Welcome back, everyone.
Hope you liked the first blog; I know it was a little long, but being that it was the first episode and I was fighting, hopefully you understand. As promised, this one will be much shorter.
I can’t stress how important I think it was for me to win that first fight. As you found out right away last night, Keon was struggling with being away from his family, and I think getting the win gave guys a positive boost. Had I lost, we could have had a reason to doubt and be down on ourselves, and getting the win set the tone for our team.
I think Keon got overwhelmed. He’s a pretty powerful guy, but the technique isn’t quite there. He started falling behind in practice, and as far as conditioning; instead of trying to keep up, he started getting left behind. Everybody had something to bring to the table in practice – we all kind of pushed each other – and Keon just wasn’t keeping up.
We knew something wasn’t right. Keon actually came and talked to me individually, and told me he really missed his daughter. We had a real personal talk and I told ohm you’ve got to do this for her, you came here to make a better life for her, so stay focused on the task at hand. This is six weeks out of your life to make a better life.
Long story short, Keon kept going back and forth between wanting to do this for his daughter and being home with his daughter, and that’s what you saw even after Dana White talked to him. It looked like he was going to stay, then all of a sudden he’d had enough an decided to go.
During the episode, I said, “If you’ve gotta have somebody convince you, you don’t belong here,” and I mean that. To get to this point, we had to jump through so many hoops; we’ve been through our own battles in our careers.
A lot of us had to sacrifice so much to get to the tryouts, then to be selected for the show, and its at this point, when you’re on the show that somebody has to persuade you to stay, obviously you’re not here for the right reasons or your minds not in it. You don’t belong; there are so many fighters that would kill to be on this show.
The fight this week was Javier (Torres) and (Chris) Cope.
Our wrestling coach Lew (Polley) trains with Cope back in California, and him knowing Cope was definitely helpful. Knowing his tendencies, his strengths, his weaknesses helped with the gameplanb, but it was still on Javier to execute that gameplan.
Seeing Brock talk to his guys was great. It’s definitely motivating to have a coach or anybody that has been where you’re trying to go take the time to identify where you’ve been and where you’re trying to go with you. Any time you have somebody that’s been a trailblazer showing you the steps to take [to become successful], it’s very motivating to hear that person speak, and have them telling you how you can do the same thing.
In that regard, we saw Brock identify with his fighters for once, instead of being on a different level than them. He looked like he identified with his fighters, and I’m sure that was huge for those guys.
I think Javier got caught up in showing off his talents as opposed to imposing his will. The gameplan was to impose his will because Chris doesn’t really like to fight; he likes to just be there. Javier was supposed to push the pace and he never did; he was kind of just standing in front of Chris, and Chris got the decision.
It was kind of disappointing for us to watch because we thought Javier was the more impressive all-around fighter, but he never imposed his will and showed those skills. You can’t expect Chris to just lay down and die, so it was disappointing to watch it unfold the way it did.
I don’t think it was that exciting of a fight; nobody really established any dominance. People can say what they want about a wrestler [and my fight last week], but they’re not the one’s in there. I felt like it was definitely 1-1 after two rounds, and I feel like Chris did win the third round; Javier just didn’t do enough to establish that he was in control of the fight.
As for the last little clip of what’s to come next week, I may or may not have gotten banged up in practice. There’s some people here that are accident prone and there is definitely some blood involved in next week’s episode, but I’ll leave it at that.