OP/ED Interview by Adam Wilcox with Aaron Brink aka Dick Delaware. All opinions expressed are those of the Adam &/or Aaron.
Aaron Brink was enjoying a unique dual career when personal demons overtook his life. Originally introduced to the world of MMA by childhood friend and fellow Huntington Beach, California native Tito Ortiz, Brink entered the adult industry in 2002 under the stage name Dick Delaware. It was during his time in porn that Aaron became addicted to crystal meth. He eventually disappeared from the MMA world for three years. Brink’s story was featured on a 2009 episode of the A & E program Intervention. He has since kicked his crystal meth addiction and returned to MMA earlier this year. Aaron kindly granted LIB an interview (actually two, following a brain-dead audio error on my part the first time around) to discuss his return to MMA, performing as both a fighter and adult film actor, his appearance on Intervention, and more. (Special thanks to Aaron and Justin Brink)
First off, congratulations on your recent victory over Dan Quinn at the Gladiator Challenge MMA event last month. Can you tell readers a little bit about the fight from your perspective, as well as your overall comeback to the sport?
First of all, I trained really hard for this fight. I had been in recovery. I started training for this fight back in July of ’09 – I started getting myself back into the training regimen. I was up to 274 pounds – I had gotten really out of shape when I had gotten out of rehab. I guess I put down the spoon and picked up the fork in so many words (Laughs) – the old cliché. I was morbidly out of shape, my wife left me, and I just decided, “Hey, I have to get back into training”. I started doing that, I had a miraculous weight loss, I had some ups and downs still with my life. I had not used hard drugs anymore, but I was still smoking pot under the delusion that I could smoke marijuana and drink beer. I was kind of lazy with my program. And about six months ago, on four days notice, I was asked by Tedd Williams of Gladiator Challenge to fight Travis Browne for the Interim World Heavyweight Title. But I was asked to do it and I was about 203 pounds at the time. I was in pretty decent shape – not quite the shape I’m in now – but pretty decent shape. So I went and did the fight and when I was getting closer to it, I was like, “What are you doing?” The guy cuts down from 300 pounds. He’s 6’8”. He’s a world-class wrestler and a world-class kickboxer – and a brown belt in Brazilian Jujitsu. So, I took that fight and I got taken down really early. I actually suffered a fracture of my sternum in the first few minutes of the first round. I ended up getting caught up in a clinch and he just picked me up and dropped me. The fight was over right there, but the referee didn’t know I had suffered the fracture – he was looking at my opponent. Long story short, I lost that fight. I went back to the drawing board. I started drinking again and smoking weed and just kind of laying around, trying to get some rest, because they told me, “Don’t do anything for six weeks.” I should have been running and doing cardio and getting myself back, but I took a couple months off. I needed the time. My wife and I, we remained separated.
That’s Cassandra Cruz?
Yeah, Cassandra Cruz. We were friends, we’d see each other here and there. I ended up in a financial rut and I was going to go stay with my family. I was going to ask my mom if I could stay at her house. My mom was like, “Hey, look, I can’t let you live with me.” My mom hadn’t seen much of me since the intervention. She knew I wasn’t doing crystal meth, which was pretty obvious – I was pretty heavy. It’s pretty obvious when I’m on meth, I just lock down. I hadn’t done it since December 10, 2008. But I was smoking pot and I was very open about my marijuana use. And I just told her, “I smoke pot every day. I need it or I can’t sleep.” I even had a prescription for it. My mom told me, “Look, I can’t support this. I can’t let you do this.” She said, “Would you go back to rehab?” I said, “Well, I don’t have the money for that.” You know, the (A & E program) Intervention, they put me in a place and there was no program whatsoever. It was a resort. It’s where they did Celebrity Rehab – I was in Gary Busey’s room when he moved out. It was like a nice hotel. It’s not rehab at all. They didn’t make me do any program. They made sure I made it through. I was on Opiums because I had a broken foot. I was in rehab and I’m on Opiums – I mean, come on. They were giving me Vicodins for my foot. The fact is, that’s how I gained a lot of weight when I was in rehab. The Opiums, they mess up your digestive system. I ended up getting myself back into shape.
The fight with Dan Quinn … he was a professional boxer with over 40 professional fights. He was also a Golden Gloves Champion in amateur boxing. People had beaten him only by getting him down to the ground. The guys that had beaten him are only like top-level guys, like Frank Mir, the guys that had only been in UFC and K-1 Champions who had beaten him. I had a huge following on the Internet, so I figured if I could get this guy I could wiggle my way back into the sport. And I’m going to do it with his rules. Just train really, really hard and do the Stand Up Super Fight. Then I additionally agreed to go through a promoter – there was no side deal or anything like that – this was actually through the promoter, the promoter set the rules up this way. It was called a Stand Up Super Fight, where there would be no takedowns – a lot of times in that fight I wanted to take him down. Dan Quinn asked for no kicks to the leg. I agreed to the promoters to do it that way. It was on the level – it wasn’t like a side thing where Dan Quinn and I went behind closed doors to do this and that and the other. We put it in our fight contract and it was a Super Stand Up Fight, where we could strike with our fists and elbows and knees. Surprisingly enough, I was able to beat Dan Quinn from the outside – I was able to beat him to the punch every time. I have a wide variety of sparring partners available to me – the best way to help me in that fight.
My fight in October is with Vito Vianna. He is under Wanderlei Silva and is out of Las Vegas, and I’m fighting him in the Las Vegas promotion MMA Explosion at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on October 9. He and I are the main event that night.
You recently participated in an event promoted by Antigua Pictures called Battle Bang, featuring fighters who also perform as adult film actors. I think it was a great idea by the promoter who thought of it to bring the two genres together.
That’s Kevin Must and Tod Black. They are absolute geniuses. That production/promotion was tailor-made for me. I will not be beaten at that venue. I challenge Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, any MMA guy out there – under those rules, I will beat them. If you are separating the boxing and the wrestling like that, I will fight any man, any weight class. And if you dangle a beautiful Latina in front of me, I’m coming up – no pun intended. (Laughs)
They want to do a sequel. It’s going to be a huge success. They haven’t released it yet.
It’s going to be out on DVD and a couple of the adult channels, right?
Yeah, it’s going to be on the Erotic Network.
When we spoke last time, you mentioned that your appearance on Intervention had negatively affected your life and career. Can you touch on that a little bit?
I’ve spoken to the Intervention people since I talked to you. I’ve come to understand from reliable sources that my story has offended some people because of the nature of what happens when I get high on speed, because I’m a porn performer, and that I fight for a living. It’s hard to feel sorry for someone like me – even in my worst state of mind. Especially for the people that did it, because they believe I knew about the show and that I set the whole thing up.
I feel the producers of the show missed the boat by not doing a follow-up to your story. With the current popularity of MMA, they may have gained new viewership from people who might not have tuned in to the program had you not been on it.
There were a couple of people at the lower end who had an agenda. They were offended. “Hey we want this guy swept under the rug. We don’t want him to have anything because we believe he set this whole thing up. He wants to be on T.V.? He’ll be on T.V., all right.” Thinking I set the whole thing up – which I did not. I’m an articulate person, even in my worst time. They assumed that I set up the whole thing because I wasn’t the average drug addict that they are used to dealing with. They believed that I was so smart that I set the whole thing up, but that was not the case. I was actually very embarrassed by it. I was embarrassed that they had to put in Italics that I masturbated for several hours after injecting crystal meth into my arm. That’s not something I’m proud of and that’s not something I want everybody to see. I’ve actually asked them to stop showing it. The guy that called me engaged in a battle of mental Chess with me, yelling at me on the phone. And I hung up on him. He started to tell me that I knew about the whole thing the entire time – “You mean to tell me you didn’t know?” I disengaged and I hung up on him.
I’m not going to get anything from those guys. They’re not going to do a follow-up, because I asked the guy, “You don’t think I’ve seen the shows since then?” If what they say is true, I knew about it from the beginning. I’m able to see Intervention and can see that they do do video follow-ups. They choose who they like and whose story is not offensive. They go, “We can feel sorry for this guy. We want him to do well, but we don’t like this guy.” If it’s a girl they don’t like – the one they didn’t like, she was a stripper and she’d get naked in front of the camera. They openly told me they didn’t like her. And they wanted to make her look bad. And that’s really sad, because in every case you are dealing with somebody who is very ill, and these are people who are taking advantage of it and exploiting these people. The truth is, I was dying. I’m lucky to be alive today. And the fact that I stopped doing (drugs) has opened a lot of doors for me.
You are also planning to partner with a friend to open a rehab complex of your own, is that right?
Sober Living – it’s aftercare. Basically, it will just be a house for people who have to be sober who are looking for a second chance. It was an idea and it has not been put into action yet. We are asking the lady who owns the property where I live now to sell it to the director of the rehab I was at. He and I are planning on having a four-man Sober Living, conducting meetings there, and having meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous.
That’s terrific and I hope it all works out. Would you say you are doing well today overall?
Absolutely. I think that things are going very well. Every day is a challenge. Life is not easy. Every once in a while something will come up – a financial problem will come up or some other type of challenge will come my way. Every single day I have to resort to my power. I can’t in any point in time go, “Okay, I got this now. It’s okay.” I don’t do drugs or drink anymore. I’m always going to be that guy who can’t take just one drink or do one little line of cocaine, or whatever it is. I can’t just do a little bit of anything. Other people can do that – I cannot.
What would you say to any porn producer, director, or executive who may be reluctant to hire you due to your reputation as an MMA fighter?
There are porn producers who are hiring me now and they are very happy with it. People were skeptical – “Can we bring this guy on set?” – based on something they may have heard. They’re like, “Well, we’ll just give it a try.” Then they do, and they’re like, “Why didn’t we use you a long time ago? We should have had you on set a long time ago because you’re a great performer.” I just performed for the Erotic Network the other day and I did five pops. And I did that on a gratuity. Don’t expect me to go on set and do five pops every time I do a scene, but I was grateful for the opportunity that I had that day and I was very excited about the girls I was working with. Don’t be surprised if I do miraculous things like that on set.
When we spoke before, you were on your way to meet with a sponsor. How did that go?
That went well. My friend (UFC promoter) Paul Herrera had the whole thing set up for me. He told the guy I had been doing well, despite what someone had told him. It was just a customer who had come in and saw me on a poster, so it really didn’t have a whole lot of bearing on him, but it just drew huge curiosity. He looked into it and saw me on Intervention. It was coincidence that Paul Herrera had called into him, because he had just seen me. He had an envelope for me, he had a bunch of beef for me, and it really went perfect. And it was because of God, not because of me. I’ve turned my will and my life over to God and God is blessing me.
When we last talked, you said you’d like to get a plug in for him. Do you want to mention his name and business?
I wanted to plug a couple of things – the Arena mixed martial arts gym, Wave Weapons Surfboards, and obviously the Beef Palace butcher shop in Huntington Beach, California.
Justin (Aaron’s public relations representative) mentioned to me that you have taken up diving in addition to your MMA and adult industry careers. Would you like to speak about that?
I am a commercial diver. I do that to fill the blanks when I’m not working. Porn work is starting to become more abundant for me now. I’m starting to get more scenes – I have three this week, which is kind of like it was back in the day. I know that I have San Diego to come home to and it’s a beautiful place, but when I’m not working, I will go. I’m not afraid of a hard day’s work. I’ll go and get in that ocean and I know it’s going to be there for me in the wintertime. It’s really humbling, it keeps me grounded, and I never give up on a hard day’s work.
In closing, is there anything you would like to say or make known to the readers?
Thank you for everything. And I thank my higher power of God. I say that in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Thank you, Aaron. We really appreciate the time. Congratulations on everything you have overcome and all the best to you in the future.
Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity.
If you have work for Aaron please drop him an email- [email protected]