This “whirling, no-holds-barred,” national bestselling memoir of mixed martial arts by the author of The Fighter’s Mind is “adrenaline-addled and addictive” (Playboy).
In A Fighter’s Heart, former merchant marine and Harvard graduate Sam Sheridan shares a “fascinating” first-person account of his life inside the world of professional MMA fighting “and his behind-the-scenes access makes for a gripping read” (Sara Cardace, The Washington Post).
In 1999, after a series of adventurous jobs—construction at the South Pole, ranching in Montana, and sailing private yachts around the world—Sheridan found himself in Australia with time to finally indulge a long-dormant obsession: fighting.
After training in Bangkok at the legendary Fairtex Gym, Sheridan stepped through the ropes for a professional bout, embarking on an epic journey to discover what only a fighter can know about fear, violence, and most of all, himself.
From small-town Iowa to the beaches of Rio, from the streets of Oakland to the arenas of Tokyo, Sheridan trained, traveled, and fought with Olympic boxers, Brazilian jiu-jitsu stars, and Ultimate Fighting champions. This chronicle offers an insightful look at violence as a spectator sport, as well as a dizzying account of what it’s like to hit—and be hit by—some of the best fighters in the world.
Just out of Harvard University, Sheridan set out to discover if he had what it took to be a fighter. His quest takes the reader around the globe and through most of the major martial arts disciplines muay thai in Thailand, jiu-jitsu in Brazil, tai chi in New York City and boxing in Oakland, Calif., to name a few. On his way, Sheridan trains beside, lives with and learns from some of the most dangerous men in the world. He even gets into the ring himself and beats a Japanese karate champion in his very first fight. It's impossible not to admire Sheridan's bravery and tenacity he's done more wild things in 10 years than the average man would in a hundred lifetimes (Sheridan also worked in the merchant marine, as a smoke jumper and as a construction worker in Antarctica). However, Sheridan's attempt to cram so many of his adventures into one book diffuses their impact, reading more like a bunch of magazine articles strung together. Sheridan's prose is straightforward and illuminating at times, but he jumps so quickly from one adventure to the next that readers don't have the opportunity to immerse themselves in any of them.