After Lucas walked off the mat, holding his chin high, we all regrouped back in our corner of the room. We still had a while before the beginner matches began, let alone Alix’s specific match.
I gave Lucas some space as he was obviously exhausted and needed rest. After taking a quick bathroom break and grabbing another drink from the concession stand, I made my way back towards the group.
As I approached, I could see Lucas was back on his feet and joking around with everyone as usual.
“Hey! How’re you feeling?” I called over to him as I walked back.
As he looked over in my direction, I could see his eyes light up. Suddenly, he was enthusiastically jogging in my direction, waving aggressively.
Just as we were about to collide, I realized something was off.
“Hey!” He yelled as he continued running past me. “You didn’t tell me you’d be here.”
“I was just in the area and figured I should check this place out since you never shut up about it.” I heard an unfamiliar girl’s voice respond to him.
I turned around to see him smiling brightly and joking with the girl as if he gained a second wind.
Oh, I see how it is.
I continued back to the rest of the group, figuring he’d come back eventually for the rest of the matches.
Although it took longer than I expected, he wandered back over, guiding his ‘friend’ next to him.
As he approached, I confronted him head on.
“So, who is this?” I asked casually as the rest of the group took notice.
“Oh hey guys! This is Hazel, my classmate.” Lucas answered happily without skipping a beat. “She was visiting a friend on campus and decided to stop by to watch.”
Immediately the rest of the group swarmed them, smelling fresh blood in the water.
“Did Lucas get you in? I didn’t remember him asking for a spectator band.” The vice-captain began.
“No, I just paid at the door, was that an option?” Hazel responded with a smile.
“You must’ve really wanted to get in then, huh?” Quinn chimed in, “Lucas is lucky to have a friend like you.”
As the smiles on the girls’ faces began feeling more menacing, an announcement was made for the beginner division to get ready.
I barely managed to pry my way away from the group as they continued their interrogation, meeting up with Alix along the way.
“You ready?” I asked him as we walked towards the mats.
“Never better!” He smiled at me while flexing his bicep.
“Sorry, I don’t have much information on your opponent, so I don’t have a strategy planned like the past three fights.” I said regrettably, “Instead, just remember to play your game and give it your best shot. I’ll be rooting for you from the sidelines.”
With an affirmative nod, he stepped through the barricade and began talking with one of the staff.
Shortly thereafter, the entire rest of the team, and Hazel, were gathered to watch Alix fight with the captain as the coach.
Given the weight class he was fighting in, his opponent was much taller than him. Although he didn’t have nearly as much muscle, the fight would assuredly be an uphill battle due to the range discrepancy.
As soon as the match began, my focus was immediately split as Andrew began commentating from right next to me.
“And Alix wastes no time going for his signature single-leg takedown! This is going to be hard for his opponent to come back from!”
I looked over to ask him to quiet down a bit before noticing Cole and Hazel on the opposite side from him, listening diligently as the match continued.
She needs the play-by-play to understand the match.
As the two of them began cheering and clapping for Alix, Andrew stared straight ahead and continued his shout casting.
“And his opponent hits the ground hard! Even with the range disadvantage, Alix is unstoppable!” Andrew began growing steadily louder, “His opponent hasn’t given up yet, though! He has caught Alix in a sneaky half-guard! This could be trouble!”
I began attempting to scoot away from Andrew as I valued my eardrums, but as I got further away, he just began shouting more and more enthusiastically as Alix pushed his advantage.
“Alix won’t allow himself to be held back by just that! Even with the caught leg, his pressure is still deadly!”
As Andrew continued, I had to give him props. Aside from the initial takedown, this fight has been quite boring compared to the last few, but he makes it sound like it’s straight out of an anime.
“His leg is now free and he’s running with it! As he secures his dominant mount position, his opponent is struggling just to breathe! Will we see a submission, or will the positional pressure take him out first?!”
Finally, I was far enough away to hear my own thoughts again. I looked back to the fight to watch, but by then, it was already over.
The moment I shifted my focus back to the match, I could see Alix slip his arms under his opponent and secure an Americana.
As he forcefully twisted his opponent’s right arm in the socket, the ref called the match in his favor.
Four to zero. Not bad at all.
Although spirits were quite high as Alix claimed his victory, the next two fights wouldn’t be as easy.
Thinking back on the time I was in the intermediate division, the difficulty spike as everyone truly began finding and refining their styles was astronomical.
As Hazel and Lucas engaged in one of the most awkward hugs in celebration before immediately separating out of embarrassment, I went back to the concession stand to get a breath of fresh air.
Two more matches to go.