True Warrior: An Airman's fight
By Airman 1st Class Timothy Kim, 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 20, 2015
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --
The distant roar of hundreds hungry for action pulses through the compound, rumbling the stone walls of a dimly lit waiting room.
Shoulders hunched, a fighter walks down a hallway, with a grey hood draped over his perspiring head.
Mounted lights pass over his face in pale strips of sterilized trepidation with every step he takes down the corridor.
He remains silent. His hulking figure leads his team toward the stage entrance. Swirling lights of red, blue and purple bleed out onto the gray floor as they draw closer. A low bass beats louder as they close-in to a set of green double doors.
A grungy riff hails his entrance; the song's low and heavy rhythm rumbling like the guttural growl of a beast poised to pounce.
The fighter stands at the arena entrance, staring into its mouth like a silent giant, motionless and unblinking. He takes a deep breath, bares his mouth guard for an instant, and then steps through the threshold.
Roars of near-deafening caliber emanate through the room, consuming him in one awesome wave. The crowd screams down at him, cheering, waving; their eager shouts and motions fueled by nervous excitement.
He takes off his warmup gear down to nothing but his camouflage-pattern shorts and yellow gloves. As the referee's fingers massage lubricant on his scalp and ears, the fighter's eyes flash up toward the bright ring - towards his opponent. Their eyes lock.
Once more, he bears his fangs, eyes never leaving his one target: his fight.
With this determination at the forefront of his mind, he steps into the ring.
For U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Clinton Williams, 52nd Component Maintenance Squadron engine manager and mixed martial artist, situations, like the one described before his fight at the 12th Kwon Respect Fighting Championship April 11 in Wuppertal, Germany, are not foreign to a fighter such as himself.
Sporting a fighting record of 10-1, 5-0 as an amateur and 5-1 as a professional, including a recent victory in Liechtenstein March 14, Williams' confrontations are often riddled with pre-game anxiety and anticipation - a feeling he says that remains with him before every fight.
As a deployed member from the 388th Fighter Wing, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Williams' assignment to Spangdahlem served as an opportunity for him to advance in his professional career as an Airman as well as to train and for his passion - mixed martial arts fights.
Williams said he ties his victories in the ring to the training and discipline he received from the U.S. Air Force.
"Winning's the only thing I can think about," Williams said. "When you go to war in the Air Force, you don't think about what happens if we lose. I take that mindset into the fight as well - I prepare hard so when I get in the ring, regardless of what happens. I make that fight my fight."
Williams arrived at Spangdahlem to work as an engine manager for the 52nd CMS. He then engaged with a local Jiu Jitsu club and Muay Thai class on base to further his training in the hobby he holds close to his heart.
"I had a host of friends in Georgia who invited me to the sport, and I got good rather quickly," Williams said. "I just stuck with it, and the more I stuck with it, the more I got fascinated at wanting to get better with it."