Matthew James Bessette was born in Hartford, Connecticut, on December 28, 1984. Matthew was diagnosed with Leukemia on August 13, 1988, at the age of 3 . He was hospitalized at UCONN Medical Center in Farmington, Connecticut. Doctors were straight forward with the family and gave Matthew a 50/50 chance at life; but became increasingly optimistic after the first few treatments when his body responded positively; drastically reducing the leukemic cells.
In the next 12 months Matthew would become a human pin cushion. I remember when Matthew was 4 yrs old as the nurse drew blood from his arm, he said, "Look Dad, No Pain!" as he clenched his fist. Matthew was always a tough kid right from the start and never let anything get in his way.
At an early age, Matthew developed asthma, but that didn't stop him from playing organized sports such as baseball, basketball, soccer, and football. Year round competition has always been a passion for Matthew. At 16 years old, Matthew was only 5'5 and 100 pounds soaking wet, but he always stood tall against his opponents. He was not an easy target for anyone and playing against the bigger kids just made him tougher. Matthew also seemed to have an extremely high tolerance for pain.
Matthew started lifting weights and began power lifting at 18 years old with the help and support of his older brother and closest friends. He went from a 145 pound athlete to at 210 pound lifting machine in three years, but it didnt quite fit his personality. Matthew would soon be introduced to Mixed Martial Arts.
People began to ask the question, Matt, what makes you want to fight? He always responded with the same answer, "I just have a really hard head and a face made for punching." Well, I can certainly attest to that, having head-butted him before in an odd attempt to teach Matt a lesson; not to head-butt your older brother, Michael, because it hurts. My 6 year old son laughed at me after I had head-butted him. I was very much in pain and didn't try that anymore.
After graduating from Stafford High School in 2003, Matthew enrolled at The University of Hartford with the ambition of becoming a law enforcement officer. While attending, he was introduced to Mixed Martial Arts at the age of 22. He competed in his first MMA fight after less than 4 months of formal training. He won by guillotine choke in a very evenly matched fight set up by Reality Fighting matchmaker, Joe Too Tough Cuff. Matthew graduated in 2007 with a Bachelors of Science Degree and his interest in MMA had become a passion that he wanted to pursue.
Matthew is presently training martial arts 6-7 days per week. As a very talented brown belt, Matthew studies Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under the phenomenal Adilson Bitta Lima black belt, Fabiano Teles. Matthew studies striking under the ultra skilled Jeet Kune Do Sifu, Russell Leak.
Words that describe Matthew are family oriented, focused, hard-working, dedicated, honest, reliable, proud, and funny; and yes, he has a great sense of humor!
By: David J. Bessette (Proud Father)
© 2011 mattbessette.net All Rights Reserved