Tuesday, September 20, 2016

On fighting hurt

This post was written on Friday, September 9, but will not be published until a later date, for reasons that are about to be obvious. I've mentally committed to myself that I will hit the publish button on this post whether I win or lose this fight, and regardless of whether or not it happens.

Friday, September 9:

On Wednesday - two days ago - I sprained my ankle in practice. It was an unlucky accident. My partner and I were doing fairly light wrestling drills with only 50% resistance. He attempted a takedown and I stumbled backwards and just fell with all of my weight on my bad ankle.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

A strange weight cutting decision

Today I woke up to a strange announcement for the promotion I'm fighting for in two days:

Summary: In the last 18 months they have had three fighters hospitalized due to weight cuts. So for this card they have decided, with about 30 hours before weigh-ins, to increase everyone's weight amount by 3.5%. Instead of fighting at 125 lbs, I am now fighting at 129 lbs. Guys scheduled to fight at 155 are now fighting at 160, and so on.

This is really bizarre. If you watch the video it's a claim about fighter safety, but if they just start implementing this policy frequently, you'll simply have people moving down two weight classes instead of one. What I suspect has actually happened here is that there are a small number of individuals on this card who expressed that it will be difficult to make the weight, and that they were worried about those fighters' specifically having to cut a bunch of weight.

On one hand, I'm always happy to cut less weight. It means I won't have to be in the sauna tonight, and 129 is a very easy weight for me to make. On the other hand, it encourages guys who should certainly be fighting at 135 to drop even further. On the gripping hand, if other organizations aren't following suit, then I might not get fights at my proper weight class.

Weird stuff. In general I'm very happy to see a movement towards less weight cutting in MMA, but this is a very bizarre way to go about it. Will be interested to see how it goes forward.

Monday, September 5, 2016

The perils of fighting a winless fighter

As a fighter at the regional level, there's tremendous variance in whom you might fight. The range is huge. First, record-keeping is also not great at the regional level. My opponent back in April was listed on Sherdog at 0-1 (now 0-2), but I've seen videos of him winning by both KO and submission, and a saw a poster listing him as 10-6, so clearly there are fights that aren't on his record.

There's also a tremendous range is skill and dedication at the regional level. You might get some wannabe tough guy who just wants to say he was in a cage fight. Or you might get a superstar in the making whom nobody knows about just yet.

I know that my next opponent isn't either of these. Fighting since 2011, his Sherdog record is 0-2. On paper I should be a favourite given that I am 2-0. But his losses are to legitimate regional fighters, and his last fight was up a weight class at 135 against a former Battlefield titleholder.

When you're fighting an 0-2 fighter, it can mean you're fighting a wannabe who doesn't take it seriously (like when I fought this guy), or it can mean he is very hungry but has just had tough opponents. I'm assuming that it's the latter; based on his Twitter, he's in the gym, and even travelled to Montreal recently to train at Tristar under Firas Zahabi.

Every day that I haven't wanted to show up, and every day that I haven't felt like training hard, I remember that he is desperate. I think about what I would do and how I would be training if I were the winless fighter taking on the undefeated fighter. I am training like am the one who is winless. I am training for him like his record is 15-0.

I can honestly say that I have put my full 100% into this training camp. It's 12 days away, and they can't come fast enough.

It's a fight. Never, ever, underestimate anyone in a fight.