I had a pretty amazing trip to corner Serena DeJesus in Southern Valley Slam this Friday.
Jamie left with Serena on Wednesday, but I taught kids then, so I went on Thursday after early morning yoga. It took longer than I thought, and I hadn’t realized they were an hour ahead of Vegas, so I almost missed weigh-ins! I arrived just in time. Serena’s opponent Bridget was really nice and friendly. She was deaf so we spoke through a translator.
After weigh-ins the others ate Pho noodles (I had rice and Vietnamese style BBQ pork). Friday we had to drive an hour and 15 minutes through the canyons to the venue – the Tuscan. It makes me really appreciate Kansas city and the other places where the hotel and weigh ins and venue are so close. The scenery is nice, but I’m not so into scenery. I spent quality time with Serena and Jamie! :}
We drove through stretches of wilderness where there were no buildings or anything, so I always made sure I had enough gas and didn’t have to use the bathroom. I’ve had a lot of bad experiences in the past that I don’t care to repeat. We arrived in Price and killed time fooling around in Kmart until we could check into the new hotel.
The promotion was pretty well organized. Some nice gentleman who was somebody’s coach wrapped Serena’s hands. He said, “Can I use this cardboard?” and I saw him put it against Serena’s knuckles and then start winding gauze around it.
We had to share gloves, so Serena warmed up in her own gloves.
Jamie and I had to be serious full-time corner people because there was no cutman. I hadn’t really realized that. For Invicta and UFC, they provide the bucket, bags of ice, gloves, cold presses, towels, Vaseline, etc. They didn’t have ANY of that. Jamie told me to bring a bucket so I bought my bathroom one. I happened to have a ziplock bag by chance, no gloves, and had Vaseline in my panda bag I carry with me everywhere with my Band-Aids and mouth guard and tape. I then thought, “oh, I should have brought one of those cold compresses, or froze a spoon or something!” I thought back to when Kirik used to corner me and had to bring everything. I didn’t think enough to go upstairs to the restaurant and get a spoon. But I got ice from the bar.
Waiting is the worst! I was getting stomach trouble just from nerves. lol Finally we were up at like 10 PM. We walk out, hug, and it’s time for me to put on Vaseline. I had never done it before, so here goes. I put a blob on my wrist like I always see the other cutmen do. I used my pointer finger to put some around her eyebrows. While I’m doing it, Jamie whispers, “Put on more!” So I get a big blob and stick it on the bridge of her nose. I’m trying to smooth it and it just sticks half to my finger, so I switch to using my middle finger. XD Jamie whispered, “It can’t be blobby! But put more on around there!” and indicated cheeks. So now I’m using my ring finger and trying to spread it and put more on and it’s all over ME and I feel like I’m taking too long at this point. ^_^;;;; When I think I’m done, I kind of look at Jamie and stage whisper “Good?!” I don’t want to seem not confident. She nodded, so into the cage Serena went. My hand was a big mess of Vaseline, but I had guessed that would happen, and I had paper towels in my back pocket.
Bridget had this look of “I’m gonna F you up!” CRAZY expression on her face that was scary to ME. The second Serena threw something, Bridget lunched at her with crazy flurries, pushing Serena backwards. Serena tried to counter and circle away. The first round, Bridget pressured more. When it hit the cage, Serena did a good job of stuffing takedowns and getting off the cage. Nobody can hold Syndicate fighters on the cage! XD We train that SO much! In the second and third round, Serena played the bull fighter and managed to tag her as she came in and not be as bullied. Serena’s movement got better and better as the fight progressed, and could NOT get taken down by this girl. I’m so proud of her. Bridget was really strong and REALLY tough. All that training she has been doing has really paid off in a big way. It reminded me of when I watched Hannah’s last fight and her movement ability really showed itself. Hard work on their part, plus good coaching by John. :}
In between rounds, I TOTALLY forgot to reapply Vaseline. I was too focused on the water, stool, giving advice. I’m so sorry, Serena! Good job Jamie, my cornerwoman partner! *high five* I forgot to wipe the floor once but remembered the other two times. I think we did a good job of keeping the advice simple and calm. I tried to use the tone of voice John uses for me in fights that’s just like “Okay, Serena, you need more movement now…” rather than “MOVE MOVE MOVE MOVEEEEE!”
Thanks a lot to her sponsors, Robvark’s Aardvark Painting, The Void, and Remove it Restoration!
Serena really grew in this fight and showed growth from her training. She’s a work horse in the gym, and a becoming a pro at cutting weight and managing her diet and condition. She’s blossoming into a great fighter and it’s so exciting.
The Venue and promoters were great and treated us well! Great crowd!
Just please fight somewhere local next time. Hahaha! I enjoyed seeing a new place, but I’m very satisfied for along time. My mom told me, “Do not go over 70 because your car is an old lady!” (how dare she, it’s a “he” and he’s not that old…. Toyota Corolla 2008 with 110,000 miles) Well the speed limit was 80 so I ended up going 85 most of the way. HAH take that. Go, Lee! 😀 <3