A highlight from Sydney Sundance Smith's - God Story

Evangelism On Fire


Welcome to Evangelism on Fire podcast. My name is Mark Thomas, an ordained pastor, a teacher of the best selling book of all time, your host, and most importantly, your evangelism coach. Every episode, I bring you an inspiring message to help you live the most exciting life God has created you to live by actively sharing your faith in Jesus with others. I believe in the power of the gospel and the potential of all Christians to live out the mission of the great commission. I believe the best way for Christians to grow is to go. It's time for a revolution in every Christian's life around the world so that every person everywhere around the world can hear the gospel of Jesus Christ from a friend or a family member through one -on -one evangelism. I'm so thankful for our time together today. I absolutely love spending time with you, evangelism on fire nation. I believe this podcast will truly inspire you and I believe it will inspire so many people that you know. 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Well, this is your next step. Go to today's show notes and click on the giving link to become a monthly partner by setting up a monthly donation or go to our website evangelismonfire .com. Click on the donate button to give a monthly reoccurring donation or a one -time gift. Thank you for joining us to give hope to the world. All right, welcome Evangelism on Fire nation to today's podcast episode. Man, I've got a big time treat for you guys today. We have on our podcast episode today, Sydney Sundance Smith. She's 31 years old. And let me tell you what, she's on a mission to be one of the world's top female bare knuckle fighters. And listen, she has her eye on the title. And you know what? Something that I love about Sydney is that she is a true spiritual warrior and she carries her faith and her father's memory with her everywhere she goes and into the ring. Sydney Sundance Smith, welcome to Evangelism on Fire podcast. How are you doing? I'm blessed and highly favored. Yeah, I'm doing well. I feel really good. You know, I'm in a really good place in my life, so. That's awesome. I'm so happy for you. So you know what? So my audience, Evangelism on Fire Nation, so they know more about you. I gave you a little introduction, but tell us more about who you are. Oh, wow. I feel like that's such a big question, right? Like the, what does Shrek say? Like an ogre, I have like an onion, I have ears. Yeah, I don't know, man. I'm just like a kid from the middle of nowhere. I grew up on a horse farm. All three of us, my brother and my sister and myself, we were all born at home. We were not born in a hospital. Oh, you were born at home? Not a hospital, at home. Oh, wow. And so for my sister's birth, my dad actually had to deliver her because the midwife was somewhere else. And so she didn't get there. Oh, wow. So my dad had to deliver my sister. That is wild. What was going on with the midwife? It starts wild. She was delivering another baby like across the county. Right. Wow, that's such a cool story to start this podcast off. Hey, it's interesting from starting to talking with that. You know what I'm saying? But yeah, I mean, I don't know. I just grew up out like in the middle of nowhere in a place called Middlebrook. Doesn't even have enough people to be considered a town and still considered a village to this day. When I first heard about you, I was when I was training at Mixed Martial Arts Institute here in Richmond, Virginia. And I would hear your name mentioned, you know, in my training sessions. Then I got to be good friends with Gigi, who she owned MMA Institute around the area that she lived. In Charlottesville, yeah. Yeah, for a little bit. And through Rick McCoy and Tyus Thomas and David Gladfelter, I got to know more about you because I would just hear your name around, you know, the Institute. So let's get right into it. How did you come to faith in Jesus Christ? So I actually, I grew up in it. I just kind of always believed he was there, that he was and that his son existed. And I didn't really know too much about the Holy Spirit growing up. That wasn't really something, it's not really something that Presbyterians talk about a lot, you know. And so, yeah, I mean, I had a relationship with him for, you know, most of my life, but it really didn't, it was like, you know, like the shockwave kind of hit more when I was like 16, 17. And I was really starting to go through like some really serious suicide and depression. And I got really, you know, just really into the word. And, you know, my mom bought me a study Bible on Easter, the year I turned 17. And I still have it, I still use it every day. And so that really just kind of, cause I just have this insatiable appetite just like to know things. I don't know why I just do. And so, yeah, so giving me a study Bible was a great way. And I just never looked back, you know. And that's, I mean, I've had my ups and downs, right? You know what I mean? I'm not saying, I've walked a perfect path since I was a teenager that is far from true. But, you know, it doesn't mean that I've ever stopped believing in God or loving God or talking to God. You know, I think that I just kind of have this different understanding of who he is and like what he wants to do. Like he's never gonna give up on you, you know? And I think that's something that's really important and not something that I really want to get out there is that I'm not saying go out there and do all these bad things. We shouldn't sin much so that grace can abound much. But what I'm saying is that like, grace covers a multitude of sins. That's what I'm saying. And there's no shame, no condemnation for those that are made new in Christ. And that's what I'm trying to come and talk about is there's a way, we've kind of gotten to this point as a society where if anybody starts saying like, thus sayeth the Lord, or you quote the word in a way that people know that you're quoting the word to them, they just shut down, right? And so I don't know, I just feel like God has written it on my heart in a way that, you know, I just talk about it. I'm not trying to shove it down your throat. I'm not trying to like preach at you, but I just, I feel like God is so enmeshed in everything and every single moment of every single day that I mean, his word is just one more example of that. And speaking it is very powerful and that's something I learned along the way. And so to speak it, you have to know the word. Say that again, Sydney, maybe that one more time. To speak the word, you have to know the word. So yeah, you know, write it on your heart. Yeah, to speak the word, you have to know the word, you know, and I've read some articles about you that you are in the word daily. Yeah, I love that. I love that. Every day. In my study Bible, Josephus, you know, I've got like the concordance, the Hebrew and the Greeks dictionaries. Like I really do, like, I truly go through it all, all the time. I just love it, you know. I think it's really interesting. And I think that when you study the different translations, not that anyone is better or worse than any of the others, but I think that, you know, they all have something to offer. And, you know, that goes for like the Hebrew and the Greek too, because their vocab, like, I don't know how to explain it, but their vocabulary was richer. It was like more dense than ours is. I feel like the words that they chose to communicate what was going on or how they were feeling or what God was saying were chosen for specific reasons. They did a lot of like play on words with, you know, like was it Adam and I can't remember the other one, like that that's similar to his name, but it's like Adan or whatever, you know. And like, so one means Adam and one means something that's like completely opposite and bad that he did or whatever, you know. Hey, you know what, if someone's listening right now, right, so this is mostly a Christian podcast, but a lot of those listeners out there right now, they're not reading the word daily, say like you are or I am. What encouragement would you give to them to pick up the best -selling book of all time, the Bible, right, and get in the word and, you know, taste that a little bit every day. What would you, what encouragement would you give to them? I mean, what do you have to lose, right? Like there's so many places in the Bible where it talks about how we should meditate on God's word. And that's not just sitting there and being like, oh, you know, I'm thinking about your word. But the Hebrew and the Greek actually means to like speak on the utterance, to talk to yourself about it. And honestly, you know, you shouldn't look at it as a chore. I know for a long time, you know, it's not like I've read my Bible every single day for my entire life, right? Like we all go through stages and phases and seasons, but, you know, habits are what you consistently do. So, you know, it's gonna take time to get to that point where, you know, you make it, it's just part of what you do every day. You have your coffee and you sit down and you spend time with God first thing, you know, that's kind of like what I like to do. Just pick a time that works for you. It doesn't have to be like, oh, I'm spending 45 minutes, you know, just literally anything is better than nothing, right? Like God just wants you to say, hey, you're important to me and I'm taking this time out of my day to just spend this time with you. Set yourself up to like read five verses or read a chapter a day or, you know, start with small bits. But I mean, honestly, try not to look at it as a chore. I mean, you're meeting with the creator of the universe and magnificent things happen. Ah, come on. I mean, you know, Jesus is the word, right? Yeah. So, I mean, if you shun the word, you're kind of like shunning Jesus in a way. And he came to give us life more abundantly. So how can you have abundant life if you kind of like refuse the one who's trying to give it to you? Wow, that is, that's deep. That's profound. That is so good. That's the Holy Spirit now. That's the Holy Spirit. Speaking in and through you. Just do the talking. Cause I ramble. People know that. I'll talk forever, especially when it's about God. So I was like, God, please just let the Holy Spirit. Isn't it cool when the Holy Spirit speaks in you and through you and you hear what you just say and you're like, wow, thank you, Holy Spirit. That was totally you. Yeah, that was not me. You're like, whoa, that was good. Yeah, that was fire. That was fire, straight fire. Yeah, I was praying for like tongues of fire to be dropping on people in Albuquerque and stuff. Like it would be so heavy in the arena. Like I pray for that kind of stuff. Like to me, when I walked into church on Sunday, cause I've been doing like a really in -depth study on Joshua. I actually did a pretty in -depth study on judges. And then I went back and did Joshua cause God was like, go read Joshua. And I was like, all right, cool. So that's what I did. And you know, so I walked into church on Sunday and I just, I felt God say, take your shoes off. This is Holy ground, you know? And that was what I prayed over the ring the last time I fought in May, cause they let you go out and check the ring out. And so like, I prayed in the spirit and, you know, people call that speaking in tongues. To me, I call it praying in the spirit. It's personal between me and God. But you know, and I just remember saying like, this is Holy ground. Do you know what I mean? And I like closed the whole circle of it and like, you know, I just, and I pray about it before I go, pray about like his spirit being there, you know, and the Bible says that, that God himself is enthroned on the praises of Israel. And then people want to ask me, like, why do you walk out to Christian rapper, Christian praise music? And I'm like, why wouldn't I, you know, I'm inviting, I'm inviting God to come in and like come into my situation. You know what I mean? And just, and yeah. So to me, it's, it's a lot different, you know? So much of it is spiritually based for me. I mean, even like the hashtag, watch me rise that I use, right? That actually comes from one of my favorite verses in Judges. And it's because it was a woman judge who spoke at Deborah. And you know, I'm always about like the women warriors, like the outcasts that, you know, in society it's like says to be ladylike and they're like, no, I'm going to go fight with the dudes. Like that's who I've always identified with, you know, like Mulan was my favorite Disney movie. Like, yeah. So yeah, I mean, I don't know. I lost her. So, you know what you, you mentioned a moment ago, August. So you have an upcoming fight Albuquerque, right? Just trying to trace that one back, but yeah. But you also mentioned that how you went into the ring and prayed at your last fight. Now your last fight, you beat your opponent. You landed 98 punches to her 26. And you know what I'm like that. Yeah. And you only suffered a few bruises. Tell us about that fight. You know, there was a lot of craziness going into that fight that, you know, I just kind of briefly spoke on and that's pretty much, you know, most of like that's like the gist of what I'll say about it just to like, you know, maintain a modicum of respectability, but basically my corners last minute abandoned me for no good reason. And like one of them wasted a promotion flight and all this stuff, like it was insane. And I'm like at the airport, you know, trying to figure this stuff out. My friend drove down from South Carolina with her mom and her four year old son and like to corner me. And man, it was just wild. Like so many God moments happened. You know what I mean? It was like for every curse, there are two blessings. Like that was, that came true. You know what I mean? Like that was just so evident. And it wasn't just for me. It was for so many other people around me too. Like my friend who came down, she had been, you know, kind of like, you know, a rough state, a stagnant place in her faith with God. And, you know, I guess was feeling some type of way. And when she saw like everything that had happened and how God just like made everything just boom, boom, boom, boom, she was like, look, I told my whole family, there's no way I'll ever question again, if that is real, you know? So literally it was just nothing but God. I was just having a blast. Like I had to put all that stuff out of my mind. I didn't feel any emotion. Like, you know what I mean? I felt some, but I just prayed for protection and peace and to stay on point for what we came there to do. You know, like I had, like I have people who like, I have prayer warriors who literally like that is what we do is we pray over these events. It's not just we're praying over my fight. We're praying over the event as a whole, you know, we're praying over all of the millions of live viewers, you know, that's what we're doing. And it, I mean, hey, I couldn't have, I mean, it was other than, you know, just wanting to push the pace a little bit more. I feel like, you know, it wasn't, it wasn't a bad start to be KFC, you know what I'm saying? And you know what? BKFC, now, one thing I love about you, okay? You're a different breed, okay? You have martial artists, you have your MMA fighters, but tell my audience, maybe some of them don't, they do not know what BKFC is. You're a whole different beast, okay? All right, you're a whole different human beings. So evangelism on fire nation. If you don't know what BKFC is, listen to this. Tell my audience what type of fighter you are, Sydney Sundance Smith. So I started off in MMA, but I was waiting very patiently for them to open my weight class. And when they did, we fight with no gloves, just a little bit of wrap support around your wrist. And you know, I take down some of that. You're talking bare knuckle. Bare knuckles, yeah. Bare knuckles. 100%. She said 100%. Facts, yes. I'm so like, okay, so they're coming up with this new card. It's one in Thailand. It's like the super fight or whatever. And they're letting them do, it's a special rules, bare knuckle Muay Thai. Ooh. I have been bugging the crap out of them. Like, hey, can we get a bare knuckle Muay Thai? And they're like crickets. And then this happens and I'm like, I see y 'all. I see what's happening. Y 'all keep me in mind at 1 .15, I told them, I told all of them, I've told my manager, I've told Dave Felt, I mean, you know, I've told them all. I said, if you start a bare knuckle Muay Thai, don't even ask me any questions, you just sign me up. Sign you up. Every single time you have a fight for me, don't even ask me, don't ask me no questions, just sign me up. Don't do that until the day I cannot fight for. That appeals to me. So how do you go from MMA to bare knuckle fighting? How does that transition happen? Very carefully, I guess. It's hard not to kick people and knee people. I mean, honestly, I was just waiting for them, like I said, to open my weight class. It's been around for five years now. So you're a straw weight, correct? Yeah, yes. All right. They had 1 .25 for a while and I, you know, I've been offered a couple of different, different promotional bare knuckle, you know, fights at 1 .25. But I just, you know, I had a lot of medical issues and stuff and, you know, even now healthy, I have to, I have to work to be at like 1 .32 walking around, you know, like a healthy 1 .32. So there's no way I could fight at 1 .25. Those girls cut from like an insane amount and yeah, no. I'm good at 1 .15, you know, like I can make the weight. It doesn't bother me. I make 1 .15, like my body just automatically knows like, oh, it's time to cut weight. And it just does it. Like I really, you know, I just have this really good system and as long as I stick to it, then I really don't have any problems. I cut weight and I feel so strong. It's so weird, but it's just, I've gotten it down to that, down to that point, you know. You know, one thing that I've heard about you, tell me if this is true, but I've heard that you're a fighter who likes to get hit. Oh yeah, oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, so like, you know, Donald Cerrone, you know, he kind of like a little bit of a slow starter sometimes. He's got to get hit a few times to like kind of wake him up. And then he's just like, you know, like back in the day, that's, that's kind of like me. You know what I mean? It's like, if you don't, if you're not going to exchange with me, it's kind of hard. Like, yeah, I mean, I still fight you, right? But it's not going to be the same level of fight. You know, if you're, if you want to bang with me, you're going to, like, I know people think like, maybe I'm just, you know, exaggerating or whatever, but like, you're going to get a different, a different side of me. Like you're going to bring out something in me that is like, oh, okay, you think that was hard, like my turn. You know what I mean? Like I get to hit you now, right? So I don't know. I just, I love it. I've always loved it. I fought Chelsea McCoy for my first fight, right? Like Rick McCoy's daughter, first ever MMA fight. She hit me so hard, I fought double. I'm not even kidding, right? I didn't know what to do. I had never, like, I was training out of a basement with some, you know, with a guy who had a few amateur fights under his belt. Like, it wasn't like I was Rick McCoy's daughter trained at the MMA Institute, right? I apparently even knew what the MMA Institute was. And I was just like, yeah, I'll fight her. Everybody was like, you're really going to fight her? And I was like, yeah. And then like, I didn't get knocked out or submitted or anything, right? Like we had a good fight, but yeah, she made me see double and I was just kind of like, you know, it was in that moment where it was, it was kind of like, you're either going to do this and you're going to love it. Like, that's going to, that's going to do it for you. You know what I mean? Yeah. Or you're done. You know what I mean? This is not for you. Yeah. And I was just like, I shook my head and I was like, well, then I was like, just pick one, you know? So it kind of solidified that. And you know, so it's not the last time I've seen double in a fight.

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