Mid-South man returns to American Ninja Challenge - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mid-South man returns to American Ninja Challenge

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Brent credits his Ninja Warrior experience for his desire to help others. Brent credits his Ninja Warrior experience for his desire to help others.
TIPTON COUNTY, TN -

(WMC-TV) - West Tennessee native Brent Ruffin is getting ready for the competition of a lifetime. He is competing for a chance to be NBC's American Ninja Warrior.

Ruffin's experience on last year's national fitness stage inspired him to come back to his hometown to help others get in shape and stay in shape.

Now, he is competing for the second year to become America's next Ninja Warrior.

"I've always been an athlete all my life," he said. "I've always been into fitness."

An acrodunker for Memphis Grizzlies and a former MMA competitor, Ruffin works hard every day to stay in shape and now he is helping others do the same.

His passion to become America's next Ninja Warrior inspired him to open a gym in his hometown of Atoka, Tenn.

"When I got back from Ninja Warrior, I was fired up, ready to go and get after it," he said.

When Ruffin competed last year, he did not make it past the qualifiers. This year, he says he will be better prepared.

"It's about fitness, how good of shape you're in, and it's about a lot of grip strength. It's all about those hands and just good hand-eye coordination," he explained. "I thought basics would get me through it, but come to find out, you have to train specifically for lots of obstacles."

Ruffin leaves Friday for the American Ninja Warrior semifinals in St. Louis.

While spending his remaining hours in the gym prepping for the athletic obstacle course, he knows his community is behind him all the way.

"Let's go Brent, America's next Ninja Warrior," said a group of Cross Kick gym members.

"Oh yeah, I'm ready ... ready to go. I'm stoked ... pumped," said Ruffin.

If he makes it past the semifinals, he will head to Las Vegas to compete in the American Ninja Warrior finals.

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