ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –  Dwight Maters came to Albuquerque to fight. The Oakland, California, native got into his car five years ago and drove to Jackson and Wink Academy, looking for a new life.

On Friday, he will be the main event on the first Jackson and Wink card actually hosted at the Academy. Maters will fight Shawn Morgan out of Hobbs, New Mexico. It’s been a successful five years for Maters, especially if you consider what he was able to accomplish.

The former football player was an alcoholic, 400 pounds, and had no plans of pushing away from the table when he got the idea to fight. When the idea occurred, Maters said he was at the Heart Attack Cafe in Las Vegas, ready to sink his teeth into a massive hamburger, and as a puddle of grease oozed out of the burger, he looked at the audience that had gathered around. Some took pictures of what was about to take place, but he removed himself from that situation and went to a sports bar to watch TV. He noticed there was fighting on every monitor there. The epiphany to fight came about at that moment.

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“I just remember looking at that, I’m like, ‘I know how to fight. I grew up in Oakland. So, let me try this out,'” said Maters. “As soon as that happened, I messaged all the schools that I could. Obviously, I had to lose a lot of weight. I wasn’t athletic at all; I just kind of wanted a new meaning to life, and I found it.”

Maters has been sober for the last five years and found was also able to conquer his bad eating habits, but it was not easy. “I was used to going to a taco truck, eating like three burritos, six tacos. It was like, ‘alright, that’s what I’m going to do, and just keep eating,'” said Maters. “I had no filter. I had no end to it. I would just eat, eat and eat. I remember the first time I did a Muay Thai class, I was so full. I went in so stuffed and I started feeling sick. I was in the corner about to throw up, and then I was like, something has to give.” In addition to MMA, Mathers also enjoys boxing and plans to keep active in the ring. The Jackson and Wink fight card has a 7 p.m. start time Friday night.