Archive for September, 2008

Sep
30

What makes an exciting fighter?

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In my eyes, an exciting fighter is one who has a well-rounded skillset, works hard to finish a fight and shows a lot of heart and/or toughness. A fighter that can take a beating, then turns things around and pull out the win is the type of fighter I love watching. All fighters are great when they are winning, but some, when they face any resistance or adversity seem to crumble under the pressure.

Anderson Silva, Chris Leben and Clay Guida are a few of the fighters I enjoy watching the most.

What do you think makes a fighter exciting?

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Sep
28

Outside the Cage – #2

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Walking into the restaurant, I worked my way to the bar through a thick crowd of people. I asked a waitress behind the bar if my food was ready yet. She shook her head, signaling that I’d have to wait a little longer. Taking a seat at the bar, I felt a few people glancing at me from various spots in the room. It was common for me to catch people staring, during the week following most of my fights, when the bruises on my face were still fresh. The looks I was getting this time were different though; they lasted longer, and were much more obvious. I looked up and began watching some sport highlights on a huge television mounted on one of the walls as I waited for my take-out order to be ready.

A week earlier I had been in San Diego, inside an octagon shaped cage, fighting in front of five thousand screaming marines at Miramar Air Force Base. Something like two million viewers were also watching Josh Koscheck and I battling it out, from the comfort of their own homes.

The trip to this restaurant had been my first time out in public since I had returned from California. My first few days back were spent relaxing around the house, talking with friends and hanging out with my family.

After a few minutes the waitress came out from the kitchen, with three or four bags filled with food. Reaching for my wallet, I tried to remember the cost of the food — they had told me over the phone — and figured it to be around one hundred dollars. I had ordered enough for the five or six people that were waiting at my house for me to return.

The waitress handed me the bags and as I attempted to give her my money, she said “No charge”. A warm smile appeared on her face. I felt a puzzled look cross my face as I tried to make sense of what she had just said and done. The girl must have noticed my confusion, because she shouted “The manager says great fight!”. Pausing for a moment she continued “The place was packed that night for the fight, thanks a lot”. I smiled, thanked her and turned to leave when I was approached by a few other people, the same one who had been glancing over at me minutes earlier. Some said kind words about the bout and many asked when my next fight would be. One man tapped me on the shoulder.

“I was so proud to see Hamilton, Ontario on the T.V screen” he said with a smile and thanked me for making that happen.

It really felt awesome to have them show their support that night through many kind words and the free food was a nice touch also :). I also realized something great; When I’m fighting, it’s not only me, my friends and coaches that feel the excitement, nervousness and thrill of the moment, those same feelings are felt by many other people in my community, people who maybe I’ve never even met before.

I really hope that I can put the concussion problem behind me, work my way back into fight shape and get back in there and get back to business.

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Sep
28

Paradise Warrior Retreat

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I spent most of the last two days at the Paradise Warrior Retreat in Toronto, Ontario (http://www.paradisewarriorretreat.com/). A few days ago, I was invited to attend the camp, which was bringing in several martial artists from around the world to teach techniques to fans and martial artists looking to learn.

Middleweight fighter Damian Maia, former UFC champ Mat Serra, 9x world kickboxing champion Rob Kaman, Bas Rutten, Renato “Babalu” Sobral, Chris Horodecki and David “The Crow” Loiseau all attended the event, some as guests and a few taught training sessions.

I’ve known Dave Loiseau, a great guy, for many years. We both used to fight in the TKO MMA organization. It was great to see him, and to meet the other fighters and fight fans, at the event. Rick from Fight Planet (www.fightplanet.ca) was also on hand sellin some great fight wear.

Overall it was a great weekend. Well, great until I locked my keys in my trunk…that SUCKED!

Categories : Randomness
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Sep
22

Back from a Buffalo Bills game…

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I went with a bunch of friends to the Buffalo Bills game today. Man that place is crazy! I’ve only been to a few football games in my life — I’m Canadian…so it’s been mostly hockey games in the past. — but I had an awesome time.

We went to the tailgate party, which was in a monstrous parking lot a block away from the stadium, a few hours before the game started which was packed with thousands of fans, actually they were more like SUPERFANS. Most wore jerseys, many others were fully painted in Blue and Red(colour of the Bills) and I saw at least a dozen license plate #’s with the word “Bills” in it. Everyone was pounding back beer as they stood on top of their customized “Bills” trailers, fired up their barbecues or pissed on the ground beside their vehicles.

The Bills were playing the Raiders and not one of the people who invited me to the game told me not to wear black, so I work a black hoodie with white writing on it. When I got there some guy, ran up to my face and started screaming “Booooooo!”. It took me a second to realize that he thought my hooded sweatshirt was a Raiders sweater. I had to deal with heckling a few times during the day. At one point some fat guy stumbled past me, smacked me on the shoulder and shouted “You suck!” as his beer bounced in and out of his cup. Good times.

The game was great, with the score very close right till the end. Half of the time I spent watching the game, the other half, watching the fans. It was awesome!. Three or four people nearby, were kicked out for throwing beer and one guy smacked some guy in the head for grabbing his girlfriend’s ass. The group of ten fans or so sitting in front of us, wearing capes and face paint were so drunk that they looked like zombies and probably couldn’t even tell you who won the game.

Overall it was a great day. I only had a beer or two at the game. Mainly because on Friday I went out with a few of my friends and had a few drinks too many. Man, it was fun night!

I didn’t feel my best physically during Saturday’s BJJ training, but technically I felt surprisingly good. Sometimes when I’m hung over, tired, or not at my best, my training goes really well because I tend to wait for the right time to attack rather than forcing the movement I’m looking to do. When my energy is low and my heads pounding I really tend to relax out there :).

Also, I want to send a huge congrats out to Alex Ricci who won the Canadian 8-man qualifier for Contender Asia (Thai Fighting) by winning three fights in one night. Nice work, looking forward to seeing the tape.

Categories : Randomness
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Sep
19

2 A.M – Just woke up…

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I think my body is going some type of withdrawal. I just woke up and nearly ate everything in the fridge! I’ve been back on a good diet for the last short while which caused me to drop a few pounds already. I’m sitting at around 198 now and I’m feeling way better than I did two months ago.

My jiu-jitsu and submission wrestling training has been going great. It’s strange but I feel more technical, smooth, and relaxed on the ground than ever before. After nearly a year off, it doesn’t make much sense but I think my improvement is due to the fact that during my time off, I’ve been teaching a ton, breaking down the movements for students, building curriculums, reading books and keeping my mind busy while my body was healing.

I know there have been some studies on the power of visualization and it’s been proven how important and effective it can be for many people. I definately agree, based on how good I’m feeling even after such a long layoff.

Well, I think I’ve ate enough food for the night, time to go puke it up, just joking. I’ll just have to train twice as hard in boxing class tommorow. Have a good night.

Categories : Randomness
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Sep
17

OUTSIDE THE CAGE – #1

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Several months after my fight with Josh Koscheck, I was out with a few of my friends at a bar in Hamilton. We were having a good time, and three or four drinks later things an even better time. I was working my way through a crowd of people when I noticed two monstrous guys standing ahead of me. As I started to walk by the two giants, I notice that both of them were staring directly at me. It was the type of stare that I don’t usually experience, the “I’m gonna punch your face in” stare.

Immediately after passing by, I tossed my beer bottle, which was still three quaters full, onto the bar. In the past I’ve had to fight one time after drinking way too much and let’s just say I didn’t bring my A game. B game was enough to survive but I’ll save that story for another OTC post.

Back to this story. I scanned the bar for my friends and spotted one of them. Reaching him I quickly told him about what was happening and for some strange reason he kept drinking. The two guys who had been staring were now looking over at both us, through the crowd as we talked to each other.

Normally I might not have noticed or not really worried about it, but these guys were huge! I wasn’t going to have another drink while they were there just to be safe. Several hours later, the bar closed and the bouncers were moving everyone towards the main door. Myself and two of my friends stepped outside onto the street and looking at the those two others in my group I noticed that neither was in any shape to fight off anyone. Both were staggering a bit and were quickly distracted by any good looking and no so good looking girl that walked by.

During the final hour we spent inside the bar, I hadn’t seen the two large guys at all. Now outside, I looking around, I spotted the two of them, about 10 feet away from me, still staring directly at me!

I thought to myself. The night was over, I had no fun at all, and now I have to defend myself against these two @#$%&*@ guys.

The two guys approached me slowly. I kept my distance, staying just outside the range where either of them could punch or kick me. One of the guys raised his hand quickly placing it in front of me, palm open with his thumb turned upwards. He yelled “Big Fan!”. What!?!? I thought to myself as I tried to grasp what was happening. The guy just wanted to say hi. I felt relieved and smiled as I shook his hand. We talked for a few minutes about mma then the two guys left and I headed home.

It wasn’t the best night but I guess it’s better to prepare for the worst just in case. Next time someone stares at me like that I think I’ll finish my beer.

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Sep
17

New Topic – OUTSIDE THE CAGE

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I’m going to post some storys about the funny (and not so funny) things that I’ve experienced before and after my fights. Whether it’s on the street, at a bar, in training, on an airplane, or anywhere else other than in a cage or in a ring, I’ll let you know about it. I’m calling the topic – OUTSIDE THE CAGE.

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Sep
16

Great Day Today….

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Just got up from Monday night mma class…Had an awesome training session. Started off with a good 10 minute stretch followed by some ab work. My conditioning level is getting a lot better lately.

I focused on a important position tonight, when you’re on your back and the opponent is standing over top of you trying to pound you into the canvas. We started with how to control from the bottom to safely keep the top fighter away. Then we worked a few styles of up kicks from the bottom and followed up with a combination into a single leg takedown. After that we rolled for three five minute rounds with small gloves and very light strikes. I had the class do a final 5-minute conditioning round to end the class, which really tested them but they managed to finish. It was alot of fun.

This morning I headed out to Mississauga to train with my striking coach Vito Brancaccio . It was only my second time back with him in a long time but it felt great to hit the pads again. I actually don’t feel too bad even after such a layoff, especially after Vito cleaned up a few little things. There is a difference between knowing all of the details of a move and having your muscle memory finely tuned to nail them all perfectly. It should take me a month or two to get everything sharp again. In a few weeks I’ll video tape one of our workouts so you can check it out.

Overall I had a great day of training and it feels great to be doing it all again.

Oh yeah, I filmed some video from the Sub-x tournament on the weekend and will put it up here soon.

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Sep
13

Heading to the Bravado BJJ open…

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Sitting here drinking a protein shake, I just realized one thing. The only good thing about being injured is the fact that you can eat some food other than sweet potatoes, chicken breasts, oatmeal and all the other boring stuff I eat when training hard. Now that I’m getting back into shape, I’ll definitely miss the chicken wings and pizza but most of all I’ll miss the lucky charms in the morning :). Damn, those are good. Everything’s good though, getting back on track eating wise has given me alot more energy already.

I’m about to head out to referee at the Bravado open. When I get back I’ll update you on how things went..

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Sep
11

New Training Tips Section!

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Click on the Traning Tips tab to check out the new page I’ve added. I will be regularly posting striking, groud work, and takedown tips that will help M.M.Aers and other martial artists with their training. Hope ya like it.

Categories : MMA Training Tips
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