Idaho MMA Fighters Take On Bullying

Posted at 10:29 PM, Mar 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-02 00:29:17-05

Darrell Flores works in a cage.

"You're a dad who brings a briefcase to work. I bring gloves," says the father of two.

The mixed martial arts fighter is proud of what he does especially because throwing down an opponent can capture an audience.

"Because I'm a fighter a lot of those kids look up to me and I have a platform that not a lot of people have," says Flores.

What may surprise you is this fighter's passion is to teach kids why they don't have to throw a punch. The Caldwell High School graduate is on a mission to stop bullying.

"I tell them to join the gym, not to come and learn how to fight people off, but to gain better confidence," says Flores.

Darrell wanted to take that message outside the octagon and asked his mentor to join him. Scott Thometz knew his own story would resonate with kids. He calls himself a reformed bully.

"It took me joining the army and going and fighting wars to learn empathy. I figured if I can go and help some kids learn empathy at a younger age than I learned it than that can pay dividends," says Thometz.

Darrell started the group Fighters and Friends. For the last five years, the sparring partners, along with other mixed martial artists visit local schools to speak out against bullying. Darrell says they are teaching a life skill.

"The more confidence they get, that's something that will last their entire lives," he says.