The ups and downs of MMA were in full force for me on Saturday, where to begin?
When guys from our gym want to compete, whether it is MMA, sub grappling or Jiu Jitsu, I have 3 criteria.
- Make sure you turn up, if you say you are going to do it, then do it, no excuses.
- Make weight, there is no excuse for not making weight.
- Do the best you can and try to enjoy and learn from your experiences.
So Jonny Smith, Andy Krlic and Andy Lanes all turn up as they say they would so off to Bradford we go. We arrive in good spirits, see some old faces when we arrive at the venue then go to weigh in.
All 3 guys make weight easily so that is 2 out of 3 on my list satisfied although I am always on edge until I know that our opponents have arrived. My edginess was not necessary as all the opponents turned up and made weight. I am now a happy man knowing that as soon as we get through the rules meeting we will be going out to eat.
Rules meeting and pre-fight interviews out of the way we head off to the Asda to stock up on food. The fighters, who were all starving by this point picked various foods to gorge (I may have been included in the gorging I don't remember now) then back to the hotel.
As we are sat eating I noticed Andy Krlic devouring exceedingly pink chicken, I commented how a good vet could have got the chicken back on its feet but he was hungry so ate it anyway. I put that to the back of my mind and continued getting some down time before the medicals.
Then it started...........Andy felt bad and began his toilet inspired shuttle runs, each time feeling worse and worse.
Went to the medicals with Andy still feeling bad, Jonny went first everything ok, resting pulse 60. Andy Lanes next, everything ok, resting pulse 72 (the guys are nervous so the pulse will be up a little) Andy Krlic gets on the stool, pulse 107!! He asks what the resting pulse rate will be and they replied that it was his resting pulse rate. Normally having a resting pulse rate of low 50s, something seems wrong.
Then the nausea starts. Damn, this guy is due to fight in the 2nd match and I'm doubting that he will live that long.
So the runner comes up for us and we are on our way down to the ring with Jonny, I see Andy attempting a warm up with Ben but clearly he was not up to it.
Jonny climbs into the ring and calmly waits for his opponent Daniel Bowes from Team Akurei to make his way down and join him in the ring. We don't know anything about Daniel so the game plan was to work around Jonny's strengths and take the fight to him. Jonny had been training some big pick ups so was looking for an early slam to get the crowd going. The fight started with both guys landing some shots, Jonny moved into clinch eating an uppercut on the way in but picked his opponent up, got the slam that he wanted and started to work his ground game. Both guys ended up back on their feet where Daniel started to shoot that Jonny sprawled out of and reversed it into another big slam. This time working knees on the ground to soften up the opponent before transitioning to mount. Jonny worked patiently towards Rickson position where he transitioned into taking the back and sunk in a rear naked choke for the win.
Great fight to start things off, both young guys deserve a lot of credit.
I had momentarily forgotten about Andy but true to his word he wanted to fulfil #1 by doing what he said he was going to do, that was he came to fight. Having watched his opponent, James Anderson, against Caged Steel fighter Phil Hoban we had devised a pretty solid game plan that I was convinced would give us the 'W' only I hadn't counted on Andy being sick. All through the first round he was implementing his game plan just with no power, he was going through the moves but unable to truly unload even when he caught James in his favourite achilles lock position he had no strength to finalise and ended up with one of those both-going-for-footlock moments. End of round one, Andy with a 10-9.
As he came back to the corner he was really in no state to continue and we should have thrown in the towel but he had come to fight. As round 2 wore on Andy got worse and James got the better of things landing some shots and taking it to the ground, at one stage James had a point taken off so by my reckoning if Andy could hold on to the end of the round he would win by j/d. Andy was now mounted and was desperatelt trying to defend and with a final burst of energy attempted to escape but fell right into a guillotine with only 30 seconds remaining and had to submit.
I mean no disrespect to James or his team (who I am friends with) but that wasn't the real Andy who was in the ring that night and I, for one, would like to see a re-match.
Our last fighter for the evening would be Andy Lanes who after only 6 months of training was to take on the tough Peter Rejdovjan. Based on Peter's last fight against Billy Glossop we thought he was going to come out like a steam train but came out a little cautious instead. After a feeling out process Andy Lanes threw the first combination that Peter counted with a thudding leg kick. Using that as the trigger point Andy Lanes stepped in for a single leg to try take the fight to the floor. Peter managed to catch Andy Lanes in a guillotine but he kept trying to take the guy down. Remembering the drills we had been doing for the past month, as Peter went to sit back into guard, Andy tried to block off the legs and pass on the way down. He almost had it but didn't complete the pass as Peter readjusted his grip and sunk the guillotine tight leaving Andy Lanes no option but to tap. Although disappointed with his first outing, he will be back. Congrats to Peter he took the chance very well.
In conclusion, a real rollercoaster day, one guy won in the first round, one guy lost in the first round and one guy lost in the Asda...............