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Legacy Fighting Alliance 29 – “Crazy” Carl Wittstock

By Lance Edwards

 

“Crazy” Carl Wittstock (9-2) is a throwback to the days when fighters fought for the love of fighting. Wittstock encompasses the stereotype of a tough, gritty guy who just loves to compete in the cage. At LFA 29, he faces off against Brandon Jenkins (10-5) in a fight that sees no love lost.

 

Wittstock is from Memphis, MO (pop. 2,041), a tiny town in northeast Missouri, where he has lived all his life. In such a small place, pursuing the sport of MMA wasn’t the easiest endeavor;

 

“There are no MMA gyms around here and absolutely no one I knew was doing it, but I saw it on TV and thought, huh, I think I could do that. So I found a regional show within 2 hours from me. I emailed the promoter and asked for a fight. Two weeks later I went and got my ass handed to me and knocked out with a knee to the face! I was hooked! Haha! Too bad my first 5 years fighting amateur I never trained in a gym.”

 

His start in the sport shows the kind of fighter that Wittstock is, fearless;

 

“I was a pretty raw athlete. I did all three sports our school offered, football, basketball and track. I didn’t excel at anything really. Boxing was always my thing, but again, no gym around.”

 

After starting in the sport with no gym, to move forward Wittstock sought out somewhere to train;

 

“I now train with Gabe Lemley at Skunk River Grappling Dojo in Lowell, Iowa. It’s an hour and a half drive one way so I only train three or four days a week.”

 

Considering Wittstock’s struggle to train, some might find it amazing he has had the success in the sport that he has. It may be that his nickname, crazy, sheds a little light as the mental aspect of the game is an important one;

 

“I own a hunting outfitter business called Hickory Hill Hunts. We had clients that had been coming for a few years and at a young age I was in the mix of campfire foolery, including a ton of alcohol. A fellow called ‘Wild Bill’ dubbed me that name after a drunken 4 wheeler wreck ‘cause I jumped up a bloody mess and shouted, ‘I didn’t spill my beer!’”

 

At LFA 20, Wittstock suffered defeat at the hands of the veteran fighter Travis Perzynski (22-9);

 

“Ugh…. Perzynski is a solid fighter. I came into that fight putting a lot of pressure on myself and not knowing what to expect from him. He was kind of under the radar. He’s definitely on my radar now! He could easily compete in the UFC. Kid’s a stud! But I learned I gotta relax and stay loose. The guys at this level aren’t gonna break or back down any when you tag them or put the pressure on. And that was the first time (in over thirty fights) that I had a cut other than a busted lip. I freaked a bit. So happy to have that behind me. I would even love the opportunity to fight him again, and truly see if I have what it takes to compete at that level.”

 

Jenkins in his LFA interview made it known that Wittstock didn’t like him and referred to him as a “black belt in shit talking”;

 

“First off, I don’t like shit talk. I have never mouthed any other opponent in my past, but this guy rubs me the wrong way. He’s your typical pot stirring douche that tries to play nice guy. I never knew his name ‘til he called me out on Facebook. Then when I see it and reply, he deletes the post then messages me personally about fighting. I said yeah that would be a great show. Then he starts talking crap on my Instagram page. Right after my last loss, he’s saying he will give me more stitches come December. If you wanna talk trash bro, by all means, talk trash; but this shit where he talks it then backtrack and tries to make it sound like I’m the shit talker is dumb! I don’t respect that! I’m not here to talk! You wanna fight, let’s fight! Anytime! And I even asked if he wanted to bet our entire purse on the match, since he was so confident. He declined.”

 

One thing’s for sure, there is a background to this fight, and both fighters are going to go into the cage with the fight being personal;

 

“So the way it’s gonna go is simple. I’m gonna pressure him, we are gonna punch, kick, knee and elbow each other. There’s gonna be blood. When it’s over, the ref will raise my hand and he will walk out of the cage with his tail between his legs.”

 

Wittstock is an anomaly; he’s the kind of fighter you don’t tend to come across so much currently in the sport. With the rise of the sport, people were also attracted who wanted to become famous or rich. That wasn’t Wittsock’s motivation in starting;

 

“Me as a fighter… Well, let’s be honest. I didn’t get into any combat sports until (I was) twenty-one. I didn’t actually train ‘til’ twenty-seven and I do it part-time at best. I have talent, drive and desire, but I also have three young girls (2, 4 & 5) and a full time business. My wife also works full time. So I don’t train like ninety-five percent of the guys at this level do. I’m missing a lot of the basics, but I have more heart and mental toughness than any of these guys! That X factor to win. If I’m gonna make a run at getting to the biggest stages, it has to be now. I want to go as far as possible to build a bigger platform of notability so I can help kids around my community in a positive way. And help the next generation of athletes pave their way into this great sport.”

 

A proportion of Wittstock’s training is done by himself. A typical training week doesn’t look like many fighters;

 

“(I do) cardio by myself every morning. Monday-Thursday (as long as I don’t have conflicting schedules due to my daughters) I train with Gabe Lemley at Skunk River Grappling Dojo.”

 

Life for Wittstock is busy;

 

“I work, I’m in the gym or I’m with my kids! That’s it. Trying to make that dollar.”

 

Wittstock isn’t without a sense of humor; for example when asked his greatest talent, he responds, “I’m great at taking selfies.” Family means a great deal to this small town fighter;

 

“I love my girls more than anything! They are the reason I do this more than anything else and will probably be the reason I walk away when it’s time to.

 

“(I’d like to thank) all my sponsors. Especially Matt McKee, Kevin Holton & Adam Parrott. Thanks LFA for having me back! Thank you Brandon for accepting the fight. Thanks to Ron & Pat for being amazing announcers. Thank you Jeremy Bjornberg for getting my name in the mix and Mark Bieri for everything you do. Ed Soares & Andrea Maynard for running a great organization. Mark Cuban & AXS TV for broadcasting these amazing fights every Friday night! And my dad, without him, absolutely none of this would be possible!! He is my hero.

Of course, thank you for taking the time! I hope my answers were ok and not too windy… God bless.”