I think what I hate the most, is knowing how well I train, in clinching and sparring, and then seeing the gap between that and my fights. It’s so frustrating that my brain just doesn’t seem to connect the dots. I know how to step knee – so why can’t I do it in a fight. Why isn’t this muscle memory yet????
I am always hyper critical of myself. Always. I watch my fights back over and over and look for all the little things (and big!) that I continue to do wrong. I watch myself get punched in the face and wonder why I don’t block these punches. I watch myself with perfect opportunities to throw an elbow or a kick and I just stand there like a jerk.
Not this time 🙂
After a strong win against Mariah 2 weeks before, I was matched to fight a Thai girl who was not only 10 years my junior, but had already been training and beasting people for years. I am super grateful these are all things I did not know going into this match.
It’s fair to say there is no such thing as an easy fight, however I am fully aware that all my fights from here on out are set to challenge me. My opponents are tougher and faster, they have more skill and more experience, and each time I set foot in the ring I am there to prove myself, not to anyone else but myself.
Training for this fight was short – I was expecting to fight on the 18th however I was pleasantly (or not so pleasantly) surprised that once again, my fight had been moved forward a few days. I’ve resigned to this happening, and try to make sure I am as prepared as possible.
Back to back fights makes training camps much simpler. Working on cardio and basic improvements in between fights but not running yourself into the ground provided you take enough time off after your fights. The problem with short camps is the injuries you might sustain during a previous fight that it can hinder what you are able to achieve during training.
Unfortunately I had a small injury to my left leg meaning I was unable to kick pads with it for the entire duration of this camp. It also meant that I was unable to spar leading up to this fight. Because I was unable to spar it meant that I was clinching twice a day. This gave me a really good opportunity to work with trainers who had been at my previous fight, to improve the things I had done wrong. My balance in the clinch was still a little off so this was important, and improving my clinching fitness was really key.
I am so conscious that as the levels rise, so must my clinching. At the end of the day, it can mean the difference between and win and a loss.
First rounds begins and in what feels like and instant, Soalar and I are clinching. I can hear my corner yelling at me “slowly slowly, relax!”. I can see she is just waiting to counter off my moves and watching how I respond to her. Smart, experienced fighter – I knew this would be really tough. I will admit, there were moments in the first round where she comes out much quicker than I had expected and she knows how to hit and hit hard! The first round was a complete shock to me. It was by far the most active first round I have ever had. I was grateful to get a catch kick and sweep at the end of the round to balance out the score cards.
Round two continues and I can feel that Soalar is really gunning for me. The work rate is high and we are well matched in the clinch.
When I get back to my corner, I remember feeling a moment of defeat. Am I good enough to beat this girl? Am I fit enough to go the distance with her?
It’s funny the things that run through my mind sometimes during a fight. Interesting the things I hear and don’t hear. All I remember is reminding myself, that no matter the outcome, I am doing what I love, and WTF – I can do this!
As the rounds progress I can really feel myself stringing together things that have always been a gap for me. Staying balanced in the clinch and throwing elbows in the clinch. For the first time, I didn’t feel like a deer in the headlights.
Rounds 3, 4 and 5 were no holds barred. I have never felt this gassed in a fight before, but I have never had to work at this rate in a fight either so it was a really good push for me. In between rounds, I would remind myself, that I can do anything for 2 minutes!
The fight was so close and I don’t know if any one from my corner was willing to predict it. I can’t describe the feeling I felt when the ref pointed to our corner.
These are the fights I want, and these are the ones I want to win.
As always – my truly remarkable friends both near and far, thank you for your unwavering support.
Professional Record – 5-1-0