In our last UFC article we talked about Paddy the Baddy and his plans for the future in the UFC and the importance of his fight against Jordan Levitt. The Paddy practically sold out the entire 02 arena, for many he was the 'crowds main event'.
In the build up to the fight he talked about tea bagging his opponent, and the crowd were hotly anticipating a tremendous fight.
When he entered the arena the whole place lit up with the crowd singing “Oh paddy the baddddyyy”. Everyone was jumping up and down with their blonde wigs on, putting on there best scouse accent. It was a hilarious scene.
Paddy the Baddy rocked into the 02 arena and delivered a lighting fast knockout of Molly McCann.
All eyes were on him. Yet, there was another part yet to be played, a crescendo to an amazing event. It came at the end of the fight just after Bruce Buffer began announcing the winner.
Paddy the Baddy the victor fell to his knees and all of the bravado and antics suddenly dissipated.
The interviewer came up to Paddy and asked him about how he felt after the fight. Paddy the Baddy sobbed and sobbed, it was clear he was overwhelmed with emotion.
It was touching to see this man who had put on a brave face to fight suddenly drop to the floor collapsing from the emotions he had held within.
In the build up to this fight, Paddy had welled up before over the lost of his young friend who lost his life to Leukaemia. The boy was only 4 years old, and would be at every fight camp with Paddy. This was not the only loss Paddy had had in the build up to this fight. A few nights before the fight Paddy was also notified at 4am that his friend had committed suicide.
What followed was one of the most powerful speeches from an athlete that we have seen in a long time.
With silence around the arena, Paddy managed to say a few words on the microphone. This time he was pleading with us.
“If you are a man and you are thinking of taking your own life, please reach out to someone. I'd rather have my friend cry on my shoulder, than be at his funeral.”
It was a speech that left me silent. From recent experience, a boy in his twenties took his own life. I turned up to church one day, and they let me know that one of our church congregation had taken his own life. He was a student at the university and had been going to the same student nights as me every Thursday. I was so shocked to see a boy our age losing his life. I could see his closest friend at the front in tears speaking about him. It was bizarre. It had come out of nowhere. I had probably spoken to this boy a few times been around him, and now he was no longer here.
I started to speak to another friend about this to get it off my chest. I described how shocking this incident was. He gave a face that he could relate. In the bar my friend sat there saying he had had a similar experience. One of his close friends friend had killed himself.
It was a touching moment to realise that many young men are taking their own lives.
They are no longer just people on the news, but people in our lives. How do they go unnoticed I asked, why don't they tell someone, how do people not pick up on the fact that they are depressed or suicidal? I don't know he replied. I said is this going to be the norm? There was a silence, “yes” he said.
Paddy the Baddy has started the conversation about men's mental health, and suicide in young men.
We are more aware of people committing suicide now. Can we change this? Will talking about it, and raising awareness help, I hope so.
For thousands of years humans have evolved to survive and now they are taking their own life. It has made me look into my own life, what is the meaning of life, why are we here? I choose to view this as an opportunity, to look, examine and reflect for all of us.
I'm grateful to Paddy the Baddy for using this opportunity to benefit people around the world.
He has inspired us to look within ourselves and examine our lives. This is of great importance as Socrates wisely said, "The unexamined life is not worth living". Now it is our time.
Help and support for your men UK useful websites.
Are you, or is a young person you know, not coping with life? For confidential suicide prevention advice contact HOPELINEUK.
Simple actions can help you be there for someone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts or recovering from an attempt to take their own life.
Explains how to support someone who feels suicidal, giving practical suggestions for what you can do and where you can go for support.