“NEF 24: PROMISED LAND” takes place the night before Father’s Day 2016 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine. In anticipation of NEF 24, all week we will be profiling “Fighting Fathers,” or, “dads that could beat up your dad.” Find out what drives these working dads as they battle to build a better life for their children. In this installment, we sit down with Jesse “The Viking” Erickson.

 How many children do you have and what are their ages?

I have one son named Aidan. He turned two in April.

What does being a good father mean to you?

Leading by example and putting family first. Doing everything in your power to be involved in their lives and supporting them along the way.

What do your children think about their Dad fighting?

He’s not really old enough to have an opinion. I hope he one day sees his father doing what he loves.

If your children decide at some point that they would like to train and compete in combat sports, will you approve and what are your feelings on it?

I want my son to learn enough to defend himself and would be thrilled to have him take an interest in jiu jiitsu. I would never push him to do MMA, but would support him if he wanted to. I want him to find his own passion in life and pursue it wholeheartedly.

If you intend on allowing your children to compete in combat sports, how do you plan on introducing them to training and developing a competitive mindset?

If he chooses to become competitive in any combat sport, I will be happy to support and guide him. I would like him to start with wrestling and jiu jitsu when he’s young. They teach hard work and discipline, values he can take with him throughout his life.

What type of legacy do you hope to leave as a father and how does that dovetail with your combat sports aspirations?

I just hope he too finds his passion in life and can be happy pursuing it.

As you prepare to compete on June 18th, the day before Father’s Day 2016, what is your message to your children and your dreams for their future?

Work hard at what you love, Aidan, and your father will always support you! Daddy loves you!