My fight is official! Christmas, Star Wars

I’m fighting Maycee Barber on January 18th in the T-Mobile Arena. It got set a few months ago, and leaked almost immediately! However, I wasn’t given the official go-ahead to talk about it, even though everybody knew about it. :/ Now I can. Whoohoo. I think I’m the last fight on the ESPN prelims. I heard the show sold out the first day. WHAT?! The cheapest tickets were $200. Holy moly.

Maycee has a lot of hype behind her, and well-deserved – she’s an undefeated 8-0 and TKO-ed her last five opponents. That’s fine, though. I like her. She’s always been nice to me when I ran into her at the UFC Performance Institute, and always talks about hard work. I fully appreciate that myself, being a ‘no natural talent, achieve by hard work’ kind of girl. Apparently she’s been training since she was a kid? It makes me wonder if any of my little jiujitsu students will turn into an MMA fighter some day. I’m going to look to exploit her weaknesses, and I’ve been working tirelessly to fill in mine. I have so many things I want to do in this fight! Too many things!! Actually a personal challenge for me will be to not try and FORCE them to happen. I want it so badly….

I feel I’ve grown so much lately, and funny enough, my trainer Lorenzo told me just that the other day, that over the past six months, he’s seen me grow as a fighter and as a person more than he’s ever seen. How cool to hear that from someone I respect.

I’m the biggest underdog on the card, I think, which is normal and fine. Just bet money on me and win!

I REALLY love when news websites and people use my weigh-in pics with my awesome hair to announce my fights. ๐Ÿ˜€ I love showing my uniqueness. I’m so excited to be able to fight in the UFC.

Anyway, before I start blathering about that, let’s move on.

My Christmas holiday was AMAZING! When I booked my trip, I thought I’d be fighting February 8th, not 18th. ~_~; My coach John said maybe I shouldn’t have gone away so close to my fight, but I think I would have suffered a lot had I not. I only get to see my dad about once a year unless there’s some special family occasion, and my mom once or twice. I’m really close to them.

The whole “All I want for Christmas is you” is true for me 100%. I was wondering how it switched over from looking forward to presents and festivities, to only wanting to see my family. This morning I realized it. From when I was born until teenager years, we went to my Aunt C’s house for a huge Italian family gathering with tons of cousins and extended family. Then stuff happened and we no longer went. I was so sad and lonely over it. Then I moved to Japan and had to save up money for one yearly trip back to the States. That pain and effort made me really appreciate TIME. That family gathering was GONE, never to return. I paid dearly in dollars and effort for the TIME to travel over the ocean and through the winter to see my parents. And that’s with technical advances, not even on a boat or on a horse like in the old days. lol I came to appreciate THAT when I broke my arm in Japan and couldn’t even ride my bicycle to school….

Anyway, I digress! Appreciation, love, and gratitude became themes of my Christmas. Also my Uncle Fran passed away in February this year, and Cousin Adele, a few months after that. I miss them. Cancer is the Dark Side. I really enjoyed being with my Dad and Marion, seeing my step-siblings, meeting my new little niece, and seeing my best friend from college, Q-chan. <3

sushi with Q

I also arranged to train at Sityodtong Boston! I never like training away from Syndicate because I don’t know and trust the people. However, Jay Perrin visited Syndicate earlier this year for a Dana White’s Contender Series fight, and I sparred with him. He wore a Vegeta rash guard. ๐Ÿ™‚ I knew we had to keep in touch.

Roxy and “Savage” Jason Perrin in June 2019

So I hit him up and he agreed to come in to spar with me, and also bring some other teammates. We had a wonderful class! I loved the vibe of their team. THEY ALL WORE ELBOW PADS, something I’ve been trying to get my Syndicate teammates to do, as well! So far only Serena and JoJo wear them. Of course Sityodtong is a Muay Thai gym, so even in drilling, they were throwing elbows. I LOVE IT! It reminded me a lot of working with AJ, my Muay Thai coach and teammate.

Everybody does ELBOW fighting!! hiya! (*kung fu fighting melody*)

Thanks so much for training with me, guys! I had trained there 14 years ago, and boy, have things changed! So much growth in the gym! Two floors now?! Too bad I didn’t get to see Kru Mark, who was taking time off for the holidays.

On Christmas, I opened presents in Boston, and then drove to my mom’s in upstate New York. I didn’t think I’d be able to see my Aunt M and Uncle S on this trip, but they drove up! We had a lovely Christmas dinner together, with turkey, veggies, cranberry sauce, etc! I was so happy!! ๐Ÿ˜€ Yay family!!!!!!

Thursday, I enjoyed spending it with my mom, shopping, and just talking.

Chinese checkers

We played Chinese Checkers (on the board that I’ve been playing on since I was a kid!) This is my mom and we are much alike. Notice she has achieved ultimate Mom-Coolness factor of wearing her hat inside, and I’m wearing “The Rug,” a vest knitted by, I think my Aunt Anne? when I was born. It’s so warm! Anyway.

I arranged training in the evening, which she wasn’t thrilled about since it took time away from her, but you know, my fight and all. I didn’t think there was any MMA schools in the area because my Google Maps App never brought anything up, but when I actually searched on my computer (thank goodness I did this), I found “High Level jiujitsu Academy” in Amsterdam, right down the street from my mom’s. Um, EXCUSE ME!?!? WHAAAAAT?!?!?! omg wtheck! COUNT ME IN!

So I planned to do the no-gi class, but got there early and ended up borrowing a gi and doing the gi class, then the no-gi class, and then half an hour of open mat. lol James Fallas, the owner, was super nice and welcoming, and I was allowed to partner for drilling with another black belt instructor Matt. I was given the royal treatment. Thank you so much, guys! I would totally recommend this academy. Really nice, talented, earnest people. I loved them and can’t wait to visit!

High Level Jiujitsu in Amsterdam is indeed high level

James Fallas

Friday, I had only one flight delay of about 15 minutes, but it landed on time! WOW! SO grateful for that! Almost always I’ve had trouble with my flights out of Albany and Chicago. I made it home in time to go for a jog, stretch out (my body was soooo stiff), and do the 6 PM Muay Thai class! Jonny was subbing for AJ. Jonny has a lot of good ideas and is a pretty great trainer, too. Serena stuck around after teaching my kids class to train with me, which was really great, because I was kind of having an off day (duh, I wonder why), so I’d rather her deal with me than some random dude in class I’ve never met since I never do evening classes. Thanks, buddy! I love how you have my back when I need you.

Serena, Jonny Parsons, Roxy

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Also, I’m sponsored by Reebok for fight week so I can’t print logos on my clothes, but if anybody wants to contribute to my fight camp, here’s my amazon wish list:

It’s mostly food items.

I had a wonderful weekend full of training, a Dunham Jiujitsu lady’s party, and then I saw STAR WARS! Finally! If you haven’t seen it and don’t want spoilers, DO NOT READ after this picture.

So I thought the first half of the movie was fantastic- especially the dialogue, pace, and direction of the plot. It reminded me of the old one, like with the funny quips. Poe reminded me of Han Solo and I was wondering if they were trying to have him fit that role. I loved it. However, everything seem to annoy me in the second half. Did the writers and director play tagteam or something? I keep saying to myself, โ€œThey canโ€™t do that. They canโ€™t do that.โ€ For example inter-dimensional connections, like how Rey handed Ben the light saber, the berries, and Darth Vader mask changing locations. Also, when Luke physically touched Leia in the Last Jedi, or Rey and Ben touched hands. The Force canโ€™t do that. They never did that in other movies or in the twenty-plus Star Wars books that I read. They just made that up for this movie. I also thought the spirits can talk to living people, but not touch or effect it. They just made that up just now! Come on now! C-3PO’s memory didn’t have to get wiped because Rey got the dagger back ANYWAY. Why did that happen to Leia and also Ben? I was so happy with how Rey and Ben resolved their stuff and then that happened. I liked the plot in general, but I came away feeling disappointed in the movie, and kind of upset, actually. ๐Ÿ™ …