On April 23, 2012, I had the honor of meeting and working with Mirsad Bektic. The Seven Fightgear brand and product line was in its first stages of development. All we had were some product samples and concepts on paper. Chad Coppenbarger, in charge of product design and business development for Seven Fightgear had given me a list of athletes, up and coming MMA athletes, that he thought exemplified the Seven Fightgear vision and would represent the values of our brand.
I reached out to Bektic who was in training at ATT Cocunut Creek Florida and introduced myself. I told him I was the Marketing Director for Macho and that, with the help of Coppenbarger, we were in the process of launching a new brand called Seven Fightgear. I explained the vision of Seven. I told him that our goal was to focus on the development of the athlete and to embrace the true concept of MMA. The seven core disciplines that make up MMA: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, Muay Thai, Karate, TaeKwonDo, Judo and Boxing.
When Bektic arrived at the photoshoot in April 2012, along with six other talented athletes, it didn’t take long for me to recognize that Bektic would soon be on his way to the UFC. What was most impressive about Bektic, was his quiet and modest demeanor. Despite his accomplishments and undefeated record, he was polite and unassuming. When I asked him about his life and his training, I was equally impressed with his focus and discipline. He was so grateful to be a part of the ATT Cocunut Creek Florida team, I remember him saying, “I am truly blessed.” Even though I am sure he knows how talented he is, his presence was humble and understated.
As the days went on I learned about his family coming over to the United States as Bosnian refugees. The stories he shared were heart wrenching. The simply stated tattoo on his shoulder, “Believe,” summed up everything Bektic embodies. He has an inner strength you rarely see. Now, it seems only fitting that exactly two years later, Bektic is returning to Orlando, Florida. This time, he is introducing himself to the world with his debut in the UFC on April 19, 2014. He will face the also undefeated Chas Skelley. Skelly is training at Team Takedown. I can’t wait to see him out there. Read more about Mirsad Bektic and his training at www.mirsadbektic.com