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Forest Hills mailman vies for MMA title

Forest Hills mailman vies for MMA title
By Shawn King

The postman always delivers, but in borough postal worker Jerome Bourne’s case, he is delivering knockouts as well as newspapers.

Bourne will be competing this Saturday for the Aggressive Combat Sports 170-pound Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Championship at Fitzgerald Gym at Queens College in Flushing, just a short distance from his daytime mail route for the U.S. Postal Service.

Juggling nighttime fight training at Tiger Schulmann’s in New Jersey with his day job at the post office in Forest Hills is no simple task. Bourne, 31, knows his hectic schedule may put him at a disadvantage when he steps into the cage, but he has never been afraid of putting in a little extra work.

In fact, he embraces it. It is his incredible work ethic that earned him the nickname “The Android.”

“Most fighters, that’s their life. Fighting is their full-time job. Sometimes I wish I had it like that, but that’s life,” Bourne said.

Bourne is the first to admit he never would have guessed when he was young that he would grow up to be a fighter. Those he tells are equally surprised.

He credits his son Jahkiem, 12, with introducing him to the MMA industry four years ago. Since then, Bourne has amassed a 9-7 fight record, which includes an amateur championship title in combat jujitsu. He is looking forward to the added support he receives whenever he fights locally.

“I love fighting in New York,” Bourne said. “I get up to 40, 50 people coming out to support. It’s a good feeling.”

Jahkiem will be among those 50 supporters cheering in the crowd. Bourne admits he initially had reservations about his son attending his fights.

“It crossed my mind — what if I get knocked out, or forced to submit?” Bourne said. “He’s prepared, though. He’s been to fights before and understands that it’s [injuries] a part of the game.”

Injuries are indeed a part of MMA, and regardless of what happens Saturday evening, The Android will be expected to show up bright and early Monday morning for work to deliver the mail along his route.

“It’s happened before. I hurt my shoulder in a fight and had to work two days later. I could barely lift the mail bag,” said Bourne.

He is confident about his chances of winning. He has put in many hours on many nights preparing his body and mind for his fight. Saturday will be the culmination of all the hard work The Android has become known for. In keeping with his usual pre-fight routine, he will dress all in black, listen to Jay-Z and enjoy his chicken lo mien as he visualizes victory.

Then it is time to deliver, like he always does.

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