UFC 120 Training Camp Journal – Day 27 – “MMA and a Gyro for Lunch”


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I ended up waking up around 9:30 this morning. After grabbing some food, we hit the gym for the first training session of the day. I think Spencer is sitting around 175 lbs. today so we’ve got to train hard to help him drop some more weight. Diet will also be critical at this point for him so he’ll have to stay on point by eating really clean.

At the gym, I put Spencer through his toughest pad workout to date. Seven 5-minute rounds with a 30 second break in between each. We worked boxing and Thai techniques and I had him punch out the final round by working non-stop for an entire two minutes. He’s looking really good; hitting with more leverage all the time and really starting to turn his hips into every one of his strikes.

After training I slipped out to a restaurant with Eric –one of Spencer’s students– to grab a gyro sandwich. I had been craving one for over a week and the thing turned out to be as good as I had imagined! I try not to eat too much food in front of Spencer as I don’t want to throw him off of his own diet. I still remember the time when I was getting ready for a fight and my coach kept eating big, thick Wendy’s Frostys in front of me during our long drive to the fight. That really sucked! I’m trying my best not to put Spencer in that same position. That being said I needed to eat the Gyro so I did, but I made sure to do it discreetly.

Spencer is at the doctor’s office right now. When he gets back we’re hitting the pavement for another run…Be back soon.

Running for nearly 40 minutes we kept a good pace but didn’t push too hard because there was still another training session to follow.

With not much time before the final workout of the day, after getting home I quickly grabbed a small meal –cottage cheese and pineapple– and packed up my training bag.

At the gym, my job was to watch and coach Spencer while he sparred. For five 5-minute rounds he worked with the same partner although we did change up the focus during each of those rounds. The first three were pretty much regular sparring. The last two however Spencer worked on his defensive movements and jabbing skills and for the entire last minute of the final round I had him and his training partner work body shots only. I absolutely love finishing sparring rounds with that body shot drill because it promotes aggression, intensity and toughness and you can really throw some solid shots since you don’t have to worry about punches to the head. it’s a great exercise to condition the midsection of a fighter.

Ryan Farhat, Spencer’s sparring partner throughout the workout, commented on how it was a lot harder to land strikes on Spencer. As a coach that was great to hear and seeing Spencer successfully pull of some of the combinations we’ve been working on was awesome as well. I look for Spencer to land some solid body shot during his fight and maybe if things work out for the best, he puts this kid out with a perfectly timed spinning back fist. He’s really been hitting hard with that strike!

I just called home and my son answered the phone. Man, I miss that little guy. He’s up late since my wife headed out to bingo with one of her friends. I’ll probably wait up to talk with her then it’s off to bed. This weekend, on our day off, Spencer might be taking me out hunting. That should be interesting…

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