Ian Stonehouse isn't your average CSU junior. So un-average that MTV decided to feature him in their documentary project, True Life: I'm a Mixed Martial Artist.
In fact, Stonehouse is training to compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC, an organization focused on mixed martial artists. It is a full contact combat sport that includes a wide range of traditional and non-traditional martial arts that allow striking and grappling.
During the day, he’s either going to school full-time; trying to obtain a degree in graphic design or hanging out with his girlfriend. But at night, it’s a whole other story. What Stonehouse refers to as “two hours of hell,” is his training at the Fort Collin’s Evolution Dojo.
“It’s rough! It’s a lot of conditioning, a lot of drills and a lot of techniques. You condition your body by letting people hit you. But for the most part, its constant conditioning,” says Stonehouse.
For the first 16 years of his life, Stonehouse lived in Monument, Colo. He grew up wrestling and when he left high school, he didn’t feel like he had any competitive sport in his life. At 19, he attended a local mixed martial arts fight, fell in love with the sport and started his training with a friend. Now, at age 22, with two championships in the lightweight and junior level; three titles throughout the Mid-West; and sponsorships from Sinister, Destiny Chiropractic and Anytime Fitness, he still feels the same about the sport.
He debuted professionally in early January and won with a technical knock-out in a mere 47 seconds. Stonehouse has a record of seven wins and zero losses in his amateur competitions, all won by knock-outs, technical knock-outs and one submission because of a broken hand.
“You pretty much always have injuries. It’s impossible to not have any when you’re doing a sport like this,” Stonehouse says.
Shoulders and hand pains, cuts, bruises and scratches are all expected and common. During his first fight, he broke his knuckle and had to get surgery. On his forth fight, he broke his hand and then broke it again twice after that. His doctor inserted a plate with six screws in his hand and prevented him from fighting for nearly a year.
Stonehouse states that the hardest part of training for the UFC is the consistency of it all.
“It’s the kind of sport that if you don’t stick with it and you don’t train, then you’ll get your butt kicked,” he says, “You get tired and you’re in pain. Sometimes I look like an old man but I’m really just 22.”
In January, Stonehouse’s roommate had suggested to him to write MTV an email about his training for the UFC, as a joke. In several hours, a number of people had requested for MTV produce a show about this mixed martial artist training for the UFC. Pat, an MTV employee, gave Stonehouse a call the day following the email. Research had been done on Stonehouse and MTV wanted to do a feature on him for an episode of True Life.
“There’s something special about Ian by the way he carries himself,” says Sebastian Puente, a friend who trains with Stonehouse, “It’s strange because, he’s a fighter but he’s very educated and articulate. People think all fighters are meat heads but he’s a good guy because that’s just Ian.”
The MTV crew came out four times between January and July to film his last amateur fight and his professional debut.
“I haven’t really been affected much by the show. I mean, some people recognize me and my girlfriend but not really crazy people,” Stonehouse says, “I don’t really like to draw attention to myself. I grew up in a small town and it’s weird to see myself on TV.”
Stonehouse continues living his life as usual. He goes to school, hangs out with his girlfriend and trains while he awaits his next fight.
Look for Ian Stonehouse’s True Life episode at: http://www.mtv.com/ontv/dyn/truelife/series.jhtml
Contact: Anh Ha
Phone: (970) 491-1546