Book Review: Christopher Olech’s ‘The Fighter Within’

By Mike Sloan Feb 9, 2017
Books on the sport of mixed martial arts sprouted like dandelions once the Ultimate Fighting Championship exploded in popularity. For the most part, they were garden-variety biographical accounts or fluff pieces supplemented by action photographs. That is not the case with Christopher Olech’s “The Fighter Within: Everyone Has a Fight -- Insights into the Minds and Souls of True Champions.”

Olech has painstakingly crafted a beautifully written opus that looks deep within the minds of fighters. Rather than just waxing poetic about what these competitors go through before, during and after fights, he provides insight into what makes them tick, from UFC champions to average journeymen. “The Fighter Within” touches on the various steps of fight preparation and the means through which fighters respond to the highs and lows of battle. It covers all the bases for those wondering what modern gladiators must endure in order to achieve success at the highest levels of the sport.

Unlike other works of its kind that are long-winded pieces put out by blowhards who have conned themselves into believing they are Shakespeare incarnate, Olech adopts a simple approach to his writing. From start to finish, “The Fighter Within” checks in at 224 pages and proved to be an incredibly easy read -- a difficult task to accomplish when dealing with this type of complex material. Olech’s easy-to-grasp style is nothing short of refreshing.

“The Fighter Within” is an essential piece to the library of any fan curious about the mindset of mixed martial artists. Onetime UFC light heavyweight titleholder Rashad Evans graces the cover and former UFC heavyweight champion Bas Rutten offers up a magnificent foreword, which sets the tone for the entire book. Rory MacDonald, Rich Franklin and Fedor Emelianenko were among the countless fighters who allowed Olech to pick their brains, and their views on hand-to-hand combat are as entertaining as they are varied. He did a masterful job at getting these world-class athletes to open up to him.

A Toronto native and accomplished grappler, Olech has put together an enjoyable book packed with information, insight and stories from some of the greatest mixed martial artists of all-time. MMA fans would be wise to scoop up this one.
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