Fight Island 3 – Fight hotel?! Wining and losing every day

Man, it’s too long between my blog posts.

These past few weeks have been hard, but at least I have an exciting, adventurous life that I won’t regret. I think the last time I wrote was Dec 29th.

Christmas and New Years were amazing because I spent them with Chris. We saw Adam Hunter’s comedy show on New Years Day, and it was hilarious. I love Adam.

It’s been so cool to be able to train with Chris. I’ve always wanted a guy I could do jiujitsu with, and he’s perfect because I can’t beat him up but I also don’t get beat up. I like that we are similar in size and can challenge each other in different ways. I taught him a gi choke and he taught me leg lock stuff. It’s everything I always dreamed about! ^_^

He help me drill game-plan moves and prepare for my fight on Saturdays. Fun and business. It’s truly wonderful.

The sale on my condo got finalized and I gradually drove car-loads over little by little, saving my big move for after my fight.

Finally came time for my fight. How was Abu Dhabi? I dunno, I never left the hotel.

I felt super prepared, supported by my coaches, and ready to go. I didn’t really want to go to Abu Dhabi but tried really hard to think positively about it. I tried really hard. REALLY hard to be grateful for this opportunity, excited about fighting, etc.

It sucked just as much as I feared it would. I hope I didn’t put negative energy out into the universe to make it happen that way, but it was ridiculous how much it happened as I hoped it wouldn’t.

I do have to say, the UFC staff tried really hard to make things as smooth and pleasant as possible. Thank you UFC.

The flight over was actually great. It was my first time in business class! I loved that. Upon arrival, the scene was very bizarre. All the hotel staff checking us in were waring hazmat suits. We had to get three covid tests in consecutive days in a row, which I thought was kind of unnecessary. Especially since I have ANTIBODIES…but rules are rules. JoJo came with Coach John for her fight, so I asked Guns if he would room with me so we could do some kind of training. We had to be locked in the actual room for 48 hours in quarantine. They gave us two mats, but it was only enough space to stretch. We couldn’t do any kind of actual training. We drilled jiujitsu a bit and he taught me stuff, which was nice. That was valuable. I jumped rope and did burpees. It really stressed me out how I had arrived 10 days before my fight and had more days to worry about keeping up my cardio. Usually I have my last conditioning session with Lorenzo 7 days out and do upkeep a few days later, but now my schedule is all screwed up. I kept telling myself it was fine. Just do burpees. I also propped open my door and did sprints and jogging in the hallways. Nobody came and stopped me. I learned that one from the Ultimate Fighter. -_- *facepalm*

I also brought my own laundry detergent because the hotel would wash three items every day for free for us. So 1) shirt 2) shorts 3) spandex compression shorts 4) bra 5) panties. Not enough. I did the math.

Finally we were allowed to walk around the hotel, and I felt like I was constantly sitting in restaurants watching all my coaches eat. There was nothing else to do, so everyone sat at the tables and chatted after meals. It sucked. I was stressed about my weight because I was heavier than normal and wasn’t able to move around like I normally do during the day. I kept telling myself it was fine.

The staff kept giving us chocolate. They made this chocolate model! It was really cool! and delicious. I kept taking a few bites out of the cage a day but then got stressed out I would gain weight so gave it to Danny, my manager.

The figures had my and Viviane’s faces!

So when Guns held mitts for me, we kicked aside the mat so we’d have more space to move. I kept stomping my heal to throw a straight, and afterwards my heal hurt SO much. Like, it got injured. I was limping for the next several weeks. It still hurts. I thought the heal pad was thick, but something got hurt. It feels okay when I wear shoes or some kind of padding, or if I’m on the mat, but I can’t walk around on a hard floor anymore. wtf

Anyway. Speaking of Guns, he really really had my back throughout this whole fight camp, during fight week, and also afterwards. Words can’t express my gratitude to him. I always try to tough things out and in the end, we’re in the cage alone, but he lifted me up when I felt uncertain, nervous, or crushed afterwards. I’ll never forget that. Thank you. I wish I could have done more of what you taught me, but I tried my best.

might as well sign the Fight Island 3 wall!
Team Syndicate

John helped me prep for this fight really well. He was beside me during my whole camp. I felt great. I made weight alright, thank goodness, and my sleeping schedule got adjusted well. Thank goodness I didn’t have to fight at an odd time in the morning.

The weigh-ins went really well. I liked Viviane. She fist bumped me respectfully after we faced off. I dressed up and I thought I rocked my outfit. I was very pleased. Even Israel “Stylebender” commented on my instagram post, “I like your ninja way.” Hahaaa *fangirl* and Viz Media’s official account also commented. wow.

Hmm she’s taller than I thought. Her stats said she was shorter….I prepared for someone Valerie’s height.

So the fight happened and I was not pleased. Turns out the height difference means reach difference. I had planned on being able to stay just out of reaching using movement, but turns out she was countering EVERYTHING I threw. Everything. Her footwork was better. Dang strikers.

And when I realized this and stopped throwing, she stopped throwing. When I was like, “Well, okay, here I come” she just countered. Really hard. It really sucked. And when I got a hold of her, she slipped out like a slippery fish. She had an excellent game plan and I couldn’t catch her. Round three I knew I was losing and decided to walk through all her punches to try and catch her. I couldn’t. I ate it all. She was always respectful to me, so I can’t be mad.

Just depressed.

Fans and people around me always tells me that it’s fine, just a bad day in the office, I’m a warrior, blah blah. I’m very grateful for fans’ support and message. I would probably be lonely if nobody wrote to me, but lots of people try and convince me that it’s okay. Maybe just say “Thanks for the fight!” I know my job is to entertain the masses. However, I give my heart and soul every day and in the fight. I felt so sharp, so on point, and my best was not good enough to win. It’s devastating spiritually. Maybe not all fighters feel the same way I do. I think everybody is different. I take it really hard. *shrug* I guess that’s me. And you know me, I always write exactly how I feel so you guys know what it’s like, not so anyone feels sorry for me.

Figuratively, yet another spear piercing my heart that will never come out. The bleeding will stop and scars will form, but that pain of a loss of a fight is the worst thing I’ve ever felt and stays with me always. I still feel the pain from my previous losses, and I just try and not think about them. Every fight is different. I try and smile but when I fail to, does that mean I haven’t mastered the art of being a happy warrior? I can’t believe I found a picture online that symbolizes this concept.

Guns had to stay in Fight Hotel and corner JoJo for her fight unexpectedly, so I had to travel home by myself, which was one of the things I was worried about which came true. My right eye was swollen shut. I kept bumping into things. Well, at least I had one good eye, and at least I didn’t have anything broken. I mustn’t be a baby. A fellow female fighter got KO-ed AND broke her arm. That would have sucked. I wish her a speedy recovery from that. At least I could lug my three heavy suitcases even though it wasn’t pleasant. At least I didn’t have a concussion.

I had to get stitches over my right eye. It was the first time in my 48-fight career I needed stitches after a fight. I guess that’s a nice record. It was torture, though. Right after the fight, I know the emotions take like ten minutes to set in, so I wanted to hurry back to the locker room. But no. I had to get checked out by the doctor. He felt up my face and thankfully nothing was broken. But they made me lay down on a cold table and wait…why? Wait. WHY?!? For the doc to stitch me. Okay, cool. Waiting. Waiting. waiting. WTF WHERE IS HE it’s been like THIRTY MINUTES. So I lay there crying, wanting to scream for like an hour. It was terrible. but at least I got free treatment and they did a good job of stitching my eyelid. At least they were nice to me. But I wanted to go somewhere in a corner so my cornermen wouldn’t see me have a f*cking embarrassing emotional breakdown. They have feelings, too, and are probably sad I lost. I don’t want to make it worse on them, but no. Finally the doctor came and gave me stitches, which was embarrassing because I couldn’t stop crying the entire time. fml

Anyway. Nothing’s broken. The world hadn’t exploded. My opponent was a good person. I didn’t get knocked out or finished. I got paid. My coaches said they were proud of me and have a boyfriend who loves me. Said boyfriend picked me up at the airport and lent me his glasses because I looked monstrous. I mean, he said I didn’t, but I wanted them.

Lorenzo once said, “Having someone in your life is more important than winning or losing a fight. You’ll see. Having someone to come home to is major.”

I see. Being with Chris turns the volume down on all the problems in my life. I look at him and smile. Neither of us have to say anything. He is the perfect drug.

Life continued and he took care of me. My eye finally opened up again, and I proceeded to set up my move. Thank you Jeslen, Erica, the Bakhshi crew (Serena, Brandon, Billie), Lorenzo, Kris, Sasha, and Josh for helping me move my stuff!!

Chris’ friend Gilbert dropped by suddenly so I’ve been enjoying hanging out with them for a week.

My face still hurts a lot so I haven’t been training. Actually this week was the first time I did a little jiujitsu. I haven’t really felt like it. I got kneed in the sternum before my fight and it still hurts.

We went out for Mexican and Yaki Niku!

Also the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay!

Gil sniped some pics of us. <3 It’s been cool getting to meet Chris’ friends. I’ve introduced him to a bunch of mine.

I finally feel moved in. I unpacked a lot of boxes. It’s Thursday and weird to not be sparring. Thursday is my favorite day.

Here’s what I got so far! Today, I unpacked, watched some Attack on Titan, did chores, and now I’m trying to answer the 100 unanswered emails that I’ve let go for a month. I get to teach kids BJJ. I’m still really down, but life is good. I’ll probably be able to train next week, which is more than a lot of people can say. I’m very grateful for everything I have. Still so happy to be in the UFC, and I’m going to train to become stronger so I can win my next fight. A saiyan always gets stronger after a defeat. Goku, Naruto, and Luffy don’t win every battle.

Thank you to everyone who follows my journey and supports me. You know I never really hide anything about me or my feelings, for better or for worse! So sorry if I can’t always be the Happy Warrior. I’m not perfect but I always try my best.

Kids BJJ coach and my mentor Rick Davis said to me, “We win and we lose every day. You know that!” Interesting and true! We keep fighting.

Another thing. Armin said it to Eren in Attack on Titan. “I’m not losing. Because I don’t run away.”

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