Sunday, June 26, 2022

Former MMA Fighter Vaughn Excels In Second Career As Bird Dog Trainer

A former MMA fighter from Wisconsin has no regrets about making a career switch from training for fights to training bird dogs.

Mike Vaughn has been involved in martial arts for almost his entire life, starting out when he was just 6 years old. He and his father are both certified in Jeet Kune Do, and Vaughn is also a third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He had his first pro MMA bout in 2005.

In addition to competing, Vaughn owned an MMA gym in Madison, WI for 10 years but made the decision to step away from the sport in 2010 to focus on his new career. He attributes his experience in MMA to his success training bird dogs.

“Building a martial arts student and building a dog were kind of the same idea for me, of like, progressions of where you’re taking them. It just kind of came natural to me,” Vaughn told Inside Edition.

The former MMA fighter’s interest in dog training dates back to when he began working with his own dog Winnie when she was eight weeks old, although he was initially skeptical about the long-term prospects of training bird dogs as a career.

Winnie has been by Vaughn’s side for 11 years now, and she’s been a constant source of comfort and motivation throughout that time as he’s become a world-class bird dog trainer.

“Times where you’re, where you’re kind of like, unsure of yourself. Or uncertain of the future where you get that wall in front of you and are just kind of like, hey – I don’t know where I’m going. And then you look down, and you’ve got her looking at you,” Vaughn said.

Mike Vaughn made his pro MMA debut in 2005 with a win against Trent Cook. “The Volt” last competed in 2008 and went 2-3 overall in his career. His record includes fights against former UFC fighter Marcus Davis and current UFC middleweight Gerald Meerschaert.

What do you think of Mike Vaughn’s choice to move from MMA to training bird dogs?

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