Fighting For Hope (Worth the Fight #1) - Olivia T. Turner

Chapter One


This guy looks like a super heavyweight but he moves like a lightweight.

“Get in there, Nate!” my trainer Teddy screams at me. Easy for him to say. He’s not the one who’s going to be making out with those cinderblock-sized fists. “You want to make it to the GPC or do you want to be scrubbing toilets for the rest of your pathetic life?”

He always knows just what to say.

I bite down on my mouthguard, lower my head, and charge forward.

The beast I’m fighting, Quarters, throws one of those deadly fists at me but I duck under it and slam my own fist into his round stomach. I’m showered with sweat as he grunts through his clenched teeth.

“Come on, Quarters!” Teddy screams at him as he slams his palm against the cage. “This punk is two weight classes below you. Drive him into the ground!”

I glance at my coach who’s supposed to be on my side. He’s watching us with a snarl on his face. There are no sides at Dominant Alpha Gym. Teddy is for everybody and he’s against everybody. It usually depends on his mood, which alternates between surly and irritable.

Quarters throws a right hook and it grazes my nose. It also wakes me the fuck up. I have to be faster than this if I want to get into the Ground and Pound Championship.

This giant’s got a temper and that punch to his gut pissed him off. He got the nickname Quarters after he lost a fight a few months ago. He was so infuriated that he put his fist through the vending machine. Protein drinks and quarters spilled out all over the gym floor.

He throws a few hard jabs and I swerve around each one. They’re coming slower. More sluggish. The thing about the big guys is that they tire quickly…

And I can go all night.

I kick up the speed and start dancing around him, getting him more and more frustrated with every time he misses me.

“Do you want to be on Dancing with the Stars, Nate?” Teddy hollers at me. “Did you come here to dance or to fight?”

I throw him a grin before I race in and land a four punch combination on the beast in front of me. He steps back, staggered, and then I charge in and grab the back of his knees. I thrust my shoulder into his gut as I pull his legs up and the beast goes down. He lands on his back hard and from there it’s a quick flurry of movements until I have his thick arm in an arm-bar.

He taps immediately.

“Holy hell!” Teddy shouts as he throws his hands into the air. “What the fuck was that, Quarters? You tapped that mat faster than I tapped your mother’s ass!”

“He was going to break my arm,” Quarters answers as he pushes himself back up to his feet.

“So, you let him break it and then you beat him with your limp, shattered arm,” Teddy shouts back as I fight back a grin. “Generation Pussy up in here! That’s what you guys are. Generation Pussy. When I was your age, men were men! We’d rather die than tap out.”

I keep one eye on my opponent who’s huffing around the practice octagon and one eye on my trainer. Teddy is an old heavyweight boxer who’s the head trainer at my gym. He’s out of shape now, but I’d bet he can still knock me and Quarters out with the same punch. He was a star wrestler in college and once upon a time, he trained in Brazilian Ju Jitsu for three years down in Brazil. Add in his boxing, and Teddy is quite the fighter and an even better trainer. He’s a bit of an oaf, but he’s managed to combine all of his fighting skills into a very effective MMA style. A style he’s teaching me and the rest of the guys at the gym. A style I hope will get me into the GPC.

Teddy limps into the round cage after Quarters storms out. Vending machines beware!

“You have natural talent, Nate,” he says as he looks me up and down. “But you’re missing something.”

“Yeah, a gold championship belt around my waist.”

He sneers. “You won’t get that.”

I shake my head at him. “I thought coaches were supposed to be encouraging.”

“Encouraging, but realistic,” he says as he kicks Quarter’s discarded gloves out of his way. “That big pussy you just tapped out doesn’t have a future in MMA. Shit, he doesn’t