My official UFC debut is less than a week away now and I couldn’t be more excited or pumped to get started. I’ll be fighting Igor Pokrajac at UFC 110 in Sydney, Australia and my preparations for the fight have gone superbly. I’m fit, healthy and injury free, and am now just gearing up for fight week and fight night itself.
Being injury-free is always a bonus for me, given my past problems with injuries. I now look on a clean bill of health as a blessing. I used to suffer from bad shoulder dislocations and it would really affect both my training sessions and my fights. Since seeing a physio and making a concerted effort to put it right, I’ve had far less problems with it and am now firing on all cylinders. I’ve also won my last six fights.
One thing’s for sure – you don’t want to be entering the UFC at anything less than 100%. That’s the mentality I’ve taken into this training camp from the beginning. I’ve pushed my body to the maximum each and every session and have then allowed it ample time to rest and recuperate. I’ve managed to strike a nice balance between hard work and necessary rest.
With most of the hard work done now, it’s all about fight week and then the fight. This will be my first experience of a UFC fight week and I’m tremendously looking forward to it. I’ve been around big events before with Mark Hunt, during his PRIDE days, and am no stranger to the limelight. However, I know that the UFC go all out with their events and no doubt fight week will be something new and special for me.
As far as the week itself is concerned, I could be asked to perform open workouts for the press and media attending and will then have to weigh-in the day before the fight. The guys fighting on the main card will also have to fit in an appearance at the pre-event press conference. Thought the activities can become hard when you’re trying to make weight, this is what the UFC and professional sport is all about.
The tickets for this event sold out within hours and they did so for a reason. A lot of people in Australia want to watch the UFC and welcome it to these shores with open arms. It’s now our job to represent the sport in the best way possible.
For anybody that has never seen the UFC or mixed martial arts before, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. All the athletes are tremendously sporting and carry a lot of mutual respect and honour into the Octagon. That’s one of the things that attracted me to the sport to begin with.
It’s also a very mixed and varied sport, as well as being very unpredictable. You’ll never get two fights the same. A lot of the top fighters can box, kick, wrestle, grapple and perform submissions. They can do it all, so you never know what you’re going to get.
Hopefully, I can bring a bit of that to the Octagon when I fight Pokrajac. I see myself as an unpredictable kind of fighter. The only predictable thing about my style is that I love to excite the fans. I’ll try and make the fight as exciting as possible and perform to the best of my ability. I know that is my big chance to shine and I’m not about to let anybody down.
It wasn’t long ago that I was a bricklayer working in Australia, and now I’m featuring on a UFC event. You can’t pass up or mess up opportunities like this. I’m planning to show the UFC that I belong here and make a statement against Pokrajac. With the hard work nearly out of the way, now the fun starts…
*** UFC 110, Feb 21, will be screened live on ONE. Check local listings ***