Steven Siler: It Only Takes Some Part-Time Effort to Find Success

Imagine the barista at your local Starbucks pops their head over the espresso machine, and the person filling the green apron is Kobe Bryant. Likely, a similar spike in surprise would stem from handing Peyton Manning a movie ticket to tear before pointing you in the direction of your feature attraction. Few professional mixed martial artists rise to the star status of athletes in other sports, therefore, their need to scramble for funds beyond competition surfaces on a regular basis. “Super” Steven Siler (28-14), an MMA veteran on a five fight win-streak and current challenger for the featherweight belt at Titan Fighting Championships (Titan FC), fits the mold of a combatant battling a minimized cash flow. The twist on Siler’s situation was revealed on episode 93 of Jon and Mike’s MMA (link here) Corner when “Super” surmised the key to his recent string of success resides in three letters: J-O-B.

Photo credit to Google Images

“The biggest thing was: getting a job, even though it’s just part-time.”

Siler circled the office with the same fancy footwork used to navigate the cage, handing out pink slips to those who contended his newly held disposition,

“A lot of people believe you have to be a full-time fighter to fight in the UFC. When in reality, you only train four, five, six hours a day.”

Listeners who occupied a portion of their lunch break with Siler’s interview may have been intrigued to learn how adding another layer of responsibility deflated both the financial and emotional tax on his anxieties,

“Get a part-time job where you only work a few hours throughout the day, make some extra money, and take a whole lot of stress off your shoulders.”

Instead of payments issued in lump sums with wins, or even lesser amounts in loss, a steady stream of income lifted the dark clouds of commerce that typically fogged over the prizefighter’s thoughts, reengaging the absent pleasure in the sport,

“It’s making it so not every fight is so stressful; where I have to win, or I don’t make money. I fight because it’s fun again. I have a job to pay the bills, and then it’s just a bonus on top of that.”

From Siler’s vantage, incorporating a new trade relaxes the mundane tone of day-in, day-out training. Siler spoke of the benefits to appearing on the job site in elastic-less attire,

“It also gives you a mental break from fighting. It’s not bad to be worrying about something other than fighting because you don’t fight twenty-four hours a day. Even though it’s a lifestyle, it’s good to get away from it sometimes. When you’re in the gym, focus on the fight, and when you’re away from it, make that money.”

Previous to catching a momentous swell of wins, Siler didn’t require a memorandum to recall the hesitation he experienced against Desmond Green on December 19, 2014 at Titan FC 32,

“In my last loss against Des, I felt like he tried to make the fight boring and just hold me. I felt like I couldn’t take any risks because if I took any risks, I might get finished; and if I got finished, I would definitely not win. I always felt like there was an opportunity, so I didn’t really take any risks and fight to my potential.”

Featured on UFC Fight Pass as the co-main event at Titan FC 37, members who login will bear witness to two featherweights knocking on the door to enter (or reenter in Siler’s case) the UFC’s Octagon. Some may have projected a trip to the UFC comparable to an MMA lottery ticket, but Siler nixed the idea of handing in his two-weeks notice after delivering Andre Harrison (11-0), the reigning Titan FC featherweight champion, his first defeat. In fact, he’d encourage others to mimic his behavior,

“Even when I do get back into the UFC, I don’t plan on quitting my job because, even back then, I was stressing about money, and I was making decent money in the UFC. My advice to anyone I train with in the UFC is: get a part-time job and make some money on the side, so fighting can continue being fun. A lot of times what comes with business is: It’s no longer fun anymore.”

On March 4, 2016, Siler will punch-in to the cage at the Clark County Civic Center in Ridgefield, Washington for Titan FC 37 where he expects to punch-out the lights of Harrison, cutting his five-round shift down to a much shorter day at the office. By collecting his sixth win in a row and the Titan FC featherweight strap, Siler may encourage others to pound the pavement, in something other than running shoes, and join the rat race,

“I feel like I’m laughing a lot more while I’m sparring. I’m actually dancing and singing during sparring, trying to throw people off and have fun with it. I plan on doing that when I’m in the cage, just have fun in there.”

Aug 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Steven Siler celebrates his win of a UFC featherweight match at the TD Garden. Siler won by knockout after one round. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Steven Siler celebrates his win of a UFC featherweight match at the TD Garden. Siler won by knockout after one round. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

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