Photo of Seth Baczynski by Esther Lin via MMA Fighting
Coming off an impressive victory over the tough as nails Matt Brown at UFC 139 back on Nov. 19, 2011, Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight contender Seth Baczynski has now reeled of two straight wins inside the Octagon since being called back up to the big show eight months ago.
Taking the fight on short notice, Baczynzki defeated "The Immortal" via second round submission, climbing the ranks of the UFC's 170-pound division in the process and proving once again that taking a chance and accepting a fight on short notice can pay big dividends.
So what exactly does "The Polish Pistola" go through in a training camp to prepare for his upcoming opponents? How stressful is fight week leading all the way up to fight night?
In this three part MMAmania.com exclusive series, we will dive in and see just what exactly a mixed martial artist goes through in preparation for an upcoming bout , the rigors of a training camp such as the dedication and strictness of weight cutting and the mental aspect of getting prepared to step inside the Octagon on fight night.
Check it out:"It was a really tough fight against a very tough opponent. I took the (Brown) fight on short notice, but I knew I couldn't pass it up. Once it was over, it was a relief and it was a good victory for me, not only for my career, buy it was good for my mental standpoint. He is very good at making you fight his game, and to be able to finish a guy like Matt is always a good thing."
Though Seth's upcoming fight will have been seven months from his previous one, he says his training never really stops.
"I'm constantly training. My beliefs are that fighting is a very physical sport and I don't believe you should take time off unless you're really hurt, because you're going to get hurt. You're going to break a hand, you're going to break a rib, so you gotta seize that time when you're healthy. I'm always trying to get better, whether it's with my boxing or kickboxing. As the fight gets closer, I do a lot more privates with my coaches and just go over all the scenarios that can happen and work on them."
Repetitiveness in the gym, say Baczynski, is the key to his success and the current grove he is in.
"There a little formula that I found for me that has been successful so far, so we just keep using that same formula for the last four fights. I finally understand what's going on. Growing up, as anyone can relate to, you always think you're doing the right thing until you figure out its wrong. I had been training the wrong way and things just were not working out. I changed my approach and things in my life that have changed me as a person and a fighter."
Start of a training camp:
Where's the ice cream?
Nowhere near Seth, who says he walks around at around 195 to 205 pounds and ice cream is one of his weaknesses.
"Man giving up ice cream is the hardest part for me. I sure love some ice cream so that is always tough. But, as I have been getting older and the more camps you do, it gets easier. You have to be a bit healthier, so you have to learn to be stricter and just cut things out of your diet."
Pound-packing snacks aside, Seth says apart from fighting off temptations to keep your weight down, there are many more sacrifices and changes one must make during a training camp.
"I get a bit distant from family and friends. I still hang out with them, of course, but there are times when I just want to be alone for a bit and focus on training and on winning. My wife is good at understanding that. You at times have to seclude yourself, but for the most part, I can find that balance to still hang out with friends."
Then you have the media obligations. Promoting a fight and getting your name out there is just as much of a part of the whole fight game and sometimes that interferes with your training camp. According to Seth, he has grown to understand it's all part of the game.
"When I was younger, it did bother me a bit. I just wanted to train. But as I got older, I know it is part of our job and I do not mind the interviews. All I know is that when that cage closes, it will just be me and Lance in there. There will be no media members in there, no training partners ... just me and him."
When it's time to get down to the training itself, "The Polish Pistola" says dealing with all the "monsters" at Power MMA down in Arizona is the hard part.
"Dealing with all the monsters in the gym is the hardest part. Once I get done sparring with Aaron Simpson, then a fresh C.B. Dollaway gets in there, then they throw Ryan Bader at you, and then Tim Means. They all have different styles and it's hard to stay competitive in that gym because everyone is so good. But it keeps you motivated and makes you better. I feel like I haven't even my ceiling yet. I am always striving to get better."
In part two, we will get a little deeper into what a training camp for Bazcynski encompasses as well as the homestretch and touch on the stresses of fight week as he prepares to take on Lance Benoist at UFC on FX 3. We will also discuss the rigors that accompany cutting the final pounds to make sure he's on point when he steps on the scale leading all the way up to fight night right before he steps inside the Octagon.
Seth would like to thank American Junkie, Law Office of Benjamin Taylor, Jaco, Dirtball Customs, Mental Champ, Just Do This, Lexani, and manager Jason Karpel with Elite Management Group.