Back again after my Strikeforce fight last weekend with Maximo Blanco and, as you can see, even a bunch of illegal kicks to the face won’t keep me away from another edition of “Bam vs. Wild”. Before getting into last weekend’s bout, I want to also mention I’m extremely excited because I’m about to get on a flight and head to China for six weeks! More on that in a bit…
I thought my performance against Blanco was pretty solid, especially when you consider the short notice. I weathered an early, somewhat unexpected storm after he dazed me early. But ultimately it worked out pretty similar to how my camp and I thought it might. I knew he would be dangerous and explosive at the start but I knew as long as I stayed in his face and kept the pressure on I thought he’d wear down. And he did. I took over in the second round, especially right before the submission.
As far as the infamous sequence on the ground, I was already a little dazed before but my head was clearing out and I was starting to regain my composure on the ground, like when I was going for the Omoplata, and let’s just say he definitely landed some solid kicks to my face. At first I didn’t know what had happened – I was discombobulated afterwards. I was thinking, “Was that legal? Did they just stop the fight? What happened?” Then it all came back to me and my first thought was that I couldn’t live with myself if I’d stopped. So I got back in there and it all worked out for me.
Regarding Blanco, he has a history of similar incidents so I don’t think it was accidental. I think going to featherweight was the right move for him. It was a smart play obviously, since he’s in the UFC now. I don’t think he cut much, if any, weight. He was a lot smaller than me for sure. I think it was a good decision for his career and should help him become more successful.
I wanted to also mention the recently announced fight between B.J. Penn and Nick Diaz since B.J. is someone I’ve trained with before on multiple occasions and Diaz is a guy I’ve always respected. The way it came about is a real bummer since I’ve always been a fan of Diaz. But I can see why Dana White pulled him. Doing media is part of our obligations as professional fighters. A lot of us don’t like it but it’s what we need to do to sell a fight. Boxers do it. It’s a basic part of promoting a big fight.
However, I think Diaz vs. Penn is gonna be an extremely exciting match. Fans are going to see high-level, super-aggressive grappling. I see it being a fight people walk away from thinking, “Wow, that’s what grappling should look like in MMA!”
Like I briefly mentioned in the intro, my latest adventure is set to unfold over the next month-and-a-half starting less than 24 hours after writing this blog entry. Recently I was given the unique opportunity, along with some of my brothers at Team Quest, to go train students at the Xian Athletic University. There are supposed to be about 150 guys there. I’m interested to see what level they’re at and how the language barrier works. I think it’ll be beneficial for them but me too since I’ll have to really pay attention to every little thing I do when it comes to teaching. It should give me a chance to tighten up my game through repetition and maybe even pick up a few tricks from the stand-up work they do there.
And I can’t lie – part of me also wonders if it’s going to look like a scene out of a Bruce Lee movie with a courtyard full of fighters all doing the same technique!
Basically I’m going into things with an open mind as far what I’m going to do with downtime. I start out in Hong Kong but the majority of the training will take place in Xian. It should be really interesting because we’ll get to experience more of the Chinese culture there than in a major city. I’m really hoping to experience what China is really like – to go to a few temples, get out in the wilderness. Our group has a couple R&R trips too so it’ll be great to see a few new places. I’m really just pumped about getting to experience things in general because not a lot of people get the chance to go to China let alone for six weeks.
Heading to the airport shortly so I need to wrap this up. I appreciate the positive feedback last week! I’ll do my best to keep checking in during the trip and I have a camera with me so I’ll be including photos as well. In the meantime, feel free to follow me on Twitter (@bambamhealy) where I’ll also be updating fans on my status. Until then, zai jian!
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE