So as a few of you noticed, I competed this past Saturday night and Mania was kind enough to have a live stream of the card-thanks to Scottidog for putting the request in to the site, cause I sure wasn't going to. So those of you who watched got a taste of the 'local MMA scene', along with its oh so very entertaining commentators. So I'll give a quick rundown of the weigh ins up to the fight, and post a video for you all to critique.
Speaking of weigh ins, man do they suck. I hate them. A bunch of shirtless, dehydrated dudes sitting around trying to look tough and pretend they arent nervous. Its the most unnatural thing in the world. Espically at this level, because you dont always know what the guy you're fighting looks like. "Could it be that guy over there? Is it that guy? What about him, over there, is that the dude I'm fighting?" Sucks. I'm always so freaking edgy and nervous at weigh ins. But its all part of the game I suppose.
So I get on the scale, hit 155 right on the dot, step off, and face off with my opponent. I had heard rumors he was going to be coming in heavy, but those proved to be just rumors. He made weight, we face off, get some pictures taken, then my team, my wife and I get the hell out of there. We go eat, and finally I start to relax. Its very hard to describe what that part of this process is like for me. Sitting at that table, finally unwinding, seeing my teammates all there with me, my wife next to me, all talking about how I'm gonna do work tomorrow, how they dont have a doubt in their mind that I'm going to do my thing and get the win...its almost surreal. Knowing that all of those people are there for the sole purpose of supporting me, its comforting and daunting at the same time. Thats a lot of people to let down if things dont go my way.
So with a full belly and slightly calmed nerves we get in the car and head back home, to sleep in my very own bed the night before a fight. The first time I've ever done so, as this is the first time I'll be fighting in my own town. I wake up the next morning, go eat some breakfast, and try to relax. Time goes so ridiculously slow on fight day. 4:30 rolls around and I start packing up my gear, waiting for my teammate who is also fighting on the card to come and pick me up.
Fighters are very odd creatures. Me, on fight day, I'm the quietest guy in the room. I'm trying to focus, to not throw up, and to think about every possible direction the fight could go and how I'm going to respond when it goes there. I don't smile, I don't laugh, I don't even really talk. Other guys, they just can't shut up. They're constantly talking, laughing, joking, and trying to make others around them laugh and joke. Thats what my teammate was like. I mean, I love the kid, but a fight damn near broke out in the car on the way to the venue. 2 polar opposite demeanors on fight day in the very closed in space of a vehicle is not the best combination. Like tequila and whiskey. If I mix both on the same night bad things are gonna happen.
So we get to the venue, and sit through the millionth fighters meeting of my MMA career. Whether its your 1st fight or your 100th, the commission makes you sit through this damn meeting where they go over the rules, explain what a "downed" opponent is, what a 12-6 elbow is, and beg us not to climb the cage after a win. Well, they usually beg us not to. They didnt this time. Must have slipped their minds. Do they still do these meetings in the UFC? Anyone know? I'll have to look into it.
Meeting over, I got to the locker room, pull up a chair, and sit and watch videos and listen to music on my phone. CainTheBull's "An Indescribable Feeling" gets played 3 times during this little session. That video just sends ice through my veins every time I watch it. My gym's tape guy tapes up my hands with the commission looking on, they pull my gloves on, and I start working up a sweat. I feel good, my punches feel sharp and powerful, and the butterflies in my stomach have shrunk from the size of Great Danes to the size of Chihuahuas. But a Chihuahua sized butterfly is a pretty freaking big butterfly. Leading up to this fight, we were planning on getting taken down. We knew my opponent was a decent wrestler in high school, and that was all we knew. So I had told my coaches I wanted to take my time, I didnt want to just finish the guy right away, I wanted to get some ring experience and try to finish the fight on the feet. I actually said the words "I dont want to take the first submission I see like I have in my other fights. If I'm on the ground, I want to work back to my feet instead of submitting him." As I'm warming up, Sun Tzu's words came to my mind: "What is essential in war is victory, not prolonged operations." I look at my corner men and say "Remember when I said I wanted to take my time in there? Fuck that. If you see an opening to submit him, make sure you tell me to take it. I want to get in and get out, get paid and go home."
In our locker room, there is a clock on the wall counting down the round time of the fights that are taking place. I'm the 2nd fight on the card, and the commission calls out the first fighter from our locker room. So we sit and watch that clock count down from 5:00 to 0:00...knowing when that clock stops and resets its my turn to make the walk. This is fun. Not. The clock freezes in the 3rd round...then resets to 5:00. I know I'm getting called up soon. The commissioner comes in, says my name, and my team and I get up and start walking. I'm behind the curtain...my music starts...take my time, amping myself up...i put one foot on the stairs to walk up the walkway, and my music stops. Production crew blew a fuse. Great. I tell the commissioner I dont care about the music, I just want to walk out there. "No no, they're working on it, just have patience." Fuck you and your patience, sir. The music starts again, and I start walking.
Hoodie off, shoes off, sweatpants off, shirt off, hug, hug, hug, hug, hug, Vaseline on my face, up the stairs, quick prayer, lap around the cage, yes Mr. referee i'm wearing my cup and my mouth guard, that corner over there is the neutral one? Ok, lets do this thing.
We meet in the center of the cage, and I throw a straight right that connects clean, and i see his nose go crooked. The Chihuahuas turn into houseflies. "I can land that all night" I think to myself. I'm in the white and black shorts, my opponent is in blue.