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Daily Journal
     December 13, 2019      #71-347 KDJ
Gordon Smith, 25, of Hopkins Park, transformed himself into a mixed martial arts fighter through "Rise of the Gladiator," a 12-week fight camp for people with no combat sport experience. He will represent Genesis Martial Arts and Fitness Sunday night in his first career amateur fight.

John Dykstr

Fighting for change 

By John Dykstra

Gordon Smith didn’t remember the punch that gave him a black eye. After weeks of getting peppered with blows, the 25-year-old hairstylist from Hopkins Park finally unloaded.

He traded blows with Thomas Jasinksi, a heavy-hitting amateur mixed martial arts fighter. That was the final “aha” moment as Smith transformed himself into a fighter.

“I took a few punches. Then, it was a weird turbo charge, like hitting the nitrous button in ‘Need for Speed,’” Smith recalled. “We were going blow-for-blow, and we got ...

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