At just 22 years old, Sean Carroll knows exactly what he desires for his future.
Much like every young MMA fighter, Carroll’s sights are set on a future in the sport he initially got started in to keep himself out of trouble as a 12-year-old growing up in Innisfail, Alta.
“I was fighting a lot. I was a smaller kid, so around town there was a lot of kids who’d try and pick on me,” said Carroll in an interview.
“I was just constantly trying to prove myself fighting all the time.”
Naturally, his young start in combat sports has supplied Carroll with a strong passion to build future in MMA.
However, Carroll understands how difficult it can be to breakthrough and make a living as a professional athlete, which is why he’s also working towards locking down a solid fall-back plan.
Carroll is currently in his third year at Red Deer College, working towards a degree in Sociology. In the event an MMA career doesn’t quite pan out, Carroll believes a career in that field would make a terrific second option.
“Towards the end of high school, I was volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club, so I found out I was pretty good at working with kids,’ explained Carroll.
“I’d be looking to work with juvenile delinquents and kids getting in trouble with the law, which is kind of how I was when I was a little brat.”
No Time For Fun
Pursuing two careers simultaneously requires a great deal of time and commitment, with not a lot of down time.
Carroll said when he’s not in school he’s living the complete lifestyle of a mixed martial artist.
“Honestly, all I do is train and go to school.
“When I come home, I either watch fights or go to sleep.”
Back at Rumble in the Cage 57, Carroll had his first opportunity to showcase everything he’d been working on, from his very first class back at Chinese Boxing Connection in Innisfail to his current training sessions at Kensei Martial Arts and Fitness in Red Deer, Alta.
Although he did go on to fall in his amateur debut that night, he said the experience of being in an MMA fight was more than he ever thought it would be. Furthermore, the loss fuelled him with even more motivation to continue advancing his skill set.
“It was surreal. It took me a while to realize I was actually about to fight.
“It was awesome, and I loved the feeling of it. I didn’t even notice the crowd or anything, and it just felt like an actual fight. Nothing compared to it.”
Carroll will have his second look at earning his first career amateur MMA win when he steps into the cage at Havoc FC 13 on Nov. 16.
He said it’s always been a dream of his to have a career as an MMA fighter, and securing his first amateur win is just a small step in the right direction.
“It just always fascinated me that you could make a living out of fighting, not that it’s an easy living.
“My mom always pushed me to go to school, but in the end I always knew I wanted to get into the cage.”
But although it was Carroll himself who ultimately decided combat sports was the avenue he wanted to travel, it was initially his brother, Lowell, who introduced him to fighting.
Being a former fighter himself, Lowell said he wanted his brother to be able to defend himself, while also building on a sport he’s been connected with his entire life.
“It feels like since he was a little kid I’ve been teaching him how to fight. I was always putting him in choke holds and arm bars, and showing him how to do stuff,” said Lowell in an interview.
“I’ve always been into fighting, so, naturally, he’s my little brother and I kind of pushed it on him.”
To train MMA at a competitive level requires a great deal of commitment and discipline, which is something Lowell said has cast a different shadow on his brother in recent years.
Since Carroll began training with Kensei, Lowell said he’s noticed major changes in his brother. He said ever since Carroll has been training to fight professionally, his coaches have had an amazing influence on him.
“He seems like he’s matured a lot. He’s taking it a lot more serious,” said Lowell.
“I think he’s found his passion, and he’s a lot more dedicated and a lot more committed.”