Marcus Lewis (5-4) understands as an athlete you need to evolve. Some take on the challenge of a new training regimen, others change their diet or preparation going into a big match. Marcus Lewis changed his mental focus and the “Flying Lion” was born. Lewis’ persona of the Flying Lion started earlier this year on March 20th, they day he was defeated by PREMIER Champion “The God Of War” JR Kratos (9-2).
The champion was dominating the challenger with his power, but the undersized Marcus Lewis fought with the heart of a super heavyweight. Battling through pain, Lewis finally got Kratos in position for his 450 splash off the top rope. As Lewis climbed to the top rope, the crowd at Del Mar High School also rose, anticipating that they would be witnessing history. Lewis connected with his finishing move, but Kratos managed to kick out just before referee Tom Castor’s arm went down for a three count. When competitors in combat sports hit their big shot yet do not secure a victory, it can mentally take them out of the match and lead to defeat. What separates champions from the contenders are the athletes who fight through that adversity. Marcus Lewis like many young Athletes, was mentally defeated even before Kratos hit his “Game Changer” choke slam-power bomb combo for the win.
“After that defeat, I knew the mental game of this sport needed to change for me,” said Marcus Lewis. “I started taking my training even harder, pushing myself to a breaking point. Even when my body felt defeated and could not go anymore, I kept pushing and that helped my mental game.”
Marcus Lewis continued to push himself to his limit. As his mental edge kept developing, his next challenge was against another top wrestler in the world today, Timothy Thatcher at PREMIER IX in Gilroy. It was another hard fought effort, but Thatcher secured a victory by submission over Lewis. Those in attendance saw as Lewis did not immediately tap out when locked in the clutches of a Thatcher submission hold. But eventually it was tap or snap and Lewis decided to live to fight another day.
“My arm was in pain and I could hear the joints popping,” said Lewis, grimacing as though Thatcher still had the hold on him. “There is no shame in tapping, so I decided it was best to go back to the drawing board. After the match, when Thatcher shook my hand, I knew my new found focus on the mental game of the sport would pay off soon.”
In changing his mental game, Marcus Lewis thought about the Lion, the king of the jungle. He started to take on this persona, finally coming up with the Flying Lion. Like the lion, Lewis was focus on his speed and pressure in killing his prey. He took that mentality to the ring on September 19th in San Jose at his return to Del Mar High School at PREMIER X. Lewis stepped into the ring with a familiar opponent, Julio Pedroza (3-4). Last time they met at PREMIER V on March 30th, 2014, they’re bout nearly earned Match of the Year honors. It was the 450 splash by Marcus Lewis that was the difference in a razor-thin close match.
Their rematch at PREMIER X was no different: a full throttle classic. Back and forth these two young Athletes went at it, but Lewis’ new persona of the aggressive Flying Lion kept him one step ahead. As it looked like sure defeat for Lewis, he would roar and then soar to victory once again hitting the 450 splash. That win over Pedroza would put his record again above .500 at 5-4. With that record, it puts him position at number two in the rankings. Jeff Cobb with a 6-3-1 record sits at number one, but his loss to JR Kratos at PREMIER X sets up Marcus Lewis once again for another shot at PREMIER gold. On November 28th in Gilroy, CA, “The Flying Lion” challenges JR Kratos for the PREMIER Heavyweight Championship.
“My win over my in-ring rival Pedroza and getting the word that I would once again challenge for the title, I was top of the world after PREMEIR X,” said Lewis. “All my hard work, strengthening my mental game by creating this persona of the Flying Lion has paid off. I proved at PREMIER VIII that I was just inches away from winning the gold and now at PREMEIR XI, Kratos is going to find out this is not the same Marcus Lewis he defeated back in March. He is now stepping in the ring against a Lion and I am going for the biggest game in the jungle.”
“The Flying Lion” Marcus Lewis will challenge “The God of War” JR Kratos for the PREMIER Heavyweight Championship at PREMIER XI on Saturday, September 28th at the IFDES Lodge – Portuguese Hall in Gilroy, CA.
Tickets are currently available at Showclix for $10 each.
*card subject to change*