My UFC 230 NYC fight experience! opinions, pictures
It’s not easy to get a fight set in the UFC, so I’m extremely grateful to my matchmaker Mick and anyone else who made the decision to offer me the fight. Thank you very much. I had REALLY wanted to fight in New York! My cousins and step brother got to come watch.
I was already on my fight-prep schedule with my physical conditioning and dieting (for the most part, although I had to diet hard in the end). I had about two weeks of training to prepare for Sijara specifically, so it’s considered “short notice,” since a full training camp tends to be 6 weeks. I made great use of that time. I made great strides in my technique training – sprawls and scrambles and getting up, or being active in bottom guard. On the first Thursday’s sparring class, everybody was taking me down and I cried because I was frustrated. Coach John worked with me all week and the next Thursday’s sparring, I was sprawling on everybody and defending well. I cried because I was so proud and happy! Training was so good!
It just so happens that during the fight when Sijara finally shot, I had switched stance so I was in the opposite stance, got surprised, and got taken down, basically making all that sprawling practice pointless. You guys didn’t realize when you were watching, but that was FAILURE of two weeks of daily effort and grind in that moment.
I was so upset. I did some good stuff from the bottom, though, so that was good. However, she did a great job of not letting me get back up.
In the second round, her head kick phased me, but it was the follow up punch that flashed me and sat me down. Suddenly everything was spinning, I was looking up at her, and trying to do anything. I think I recovered well, and it was in that round I got my takedown reversal and got on top. I could not pass her guard. I was still rocked, fighting on instinct. Later in the back room, we chatted and she said, “Man, you were going for a leg lock!” Haha You thought that, right? I was going for a “omg do anything to stop her from hitting me”- lock.
In the third round, I felt slow because I was rocked a few more times. I felt sloppy. It was my not best performance, and I am a little embarrassed. I’m sure critics are going to piece up my striking technique again. However, I did my best with the body I am inhabiting, and the physical state I was in. One of my teammates said I fought “valiantly,” and I think that’s a pretty good word to describe it.
I landed some great punches on her, and she was like, “Oh, is that a fly?” and she landed on me, and I was like, “Oh, was that a bulldozer?”
I really feel that she needs to move up to 135 lbs. She had made 125 and 126 previously, but by almost dying. She even had organ failure once!! It’s not fair to us who have to fight you having missed weight. You know I’m not saying that because I’m just bitter I lost…. you guys know me, I honestly care about Sijara. I want her to be healthy and safe….this is already not a safe sport. Please…don’t die. People have died. People drop weight divisions to have an advantage over other people. That’s the reason- so we can re-hydrate and be heavier and stronger. I do it. I cut ten pounds of water. That means I’m 135-ish when I fight. She had said she cut 20 pounds. So that means, if she weighed in at 127.5, she was at LEAST 147.5 pounds or more…. that’s two weight classes up. I can’t help but be a little upset for myself, and sad when I see her so happy she won. I knew she’d be stronger than me anyway. She can take a punch and has good technique no matter how much she weighs. I don’t want the whole weight thing to be on my mind as a factor.
And I know it’s not because she’s not trying. Fans are piecing her up online, telling her to go run and she’s fat and lazy and all that. No way! That’s not it at all! I KNOW she’s training hard. I SEE her post pics of “lettuce sandwiches” and healthy stuff on Instagram. She’s strong willed. She cut her hair off for goodness sakes. It’s her body not cooperating. So please, girl, listen to your body, although I’m sure you are tired of people telling you what to do.
It’s a hard situation because I accepted the fight and all consequences going in. I knew she was going to be stronger and I had to win anyway, but I couldn’t. That is on me. That is my responsibility. I don’t blame anybody for that except myself. When you step in there, no matter if you are secretly injured or whatever state you are in, you have to win anyway. Super heroes are usually tired after fighting through lackeys before they fight the main boss. You have to WIN ANYWAY.
I just couldn’t. However, she had an advantage on top of that strength advantage she already had. Nobody has hit me harder than she has. In the third round, I wanted to just pressure and bum rush her forward, but I couldn’t stand and bang. Who knows if it would have been different if she weighed ten pounds less? I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not. As a fighter, I can’t make excuses for myself…. I’ll just tell myself that I lost because I couldn’t succeed, so I have to TRAIN TRAIN TRAIN!!!
I’m going to take responsibility for my loss. But I’m going to take this opportunity and state another opinion I have:
I STRONGLY believe the penalty for missing weight should be applied to the actual fight. Who cares if you lose a few thousand dollars if you can have an advantage in the actual fight? Just like in Japan, those who miss weight should start out with a red card, a loss of a point in a round, I believe. Money doesn’t effect the fight – a point does.
Someone I respect told me that it’s better to be loved than successful. Well, who knows. I’m tired of everybody’s “oh it’s okay” or “you win or you learn” speeches. It’s not okay, and my career took a hit. I’m heartbroken and done thinking about this. I KNOW that the faster I get back to training, get stronger, and leave the current me behind who loses, I can create a new, stronger me, who will win. This is how I deal.
GET STRONGER! MORE TRAINING. ALL THE TRAINING. More physical training! More jiujitsu! More kickboxing!
SO…. it’s healthy to acknowledge what’s bothering you and not keep it stuffed inside, but my mom always taught me to end my thoughts with positive things, so now I’m going to talk about the amazing parts of my trip and fully relish them in the forefront of my mind.
Coach John and Mike Pyle, two men I love and respect, made the effort to come corner and support me in New York. Thank you to infinity. It made me so happy.
I got to participate in media day, and interviewed by lots of cool journalists, including Ariel.
There was a sign with my name on it! HOW COOL!
My friend Katie “Bad Wolf” Spoo traveled from Illinois to hang out and support me. <3
My cousin Alison and her daughter Pia Rose were able to meet me for dinner at Hurley’s Saloon after weigh-ins! That was so fantastic! And I met my fan-friend Yoshimi, who brought her husband! It was fun speaking Japanese with her! 😀
Weigh-ins were so epic and went just as I had hoped! I powered up, and then at the end of my scream, John came up behind me and put my blue wig on.
Incidentally, I may have looked like Goku Blue, who is the next level to Super Saiyan. 🙂 But it could just be a blue wig. I like wigs. And they are easy for to get Reebok approval.
Man, people cheered so loudly! It was so exciting!! And I heard people in the back CHANTING, “Blue! Blue! Blue!” So I pointed to them! And somebody took a cool picture!
😀 ooomg it was so cool! (They boo-ed Sijara, which was sad because I hate booing, but made me feel loved)
My step brother and his wife Megan were able to come to my fight from near Boston!
and my fighter buddy Jessica Borga flew in to watch, too. Thank you!
Do you know the science experiment with the rats? Scientists made two rats fight, and then isolated the loser. It died after a week. Then they did a second experiment where they put the loser back in with the group, and within a week, it started acting normally again.
All the love and support of my friends, family, coaches, fans, and random people I’ve been running into in the super markets on the street are healing me. So many people cheered for me as I stumbled out of the arena and wanted to slap my hand. I may not be on my way to a title shot anymore…. I may not be in the winning column anymore, but I have to much to be grateful for and happy about. I am happy. I’m The Happy Warrior thanks to being strong enough to smile if I don’t feel like it, and recognize all the love surrounding me. I think it was John’s mom Mary who said it: it’s better to be loved than successful. Maybe she was right. <3
Love you all. Thanks!
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