By Sallie James
A Parkland dad and Mixed Martial Arts executive who’s experienced the ravages of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) will be punching back this weekend when he steps into a fight cage to raise money for fellow veterans who suffer from the same.
Lex McMahon, the adopted son of Johnny Carson’s sidekick Ed McMahon, isn’t a professional fighter. Still, he’s ready to take one for the team if it means shining a light on veterans’ issues. He’s hoping to raise $50,000 for AHERO, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping war heroes heal the physical and psychological wounds of service.
“I did two tours in Somalia as a Marine and struggled a bit on my own with PTSD,” said Lex McMahon, the COO of Titan FC, who’s spent a dozen years arranging professional MMA fights.
“After 911, I tried to get back into the military, and it just didn’t work out. I decided to dedicate myself to helping those who have served.”
McMahon will fight Juston Thornton in Fighting Force 4 on Nov. 21st in an exhibition match he hopes will showcase AHERO.
He plans to donate his entire fight purse and sponsorship earnings to the non-profit, which supports veterans through the recovery process after trauma and service.
And with Thanksgiving just around the corner, McMahon hopes to win big and give back a lot. It’s a lesson his famous father – a Colonel in the Marines – taught him growing up. Ed McMahon flew 85 combat missions in a Corsair during World War II and the Korean War, he said.
“Community service was a huge part of who Ed was. He was definitely a philanthropist, and he encouraged all the kids to join him in all the things he did,” Lex McMahon said. “Like myself, he was a Marine, and so a lot of the leadership traits I learned in the Marine Corps were reinforced by him. Without question, he is the person who made me the man I am. He adopted me, and I am fortunate he did.”
Lex McMahon decided to step into the ring himself because it’s something he’s been asking others for years.
“It felt kind of disingenuous that I had not done it myself,” McMahon said. “In the Marines, you lead from the front. So I wanted to do that. There is a lot of sacrifice, blood, sweat, and tears associated with it.”
McMahon has been training with professional MMA fighters for months. He also spent three weeks at an Alabama training camp and converted his three-car garage into an MMA boxing gym. Still, he’s realistic about his standing as a professional fighter.
“This opportunity is about telling a story and spreading a message. It’s not about me. I don’t consider myself a fighter. I have an MBA and a law degree,” McMahon said. “I came to this as a business, and I fell in love with it. I view this as a kind of personal crucible.”
McMahon admits he’s a bit nervous but notes that it wouldn’t be a fight if he weren’t.
“It’s a tough sport. I train with some of the best in the world. I’m ready, and I will be in shape,” the father of two girls said. “I am not at all afraid or concerned. I will just go out and have fun with it.”
To watch McMahon enter the cage live, tune into UFC Fightpass on Nov 21. To support Lex’s cause against PTSD and Veteran Suicide, visit aherousa.org/fight4ahero
More than 95 percent of donations go directly towards benefiting veterans — donations that will help save lives.
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