UFC 120 Training Camp Journal – Day 8 – “MMA Sparring Begins”


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MMA Sparring Begins…

I woke up today with a little bit of a sore shoulder. It didn’t happen here; it happened a few weeks back at Joslin’s when I was trying to pull off a hip bump sweep from my guard during training. My training partner who was about forty pounds heavier than me drove into me to stop the sweep and I felt a small click inside my shoulder. One thing that experience has taught me over the years is that if something makes a sound or feels like it clicks during training, it’s best to stop even if you don’t feel any pain at the time. Did I stop? Nope; so now I suffer with a stiff shoulder every once and a while. The good thing is that I can still train hard regardless of the discomfort.

During the daytime training session today I worked Spencer through four 5-minute rounds on the hand mitts, focusing mainly on the jab but mixing in a few different body shot setups as well. He pushed through the rounds with good intensity and I can see the difference already in his conditioning level compared to last week. Come fight time, he will be a machine. That’s really the fun part about training a veteran pro fight: You know that he’s going to come to work hard every single day.

Mid-day the guys hit the weights. My shoulder was still a little bit tender so I did a few rounds of work on the heavy bag. Being here really makes me miss sparring full out; it even makes me miss getting hit in the head for some strange reason. Only a fighter would understand that statement I guess. I just have to try hard to remember how bad I felt a few years back, after my last concussion because right now I feel absolutely fine.

At night Spencer took the guys, myself included, through some great wall walking techniques that he likes to use when he’s pressed up against the cage. The movements were very slick and I’m definitely adding them to my own game after having drilled them for quite a while. After a good thirty minutes of drilling, everyone geared up for some heavy stand-up sparring –big glove style– rounds. Ten rounds later, it was time to hit the showers and head home.

Around 10:30 pm, the Reinhardt brothers, Justin and Jason invited me out to get some food. We hit up an Appleby’s where I grabbed a big, juicy and spicy burger. It was good! Afterwards we headed over to Monty Cox’s house so that Jason, who is fighting in the WEC in a few weeks, could sign the necessary paperwork to close the fight deal. It took a little longer than we had thought so we ended up staying there for over an hour. Eventually we hit the road to head back to Spencer’s place.

This is the point when things become not very fun.

Looking down at the fuel gauge we realized that we were nearly out of gas which wasn’t that big of a deal until our GPS system kept leading us back to a road that was closed for some reason or another. So we had to start guessing our way through an unlit area outside of town, our car running on fumes with no clue as to where a gas station would be. Fortunately we got lucky and ran into a highway that the guys found vaguely familiar. Ten minutes later, and really just in time, we found a gas station where we filled up and grabbed a few drinks. After that we managed to make it back to Spencer’s house, arriving sometime around 3:30 in the morning.

It’s now fifteen minutes to four and it’s good to be in bed…

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  1. Justin Reinhardt says:

    Good times;) and honored to have trained with/by you Jeff!

    • Jeff Joslin says:

      Thanks Justin. Some great memories training with you and your bro as well as hanging out in the quad city area :). Hope all is awesome!

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