By Cheyene Miller
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
In December of 2012, Dusty Gibbs of London's UMA (United Martial Arts) Academy was involved in a life threatening car accident, that potentially could have spelled an end to his successful MMA career.
As of now, Gibbs has risen from the ashes, making a full recovery and preparing for his return fight against an undetermined opponent.
“The accident gave me a lot of perspective on things,” said Gibbs of his life altering experience. “I really just feel like doing the things that I want to do, and one of them is to fight. I enjoy it, it makes me happy, and that's really important to me after almost losing my life, is to just do things that make me happy.”
According to Gibbs, the accident led him to value his life, as well as those around him, and taught him to cherish the preciousness of being alive. It also taught him to do the thing he loves doing, which is fighting.
“It made the people that were close to me a lot more important to me. You just never know when everything is going to be taken away from you. You waste less time and really experience life, rather than just sit around playing X box and sleeping all day.”
In regards to his fighting career, Gibbs refuses to see the accident as a detriment. In fact, he sees it as a positive motivator to get him back on track.
“I think it will make me drive a lot harder. Obviously I have a new pain threshold after the things I've went through, because I had never went through anything close to that before.”
Gibbs is well on his way to a 100 percent physical recovery, one that has been the result of youth and an unwavering spirit.
“I'm in pretty decent shape right now, I'm just working on getting in shape for the fight. They said I was young and would recover quickly. A lot of it was just me refusing to stay down and lay in the bed.”
Gibbs was extremely grateful to those that have helped him through this whole dilemma.
“My family and friends, and my training partners have been real supportive over everything, making sure I didn't push myself too hard at first, making sure I didn't re-injure myself or anything.”
This thought of pushing himself too hard stems from a burning sense of competitiveness that has always existed within the young fighter.
“It's a huge part for me. Competition always has been, regardless of its form, but I think this is the purest form of competition you can experience. It drives me in more than just martial arts, but also to be a better person and just push myself to the limits.”
No official opponent has been made for Gibbs, but there are a few names in mind. What is certain is that when Gibbs returns, it will be for the Hardrock promotion, one he previously held amateur titles for.
“We have a few different names that have been thrown around, I have a few in particular that I'd like to fight more than others, but really I'll fight anyone they put in front of me. I'm just taking it one day at a time. Not training specifically for any one person yet, just making sure I'm ready for whatever they throw at me.”
Looking back on his past, Gibbs now plans for the future with some golden aspirations.
“I'd like to just come back in and get a win, and get things back on track. Start fighting my way back to the top of Kentucky's Pro division. I think I deserve to be there.”
Gibbs closed off by noting that he has a particular goal in mind for his next fight, and that is to win by forcing his opponent to play patty cake with the cage mat.
“I'd like to get a submission. I've had a lot of decisions, and I'd like to end this one with a submission. I do enjoy grinding out decisions because I like seeing people emotionally break, but I don't want to go the distance this time.”
Ironically enough, Gibbs stated that he “doesn't want to go the distance” in his fight, but going the distance with life is what has gotten him this far.