Boots Scraps – The First One is Out of the Way
Hello everyone! I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the hot weather!
First off, I want to apologize for not writing in so long. To be honest I had a really hard time after the fight, getting motivated to write and talk about the fight but now I am ready!
I felt really good leading up to the fight. I had a great training camp for this fight. I barely had to cut any weight in the sauna and the weight cut went very well. My morale was up and I was feeling really confident and ready for my big UFC debut…exactly 10 years in the making!
Unfortunately that all changed once I stepped foot inside the octagon…lol
The fight didn’t go as planned at all. Game plan : stand up and strike. My opponent, John Gunderson, was as strong as me but was able to apply his game plan, that is take me down to the ground.
The fight was a big blur to me…I would listen to my instructor Pat yelling at me instructions, they would register…and I knew exactly what he wanted me to do…and I wanted to do it, but just didn’t. I felt very nervous and stiff. I was punch shy, I knew John would just wait for me to throw a punch and then duck under and take me down, which he did in the end anyway! I guess I just didn’t show up for the fight. On the ground, John was very slick and defended all my attacks. I was waiting for the referee to stand us up but it never happened. He was very smart and did enough to win. I remember at the end of round 3 when I had caught him in an arm lock from the guard, I knew there was only a few seconds left into the fight and that I needed to finish the fight..I knew if it went to decision, John would win by UD. Yet I knew all these things and did nothing. I just could not. Every move I did, he countered. It seemed that I didn’t have the drive to really push and make something happen. It just was a stalemate fight on the ground…but he was on top the whole time. He didn’t hurt me at all with any of his punches. It was a jiu jitsu match more than anything. In the second round, the muscle fatigue set in. I started to get tired and I just hoped for the best that I could catch him in a submission and pull off with a win but it didn’t happen.
I learned a lot in this fight. How I shouldn’t wait for the referee to stand us up, just to make it happen. To take the fight into my own hands and not wait for the referee. Also I went the distance for my first time. I did three rounds of five minutes of fighting. I was surprised how it went by really fast.
I wasn’t hurt at all from the fight. No bruises, shiners or broken bones. It didn’t even look like I was in a fight. From my last fight before that, against Corey Hill, he really put on a ground and pound clinic on me and my head and face were like a pumpkin. But from the Gunderson fight, I was able to neutralize his ground and pound and took no damage from him. So I am really happy about that, because I can see improvement in my MMA game.
After the fight, I went to the doc to get checked, all good…then got my cheque and went in the elevator to take us back to the change room. We were my three corner men, Nick, Hammer, and Pat and I in the elevator. I guess the nerves drop at that moment and I puked all over the elevator (sorry, but we cleaned up real good!). I guess that’s how nervous I was about the fight.
All in all, I learned a lot from this fight. I went the distance for my first time and got my first UFC fight out of the way! Good learning experience for me to fight in the UFC in Vegas and I can’t wait for the next one! It took me a while to bounce back from this loss but with the love and support of everyone in my family, team, friends and fans I was able to get back to the grind. It’s been a good two weeks now that I have been back at the training, nothing too intense, just getting the FUN back into the training for this summer.
This is long over due but I wanted to thank the important people in my life that made my dream come true and helped me prepare for my first UFC fight at the Palms Casino in Vegas in the UFC Ultimate Finale 11.
First off, thank you John Gunderson for the fight. You won hands down and are a great fighter. All the best in the future.
Thank you to my family which has always been loving and supporting, even though they don’t really understand or like the sport. They know that it’s what I am passionate about and they are happy for me. My mom has always been a big part of my training camp, making sure I am on weight and dieting.
Big thanks goes out to the man who made the fight happen, Pat Cooligan. I met Pat when I was 17 and told him about my goals and dreams and he made it happen only 7 years later! I can’t thank him enough. He is the one who put the great training camp together for me to prepare myself. He taught me all my jiu jitsu as well as put a strategy for the fight. Pat has been a mentor to me and a father figure, he always has great advice and takes great care of me all the time.
Hammer, Nick and Kru Jeff are like my three big brothers with whom I have grown up through my years at OAMA. All three of them trained with me and got me ready for the fight. With Hammer, Nick and Pat in my corner I felt protected and really happy. I was happy that after all those years of hard work, all four of us would be standing in the UFC Octagon! My striking coach Kru Jeff put up with me for five weeks, two of those I was dieting. I don’t know what man could do that! He sacrificed his body and time and twice a day for 5 weeks I would smash pads with him. Thank you bru!
Also thank you to all the staff at OAMA making it the best gym to train at in the world! From walking in the door and seeing Sami’s sunshine smile & Xavier’s great sense of conversation to the newest staff, Jeff and Derek. You guys maybe don’t realize it but you make what is OAMA…OAMA!
A special thank you goes out to all the OAMA students. You guys always have been supportive in my ups and downs…wins or losses, always had my back. I really appreciate that.You guys are the best!
Also thank you to all the instructors and fighters who took part in my training camp: John Danaher, Ricardo Almeida, Frankie Edgar, Jean-Charles Skarbowsky & Brian Denis, Shawn Willams, GSP and Justin Fortune.
I am now back in the swing of things, back to the grind! It took me a while to get back in there though…the loss hurt a lot. But everyone at OAMA and Ottawa\Gatineau has been so supportive and helpful through this tough time. Now I am training everyday and teaching everyday at OAMA. I am also enjoying my summer…it’s been a while! As far as the next fight goes, my manager will let me know and as soon as I know, I will let you guys know!
Lastly, to all my readers and fans, thank you for reading and supporting me through the years. I hope you enjoy the blogs and my fights. There is a lot more coming!
Take care everyone and enjoy the weather!