"Everybody needs that one thing that they can go do just to take their mind off everyday life." For Wes, who lives in the small town of Minden, Louisiana, that one thing is cage fighting.
Wes is one of three young men featured in the new MTV docu-series "Caged." They're all amateur mixed martial arts fighters struggling to make something of themselves in less-than-ideal conditions.
Daniel, nicknamed "Golden Boy," grew up in a wealthy family but lost his way after the death of his girlfriend in a car accident. Matt, who goes by the name "Danger" in the cage, is a talented fighter who just wants to make his parents proud. And Wes struggles to balance his MMA ambitions with his responsibilities to ex-girlfriend Red and their newborn son.
"It's an escape from every day," Wes told MTV News via Skype. "You wake up and go to work, and then you've got to worry about bills and you've got to worry about this and you've got to worry about that. Well, when you're in the cage, all that's gone. You don't have to worry about anything, because you've got to worry about this guy that's about to try to kick your ass."
For the viewers of "Caged," Wes promises lots of excitement. "You're going to see fights — not only in the cage, but out of the cage — you're going to see people talking sh--, you're going to see jokes." And, of course, there will be drama. "I cried on a lot of the episodes that I watched, and I don't ever cry," he said. "You're going to see a part of me that I don't ever tell anybody."
Wes had a difficult childhood and took to boxing as an outlet when he was 13 years old. "Then I started training in mixed martial arts, and I loved it," he said. His hope for the series is very personal: "If people can look at my story and relate and say, 'Man, if he did it, then I can do it,' I think that would be awesome to inspire people."
"Caged" premieres tonight at 10 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.