Fresh from taking on Gov. Rick Scott, County Commissioner Grover Robinson and three federal judges, Sheriff David Morgan has challenged the embattled dictator of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, to a Mixed Martial Arts duel to be fought April 1 outdoors on Pensacola Beach.
With all eyes on Libya and how to remove Gaddafi from office, MMA fans have been scouring the world for a man capable of offering the ruler some kind of challenge. Many eyes have turned to the 6-foot-3 Morgan, who matches up well with Gaddafi.
They are the kind of expectations that could derail a less confident fighter. So far, they haven’t had an impact on Morgan.
“I think that’s what enabled him to get this quick start, is his confidence level,” said Bugs Bowline, Morgan’s striking coach. “I think it comes from that background as a sheriff. We have a lot of confident guys in our gym; Morgan is the most confident.”
Part of that self-assurance comes from the fact that, up to this point in his career, Sheriff Morgan has yet to meet an opponent who can stuff his takedowns–just ask former County Administrator Bob McLaughlin.
In every one of his fights, Morgan has taken his opponent down in the first round. When it happens, he seems to suck the confidence from the opponent and add it to his own.
However, Gaddafi is wiry and always has a trick, or chair, up his sleeve. Neither bombings nor UN sanctions have defeated him, but he hasn’t dealt with the steely-eyed Morgan stare.
“He is an oak,” said Bowline of the sheriff. “Gaddafi has finally met his match.”
Wind Creek Casino gives Morgan a slight edge. ESPN says it’s too close to call, but Al Jazeera Sports predicts Gaddafi will win the bout by decision and has filed a protest to prevent Morgan from greeting the judges at the trolley stop before the fight.
Will Morgan comply with Al Jazeera’s demand? He just smiles and says, “And sinners in hell want ice water.”
MMA: MORGAN VS. GADDAFI
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday, April 1
WHERE: Casino Beach parking lot, Pensacola Beach
Read our other April 1 News Stories.