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  • Writer's pictureBuctown MMA

Fighter Profile + Interview: Gates Cook

Name: Gates Cook

DOB: December 27, 1999

From: Findlay, Ohio 

Fighting Out Of: Demolition Fight Team 

Weight class: Welterweight (170)

Record & Accolades: Am 3-0 MMA (3 1st round finishes), 5-2 boxer, 4-1 grappler, 178lb Mindlessmania Boxing Series Champion, 2023 Ohio MMA Rising Star

Favorite Food: Fried chicken 


Can you share with us your path to becoming an undefeated amateur MMA fighter?

I was living in Baltimore, MD in some pretty bad conditions and I was very depressed with where and who I was in life. I told my buddy, Dylan Budka, I wanted better for myself and he told me to move to Ohio for more opportunity. I sold the 2 things I had of value at the time, which were my car and my TV, and jumped on a plane to move to Ohio. That move changed my life. I am currently living in the back of Demolition Gym, pursuing my dream fighting and training full time.

Who are your role models or inspirations?

My role models are my mother, Dylan Budka, Israel Adesanya, and Kobe Bryant. 

Could you walk us through a typical training day for you?

A typical day training Monday through Friday is 7:15-815am practice, 10:30-11:30am practice, 5-6 conditioning, and ending the day with another practice from 6-7pm. I also practice once on Saturday and once on Sunday. Monday-Sunday!

What significant challenges have you faced in your career so far?

The biggest challenge I overcame was leaving the person I thought I was behind to become someone I knew I could be. Know that whatever situation your going through you can overcome. The risk you're scared to take could be the very best decision of your life!

In what ways has the support from the community and sponsors have impacted your journey in MMA?

Without out my support system including all of my sponsors I wouldn’t be able to take fighting on full time and be able to live the life I’m now living. Although I’m not famous or rich yet, I’m happy, I’m healthy and I have found my purpose. I wake up everyday fueled and energized mentally and physically. There’s always light at the end of the tunnel!

What guidance would you offer to young individuals or amateur athletes aiming for a career in professional fighting?

If you have a dream you chase it. Don’t wait until it’s too late to be a person who could of, or should of. Go live in that very moment! Take the risk! Make the sacrifice! Find genuine people to surround yourself with that want to be successful and that hold you accountable. Bet on yourself and then double down. Above all, you've got to surround yourself with people that want the same things as you. You can’t hang with 4 losers and be a winner. I hope my story motivates people to take the risk, or do the thing that they're contemplating doing because it can change their life.


 Looking to keep that undefeated record in tact, Buctown stands behind Gates as he makes his walk back into the cage on Saturday, February 17 in Akron, OH with Caged Thunder.


For more on Cook, check out The Ohio MMA Podcast with host David McKinney.

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