[MUSIC] I grew up in Miami, section in
Miami called Opa-locka in the 80s. It was at one point, I think per capita,
the murder capital of the United States. Growing up in Miami during
the Miami Vice 80s, when I was nine, I knew what a Rolex Presidential was and
how much it costs. And I knew that I would never have
one working like my parents did. I was drawn to the streets. And that was a different
person than I was. I was a young man looking for direction. And I didn’t have what I needed. I ended up kind of coordinating a major
heist, somebody came to me and said, hey man, I got somebody might be
interested in plans to rob a cruise ship. I mean when I sat down and looked at
the plan, I was like this is doable, my father, who was in law enforcement,
he convince me to turn myself in. After spending a year in the county jail,
I ended up making a plea bargain for the sense of 18.5 years
of which I serve 9.5. It was
the Opa-Locka Work Release Center where I met a correctional officer
named Primetime Darrel D. And he opened the door to
professional wrestling for me. I had asked Primetime, hey, man, how do you guys do that without
really breaking each other’s necks? When you get out if you wanna learn,
I’ll teach you. I needed a hobby,
something to keep me out of trouble. I was like, yeah, right, sure. So a few months after I got out he called
me up asked me if I still wanted to train this and yeah, he said, I mean, you did
a long ride, just enjoy life a little bit. I’ll call you a few months you
still interested, we’ll start. So he ends up bringing me to Duke The
Dumpster Droese’s wrestling school. And who’s the head trainer? Soul Man, Alex G,
he brought me to Soul Man Alex G, hey, man this dude just got out of prison,
we met the joint. So mentality trained me as a favor and
never paid a dime for wrestling school. So it was kind of like
fate it was my destiny. My Name is Cameron. You want to get some for me? No problem. Check this out. With talent on loan from God, standing before you is a world
class athlete extraordinaire. My name is Montel Vontavious Porter. I got out of prison in July of 99 and I signed my developmental deal
with WWE in October of 05. I was in deep south and
just outside of Atlanta and they saw my passion and my earnestness. Norman Smiley, who was a guy
who really helped me out a lot. Molded me, devoted a lot of time and effort into nurturing my talent.>>Montel Vontavious Porter is
like a bird who’s been skilled in the art of pro wrestling because he’s
taking it to a whooping on Ray Gordon.>>I’ve worked really hard. And when I got the word that I
was being called up, I was okay, wow, this thing’s got real really fast. This isn’t developmental. This isn’t TV in a little warehouse. Now, you’re sharing the stage
with the Undertaker, with Kane. Okay, all right, and when I was told that my very first
arrival it would be with Kane. It was surreal, Monday Night Raw,
Friday Night SmackDown.>>Because I am the highest paid
athlete in the history of SmackDown.>>You’re the highest paid athlete
in the history of SmackDown.>>[APPLAUSE]
>>The United States champion, what a throw by MVP.>>[APPLAUSE]
>>Come up out of that.>>That-
>>That’s what you do, come up out of that.>>That’s your move?
>>That’s the move.>>That’s the game winner?>>That’s it, baby, right there. [MUSIC]>>Check.>>It’s awesome that all these years later, I have people that come up and
tell me all the time, how much they loved the rivalry I had with Matt Hardy.
What a brilliant mind for professional wrestling,
the things he’s done over his career, and he’s a great friend.
[MUSIC] When Matt and I had our very first, it was in Baltimore, Maryland.
I’m like, all right, cool, Matt Hardy here, this is what’s up.
>>You and him are going to team up next week right here on SmackDown.
>>Me and him?>>No, no, no.>>To face the team of Deuce and Domino.>>No, no, no, dammit, no. I had no idea that we would be married to each other for the next year.
Feel it, you’ve become my partner, man.>>Yeah, you’re kinda growing on me.>>My Homie.>>You’re kinda growing on me, too, yeah. Yeah, homie, yeah.>>Matt is still a good friend to this day.
And it makes me very proud that so many people look back
on that rivalry with so much adoration and appreciation.
>>And you know what, I think you’re much better than a caddy.
>>[LAUGH]>>I thought, man, I’m on TV now, I’m making money.
Probably I shouldn’t go to Miami right now, that wouldn’t be my
best business decision. So I decided to move to Houston, I’ve been in Houston ever since.
The WWE instituted a wellness program, and they discovered that
I had an issue called Wolff Parkinson White syndrome.
Were in the electrical wiring of the heart.
Certain people have an extra circuit. They took me to a hospital in New York and I met with some cardiologists, and
they did what they call Ablation therapy, where they go into the heart with a wire
and they find that extra circuit. They zap it, they kill it. But it was scary at first, until I realized that I wasn’t in danger of dying.
It wasn’t fatal, it wasn’t career ending.
And again I have to say kudos to the WWE
because they discovered the issue and they jumped on it.
They covered all of my medical expenses. They saw to it that I was taking care of them got the best treatment.
And here I am.
I got it, you see these hands, when I used to box, I was undefeated man.
I could have been the next Muhammad Ali. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. My body, my mind, my spirit, I just need to time out.
So for that year off I said, all right, and I decided, okay,
I just need a break from Pro Wrestling. I was driving home, and I was driving past a sign
that said Jio Jitsu MMA, Gracie Barra.
I pulled in, I asked a few questions, and I said I sign up and that was the
beginning of my journey into Jiu Jitsu. I learned things from Norman Smiley and Josh Barnett.
These guys along the way it taught me a few little things, grappling.
And I was always fascinated by it. No pro wrestling, nothing else. I’m going to immerse myself in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and I fell in love.
This is my Jiu Jitsu professor Andre Santos,
and he has done wonders for my Jiu Jitsu game.
But the cool thing is he is not just my
teacher, he has become my friend, and he always has time.
>>He trained with me about seven years, he’s already purple belt because he’s,
amazing guy, much as a competitor and
then I promote him a little bit faster than regular students.
>>I have done a number of tournaments. I’m very proud to say that I won the Houston Open multiple times.
I’ve won the Dallas Open. I’ve won the Austin Open. This top shelf is pretty much mine. I’m actually going to compete at the world championships.
I’ve been to the world championships twice before.
The jewel, the crown jewel that I’m going for
in Las Vegas is an IBJJF World Championship.
And I’ve always been real tenacious.
Now, with all my other accomplishments I
wanna add that World Championship gold. [MUSIC] The actual competition breaks down to age, weight, and experience.
So you’re usually going up against
people in your age bracket, your weight class, and your experience.
In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, when you hit 30 then you go into
what they call the Masters division. So I competed from the Masters division. I love it, I absolutely love that, I love stepping on the mat squaring
off with another practitioner.>>[APPLAUSE]>>I’m getting the silver. I was really like I didn’t want a silver, I lost the gold.
I found out my opponent and the final goal was four times Judo olympian and
didn’t take me down. I feel a lot better in my mistake. I have to say right now,
I’m in a wonderful place in life, right? I’m 45 years old, I’m in great shape. But psychologically and
emotionally, I feel great, and I’m a dad, and
my son will be five in October. But I learned that I’m capable of the kind
of love I didn’t even know existed. I mean, you hear parents talking
about the love they have for a child. And you can kinda empathize, but
until you actually experience it. When I see my son go, Daddy,
Daddy, look, I’m you. Naturally, it’s part of the wow,
that’s been me. [LAUGH] You’re the best. WWE is bringing a super show to Houston. And I haven’t been to a show in a while. I haven’t been backstage and
I’m gonna stop by, and I’m gonna say hi to some of the boys.>>Frame up, man.>>We started from the bottom,
now we’re here.>>Yeah.>>It’s really cool,
I get to see some old faces, the Champ Kofi Kingston, Sheldon, Joe, Randy, and a bunch of new faces. I made some new friends today. So it’s pretty cool, it’s pretty cool, that sense of nostalgia came over me,
so I had a good time. [MUSIC] I was a kid from the hood, from poverty,
government cheese, food stamps. To go from that to becoming an ex-convict,
where even though I’ve said this many times, society wouldn’t give
me a chance to earn minimum wage. To actually have had the opportunity
that I did with WWE had allowed me to become
an international wrestling star. [MUSIC]