TUF 25 blog week 4 – Nicco vs Lauren

TUF 26 blog, episode 4

Wednesday July 26th,

I enjoyed working with Vinny today. He reviewed rubber guard with me. I forgot to write in my journal if it was a class or just private training, because we sometimes broke the class and everyone did whatever they wanted, so I often pounced on Vinny and asked him to teach me jiujitsu-y stuff. So yeah, I’m trying to use rubber guard better in MMA situations, or use it to transition, and he taught me some details. Then Luke held mitts for me. I really hate training at night. My body shuts down. When we got home from evening practice, I ate a Quest bar and was about to fall asleep, but listening to Rachael sing in the shower was nice. We aren’t allowed to listen to music, and we’re not allowed to sing either, because of copyrights or whatever. I hope this doesn’t embarrass her by saying this, but she has a really pretty voice and I took my sleeping ear plugs out to listen. haha I think the staff eventually came out and asked her to stop. :/
I woke up at 3 AM and couldn’t get back to sleep.

Thursday July 27th,

Today’s practice was great. We did hard- take-down/ get up scrambles. Team Gaethje coaches emphasise getting back up, rather than allowing yourself to get pushed back and just accepting guard. They have excellent points. “No fight is won from your back!” I actually partially disagree. If you can submit them or sweep them from the bottom, you can absolutely win. That’s definitely a wrestler’s mentality. However, they have a point. These days people are really good at defending submission attempts, and even black belts get pounded out from being on bottom guard. We got a very passionate speech by the coaches during practice. Half of us are jiujitsu girls, the other half, wrestlers. I’ve had times in training or fights where I had to make a split second decision: I’m loosing my balance and going down. Should I try and bounce back up but have to give up my back or allowed myself to get gripped in the process, and have a 50% chance of failing and getting my back taken or mounted? Or should I cut my losses, get my defensive guard position, and work for submission or sweep? It’s a split-second decision, which is made by calculating how tightly are they holding on to me as I’m going down, and can I wriggle out enough to have a high enough percentage of bouncing up before they pin me?

The stuff we were working today was specific situations that it’d be better to scramble to get back up, though, so that was fine. The faster someone can get up, the better, in general.

Today after practice, we showered, ate, hung around, and watched Nicco and Lauren fight! I had never trained with Lauren, but I knew she was coming down a weight-class, was former Invicta champion, and was in the UFC. I had grappled against her in the TUF tryouts and I like her energy. She seems like a good person.

I had no idea about her past, actually, so it was great to get to watch the episode and hear her talk about how she persevered despite hardships earlier on in life. That’s amazing.

I didn’t know Nicco that well, and hadn’t had a lot of opportunities to spar with her much yet. I enjoyed drilling technique with her. I was impressed with her ability, not only technique-wise, but the fact that she could control her power and intensity down to the percentage. If I said, “Hey, let’s go 50% power,” she could. If I said, “Hey, let’s go 33.5485%,” I’m sure she could do that, too. Hahaha It takes skill to do that. I haven’t really seen her fight so I feel like she came out of no-where, so to speak, but she is very skilled. And super nice. And slept in the bunk above me. 😀 She is Navajo, and chatted with us roommies about her home. She taught us a few words in Navajo. I walked in in the middle of the conversation, part of which got shown on TV.

They have sounds that aren’t in the English language and sound funny to our ears. I’m a linguist so I was really digging it, but everyone else cracking up was making me laugh, too. XD

So I was really impressed with their fight, especially Nicco’s kicks, cage reversals, and defense, and offence. Lauren is super aggressive and strong.

Actually, there were two fights in one day, but they split it into two episodes so they could highlight each fighter. Ariel and Montana also fought on this day. Being the Ultimate Fighter, I was going home and taking notes on everybody’s fighting style, after fights and even after practice. This is not devious – this is because I have a sucky memory. haha! Who knows if or when I’d have to fight a teammate, right? All’s fair in love, war, and the Ultimate Fighter.

Friday July 28th,

It feels like I’ve been here forever. Each day holds something new and unusual, so time perception slows down. Yesterday, I got Matt to spar MMA with me. It was fun! Thank you! He’s super skilled, the closest in size to us out of our coaches, and knows how to go hard without smashing us with power. Our coaches are such good sports.

I was pretty sore and got a good workout, but I still worried about being off my normal strength and conditioning routine. I rode the assault bike for a few rounds. I was thinking about throwing a heavy ball, but couldn’t find one the weight I wanted. And after training in class, I didn’t really have motivation because I was sore and sleepy.…