Mike Shul Fights for Fun and Country
In his first ever martial arts competition, Mike “Scrappy Doo” Shul was disqualified for punching his competitor too hard. This was when was Shul was very young and in karate which his mother put him in. After leaving the mat, his mother tried to comfort him but he was having none of it. Karate was over for Shul but his martial arts journey wasn’t, he joined a boxing gym by the age of twelve and joined his first MMA gym as a teenager. Now, he is searching for his first professional win as a mixed martial artist.
Martial arts is his dream but Shul’s life entails much more than mixed martial arts. He is currently enrolled at the University of Buffalo and serving in the Air Force reserve. To say the least, Shul has a full schedule. He graduated from high school at 17 and was going to the local community college but wasn’t sure what he wanted in the future so family members suggested he talk to military recruiters. He has several family members that have served, including his aunt who served in the air force. The air force reserve recruiter was the first person he talked to and one thing led to another and a week after he turned 18 he signed up. Shul is currently an airplane mechanic but is applying to be a chaplain’s assistant.
At school, he is studying business marketing.
To recap, Shul is currently an airplane mechanic, applying to be a chaplain’s assistant, studying marketing in school and a professional fighter.
“I’m kinda all over the place,” said Shul.
In five years, he still plans on doing just as much.
“I’d like to keep fighting and marketing myself and whoever my sponsors may be at the time, my gym, my team, hopefully, have a degree that I can use when everything is all said and done and I’ll hopefully still be participating in the Air Force reserves.”
Shul is involved in many amazing things, but one of the coolest things about him is his nickname, Scrappy Doo, it doesn’t get cooler than that. He got it from his original team for never giving up, no matter how big of an opponent he was facing.
“The team I used to train with, I was the smallest guy on the fight team and I was sparring with a close friend of mine who is 6’3 and fights sometimes at 70, sometimes at 85. We were sparring and he just stuck his hand out and put it on my forehead and I’m trying to hit him and get under his hands, I was like, you better wait till I hit you or something like that, or you’re lucky I can’t reach you. And he was like you look like scrappy doo from scooby doo and I’m like oh okay whatever and he was like that’s your nickname and that’s how it stuck.”
Shul turned pro in his last fight, that fight was only two weeks after his last amateur fight, but he couldn’t resist the offer. However, he lost but came away with a few lessons from it.
“I just thought, I didn’t take any damage from my last amateur fight, I’m in shape, I’m good to go, I can do this, I’ve been doing this my whole life so I might as well take advantage of it. It definitely is a different game, it doesn’t work like that, at least not at the level I am at right now. I definitely learned you need to be patient, get a full fight camp in, train hard, train the looks you didn’t see as an amateur that you didn’t see as a pro.”
Though he prides himself on always being prepared and having most techniques thrown at him, there was one, in particular, that gave him a harsh reality.
“I was sadly mistaken when I was elbowed in the head at full force in my fight so that was a new thing for me and it definitely threw me off. But I took that experience and learned from it.”
Scrappy Doo trains at Western NY MMA alongside fighters such as Patrick Mix and Sean Felton. He was supposed to fight for King of the Cage on May 12 when they came close to his hometown but his opponent fell off and they weren’t able to find him a suitable opponent. Now his training continues and his focus is still razor sharp. As someone who is young and in college, he has made his priorities very clear which has meant sacrificing his social life.
“I’ve never been much for a social life anyway. I occasionally go downtown and hang out and do young adult things, I don’t see a benefit. When I’m at the gym and I’m working out I enjoy it because I know why I’m there and I appreciate it more. I’m working out at the gym training out because I need to be the best for my fight. But if I go out at the bar downtown, what do I get from this, nothing. I don’t really care that I’m missing out on that stuff as much because I’m chasing my dreams and doing what makes me happy.”
While he prefers to stay at the gym and work out, Shul does have recommendations for where to get wings for those who decide to visit the capital of wings.
“There’s a Dolph’s on Sheridan that’s got really good wings if you want to get the original Buffalo wing you hit up the Anchor Bar, but I think the best are the places to get wings are the place that you’ve never heard of. Because they’re homemade, the best things in Buffalo are the local mom and pop places, not the big chain restaurants.”
“Any place that looks like a hole in the wall, go there.”