Fighter shakes off defeat

Intelligence analysts — desk jockeying, paper pushing nerds, right? Wrong.

One Airman doesn’t let the fact that he works at a desk hold him back from staying active.

Senior Airman Sean Whitaker, 52nd Operations Support Squadron intelligence analyst from Pittsburgh, trains and competes in mixed martial arts in his spare time.

After spending all day sitting at a desk, sometimes he just needs to let off a little steam. Some turn to traditional workouts, but Whitaker likes to take it a step further.

Fighter shakes off defeat

Attending the Spangdahlem MMA classes requires hours of strenuous exercises to keep in shape and hone fighting skills.

When the opportunity presents itself, he even competes on both the amateur and semi-professional levels. Just recently, Whitaker fought in a tournament in Pruem, Germany.

With only 12 days to prepare for this last-minute match, rather than the six to eight weeks fighters prefer, Whitaker crammed hours of training into each day.

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“Toward the end of the round I got in what is called a triangle choke, which is a submission by utilizing your own arm against you and his legs,” Whitaker said. “I could hear voices from my corner saying there are only a couple seconds left in the round and I tried to hold out until the bell rang, which would have saved me from the round, but biology took over, the lights went out and I went unconscious.”

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Unfortunately, the bout did not end in his favor. But it hasn’t stopped Whitaker’s drive to continue training and fighting.

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