I'm honored to share Bruce's story. We trained and traveled the country competing, and grew up together in the Taekwondo Community. The core principals of Taekwondo are something we forever share and have shaped who we are today. Bruce is a top-ranked MMA fighter and a kindhearted, loyal father, husband, son, friend, and veteran. -Jessica Lea Nolette (blog creator)
Your nickname is Bruce 'Pretty Boy' Boyington. Who gave you that name?
My nickname came from my Coach, Christopher Young of Young's MMA. I'd go into training showered and looking all "pretty" and tanned up. I was different than everyone else without the raggedy clothes on to train. Every time I walked in the first words out of his mouth were "What's up pretty boy....."
How did you first get involved in Martial Arts & furthermore MMA?
I started Taekwondo at a very young age, and I've never stopped, I think I was seven. I've had many amazing experiences with Taekwondo. Many of us including my friend, Jessica Nolette would travel together to nationals, state tournaments and all throughout the country competing and training. I continued to do it right up until I went in the Marine Corps. I started experimenting with grappling and other martial arts, and I ended up becoming a martial arts instructor for the Marine Corps. It was at that time I realized mixed martial arts might be better suited for my body. As much as I love Taekwondo, it was a sport, favorable to tall, skinny people with length. I felt like I was naturally, a good wrestler and grappler. When I got out of the Marine Corps, someone approached me and asked me if I wanted to take a fight against former Olympian Rick Hawn. He was undefeated at the time and went on to be a multiple division Bellator Tournament Champion. I jumped all over that opportunity, traveled to The Cape in Massachusetts, and took to fight. Even though I lost, I was hooked. I've been doing it professionally for 10 years since then.
What does it mean (for you) to be a professional fighter?
To be a professional fighter isn't as important as being a father and good husband. I don't want this taken out of context. I love professional fighting, and it's been an incredible passion for me that's changed the course of my life and created more opportunity than I could ever imagine. But, when I rank it as far as significance or what it means to me, it has to come second to my family and friends. It is an unmatched journey in this world, and I am forever grateful.
How have martial arts impacted your life and where do you think you would be right now, without it?
Martial arts, as I stated above has forever changed the azimuth of my life. Martial arts shaped and molded me from a young age. Although there was always more room for discipline, I don't want to know where I'd be without the structure taught to me. Most of all it gave me a network of lifelong friends and opportunities to travel the world. I've visited Russia and fought in Madison Square Garden, the world's most famous arena. Being a martial artist has become a way of life and who I am. Follow your passion and your fate will be decided.
What is one challenge and lesson you've learned from your training?
Most people don't know this, but I have a titanium plate in my neck. I've had two neck surgeries, so it's pretty hard not to mention that as far as lessons learned in training. You have to protect your body as a martial artist and think about longevity. I've also learned you must make time and the commitment to training. If you're in-and-out of the sport and back-and-forth on your training, the results will be a reflection.
How important is having a daily routine?
I've found without a routine I was on a roller coaster ride. Between being a martial artist and in the United States Marines, there's a lot of daily routine and planning happening. With having a big family, other jobs and businesses, it's critical to get your routine in sync. Otherwise, you end up drowning in it, and I've been there as well.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
I have three proudest moments, the first is traveling to Russia and headlining a fight there. It was like a real Rocky versus Drago story. The second is getting the opportunity to compete doing what I love in the world's most famous arena. This experience was a very proud moment. The third is receiving my black belt in Taekwondo because I think it's what catapulted me to experience the other two.
What's your favorite kick? I'm asking for a friend ;)
My favorite kick is either a spinning hook or back kick. Without a doubt, I like anything that has a spin on it.
If you could have one dream fight with anyone, who would it be?
If I could have one dream fight with anyone, this is pretty easy, because I've always wanted to fight with Connor McGregor. I've always found him to be a lot like myself in life and to some extent how we fight. I always thought that would be a fun matchup. I'm reasonably sure it will never happen because he has put himself in a wonderful position.
What is your favorite inspirational/motivational quote?
I have so many favorite quotes but the most simple and basic one stays with me all the time, and that is, "Life is what you make it." It's forward thinking and relevant to everyone. It's very true. People create their destiny in their mindset.
In one word, describe yourself: