TUF 13 Fighter Blog: Shamar Bailey Talks Episode 1

The running around outside by myself and that is part of me being a private person, but it’s also part of my routine, working on my explosiveness. It’s just a chance to be by myself for a little bit; get a little isolation and seclusion, clear my head a little bit before my fight.

A couple personal things from the episode, things I want to share with everyone so you get to know a little more about me than just my fighting: I got that Bible as a gift from my mom when I was young. I know it looks like a hand-me-down, but I just dropped it a few times. It’s been worn out, but it carries a lot of meaning to me.

And the picture you can kind of see stuck to my bed, that’s me holding my brother when we were younger.

He’s locked up right now in Indiana. It reminds me everyday that we came up the same way, did everything together. I’m on this path on The Ultimate Fighter and my brother, who was on the same path as I’m on, made a couple wrong decisions and is in jail right now. It motivates me not only as a reminder of him, but that he’s watching because they get Spike TV. I carry that picture with me everywhere I go. He gets out in May and I can’t wait to see him.

I’m usually pretty relaxed the night before a fight. When I wake up, my body knows today’s the day and it will shake on its own for like five minutes. I’ll just lay there and after that, I’m calm and ready.

The fight itself went exactly as we planned. I wanted to follow the game plan my coaches laid out for me, and I think I did that. We knew Nordin threw a lot of kicks and dynamic moves, so we wanted to make sure we took him down and keep his chances on connecting on those things to a minimum.

He’s a real squirmy guy on the ground too. There were a couple of times where I think I could have finished him, and I probably should have finished him, but it just didn’t work out that way. It’s tough because you have to make the decision between maintaining control or trying to inflict damage and maybe losing control. My coaches were stressing that control was the most important thing, so instead of sacrificing that to inflict damage, I listened to my coaches.

The other part is that this is a marathon, not a sprint; I could stand and bang, but you do that when you’re in the UFC, and right now, I’m trying to get into the UFC. I was disappointed that I didn’t finish him, and I still believe that I should have finished him a couple times, but the biggest thing was to get the win and get our team control.

Hearing what Dana had to say, I take that as motivation. I don’t think that I was just laying-and-praying on the guy, but I agree with him that it wasn’t the most exciting fight. I want to show a little of what I’m capable of and at the end of the day, I want my boss to be happy and the fans to be happy. I think Dana had higher expectations of me, so to me that’s motivating.

It was great to get the win and get to give a little wink and hi to my mom. It was the beginning of a dream come true, and it was really kind of hard to fathom. I started this thing off with so many people in the audition stage, and now I’ve won the first fight of this season.

I think that’s a pretty great way to kick off this blog; winning the first fight and getting through to the quarterfinals right away.

There’s some crazy drama in the gym and some drama in the house, so be sure to tune in every Wednesday on Spike and check back here every Thursday morning. Like I said, the next blog won’t be as long. It’s going to be a great season.

God bless,

Shamar