Andrew Wiltse is quickly becoming one of the best-recognized and most beloved grapplers of today. His no-nonsense demeanor has earned him tens of thousands of fans worldwide, while his aggressive game inspired many.
However, even Andrew was a BJJ white belt once and had to compete for the first time ever. As a matter of fact, he lost his first match in quite a spectacular fashion!
He shared how nervous he was prior to the match on a recent YouTube video:
I go out into the f*cking ring… And this is when I realized that I get really nervous for competitions. My heart rate was probably 200… It was like: “Oh f*ck, I’m gonna have a stroke!”
And I go into the cage, I have basketball shorts on. I didn’t actually own any grappling shorts until I was a blue belt. So I had basketball shorts with pockets, a T-Shirt on… And the [other] guy is an actual grappler – he’s got his rashguard, his shorts that don’t have pockets and all that.
And we go out there… As soon as I got into the cage, I start to get legitimate tunnel vision. Not in the way that people try to overplay it, but everything from here out [outside of his immediate vision] was just f*cking gone.
It was blurry and I was fixated on that dude across the cage. My heart was already going crazy and I’m already exhausted from breathing hard before the fighting even started.
Andrew went for a foot sweep at first, thinking he’ll succeed… But soon found him in a different sort of a situation:
And because I considered myself a Judo guy – I had a very traditional Judo stance – I was, like, standing straight up. I went for a foot sweep… And I, actually, almost got him to fall over. I was like: “F*ck yeah, I’m gonna win the match.”
And then, he went from almost falling to flying armbaring me. Bad, really bad, and it was really nice too.
He f*cking flying Armbars me! And there was so much adrenaline going through my system that I fight it [the Armbar] for 30 seconds, with my arm fully extended!
First I tried to stack him, then I tried to roll over him, and then I tried to hitchhike out… And this whole time, this guy is fully cranking on my extended arm.
He tried to resist the submission, but soon felt that things are going bad for him:
And after about 30 seconds of me not feeling any pain – but kinda, in here [gestures his heart] feeling that something is wrong… I start to hear the cartilage pop and tear.
And I remember thinking to myself: “I don’t wanna lose, I really wanna get out of this and win.” Because I couldn’t accept losing back then. At the same time, I was like: “This isn’t hurting, but it doesn’t sound good.” And I ended up tapping.
Andrew shares more of this story and the lessons he learned on the video below: