For a mixed martial arts fighter, the night of an event is the culmination of a process.
By the time they step into the cage, they've been through four, eight, 12 weeks of training camp, usually on a seven-days-per-week schedule. A typical day for a typical fighter might have consisted of multiple sessions of wrestling practice, jiu-jitsu, cardiovascular and strength work, and sparring, where fresh opponents were rotated in each round. And even though every hour of every day has been spent ensuring the goal of defeating a human being in physical combat, if they've made it to the cage, it means they have emerged from camp without injuries—or at least without injuries that would prevent them from fighting, because, truth is, no fighter can go through this and emerge unscathed. They may say they're healthy and ready, but they aren't. They've got nagging injuries from head to toe. They've had to starve themselves of food and water for three or four days in order to make a barbaric weight cut. They're exhausted.
For the fighter, the hard part is over. This moment, when the lights are shining and the people are cheering? This is the fun part.
But for the people sharing their lives, after weeks or months of watching the brutal preparation and long hours and the toll of the training, the culmination is the hardest part of all.