It is Friday at my first UFC and it is weigh-in day.
Like a moron, I forgot to shut off my phone and it was ringing at 6:30 a.m. Las Vegas time. If you have ever had to cut weight then you know that this is the one day that you want to sleep in. It isn't because of how you feel ... it is because the temptations are there when you are awake.
I tried to go back to sleep but it didn't work. So I got up and had a tiny protein drink just to get that acid feeling out.
At 8:45 a.m. I went down and picked up my fight shorts from the front desk that were dropped off by my marketing manager. Then it was off to meet with Burt for the pre weigh-ins at 9 a.m. I tipped the scale at 177 pounds this morning, which wasn't too bad. Kevin [Burns] was actually the exact same weight and Burt started giving us crap about working out together.
This is the time that they also check your shorts and sponsors to make sure that they are okay. Then it was back to Kevin's room to hang out before it was time to cut weight. The reason that we went there was the fact that he doesn't have any food in his room and I do.
Plus, it is easier to suffer together rather than alone.
At 12:30 p.m. we made our way down to the spa to start cutting our weight. The spa was full of fighters cutting weight for the fights tomorrow night. Everyone has their own ways of cutting weight -- some use a sauna, others use steam rooms and some just run. I prefer to run and walk to cut my weight.
After a decent amount of time, Kevin made weight because he sweats more than I do. I guessed that I was 173 when I checked and I was exactly right. My cornerman looked at me and said, "how did you know that?" I told him that I just could tell by how my body felt.
So it was back to work. And at 2:30 p.m. I checked again and I was 171 on the dot. I went in took a shower and than went back to the room just long enough to change my clothes. Then it was off to the weigh ins
When you get to the weigh-ins there is a lot to do. You have to do your paper work for the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), then it is doctor checks, getting your gloves for the fight, getting credentials for the fights, and getting your tickets.
Yes, this is all done when you are dehydrated and not thinking clear at all. It is something that you get used to though because it is usually the same at all bigger shows. The first time you have to do it is awful though.
When everyone gets that done all the fighters go to the back and line-up for the weigh-ins. Then it is showtime: You stand there and wait for Mike Goldberg to call your name. It was pretty cool to hear him say my name after watching him call the UFC's for years.
You get to walk out in front of all the fans onto the UFC stage. Burt tells you to strip down and it is on the scale. I tipped the scales at 170 exactly. There is a ton of media snapping pictures of you ... it was awesome.
This is were I got to meet [UFC President] Dana White for the first time. What you see on TV -- that is the real Dana. It is not a show -- the guy is exactly the same even after the weigh-ins at a fighter meeting. So once you leave the stage you go behind the curtain and start rehydrating.
Once the weigh-ins are over there is a fighter-only meeting. This is where Dana and Joe Silva tell you exactly what they expect from you as a fighter.
When that was over we went back to the room for a little bit to do some more rehydrating and eating. It was pretty cool .. just Kevin and a bunch of our friends hanging out while we rehydrated. Then it was off to the buffet to eat a real meal for the first time in a while.
It was nice to eat whatever I wanted without having to worry about anything. After eating I went to check my weight and I was back up to 183.5. That is really good for me -- I usually don't get back up that high until the next day. Of course Kevin is even higher than me ... man that guy can hold some water.
Then I got a call from my marketing manager, so I got to meet him for the first time. He is extremely cool. It was nice to finally get to put a face to the voice that I always talk to on the phone. He was basically here to pick up my shorts to add some sponsors before the fights tomorrow.
Tomorrow is the show and I am excited about. This is my chance to prove to the world how good I am. Hopefully things go well and I can get my first UFC win!!!
James Giboo (11-2) is a professional mixed martial artist and Iowa science teacher who will make his Octagon debut against Brad Blackburn at UFC Fight Night 14 on July 19. He has competed extensively (and successfully) in the Midwest circuit, which has earned him a rare opportunity to now put his skills to the test against the top fighters in the world under the UFC banner. James will frequently detail his journey to the big time right here at MMAmania.com this week, providing our readers and his fans with a behind-the-scenes account of what it’s like to fight for the biggest mixed martial arts promotion on the planet for the first time. To check out more from James here at MMAmania.com click here.