We’re only three days away, and my training regimen has changed. I’m taking it easy, just trying to let my body recover 100% and really working on my game plan. I’m putting “the icing on the cake” really. All the hard work’s been done. On Tuesday morning, I woke up around 7.8 pounds off my target, and to be exact, was technically 162.8, so I’m already pretty close to my target weight. I’ve got a really busy day tomorrow. A bunch of local radio interviews, and a couple of local TV interviews. Today is the day I do the usual water flush where I drink as much water as possible. Especially with these little TV spots, it`s going to be interesting to see if I can continue, because I know I’ll be nervous about drinking a bunch of water and then being on TV, cause when you have to go it’s like an immediate thing. There’s NOTHING absorbing the water in your body. It just runs right through you, and it just hits you. You end up sprinting to the bathroom sometimes. The glamorous life of a fighter, right? If anything, it should at least make for an interesting day!
Other than that, I know this time I’ve been doing a lot of all organic and fresh juices and vegetables. It’s really helped my digestive tract. It seems to run through you just as well as water. I’m definitely going to step that up these next couple of days here. I’ll probably do that in the place of a lot of solid meals. I’ll have one solid meal a day, and do the juice the rest of it, because I feel better, both mentally and physically. My body just seems to run smoother on that. I’m pretty excited to do that, and it will have some pretty good positive effects. Training wise, I’ll hit light 30 minute workouts. I’ve been working a lot with Dylan Fussell, who’s been working my Muay Thai with me this fight to help keep my game plan tight. I really want to work those knees and elbows in the clinch, so I’m just going to be making sure everything is crisp and my technique is right where I want it to be.
I’ve been doing these isolation tank floats too. You just get into this isolated tank. There’s no sound, or light that comes through. It’s something like 500 pounds of Epsom salt in about a foot of water, and so you just float, and you don’t sink. It just takes all the gravity off your body, and your senses have nothing to stimulate. You just get in there, and it becomes a lot like meditation. I visualize my fight a lot. I usually pick out a mantra. For this one, it was “I will finish Mizuto Hirota in the second round” and I’ll repeat that over and over in my head, and it helps me clear my mind. I’ve been working with a company called Float On and they let me float once a week consistently. I think it’s a hugely valuable tool, especially for how much of a mental game MMA is. All our work comes down to one night and one performance for 15 minutes. You’ve got to have everything working for you, especially your mind. Each session is 90 minutes, and it seems like a long time to just be sitting in there, but it just flies by. Every time I’m getting to the end, my body can sense now and I try to fight it because I never want to get out. But it gets better every time I’m in there. The visualization is so powerful that it’s really happening. I really appreciate Float On. They’ve all become friends and most of the employees will be coming to the fight, and it’ll be cool to have them in my corner.
I’ve been feeling the love around Portland too. Locally, they’ve really gotten behind me, which is really exciting. It’s been really cool! There’s been a bit of an advantage too getting to fight at home. Usually, when you’re living out of the hotel, you get one shot at a grocery run. They take you on one grocery run, where you have to load up on everything you might think you need for the week and for your weight cut. You always end up forgetting stuff or overbuying. Sometimes you don’t have a refrigerator, or enough space in the one at the hotel, so you’ve got to make your own makeshift fridge out of bags of ice. I think all this stuff around being at home is going to help. I really enjoy doing the media stuff. I know that it’s good for my career, and any bits I can do to help get my name out there more to these Portland companies to get behind me for future shows will help too. It will also help show people that we have a lot of great talent here in Portland, and they should be supporting and getting behind the fighters here.
While I’m talking about support, I’m really thankful to Rob and Alden at MMA Elite for their brand picking me up. It was really short notice for this fight, and they really stepped up for me. We’ve just got a quick one fight deal, and then I’m going to go down and meet all the guys in person and get something for the future locked out. It’s really exciting for me. They tried to make my own custom walkout shirt for this fight, which is something I’ve never had, and they guaranteed me next time when they have more time, they’ll be able to get it done. That’s pretty exciting for me, and it’s something that’s going to be in my subconscious come fight night. It’s going to push me more, because I’ve never had an MMA company back me like this. I’ve never had a long term deal like this. It’s really exciting for me, and I definitely want to go out there and represent for them the absolute best I can, and show them that they made a good decision, and take them with me to a title shot and win that title with them. It’s kind of funny, but we were working deals with a couple other companies locally that pulled out, and literally the day before I talked to MMA Elite, I was thinking about how fed up I was with the business side of MMA and started to question whether looking for sponsors was worth it and trying to figure out how to continue doing this without worrying about all of that, so to speak. Then I get the call from MMA Elite, and it was a complete turnaround. I started talking about how great the business was again and laughing about it. It really lifted my spirits and it made me feel appreciated for once about these things for probably the first time in my career.
When I get my own shirt, I want to talk to them about the little cartoon character of me that you’ve been seeing lately. I love that little cartoon, and everybody seems to love it. I don’t think you could be any more accurately. He’s got a little busted up nose and everything! I’d love to see it on a shirt made by MMA Elite. Shawn Stewart, a friend of mine, had it made. We were talking one day, and I was happy that I’d made the local poster for the event, and he said that he’d heard there was another poster floating around, and to watch my mailbox. Sure enough, he’d mailed this poster, and a headshot, and another full body with my name in the background. The artist was a friend of his, but I’m sure he went out of pocket for it. He had these prints done too, and I just can’t be more impressed by the artist Eric Winner either.
Before I wrap up this week, I wanted to talk a little bit about Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen’s fight from last week. I thought Chael fought an awesome first round, and I thought he was on his way to putting together a great fight. But he made that one mistake, and unfortunately, against Anderson, that’s all it takes. You can’t make a mistake against him because he’ll make you pay. He’s the best pound for pound fighter in the world right now, and there’s a reason that we say that, because you really can’t mess up.
Cesar Gracie said some of it might have been because he didn’t have Matt Lindland in his corner. Matt and Chael have been working together for a long time, and Chael did things a differently with Matt starting with the Michael Bisping fight. I don’t know if it was the right move. Matt is going to hold you accountable. It doesn’t matter who you are. Whether you’re the president, or anybody, or anywhere really. It’s a powerful person to have in your corner. He’s been there before at the highest level of competition in MMA and wrestling, and there’s a lot to be said for that – to have a calm corner that’s been there before. It’s always a presence in my corner I feel very comfortable with. Matt’s never worried, or nervous or anything like that. He’s always helped me maintain my focus, that’s for sure.
I hope Chael gets back on it and build back for another title shot. I don’t think he’s done. I know he’s rumored that in the past with loser walks away clauses, but he’s definitely one of the best guys at 185 and he’s right up on there on the pound for pound list too. I hope he comes back hungrier, and more focused, and ready for another title shot.
One thing that’s always been hard when you hear all these people say all these bad things about Chael, and think he’s a terrible guy – They hate the “character” that Chael made. They don’t know the real Chael. He’s helped my brother Ryan and I both firsthand. I can remember one time where my brother and I…we’ve have plenty of tough times trying to make it out here in Portland. I remember one time my brother was having a hard time paying some medicals leading up to a fight. Chael pulled off to the side, not in front of anyone, to make sure nobody else knew and said “Hey man, I want to sponsor you for this fight,” and gave him some money to make it through. He’s done that with other people in the gym, and that’s just the type of guy he is. If he can help you out in any way, he’s going to do it. He’s an awesome guy deep down, and it’s a shame that so many people see this character he’s made, and despise him the person for it. Once you kind of realize that it’s just to sell the fight, or to get people to excited, you look at it differently. Whether you love his antics or hate it, he sold and made the biggest fight in UFC History with what he was doing. It wasn’t Anderson that sold the fight, it was Chael. Anderson did some things at the end that heated the rivalry up, but Chael sold that fight and made it huge, and there are some good things to be said for that.
That wraps up my blog for this week. Thank you again for reading. You can follow me on Twitter @bambamhealy and please don’t forget to tune in this Saturday night when I fight Hirota on Showtime.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE