When one is fortunate enough to find a calling they embrace such as sports, art, or other profession, the commitment, hard work, disappointments, victories, time and costs, as well as professional and sometimes personal obstacles are first and foremost measured against just how much this calling means to the individual.
One individual, Southampton native Julius Anglickas, 28, found his calling while attending Southampton High School where he became an award-winning wrestler and graduated in 2009.
"When I graduated from high school, I attended college for two years at the College of Rockport in upstate New York," Anglickas relayed. "I then transferred to Missouri Baptist where I continued wrestling. I'd go to the local gym to work out and there I met two fighters who were focused on MMA (mixed martial arts) and they introduced me to the sport." The sport combines kickboxing, Brazilian jujitsu and wrestling. Continuing his formal education while training, Anglickas received his Master's Degree in Physical Education from Lindenwood University, graduating in the mid-2000's.
"At first I wanted to be a teacher, but when I got to Missouri and met those two fighters, I grew to enjoy the sport more and more. Now that wresting was formerly over, and although I continued with boxing as I have always enjoyed man-to-man sports, I was searching for something to keep me totally engaged. I made the transfer from traditional boxing to MMA because I knew I had to make a choice and MMA offers so many components. It fit well with what I wanted to do. I was gaining a lot of experience and luckily was never hurt or injured. I was doing really well and my coach
secured some local bouts which are necessary to move up."
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is an American MMA promotion company based in Las Vegas, Nevada, that is owned and operated by parent company William Morris Endeavor. It is the largest MMA promotion company in the world and features the highest-level fighters on the roster.
Anglickas won a recent bout in August at the Dana White Contender Series, and although he defeated his opponent, Karl Reed, Anglickas did not receive the coveted UFC contract he sought. "At first I was really disappointed, but now I don't worry about it too much. I did my job, I am on the radar, I won the bout."
Continuing, Anglickas revealed, "This is a tough sport that requires a real commitment to training involving a great deal of time. The financial aspect is usually just based on promotions or sponsorships, and depending on the size of the promotion - a small promotion could render about $400. Most fighters need to have a main job as this is not a lucrative undertaking unless you really make it."
"There are so many different promotional levels involved, and if people like you and you are doing well, the necessary time to coordinate all of that can be complicated," Anglickas explained. He does have a manager, as well as two Hamptons sponsors, including Hill Street Boxing in Southampton and Montauk Ice Tea.
Maintaining a strict training regime and classes in St. Louis/St. Charles, ranging from twice a day; three or more hours a day, every day but Sunday, Anglickas trains with Coach Mike Rogers for MMA fighters (who also owns the gym) and Striking Coach Quinton O'Brien. "This is a year-round sport so you tend to work with different coaches, but it is helpful when you work with someone very close to your own size. You always want to be training." Anglickas does spend as much time as possible in Southampton where his parents still live.
Presently Anglickas is involved in very encouraging discussions with both Bellator and the UFC, and hopes to make an announcement regarding his future very soon. "I really love what I do and will keep doing it for as long as possible," he concluded.
Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.