A wailing cry echoes throughout Urban Sprawl Fitness, and a puddle of frustrated tears formed on the mat. One of the students in the kids’ grappling class buckled under the strain of executing proper technique, heaving inconsolably. The one to snap this youngster’s negativity with a mild-mannered tranquility was none other than a “Berserker,” Michael “Berserker” Olson (2-1).
Witnessing the aforementioned interaction, one may arch an eyebrow at how someone, who exercises such an extreme level of patience, could transform into the “Berserker,” a mixed martial artist looking to ring the bells of some bantamweights. On May 7, 2016, the click of the cage at West Coast Fighting Championship (WFC) 17: Emmett vs. Aveles will unlock the crazed machinations swirling through the mind of Olson when he stands across from Brandon Frunk (1-1).
According to Olson, he fights as if entranced, exerting an aggression bred into his being. Truth is, nothing can be done to control Olson’s “Berserker” qualities, and fans wouldn’t want it any other way:
“One of my coaches used to describe that as my fighting style when I first started out. It’s also kind of a heritage thing because I’m essentially Scandanavian.”
Contrary to Olson’s five-minute bursts of insanity, drying tears and supporting others, both students and teammates, is a panoramic view of the twenty-five year old prospect’s character around the gym, instead of only a singular snapshot. The cast surrounding Olson would sing his praises, and he acknowledged the vast resources available to members of MMAGOLD have polished his skillset,
“I started off with traditional martial arts, Taekwondo, and got my black belt,” he began. “Then, I grew out of it and got into wrestling. Then, I started doing just MMA, but that wasn’t a very strong base, just doing MMA.” Lacking a key component that would pan his game from a river’s rockbed and give it a glossy luster, Olson continued, “I joined here [MMAGOLD] and got more involved in kickboxing and jiu-jitsu; now, I feel a little bit more well-rounded.”
Typically, Olson’s “Berserker” persona only appears as a sanctioned visitor, though forcing Olson to visualize his career without MMAGOLD flashed a crazed gleam in his eye and pulled the tension in the room tighter than the twist of a cage’s link. Upon returning to a more rational state, he described why his stock in MMAGOLD never diminishes,
“You want to train at a good gym; you don’t want to train in a hole-in-the-wall, lame gym. Coming here, everyone is pretty family-oriented. Everyone is friends with everyone on the team, and I like that a lot.”
Olson has grown tactically since joining forces with MMAGOLD, but, somewhere in the passing of seasons, his flyweight shell must have shrunk in the wash, thereby, he relocated into a newly furbished bantamweight model. The process of cutting weight, also categorized as: the fight before the fight, enticed, long before round one, an emergence of the “Berserker”’s lunacy. Entering WFC 17, and future bouts, Olson shared a way to better regulate his sensibilities is to unleash an extra ten pounds of psychopathic frenzy,
“For this fight, I’m going up a weight class, so the weight cut is a little bit easier. I put on a lot of muscle in-between fights, and over time, I’m just getting bigger. I’ve always been a really big 125er, and I’m still bigger than most 35ers.”
At the onset of Olson’s amateur stint, his next opponent, Frunk, loomed larger than life. Quickly nearing WFC 17, Olson recalled his perspective on Frunk when his gloves still had that new leather smell. Back then, Olson considered the possibility of being overwhelmed by such stark differences in size and experience,
“I met him when I was starting off as an amateur, watching him have his last amateur fight. His amateur career is 10-1; he was the 135 and 145 champ out of Ultimate Reno Combat. I remember thinking how big he was, and how he was this bad dude.”
Times have certainly changed, and, now slated to face Frunk at WFC 17, a bit of Olson’s maniacal grin crept across his face like a caterpillar. Currently, Olson would argue: If he and Frunk were to sit on opposite ends of a see-saw, things would be much more balanced,
“Now, I’ve gotten a lot better, and I see him and don’t think he’s as big as he used to look. He started his pro career, I think, as a flyweight and now he’s fighting again at 35. We’re roughly the same size now.”
Find a seat inside the McClellan Conference Center, and when Olson morphs into his alter ego at WFC 17, you’ll likely go a little berserk yourself.
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