I received a lot of positive feedback from my first blog submission last week here on FiveOuncesOfPain.com and I wanted to thank everyone for their support. A few people mentioned they would like me to get into more detail, so before I get into my thoughts from the second episode, I will share more thoughts about the premiere.
First, I wanted to give everyone some more background on me. I fight out of Brooklyn, New York with Team Insight. We are small MMA camp that really hasn’t hit the main scene. My coaches are Ralph Mitchel and Clarence “Cee” Everett. I also train jiu-jitsu under Alexandre “Soca” Freitas. Some other team Team Insight fighters you have to watch out for are Nardu Debrah, Dave Branch, and John Beneduce.
I’ve been training under Ralph Mitchel since the age of nine-years old. He started me off with traditional arts; Muay Thai kickboxing, Judo, JKD, Filipino Arnis, and basic street self defense.
After watching my training partners compete in mixed martial art fights I felt that I could do it also. And after winning my first fight, I was hooked! I am born and raised in Brooklyn and I still live here.
Two of the most talked about things from the first show was Jason Guida’s failure to make weight and Jose Agallar’s controversial comments during his confessional interview.
Jose’s interview kind of surprised me because I never knew Jose was that crazy. He seemed like a cool guy when I spoke with him. He even gave me some good fight advice against Joe Durate. I rolled with the guy to warm up. I never knew he had views like that. I am really surprised about what he said on his interview. A lot of my friends and family disliked the kid.
Someone also asked me whether I felt Guida was to blame or if the commission over-reacted by not allowing him to cut one more pound. I think it’s totally his fault and he knows it too. You have months and months of preparation knowing you’re going to be on TV. From the looks of his build he could have easily lost 10-to-15 pounds of fat two months before getting on thereby making the weight cut much easier. I lost close to 20 pounds trying to get on the show. People say I looked like Skeletor on TV!
Regarding my qualifying fight with Duarte, I realize the result surprised a lot of viewers who had heard he was one of the favorites coming into the show. Even from my perspective I had a really good sense that people favored Durate before the fight. Even Nogueira himself admitted to me that he thought Durate was going to kick my butt. Ever since I fainted everyone there thought I was a punk. When people found out I was fighting Durate they almost looked at me with pity. I just absorbed it all and wanted to prove myself.
I did have some people who supported me. The assistant coach, Daniel Valverde, cornered me well during my fight. He sort of reached out to me backstage as well. I could hear him and Delgado encouraging me while in the cage. I guess you can say I was leaning toward the red team that day.
The publisher of this site, Sam Caplan, asked me some questions following the episode. He wanted to know how my life had changed after the first airing. Surprisingly, the changes have been minimal despite the exposure. Part of it is because New York is so big. I take the train all the time and not one person recognizes me. MMA and the UFC aren’t as popular in New York as it is in Vegas and the West Coast. The only attention I get is through the Internet or at the gyms and dojos I train at. I had a great premiere party where over 200 of my friends came. That was some great attention. It was a blast!
Onto the second episode, but to be honest, I can’t really say much about this episode because while I was there, I didn’t watch any fights. I fought last of all the sixteen fights. I don’t like watching other fights before mine because it distracts me from what I really there to do. If I were to watch someone else fight I can get so involved that I might lose sight that I’m to perform in just a few minutes. I like to stay backstage and focus. It’s a lot of pressure fighting last. Everyone sort of waited for that fight to happen. I guess you can say I close the show well.
I remember the smell of fried chicken in the kitchen area which was a bit distracting while trying to warm up for the fight. Now that I’ve watch Elliot and Karen’s fight I could not agree more with Dana that Elliot should have rightfully got the winning decision.
Overall that day of fighting was one of the most nerve wrecking days of each and every fighter’s life. We all knew that our careers were on the line and the pressure was on. Everyone fought there hearts out. It was a great day.