Down 2 pound from last week, now 181 pounds. 6 more days to the fight. Watch previous pictures here.
Down 2 pound from last week, now 183 pounds. 1.5 More weeks to the fight.
Down 4 pound from last week, now 185 pounds. 2.5 More weeks to the fight.
Down 2 pound from last week, now 189 pounds. 3.5 More weeks to the fight.
Down 1 pound from last week, now 191 pounds. 4.5 More weeks to the fight.
Down 4 pounds, now 192 pounds. 6 More weeks to the fight.
196 pounds and counting down. Only 7 more weeks to the fight!
Training is going well. I’m working hard in the gym to get my shape up. I tweaked my knee a little bit which worried me initially but it feels a lot better so things are all good. With only a few weeks to go before my fight at UFC 139 with Rick Story, at this point it’s all about refining my skillset. Now is not the time to learn new moves; it’s time to focus on what I’m good at and sharpen my tools.
Obviously I’m biased on this topic since he’s my teammate at Xtreme Couture but I truly felt Jay Hieron beat Ben Askren last weekend at Bellator 56. At the same, I understand when you’re fighting a champion, especially in his home State, it’s gonna be hard to get the decision to go your way after a close contest. I think the outcome came down to the third round – I think Askren won #2 and #4 and Jay won #1 and #5. However, the third round was definitely close even though I think Jay took it. He may have been taken down but reversed him too and he did better standing, but, again, when you’re fighting the champ in his home State it’s tough to win over the judges’ favor in a close fight.
I’ve spoken some to Jay and, of course, it sucks to lose let alone like that. I’ve been there; a lot of people have been there. And especially when it’s a close fight like that where he knows he got the better of him. In the fifth round he completely dominated and put a beating on Askren. I just wish he could have performed like that in the four rounds prior. I know he wants a rematch but I’m not sure that will happen since Bellator is usually pretty tough on that front. I know Joe Warren has had some close fights too where people felt he shouldn’t have won but they didn’t give those guys rematches so the precedent is already there. I know I personally think he deserves another shot at Askren who himself even said he thought the decision could have gone either way. I’d love to see them fight again since it wasn’t just close but also an exciting fight as well. Good stuff without question.
I didn’t have a chance to see Hieron’s fight live since I was at the Mandalay Bay for UFC 137 but I made sure to stay away from Twitter to avoid results. I went straight home after the show to watch Bellator so it worked out well.
BJ Penn’s fight with Nick Diaz was great and it was cool to be at the show. There was a lot of energy in the arena. You really can’t beat being in attendance at a UFC event. The actual fight went the way I thought it would. I was rooting for BJ to win but I felt like Diaz’s size and pressure would tire BJ out in the later rounds, and it seems like that’s pretty much what happened. BJ won the first round, then he got tired or hurt and couldn’t handle Diaz’s pace. It was a terrific fight though.
I have no idea what Penn will do in the future but I will say I love to watch him fight, and I think he is still competitive at either 170 or 155 pounds. At the end of the day it’s up to him, and if he doesn’t have the fire anymore then he shouldn’t fight anymore, but if he still has it in him there are a lot of people who love seeing him in action and I’m one of them.
Finally, in case you’re wondering, my Halloween was actually pretty laid back. I pretty much trained and relaxed at home. I would have normally gone out but I’m 100% focused on my fight and Monday is a training night at Xtreme Couture. I’ll save my celebrating for the night of November 19th.
Training camp is going well. I was out for a couple of days with the flu though it’s better to get a little sick now than get it right before the fight. I have been training my butt off lately and now I’m really starting to get in great shape! I’m doing kickboxing with Ray Sefo in the mornings three days a week and I’m starting to feel sharp. I haven’t been very lucky with the decisions in my last fights so this time I’m not looking to go the distance. Knockout or submission, either way I’m coming in to finish the fight because I’m tired of judges giving me the short end of the stick.
We have other guys in the gym preparing for fights as well. Jay Hieron and Tyson Griffin are fighting this weekend. Brad Tavares was fighting too but unfortunately he got injured. It sucks to get hurt that close to a fight and having to pull out, but it is part of the game when you train hard. He will heal up and get a new one lined up soon no doubt.
Tyson is fighting at UFC 137 this weekend and he is looking great! I’m gonna go see that fight live at Mandalay Bay. As I’m sure you might understand it is always more fun to go to the fights when my friends and training partners fighting. His opponent, Bart Palaszewski, is very tough, but I believe Tyson is the better fighter and he should be able to get the win.
There have been a lot of change ups to that fight card. It’s definitely too bad Georges St. Pierre got injured because I was looking forward to his fight! Now BJ Penn vs. Nick Diaz is main event and I think that should also make for a great fight. I’m rooting for BJ here but I’m worried Diaz might take it. Penn’s cardio has always looked better at 155 in my opinion and Diaz has a good size advantage, plus always comes in great shape with a relentless pace. Still, I’m hoping BJ pulls it off. He can definitely do it!
Jay is fighting Ben Askren in Bellator for the welterweight title. This one I’m really looking forward to! Ben is undefeated in MMA and a phenomenal Olympic level wrestler. So far the fights I’ve seen him in, he’s been able to make it a wrestling match and dominate. He is also a bad ass in Disc Golf! I played disc golf with him and Alan Belcher when I was in Oklahoma to corner Jay for his semifinal match of Bellator’s Season 4 tournament. It was fun but it is gonna be a long time before I can make a career out of that so I think I’ll stick with fighting.
Jay is one of my main training partners at the gym and we work with each other all the time. Jay’s a great wrestler and I think he is really the worst possible opponent for Askren. His takedown defense is incredible and he is fast and accurate with his punches. Askren will have a very hard time to get him down or keep him there, and on the feet Jay should be able to pick his shots and hurt him. Jay has been looking really sharp in training and I look forward to watching him take the belt home on Saturday.
Now I just gotta figure out how to watch both fights when they are going on at the same time. I wish Bellator was on Fridays!
That’s it for now. Until the next blog you can keep up with me on Facebook and Twitter (@MartinKampmann).