesy of Full Contact Fighter - I think. God, it was so long ago that I can't even remember.|
One of my first longer features for Full Contact Fighter was "A Tale of Three Fighters", a 2003 story which involved me interviewing three fighters who were at three very different points in their careers, the interviews happening both before and after a fight they had coming up. Nick Strehle was the rookie, and he was stepping into the ring at a BAMA Fight Night; Ricco Rodriguez was the UFC champ, and he was to defend his belt against Tim Sylvia. Playing the role of journeyman was Christian Montes
, who was slated to compete at a Reality Fighting.
Back then, you could almost divide up the New York City MMA scene into cliques
, with the Team Renzo guys dominating a big portion of the cafeteria, the Matt Serra/Ray Longo guys hanging out by the gym teacher, the Tiger Schulmann crew hitting on the lunch lady, and the various other smaller groups trying to eat their mac & cheese and drink their chocolate milk in relative solitude. But smoking cigarettes behind the janitor's shed were the Jeet Kune Do dudes - the original martial arts cross-trainers - who were learning jiu-jitsu techniques along with boxing and stick fighting and whatever else looked cool.
Christian was part of the JKD clique (he was Straight Blast Gym - pretty much the same thing).
Anyway, Christian won his Reality Fighting bout, which made for a happy ending to my article (especially considering that Rodriguez got KO'd by Sylvia). Below is the fight Christian took afterwards, a Mass Destruction match-up against some youngster named Joe Lauzon. Enjoy.