Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's Sunday evening January 22nd, 2012 and I'm sitting on my couch watching the 49er's play the Giants in the NFC Championship game.  I am winding down my training camp that I've been so dedicated to for the past 7 weeks.  Today was my last 'hard' day, and the rest of the week is all downhill.  The hard work is over and it's near time to go reap my reward. 

I have been involved in MMA for over 4 years now and I've been fighting professionally for about 3 1/2.  I have always been a hard worker.  That being said, I took it to another level with this training camp.  I can confidently say that I have put absolutely everything I have into this camp and into my preparation for this fight.  From waking up at 6:20 am most of the week for early training sessions to taking my necessary ice baths after our grueling Sunday 'fun' runs and taking beatings with 'the stick' twice a week. 'see below'

That alone will not make you a fighter, or even a better fighter.  I'm not saying sitting in tubs of ice and getting beat with a stick has made me any better of a martial artist.  But what it has done is taken my mind into a place that it needed to be, that it has never been.  At the high levels of MMA we are all talented. We are all great athletes with exceptional skill.  What separates the best from the rest is the ability  to remain mentally strong, especially when you are tired or hurt.  What those two practices have helped me with is accepting that things are not always going to go my way.  I'm going to get beat with a stick, and I'm going to have to sit in a tub full of ice, but I can't just get out or quit when it hurts or is uncomfortable.  I have to go deep inside my brain and rally that pain into something greater, into something that's going to set me apart.  This also works into getting beat up in sparring sessions by Tim Kennedy, and running miles upon miles of an unknown distance of interval sprints in a run.  I have not been allowed to slack, nor would I accept that as even possible.  I've gone the extra mile in everything I've done, every day.

Part of my drive has come not from my accomplishments and triumphs in the sport, but from failure.  I'm on a 2 fight losing streak and it does not sit well with me, at all.  It's unacceptable in my eyes.  I definitely have something to prove and when I get tired or I hurt or don't feel like continuing in training, I dig deep in my mind and find that fire. The fire to prove myself pushes me.  You've gotta have that fire. That will to win.  More importantly you have to put that fire into practice.  You can't just WANT it.  You have to prove you want it by putting in the work.  It's easy to say 'I wanna be the best', but much different to conduct yourself on a day to day basis that says and proves 'I will be the best'.  Live like a Champion! That's what it comes down to.

I've also found inspiration in 2 close friends and training partners.  Daniel Pineda and Andrew Craig, who both signed in the UFC in the last month.  Daniel just fought this past weekend and looked like the killer we all know he is and is now undefeated in the UFC.  Daniel's story is unique because just a couple years ago people had written him off after a 4 fight losing streak.  He never gave up though.  He came  back stronger than ever. He dedicated himself like never before and tore off 6 in a row all over great opponents.  He has gone from overlooked, to rising UFC star.  I find inspiration in him and am very proud of him as a friend.  Proud of both those guys equally.  No one deserves it more than they do, and I am determined in my mind to do everything I possibly can to be right there with them shortly.

It's fight week. A week where my mind changes and my intensity is at all time highs.  This week I'll go to school, do my work and continue to be excellent in all that I do. BUT I will be focused on fighting the whole time.  My weight is on point & I have done everything possible in this camp to earn victory.  Yoshiaki Takahashi has no idea the kind of animal he's about to step into that cage with.  I will be ruthless and I will go for the kill.  With all that being said, I hope you have enjoyed what's going on in my head right now. It's rather one tracked.  I want to leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the great Vince Lombardi.

"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will."

This week I get my mind right, and Saturday night, I'll be in the winner's circle.


  1. Dude ur awesome keep up the hard work, me n my husband r big UFC fans we love following u!! GOOD LUCK,this weekend!!