8 Weeks To Embrace The Grind Part 3
So it’s the final week, it’s fight time! I am fit, strong and ready to fight. But now the toughest week comes as I have to make weight first and I am currently 75.5kg but I need to hit the scales at 70.3kg. This is an easy and safe cut with water loading and carb depletion. Secondly I have to travel… I hate flying! I am scared of heights and I always manage to pick up a cold or something from the plane. As for the fight my mental game is strong I know I have put the hard yards in so that is something I don’t need to question.
Monday morning of fight week I wake up at 7:30am ready for work.This week’s eating plan is very different to a normal plan and I must stress this is not a long term thing. This is one week only to make weight without having to do a really hard weight cut in the sauna and salt bath the weigh in day like many fighters do. I have reduced sodium to nothing and I have also changed my BCAA’s to Humo Pro for this week, have cut protein shakes and all other supps other then carnatine.
Breakfast is 200grams of roo and my long black coffee.
Today over the course of the day I must drink 8L of water and I have been doing this since Saturday.
I do my final strength session for the fight prep with just my big lifts only keeping my strength movement but not stressing the body too much.
After training I have 150grams of chicken breast, and 1 cup of sweet potato and 1 cup broccoli.
Pre training meal is 200grams of my turkey mince that I make.
7:30-9pm MMA is revision on everything we have covered making sure it’s all in the memory bank for Saturday, 8 week’s worth of work revised rep after rep. All this worst case scenario stuff is sitting in my head well. Lets hope I don’t need it but if I do I’ll be ready.
Home time and after training I have 150grams of chicken breast, 1 cup of sweet potato and 1 cup broccoli. As you can see there is not much variety or fun in this week.
10:30pm bed time.
Day 2 Tuesday-Wake up at 7:30am. Today is my last day of water loading with 8L of water again.
Breakfast is 200grams of chicken mince.
8:30am I head to physio for a final tune up before we leave for the fight on Thursday. I’m making sure that I am in the best possible shape I can be after 8 weeks of strenuous work load.Now it’s time to work until 6pm. Food is nothing exciting again today, exactly the same as yesterday from here on.
Training is my final kick boxing Knock Out group session with Dion. We focus on short sharp rounds throwing maximal power with long recovery which really opens the lungs up.
It’s home time and as I start to pack all my gear for the trip away it gives me time to reflect on the weekend first and the previous several weekends. I had a wedding on the weekend and I have never felt so isolated in the way being that I couldn’t eat any of the food knowing I had to run to my car to eat my food that I prepared. My food was cold, it was freezing at the wedding but this is a sacrifice I have to make to do this sport. The several other weeks were driving my friends while they drink and enjoy as you can’t enjoy a meal out training for this because you don’t know what’s in the food. This Saturday I get to do what I have trained for and make all the sacrifice worth it.
Bed time and sleep isn’t the most fun while water loading. I try not drink anything two hours before bed but still I am woken more than usual to empty the bladder… fun times but as I cut fluid down the next few days I know I’ll miss the water.
Day 3 Wednesday-I wake up 8am. This is it the final day of any training before the fight. Time to make it happen! Today’s water is reduced to 2.5L.
Breakfast is 200grams of chicken breast.
Lunch is 200grams of kangaroo and 1 cup of broccoli.
Dinner is 200grams of raw tuna and 1 cup of broccoli.
It’s bland and low carb. This isn’t fun or enjoyable.
Training is pads with Dion. It’s short, sharp, fast rounds once again hitting with speed and power zoning in on everything that we have drilled.
Home and I’m chilling now, a night off to ensure I have good rest and give my body some time to recover before Saturday.
Sleep tonight is really good and I get a sleep in as the flight isn’t too early.
Day 4 Thursday-Its travel day, I’m up at 8:30am and get a lift to the airport. Before this I have 200grams of roo for breakfast and 250ml of water. Today’s water is a total of 1 liter which I’ll break up over four portions.
I’m sitting around chatting with coach Hughes having a laugh and talking about anything that isn’t to do with flying or fighting (mostly Batman since I am traveling with Batman himself!).
Flying to Melbourne I’m lucky enough to get a window seat. Seat 9A except for some reason this plane doesn’t have a window seat at 9A, not sure why but definitely gives us a laugh for the flight. We have a one hour stop over then onwards to Canberra. Luckily both flights ran on time, were smooth and all good.
We get picked up at the airport by Naomi a Brace employee and taken to our hotel. Success as it’s got two queen beds, it’s nice and the bonus is its right by a shopping centre and a gym with scales.
We head to the shops to get dinner and rehydration stuff for after the weigh in tomorrow.
Dinner tonight is a mixed greens salad with a tin of tuna.
Luckily there is a good movie on tonight called Legendary so sitting in the room I watch this as I fall asleep at about 9:30pm after an exhausting day.
Day 5 Friday-I wake up at 8am and head to the gym to check my weight 70.9kg, 600grams to go. We are getting picked up at 11am to head to weigh in at 11:30am. So I decide to leave it until 10:30am to check again. I go wrap myself up in warm blankets and chill.
So it’s 10:30am and I have 400grams to lose. I like the idea of doing a light work out to drop the weight and also to open the lungs up so I jump on the treadmill for 20 minutes and lose the 400grams doing a jog on level 12.
It’s time for the weigh in and we head to the venue. We are joined by a training partner Mike Turner and Dave DeConte. We are the first team at the weigh in so I jump up check myself on the official scales and I am 69.3kg so the gym scales are wrong and I dropped a kilo for nothing! Oh well lets start drinking so I have 500ml of coconut water. Now Paul my opponent arrives and I go have a chat with him and introduce myself. He is a nice guy and there is a good level of mutual respect.
Now they start the process we do a photo shoot, weigh in, square off and then a video promo. All the stuff you want to do while hungry and thirsty.
Anyway after this is done I eat my protein bar and continue my rehydration process with BCAA’s and coconut water plus snacking on some fruit.
About 1 hour after weigh in it’s time to eat so we travel into the city and find a café.
I have bacon, eggs, toast, mushroom, spinach and a fresh juice. Where has this been the last 8 weeks… so GOOD!
Over the course of the next six hours we continue to eat and rehydrate 600ml of fluid every hour. We get fresh beef Pho and then pasta and garlic bread for dinner.
Time for sleep and it feels good being full and hydrated again.
Day 6 Saturday-It’s fight day! I wake up at 8:30am and I am starving and it’s a great sign I have also filled back out to 76.8kg. I’m feeling full of energy and ready to fight (after eating more!).
Head to a Café close by and get a 4 egg omelet with bacon, mushrooms, spinach, onion, capsicum and cheese with toast and a short black.
Getting picked up to head to the venue at 11am and at 10:45am I quickly grab a big fresh juice and have some protein. Dion, Dave and Turner head to our hotel and the group of us go to the venue as a team (this may be an individual sport but with out friends, team mates and family you can’t do it).
One hour before the fight it’s time to get my hands wrapped by Dave. Then begins a full body warm up going through foam rolling, mobility and flexibility. Now it’s time for skills warm up and we drill striking counters, attacks then mix in some grappling exchanges. I like to get my heart rate up with a good sweat going before I fight.
We are told it’s time. Music starts my walk out song first and as always its ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ by Gun’s and Roses. I walk into the arena to Boo’s and remember I am fighting the home town hero but this doesn’t bother me. The thought that goes into my head is this crowd is going to be so disappointed in the next 10-20 minutes. I enter the cage and my coaches talk to me while Paul comes out to a huge applause. He enters the cage they introduce us, the ref calls us in and it’s time to fight.
The fight is all very calm and almost in slow motion. In my mind I only recall being kicked with one inside leg kick that I felt. The fight finishes with Paul throwing a punch and I shoulder roll away as Dion always drills with me and unfortunately his shoulder dislocates out. He taps and I win via TKO 51 seconds into the second round.
This isn’t the way you want to win a fight but I know I had done the damage landing heavy leg and body kicks, stopping his take down attempts, landing counter punches and a heavy head kick.
I am happy with my performance as I was only turning up the gears as the fight was over and considering I hadn’t fought in 18 months I got to shake out the ring rust, not take any damage and I know I can train again Monday. I followed the game plan exactly as my coaches had asked. My fitness was great in-between rounds I didn’t even need to sit down on the stool. I also didn’t have any adrenaline dump which is generally a factor in a fight or any form of competition. I have some things to work on which we will be focusing on during the next fight prep to make sure next time I am much sharper and even better prepared.
So I’m in to the semi finals where I will face another tough opponent Nurbolat Kuandyk on August 13 in Canberra.