BOZEMAN – It takes a lot of guts to step into the octagon to fight, but for fighters at Montana MMA in Bozeman, they love the thrill of a battle.

“Going home at the end of the night and you just feel fantastic, you feel accomplished. You know, I sleep really well,” said Bozeman mixed martial arts fighter Matt Engelbart.

And almost every single one of them went to bed feeling fantastic after Bozeman Impact, an MMA event at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds on Friday.

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But how does one even get into mixed martial arts? For some, their interest dates back to their childhood.

“Growing up watching a lot of martial arts movies, seeing these guys travel all over the place, and basically having the martial arts skills in their back pocket allowed them to move more freely around the world was what first ever made me walk into a gym,” said Chester Smith, a fighter that trains at Montana MMA.

And when they step into the ring for a fight, it’s like nothing they’ve ever felt before.

“The adrenaline is overwhelming, man,” said Smith. “It’s an unreal feeling. It’s almost like an out-of-body experience. Your training just takes over.”

But getting the victory over their opponent, after all the grueling hours of training at night after a hard day at work, makes everything worth it.

“It felt like the crowning moment of dedicating four or five months of my life to just being in a gym, having almost no social life, eating a super-clean diet,” said Smith, smiling.

And for the eight Montana MMA fighters that competed in Bozeman Impact, seven of them came out with a win.

Even though fighting is tiring, they will never stop doing what they love.

“I really don’t think that I’m ever not going to train now that I’ve gotten to this point. I’m in it for life,” said Engelbart.

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