Before he became a fighter, Brian Foster worked at a mattress factory with his younger brother. When his brother died during a tragic hike on Wild Horse Mountain, Foster then became a fighter.
Filled with unfocused rage and anguish, Foster couldn't return to the mattress factory where he had worked with his brother for three years. "I just got very angry and hard to deal with. He passed away, and I couldn't go back," Foster said.
Looking for a way to deal with his overwhelming emotions, Foster found fighting. "I started training with some old buddies. It was a way to go on after my brother died."
"A lot of people deal with anger in different ways, and my way may not have been the best way, but fighting brought me back to earth and gave me something to live for."
Aside from providing Foster with a way to channel his anger, fighting has given him a new direction in the long term. It quickly became that apparent that he was pretty good at fighting, so Foster decided to pursue it as a full-time occupation.
"A lot of people work jobs that they don't love. I love fighting, it's done me well, and I figured I'd give it everything I got."
After compiling a record of 9-3, Foster decided to make the move to Hughes Intensive Training (HIT Squad), he says, "to gain the knowledge from a world champion."
Foster now spends most of his most of his time at the HIT Squad training center.
Most of the year, he lives in the HIT Squad dormitories that once were military barracks. "I maintain the fighter lifestyle. I live, eat, sleep, and fight," Foster says.
There are many sacrifices involved in embracing the fighter lifestyle. Foster lives over a five hour drive away from his wife and kids, who he gets to see only occasionally. "I support them at home. My wife supports me in everything I do. She understands that this is what kept me out of trouble and being able to function properly."
"We've been together for a very long time," Foster said of living away from his wife. "There's no problems or misunderstandings. We trust each other and she loves and respects what I do."
So far, Foster's dedication has been paying off. He's gone 4-1 since joining HIT Squad, including an impressive win over Brock Larson and a "Fight of the Night" loss to Rick Story.
When speaking about his training, Foster singled out Robbie Lawler and head trainer Mark Fiore as his two closest influences.
Speaking about Lawler, Foster said, "He critiques me in every aspect. We match up very well, and he is in my mind, my number one mentor here."
"Mark Fiore gives you the advice you need from the outside looking in. Observation-wise, Mark Fiore tells me where to go with everything. He sees every situation I get into and he knows where I need to work."
Foster's upcoming fight with Chris Lytle may not be on the main card, but looking at the fight stylistically, it looks like it has some serious fight of the night potential.
Lately it seems like Lytle has gone out of his way to try to turn his fights into all-out brawls. Doing such a thing against a puncher like Foster could have disastrous consequences for Lytle, but it should make for a war.
Foster liked the match-up, and said of Lytle, "I love the way he fights. If he brings the same fight that he usually brings against me, then it's going to be a very exciting fight to watch."
Still, Foster is wary of the problems that Lytle represents. "He's got experience, hard punches, good boxing background, and a tough chin. Nobody's ever finished him. Good, really nice, respectful guy."
Foster has a lot of respect for his opponent, but feels like he has the advantage when it comes to skills, as well as intangibles.
"I have Hughes on my side, and his experience. I've seen this factor play out multiple times. I've trained with people who've beat (Lytle) before, and he knows that. I think he's going to get tired of me hitting him probably about half way through the second round."
Foster is in no way looking past Lytle, but when asked to comment upon his own future, Foster said that he wants to continue fighting for a long time. "I want to bring more notoriety to this gym. I just want to help this gym grow. This environment helped me grow into a better person."
Foster says that when he's done fighting, he hopes that he can pass on his knowledge to future fighters. "I've got some sons coming up that are destined to do what their dad is doing. They want to be fighters as well. It's not like I'm going to push on them, but they're little athletes, and they're kinda bred to be that way, so yeah, I'd love to hand that knowledge down to them."
A lot of fighters late in their careers don't wish for their children to enter into the fighting lifestyle. So far, Foster isn't one of those men. Foster sees fighting as the thing that transformed him from being, "pretty much an angry, violent, little kid," into the man that he is today.
Whenever Foster goes out to fight, he always brings along a picture of his younger brother who worked with him at the mattress factory. The difference between his first fights and now, is that now when he fights, it's no longer about channeling his anger.