It’s been more than week since Cole Escovedo won his fight at Palace Fighting Championships 13. Michael McDonald made Escovedo fight and “The Apache Kid” looked impressive in the process. The fight was fun to watch, but what occurred after stands out.
Escovedo mounted McDonald easy and tapped him out, but McDonald submitted after the first round bell. Escovedo lost his composure, yelling at the referee so much and the opposite corner so much that his corner had to scream at him to sit down, shut up, and prepare for the next round. He came out and resumed the ground attack, securing mount and perhaps taking out his anger on McDonald. Escovedo, a star in Central California’s fight scene, perhaps known to the larger MMA audience as a KO loss to Jens Pulver in an IFL super-fight, earned a stoppage at 2:25 of the second round.
He’s known for his triangle choke finishes but on that night he looked dedicated to making a statement, to dishing out punishment as a means to mitigate his own suffering. Months earlier a staph infection spread in his body, ravaging Escovedo, leaving the bantamweight with little chances of walking again and seemingly no chance of fighting. Imagine being a fighter, a former champion, hobbled, watching the ring you can no longer compete in as Escovedo did at a PFC show. The torment that causes and the drinking that accompanies it put aside with sheer will.
Escovedo celebrated his victory–he had to relearn how to walk before he had to relearn how to fight–by jumping on the corner rope, pointing into the crowd and yelling, “Happy Mother’s Day.” His mom already in tears, she accepted her gift with more tears. It looked like her legs were going out from under her. She was experiencing the jolting shocks that only a mother can experience–extreme joy borne of unspeakable pain.
As if her son’s return to health wasn’t an impressive gift already.