Randall Ray recently made headlines for a brutal calf shot, but that viral moment only scratches the surface of the Australian veteran’s story.
The first thing you will notice when looking for Randall Ray is that Randall Ray does not appear in the usual MMA databases. Officially, Ray is actually “Randall Rayment”, but it is a name he gave up a long time ago due to the ties he has to his difficult upbringing. As far as Ray is concerned, Rayment is his father’s name.
And he wants nothing to do with his father.
“The reason I like to call Randall Ray, for example, sounds so much better than Rayment,” Ray recently told MMA Fighting. “But I have had a long history of fighting with my father and I am not proud of that name. When my lady and I finally get married, which we intend to do in the next 12 months, I will take her last name (Rowan) just because I despise [my father’s] last name so much. I don’t want to continue. I’m not proud of that last name at all. “
Ray’s troubled past led him down a bad path of substance abuse and criminal behavior, culminating in a terrible incident when he was 21 years old in which he forcibly tried to extract penance from his father. Under the influence, Ray kidnapped his father and tried to get him to confess to abusing him and his sister.
“When I was 21, I ended up taking and detaining, which is the adult version of kidnapping, but I kidnapped my old man in a plea to admit what he did because that’s what was happening,” Ray said. “He never admitted it and that’s all he wanted was a confession. Before that, I was just a thug. I turned to drugs, was addicted to marijuana and alcohol at 15 and was just a criminal. Then I broke down one day and took my old man hostage at 21 years old.
“My old man, he treated us like shit,” added Ray. “He sexually abused my sister. It was pretty tough. I went to jail at 21 for taking the law into my own hands as a vigilante or whatever you want to call it. “
This could have been the end of Ray’s story, but his punishment saw him spend more time in Christian rehab than in jail. He was jailed for six months and then the case was taken to the Supreme Court of Australia, where Ray was fortunate to have his family there to answer for him. Thanks to his efforts, Ray was released on bail and ended up doing three years of rehab, eventually working for the same organization that helped turn his life around.
In 2009, he recorded a video for the New South Wales organization One80TC in which he spoke about his addiction and what led him to make such a terrible mistake (Ray’s testimony begins at the 0:58 mark).
“My situation was not drug addiction, it was hatred in my heart,” says Ray in the video. “I remember I used to use and I would sit and think about all the hate and all the things that I wanted to do to people. I wanted to kill someone. I had murder in my heart. I hated myself. I couldn’t even look in the mirror because I was looking at my father and what he did to us when we were kids and what he did to my sister. “
It was during jail and rehab that he decided to become a fighter, having always admired martial artists. One problem with that plan: Ray had never been in a proper fight before in his life and had no martial arts experience.
In a stroke of luck, Ray met boxing coach Ryan Betts through the show and it was Betts who encouraged him to pursue his goal. It was so encouraging that when both men needed a replacement opponent for an amateur boxing event, Betts ended up asking Ray to fight him in what was Ray’s boxing debut.
“I wanted to train. I’ve always been a fan, I’ve always looked up to professional fighters, professional fights in general, and it just so happened that I met my boxing coach, who has been a great friend and still to this day, “said Ray. . “I’m 34 now, so 13 years old, he got me an amateur fight on my first weekend pitch and I had an inexperienced amateur boxing match. I was only going to watch him fight because he was part of the church and had done the rehab program before me, so a fighter dropped out and called me and said, ‘Mate, would you like to fight? I said, ‘Yeah, don’t worry. What should I do?’ “Go down and get a mouth guard and a ball guard and that’s what you need.”
“Our two fighters ended up retiring, as they do in the fans all the time, as I have now learned that it is very common, and I ended up fighting. [my coach]. In fact, we fought each other, it was my first fight, it was against my mentor. He has been a great mentor to me ever since. “
From there, Ray launched into combat sports, bouncing between boxing and MMA for a while, but mostly focusing on boxing, which was paying better at the time. He remembers facing a well-known Rugby League player early in his career and getting a chance to box at the famous Korakuen Hall in Tokyo for what he calls a “shitty title” (Ray lost that fight by knockout in the fifth round ).
At 23 he started jujitsu and at 24 he made his professional MMA debut. It took him nine years to win his first MMA title, a light heavyweight belt that he claimed with the aforementioned 20-second destruction of Dean Maxwell’s calf in February. For the first time in his career, Ray saw one of his highlights go international.
It helped that Ray (10-3) goes by the nickname “The Limb Reaper,” a nickname that actually has more to do with his six career submission wins than assaulting his opponents’ legs.
“They didn’t give me the nickname, I made it up, I thought I was pretty smart myself,” Ray said. “Because most of my wins are by submission, I was varying my submissions, so I got a leg win, an arm win, I was getting all the different types of locks, so I gave it to myself.
“Little did I know that I would get to the starting point and actually ruin someone’s leg. I didn’t think that would happen, but it’s just a weird coincidence. “
Calf kicks are all the rage right now, but even the most hardcore MMA fan might be impressed by Ray’s execution of the technique, which ended up injuring Maxwell’s fibia and tibia. Ray remembers being surprised when Maxwell stumbled on the kick, just the second punch Ray threw in the fight, and now that he knows the magnitude of the damage, he plans to not only make better use of the calf kick, but also to be more cautious. . that it is used against you.
“It’s going to change the way I throw my kicks forever in the future,” Ray said. “Not only for what I throw, but I will also be worried about my legs because, like I said, I was not expecting it. It was just a hard kick that landed and that was the last thing that comes to mind. It will forever change the way I kick my leg. “
Ray hopes to fight for Urban Fight Night again soon (former UFC fighter Suman Mokhtarian is Ray’s coach and UFN president) and he knows the heat of his championship win has already started to fade. Like many professional wrestlers, he hopes to one day get that call to a major promotion, be it the UFC or Bellator, or a shorter flight to ONE Championship or RIZIN.
Ray currently works construction to make ends meet and wouldn’t mind adding some big fight checks before his career ends.
“That would be a dream,” Ray said. “At this point in my life, I am 34 years old, I bought my first house about six months ago in the middle of the pandemic. I would love to join a great company that could give me a good portfolio. That is why I am fighting these days. It all started just by passing time, then I was fighting for glory and now I’m fighting to pay for my house. “