I got a link online to watch the last TUF episode, so I watched it on Monday. It’s always interesting to watch my own fights because I forget half of what happened and how it happened. My fight against Sijara was great, but since I lost, it made me feel really down. I knew I had to snap out of it since I would be fighting Barb that Friday. I tried. I’d been dieting, salt cutting, and water loading. My weight cut was going according to schedule. I got my final massage therapy from Teri and I felt great. In fact, I’ve never felt so great! I was also in great shape. I did my final set of running stairs. I reviewed the game plan with Coach John on mitts lightly. My mind was ready. My emotions were ready.
Wednesday evening, I taught my 4 o’clock kids class, and then started my weight cut by putting on a sauna suit, sweat clothes, doing cardio like jump rope and the bike, and hitting mitts with John. I had stopped eating and drinking at 3 PM that afternoon. It was hard to keep a sweat going in the cool wintertime, so I ended up doing a bath for like 15 minutes at home and losing a pound.
TUF was on that night, so I monitored my social media for people’s replies and actions. People were supportive and kind to me, about my fight, and about the fact that I wouldn’t have the title shot. Finally it was released that I’d fight Barb. Yay.
I planned to get up at 4:30 so Serena and I could go to my teammate Casey’s house. My apartment ran out of hot water quickly, so I needed a house’s bathtub to cut. The hotel rooms that were provided had showers only. WTF That was a big source of stress for me, trying to figure out where I’d cut weight. Eric and Andrew were staying at John’s so I thought there wouldn’t be a tub for me to cut in. Serena’s parent’s house’s water heater JUST broke, so they were out.
I went to bed.
2:30 AM my phone rang. I’d been leaving my phone on because my schedule was erratic and I was scared of missing a USADA drug testing surprise visit. I jolted awake and grabbed my phone. It was an unknown number.
Roxy: “…. hello…?
man: Yes, hi this is Mick, the match maker at the UFC.”
Mick: “Sorry to call at this time (something like this, I was half asleep) but ….. Sijara most likely won’t make weight. Would you like to step in and fight for the title?”
Roxy: “uh…………….. YES!!!!!! Yes!”
Mick: “So you’d have to make 125 on the dot.”
Roxy: “Yes! No problem! I mean, I know I just fought Sijara on the show but I’ll fight her again.”
Mick: “….You’d be fighting Nicco.”
Roxy: “…omg I am half asleep…. of course, Nicco. Great.”
Mick: “Haha don’t worry, I am, too. We still have to get a hold of Dana. We’ll let you know when it’s confirmed.”
Roxy: “Okay! Bye!” *squints at the clock* Omg it’s 2:30.
I was shaking from the adrenaline of being jolted awake. Then I thought, man, there’s no way she’s going to miss weight. This happens every time she fights. She’s gonna cut her hair or something and be fine. Dang it. Oh well.
It took me an hour to go back to sleep, but I got another hour in before I had to wake up to go to Casey’s.
I only did two salt baths instead of my normal four, thanks to cutting out salt earlier in the week!
Thanks Serena and Casey! Captain came to support me but I was already done. Thanks anyway!
124.5 pounds! I texted Mick the photo of my scale reading that weight, and he confirmed that Sijara was out and I was in. “Are you sure? She’s so determined to do it…” I said. “No, she’s in the hospital with kidney failure,” he wrote.
Dang, that’s horrible!! Worrisome! I hoped she was okay, but omg I was fighting for the title!??
It started to sink in. We drove to the Monte Carlo and hung out until weigh ins.
Then I found out I was getting a pay raise…. !!!
In reality, I’ve been fighting for 14 years, never really being able to support myself with my fight money. In Japan, I worked full time and saved my money. In Vegas, I lived off said saved money. I was breaking even with Invicta plus teaching kids at Syndicate. It’s like, finally, dollars are equaling the amount of effort I put into my training. Not even yet. It hasn’t even come close, if I think about dragging myself home every single day of the week. I sacrifice so much. I would like a boyfriend and a family. I would like to travel around the world. But no. I have no energy for a boyfriend, no time for kids or travel, and I have to save money because I fight so infrequently. Somebody on twitter asked me what I’m going to buy. Nothing, dude. I’m visiting my family for Christmas on the east coast. Maybe I’ll get to see them two or three times next year instead of once. I took my car Lee, a 2008 Toyota Corolla, to get his yearly maintenance that I’d been putting off for a month. That’s what I’m buying.
Anyway, that’s enough about that. 🙂
I cannot believe I forgot to use Bonny’s Ihop gift card. lol But these New York Cheesecake pancakes WERE THE BOMB!
My friends Candy and Katie traveled in from Texas and Illinois to see me and support me. <3 I enjoyed spending time with them, and having a nice dinner with them plus teammates at Fuzzy's.
I felt really really loved.
The public weigh-ins were fun. I pretended to be mad and got up right in Nicco’s face with a super aggressive face on. Dana was like, “WHOA WHOA WHOA!” and then I broke into a smile. hahaha He laughed and said, “You scared the sh*t out of me.” XD HAH
I also wore tall UFC socks with colorful Reebok socks on over top. Soxy Roxy! Dude, they won’t let us cosplay.
I was soooo tired by the end of the day. I didn’t rest at all despite doing a hard weight cut. I was running around doing extra interviews, getting my hair done, running to the dinner, and then we hurried to John’s house to gameplan for Nicco because I had no idea how to fight her. lol We watched all of her TUF fights and decided that Lauren, Montana, and Barb, all used lots of energy trying and failing to take her down, so I shouldn’t do that. I should strike with her until a take down opportunity arose, but don’t force it. I was in great shape but I’d been doing four rounds in conditioning, not five. Four to train for a three round fight, you know?
Fight day! Slept alright. Woke up, had a great breakfast. I managed to not be too nervous throughout the day. I actually felt less anxious fighting Nicco than Barb, because I had the whole “I’ve been dying for a rematch for six years!” The belt didn’t really feel real. I took a nap in the middle of the day. I spent time by myself, which I wanted.
The fight! Captain told me that he had a dream that I won by armbar.
I was the main event but thank goodness it wasn’t ridiculously late. I fought around 9:30 PM. USADA drug tested me. Warm up went well.
Then we fought.
We fought our hearts out.
Some people on the UG were saying our technique was terrible and we sucked. Another pro on twitter said “Watching two girls not good at striking bang it out is entertaining.” Oh we’re not good. That’s why in all the pictures you see clean shots landing. That’s why you see we hardly drop our hands when throwing like half the roster.
Whatever, I felt like that was my best performance. I felt I was winning on the feet. I actually took her down a few times, something with nobody else was able to do on the show, but I didn’t have enough time to work and finish the fight when it happened. Once time I was off balance and based out and that’s when she slipped her leg up for the triangle. I was like, “CRAP!” and my corner called “Thirty seconds!” I thought, “Damnit, should I try to escape and risk her getting the submission, or should I just hang on and survive for 30 seconds and probably lose the round in the judges’ eyes? If I escape I’d be on top but maybe not have enough time to finish the fight.” I took the safe route and didn’t give my all to escape. Was that the right decision?
Another time she was coming forward and I kneed her head. She ate it and took me down. She didn’t do any damage since I deflected the blows, but it looked good in the judges’s eyes. Was I wrong to knee? I could have knocked her out! Maybe she wouldn’t have gotten the takedown.
She caught a kick and took me down. Should I have not kicked? It was just one of those things.
She got the mount and side control but I escaped without damage. But it looked good in the judges’ eyes.
In the middle of the fight I heard my jiujitsu coach start calling for a take down. I did one of his striking combo suggestions and landed a nice hook. I was so excited! I don’t often land hooks because my opponents move around a lot and I’m usually chasing them. But I didn’t want to dive after her to do a takedown because she would just sprawl on me. She was back-peddling out of range really fast. Nicco is super good at defending those kinds of shots, and I was tired. Yeah, I was getting tired. Not to the point of failure yet, but I was cautious. It didn’t show at all because I was trying hard to mask it. I did things like circled, shook my arms out, did feints. But I was tired in the later rounds. It’s crazy how smooth and fluid we can be in training, but come fight time, I feel so stiff because I’m trying to throw as hard as I can.
Sometimes I couldn’t hear my corner, and when I wasn’t sure of what combo to throw, I had a moment of anxiety. Then I heard John’s voice: “Trust me that I trust you to know what to do.” And then the anxiety went away and I just did my best.
I fought SO hard. I always looked for the chance to take down but it wasn’t there. Even when I held her against the cage, she just kind of muscled me off and I knew I’d just be wasting my energy to hold her there.
I decided to try and force the takedown in the last round but then she rushed forward, I clinched, kneed, got taken down.
Then I got the armbar locked in!! I remembered Captain’s dream. OMG I’M GONNA DO IT!
I grabbed at her wrist as hard as I could, and my fingers slid inside the wrist band of her glove.
My inner voice said, “Crap, that’s an illegal grip. Roxy, you get your fingers out of her glove RIGHT NOW. Upon our honor as martial artists, you do it right, or you don’t deserve it.”
I knew I had no time to take her down, get top position, and work from there, but I tried.
I knew she would get the decision. I didn’t feel like she beat me up, you know? I thought it was really close and she got some good positions. I really felt like I could have won this fight, but stuff happened. Nicco is great. We are friends so I’m glad it was her who has good fortune. She has skill, talent, and is a good person. She also fought her butt off. Hats off to you for taking this fight, my friend.
At the moment I saw Dana wrapping it around Nicco’s waste, I thought, “That could have been me. My life could have changed.” But I knew I had to smile and carry on.
I’m very spiritually centered. I know that I gave it all I could. I conceded nothing that I could avoid. I put forth all the effort I could while fighting smart. I never took breaks despite being so tired. I trained so hard. I even got sick from over training. In my heart I was satisfied, but it still hurt so much. I knew my coaches were sad, too, so I didn’t know what to say to them. I know you’re not supposed to say “sorry.” Smile and carry on. At the end of the day, no matter how much positive thinking I tried, I lost the title fight. Part of me wondered if this would be my only chance at a title shot. Another part told me to shut up and don’t think about that, just focus on training to get stronger. Smile and carry on.
I really wanted to hand the belt to John and say, “I would have retired if it weren’t for you, and now look at this!” I was in such shock and arguing with myself internally I don’t even think I hugged John and Captain after the fight. Maybe I did. I don’t remember. Dana came up to me and said stuff like “Great fight!” etc but I can’t remember any of it. I was just trying to stand there and smile and keep it together for the post-fight interview I knew was coming. Then Daniel Cormier came up to me and put his hand on my shoulder. My inner voice said, “Hold your head up. Smile. Be proud. Show that you are strong.” He paused. The crowd started cheering.
I hadn’t even said anything yet! I smiled for real then. I felt so loved. Even though I lost, I knew the fans would still love me because I have the best fans in the world. I knew I had friends and teammates and students out there, too. I was overwhelmed with that and I was so happy at that moment.
This weekend was really stressful emotionally. I haven’t even really mentally rested from this whole thing because a lot of stuff is going on. I met with John and discussed what kind of training to focus on next to make me better. I’m excited to start, but my nose is still swollen and I got a skin infection from the cage mat, so I couldn’t even teach my kids this week yet! -_-;
I’ve had such an outpouring of love and support from fans and friends on social media. Thank you so much. It really helps me. Probably asside from my coaches, my biggest thanks goes to Serena Southpaw. She has been by my side through the whole thing. She has missed practice, missed sleep, trained with me and helped me do shark tanks, taught kids classes for me, helped me weight cut, tolerated my moods, given me hugs, offered to get things and do things for me. I don’t know what I would have done without her. I love you, my friend. You are the very definition of what a friend should be.
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