My Comeback... Finally! Sorry about being so late with this blog entry. I have been extremely busy training with Team Quest. We have many guys fighting and I am preparing for my next fight as well.
What the episode doesn't show is that after Jason Dent fought Jeff Lawson and Richie Whitson fought Ross Pearson, as Dana White began leaving the cage area to go back to his office, I approached him and told him that if Jason Pierce was gonna bitch out I wanted the fight and that if he gave it to me that I would probably win. I was fired up by the recent fights and motivated by the fact that I believed I was a better fighter than what I showed in my fight against Wilks. I was disappointed with myself after my loss and Pierce was giving off signals that made me think he was going to punk out. However, when Dana White walked away from me I didn't think for a second that it was really going to happen. It was just 3 days after my fight with James. My bridge had been knocked out, I had 2 roots surgically removed, and 24 stitches put over my left eye. One of James's knees that my face decided to catch had left my eyelid hanging off !! lol.. what can u
do?! The fight game can be tough. That's what I love about it. However, it does scare me silly sometimes.
To my surprise Mr White called me into the kitchen away from my team shortly after our talk. That is what you all saw on the episode. I asked for the fight and Dana said he would see what he could do.
When Dan Henderson came into practice and confirmed that I was cleared to fight, I had a 10 minute freak-out session inside my head. I honestly didn't think I would fight again. I was physically beat up and mentally I was not really in fight mode anymore. I regrouped in my mind and decided that not only was I going to step up, but I was going to win. I believed in myself and knew that no matter what I would fight my heart out. I believe in Life if you aren't willing to risk everything you may never accomplish anything! Playing it safe all the time doesn't give you the opportunity to truly excel or test yourself. I learned that from my family and from my time as a US Army Infantryman. Sometimes you gotta put yourself in harms way to complete the objective. Nothing I could possibly face in that cage with Dave Falkner could compare to what me and my squad members faced clearing houses in Baghdad & Al Iskandariyah looking for insurgents and weapons
caches. So, I decided it was time to test myself, face the possibility of failure, and maybe even embarrassment.
All I truly wanted was to help out my team and get back the loss I had caused in our competition against Team UK. I wanted that loss back.
When I began training, I was hurting and extremely overweight. I weighed in at 201lbs the morning I was told I had been cleared to fight. I had to fast for the 1st 24 hours, as well as run in full sweats for an hour at the end of our practice. I also hit the sauna 2-3 times a day trying to cut the weight. I made weight, but it wasn't easy. Santino, Mark Miller, Cameron, Ritchie and Demarques all helped me. They took turns sitting with me in the sauna. Without this support, I probably would not have made it. The weight loss was one of the hardest things I did while on the show. I dropped from 201 to 171 in 3 days to make weight to fight Falkner.
Walking into the cage I was determined to do my best, fight hard, but fight smart as well. In the 1st round, I did my best to play it safe, try to feel Dave out, and see how he moved. I had never seen him train or fight. I knew nothing about him other than I heard he was a good wrestler and a good submission specialist. My game plan was to keep the fight on our feet and use my reach advantage. After a few exchanges I began to gain confidence in myself. Dave wasn't as strong as I thought he would be and I felt I had the advantage in the clinch. I think it was a close round, but that Dave won it.
I became more aggressive in the 2nd round. Dave struggled to take me down and when he did I popped right up. I regret that I didn't use my jab because that would've help me set up my right hand and a possible win by tko or ref stoppage. I felt Dave's wind dying as the round went on and became more confident that I could win. I was also tired, but when the round ended I knew I had won that round. I went back to my corner thinking we would go another round and was not surprised when Dana White came into the cage and confirmed a sudden death round. I had no idea Dave was going to quit. I stood up when they said corners out. I was ready. I couldn't believe it when the ref signaled the fight was over. I was overwhelmed by the entire experience.
I was happy to get the win for my team. It was important to me. I lost had one for us and now I had won one to make it an even 4-4 competition.
Taking that fight really helped me to understand what I am capable of. It re-assured me that sometimes you truly have to risk it all.
I know I am not a great fighter yet. I have much to learn in this sport, ( I have only been training MMA for 2 1/2 years) but that fight gave me the confidence and motivation to believe that with hard work and dedication I may be able to be competitive in this sport of MMA which I truly love & enjoy.
Again, sorry to everyone reading about my tardiness in writing this blog. This is a busy time in my life. Thank you for reading. Also, thank you to all the people who have sent me best wishes, kind words, and encouragement during the course of the show. I truly appreciate it.