Outside the cage
Beau Hamilton and D.J. Linderman have formed a close bond since first meeting as two young mixed martial arts fighters at Dosomthin Athletics Gym five years ago.
Now, the two friends are professional MMA fighters.
Linderman has earned a number of impressive wins and in June won the Cage Warriors Fighting Championship Heavyweight belt in Dublin, Ireland. He is currently 13-3 as a pro fighter.
Hamilton had his first official MMA pro fight recently. Despite being only five feet five inches, he faced a much taller opponent in six feet four inch Calvin Horton in Tacoma, Wash. Beau earned an unanimous decision win in the 170 pound weight class bout on July 14. Hamilton is currently 1-1 in unofficial pro MMA matches and also has had a few pro fights as a boxer.
"It made me proud," Lindnerman said about the first official pro win by Beau. D.J. said that while not the biggest guy, Hamilton has a lot of skills, a "huge heart" and a tenacity that makes up for his lack of size.
When he won, Hamilton texted D.J a message which said, "I feel like a mini you right now."
The day before, D.J. won a bout by TKO in the second round in Houston, Texas, against Dale Mitchell.
Linderman and Hamilton have been each others sparring partner, and Linderman, along with Tommy Davis, who runs Dosomthin have been the cornermen during the majority of Beau's fights.
While D.J. fights in the heavyweight division, he said that Hamilton is a perfect sparring partner and gives it all he has.
"We have gotten each other blooded, but we know that if we can work on things like that in practice we know what to expect," during the fight, Linderman said.
"It's been great," Hamilton said. "We really help each other out with training and we know what each other wants to do."
When they first met, D.J. said that "we hit it right off." They both had many of the same interests, a passion for MMA and a similar sense of humor. They clicked with each other right away, they both said. And, Hamilton joked, their "bromance" was born.
During the fight in Tacoma, D.J. and Davis were unable to be Hamilton's cornermen because they were just coming back from their fight in Texas the night before. So, in their place was Randy Davis, who works at Dosomthin, and Tim Hamilton, Beau's dad.
"That was a big moment having him there," Hamilton said about his dad. "He's my biggest fan."
Hamilton said he is proud of all the success his friend has had and said there's no one more deserving.
"He's really deserving all of this," Hamilton said. "No one works harder and is nicer to everyone than D.J."
D.J. hopes that Beau will eventually move up the ranks and will be fighting in the same events he is. Both said they can't wait until the day both will be fighting as pros at the same event and location.
Both D.J and Beau thanked the entire community for their support. When D.J. won his match in Texas, he skyped with a large group of local fans at the Miner Street Sports Bar who had watch the bout live on television.
"It was great to see that many people in attendance and talk to them right after the match," D.J said.
During the interview, the two friends were at ease with one another, laughing and joking around. And like friends do, could not stop raving about a recent film they had seen. The movie they talked about was the comedy "Ted." The film stars Mark Wahlberg and the voice of Seth MacFarlane from Family Guy as Ted, who is a teddy bear come to life. A foul mouthed teddy bear, that is. But a very funny one, Hamilton and D.J. said.
Because of the film, the friends now call themselves 'Thunder Buddies' in a reference to the movie and joked around about that fact.
When asked who is Ted and who is Mark Wahlberg, Hamilton quickly replied: "Oh, I'm Ted and he's Marky Mark." he said with a laugh.