If you’re a square peg that can fight through a round hole, you’re a perfect fit for the Misfits of Gold.
The Misfits of Gold, a subset of strikers from MMAGOLD’s fight team, recognized their combative camaraderie and hatched what has become a notable presence in Northern California’s MMA collage.
Under the watchful eye of Joel “MF” Beck, one of MMAGOLD’s striking coaches, and the steady influx of new additions to the squadron, the Misfits attracted the attention of their competition almost immediately following its inception in 2013. Oddly enough, Beck never would have imagined the present-day portrait of the Misfits because of his initial, glancing judgments of MMAGOLD. He admitted, while talking with NorCal MMA, to growling at the team concept in a sport fueled by independent contractors,
“Since I had fought for Folsom MMA before, I called the owner, and he said I could come in and teach classes,” Beck began. “Then, I saw MMAGOLD. I’m not gonna lie: at first I was like, ‘What the fuck is this?’ Then, I met [MMAGOLD’s manager] Dave [Hirschbein] and [the team’s head coach] Jim [West], and they were both cool.”
Once Beck mined below the team’s surface, he melted into the fold. Shortly thereafter, the Misfits organically spawned, as remembered by Beck,
“The group just kind of happened; there’s no real other way to explain it. Right after I joined the team, I met: [Steven] Gruber, Travis [Hyland], and Lucas [Gubbins], and we just started growing from there. Now, we’ve got: Sam Toomer, Dillon Moore, Jason Powell, Brieta Carpenter, Isaiah Wright, Michael Olson, Blake Benson, Andrew Chavez, Eric Helm, and Brandon Waltz.”
Flying under MMAGOLD’s banner at Urban Sprawl Fitness in El Dorado Hills, the Misfits, on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, slide a short stretch down the hill on Highway 50 into Folsom to train with Beck at his gym: Nutri-Sport. Beck described how the division of the Misfits doesn’t lead to a fraction of the entire team,
“Not every fighter goes to the same coach; some gravitate toward this coach, some that coach, based on your styles, ways of thinking, how you want to do things, or do you even connect personally.”
Along with their distinct logo, colored in pink and blue pastel, each member of the Misfits expresses their individualism with a mask best suited to match their unique warrior spirit while manifesting mayhem between bells, but Beck repeatedly coaches his athletes: it’s invaluable during training to remove any blinders preventing you from capturing influences, from a multitude of sources,
“I constantly tell them: take any useful technique, or any useful thought process, and make it your own. You shouldn’t be so narrow-minded to get stuck in any one way of thinking. That’s why you have so many coaches you can go to.”
Although Beck is revered by MMAGOLD as an asset amongst the coaching department, he places a high level of importance on standing eye-to-eye with each of the Misfits,
“I’m not the captain; I’m not the leader. I’m an equal; I’m like them. I didn’t become a coach to get respected; I became a coach because I was respected.”
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