UFC jitters: Fact or fiction?

ufc cage
According to feedback from several fighters, stepping into the Octagon for the first time can be a nerve racking experience -- it often doesn't matter if a he has been a pro for five years or 15.

The truth of the matter is that a UFC debut can apparently psyche out even the most grizzled veterans.

Here's some perspective from UFC fighters past and present via the The Peterborough Examiner on the feeling:

"I fought two great big guys in that tournament. The first guy was 300 pounds, the second was about 290 ... I remember being about ready to piss my pants walking into that cage. I wasn't sure if I wanted to climb the fence and run or stand in there and fight."

-- Randy Couture

"It was an amazing experience. I was so nervous. The thing just went well but I didn't fight the fight I wanted to ... I made a lot of mistakes, but the important thing for me was that I won. That's all that matters."

-- Georges St. Pierre

"... he had never been as nervous going into a bout, noting how he was not used to seeing himself on billboards around town."

-- Rampage Jackson

"He [Pat Miletich] had been right that this was a fight like any other fight, yet the consequences would be huge."

-- Matt Hughes

"I knew at my age I wasn't going to get overawed with nerves. What I wasn't prepared for was I was just so excited whenever I was in there. I didn't relax when I was throwing the shots. I just realized when it was too late, 'My God, how can I be tired after the training I've done.' But I was. I was just so uptight... Over here I would be sort of more known for how cool and how calm I am when under pressure. But I just got carried away, the Belfast crowd going wild."

-- Colin Robinson

"It is an entirely different experience than any other fight show I've ever been in, anywhere in the world.... It was a strange feeling walking out in front of all those people. I felt very, very much like I didn't really belong ... You're completely in awe of everything going around you and, for myself anyways, the first time I just didn't feel like I was prepared for it."

-- Joe Doerksen

Good luck to Jason Day, Cain Velasquez and Brad Morris -- all three fighters will be making their respective Octagon debuts at UFC 83: "Serra vs. St. Pierre 2" less than one week from today at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, on April 19.

It sounds like they might need it.

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