When Lamar ‘Lion King’ Reed’s father, Darryl Reed, was released from Federal prison after a twenty-eight year long sentence toward the end of 2016, the timing coincided, maybe even bolstered, his developing sense of comfort while competing as a professional mixed martial artist.
Long before Reed was defying the odds in MMA, his childhood narrative primed the possibility of becoming: another statistic—one that all too commonly repeatedly hits the headlines. Nearly three decades ago, Reed’s father was a drug kingpin, known as ‘The Crack King,’ in Oakland, California. As one of President Obama’s final orders of business in the White House, clemency was granted to individuals, such as Darryl Reed, and a bond between father and son, a bond that actually never loosened throughout Reed’s youth, adhered tighter than ever upon his release. On Episode 22 of the @norcalfightmma Podcast (link here), he openly discussed these circumstances through his prism of positivity.
While a heap of the conversation centered around Reed’s upcoming catchweight bout at Conquer Fighting Championships—Conquer 4—against Daniel ‘The Animal’ McWilliams (15-36), a journeyman with fifty-plus professional fights, an exploration into Reed’s recollection of the relationship he had with his father while behind bars opened listeners’ eyes to how such a unique experience molded him; moreover their present-day connection, since being reunited, will further shape his fighting career in a sport where support systems can often prove as valuable as training itself.
“My dad had been locked up most of my life; he just got out last October. We have a great relationship. We’ve always been really close,” Reed boasted before time traveling into the past. “It helped mold me in a lot of ways—not having my father physically there. It made me a better person.”
Reed’s wide smile, one that will be replaced with a snarl and a mouth guard on June 24, 2017 at the Craneway Pavilion, while reminiscing reminded the audience of his happy ending—and bright future. Interestingly enough, his father’s incarceration afforded Reed the opportunity, thanks also to many loving relatives, to travel the nation as a kid in order to remain united with his father.
“It was important to my mother, and it was important to my family that we had a close relationship. I have a lot of appreciation to my mom and to my grandmother and to my aunt, and everybody who would take me—because,” Reed emphasized, “he was in Federal; he wasn’t in state. They would do things like send him across the country to places like Philadelphia; that’s how I got to see the country.”
Flash-forward to today, with his father in the audience when the bell rings, the duo, if Reed adds to his momentum and bulks up his 5-4 record, may soon travel to arenas in every corner of the world. Although Reed will be housed locally at Conquer 4, the live stream of FloCombat.com will digitally teleport him, his father, and everyone else inside the Craneway Pavilion from the Port of Richmond to the fingertips of every fight fan logged in every corner of the globe.
Prior to Conquer 4, Reed jumpstarted 2017 in early February with an emphatic, thirty-second knockout victory, the first with his father in attendance, at Gladiator Challenge: Mega Brawl, and the product of Last Stand Fight Team in Oakdale soared with confidence when projecting what to expect in his future performance, with an even greater number of family, in his Bay Area backyard.
“It’s very motivating. I felt very motivated in my last fight, knowing it was the first time he (Reed’s father) would get to see me. Now, fortunately, this (Conquer 4) is close to Oakland; I’m going to have a lot of family come that has never seen me fight. That’s definitely a motivating factor; when you can get that support, you know you want to impress everybody. They want to see some excitement, and they want me to bring home the W. So I got to do my part.”
Join the family reunion as one of Reed’s followers (link here) as he inches closer to the date of Conquer 4 circled on his calendar: June 24th.