The Gentleman’s Guide to The Ultimate Fighter 18: Episode 7 – My Fight Thoughts
Bitter sweet! That’s the word that sums up how I am feeling right now. I am obviously disappointed that I did not get the outcome that I wanted and suffered my first ever loss inside the cage, but I am also relieved to finally not have to carry around that secret any more. The last three to four months have been agonizing. Knowing that I lost, but not being able to tell anyone and having multiple people EVERYDAY asking you questions about how the show went and how I did. It felt like a enormous weight has been on my chest ever since I got back and now that weight has finally been lifted and I can breathe again. I did not think it was going to be this hard when I left Vegas, but right when I got home it started and did not stop until last night.
As for the fight itself, the first round went exactly how I pictured it going in my mind. I threw an overhand right to set up my shot to get inside, put him against the cage, and dropped for a double leg. I picked him up over my shoulder and Adrian Woolley-style carried him over to my corner and slammed him down. It is hard to see but, like an idiot, I actually slammed my own head very hard when I did that. I took his back and went for the Rear Naked Choke. Caraway was showing me some aggressive techniques to use when someone is fighting the choke off, the same way Caraway did it to my boy Mitch Gagnon, and it worked. I got under the chin but as I went to seal it shut I fell off to the side and that gave him the little bit of room he needed to survive. It is very disheartening when you think you have the fight finished off and he survives through it.
In the second round, he came at me right away and tagged me with a huge knee to my melon. It rocked me pretty good, but I fought through it and continued on fighting. I was surprised when he shot in on me, trying to take me to the mat. I figured he was going to try and keep the distance and pick me apart being bigger, taller, and having a kickboxing background but he mixed it up well. About half way through the second round, I knew I was down at that point so I jumped a guillotine, I figured either I get it and the fight is over or I don’t and we go to a third round. Again, the choke was close but I could feel him slowly slipping out so I let it go and looked to get back to my feet or on top. I finished the round on top laying in a bit of ground and pound but it was not enough to steal the round back.
The third again started off pretty well. I faked a shot and threw a spinning back fist that partially landed and then stuffed his take down and went for one of my own. We jockeyed back and forth for position and I landed some pretty hard shots when we broke free from each other a bit and kept the pressure on him. Then with about 90 or so seconds left, I pull a Chael Sonnen and threw a hard spinning back fist but I put myself off balance and to Wootten’s credit timed it perfectly and took me down off of it. I knew the fight was close so I wanted to go for things and, even if they did not land, at least the judges would see me constantly being on the offensive. He finished the round on top of me, controlling with good position and throwing some decent ground and pound. He is a massive 135er, so trying to throw his weight around the whole fight definitely tired me out and at the end he felt super heavy and I just could not really create space to establish anything or get back up. They didn’t show it, but afterwards my eye swells pretty bad and looks nasty so tune in next week and you can see my eye looking like Rocky s face after Apollo laid a beating on him.
Now I know what some of my past opponents have felt, being underneath a guy and not being able to do what you want, it sucks haha. With the way the round ended I knew I did not do enough to get the W, I felt so frustrated that I let one stupid move potentially take me out of the semis and put me into elimination. It hit me hard after the fight. Never having felt that before, it feels like your world crashes down. I tried hard not to look like a big pussy afterwards and sucked it up but it was hard. Louie gave me some good positive reinforcement which was really cool of him. My hat is off to Wootten, I got along with him very well in the house and we shared a beer and burger afterwards at the house. If I have to lose a fight, I am glad it is to someone I like and respect.
Lastly, Dana White’s comments. I do not know why this guy is hating on me still. I understand after my first fight to get in the house that I had a weak performance and looked like shit but to say after this fight that I am a one trick pony and all I did was try and wrestle him I think is retarded. Yes, I use my wrestling a lot when I fight. It is one of my strongest attributes, so of course I am going to use it but I also had a big slam, went for numerous submissions (1 being very close to ending the fight in the first), threw hard shots, took some hard shots, and threw some spinning back fists. I thought it was a good fight and from the feedback I got, so did most people. I know what my biggest weakness is. It is not my lack of skill in my striking game, but instead my lack of confidence to go out there and showcase it in a fight. Since I have been home, I have been working on this and just like anything else I am just trying to get better so every time I am out there I am a new and improved fighter.
Join Josh Hill to watch The Ultimate Fighter 18 at the Hamilton Buffalo Wild Wings October 9, October 16, November 6, and November 20. Also make sure to get all your updated information on Josh at JoshHillMMA.ca