Thursday, July 14, 2011

No, I Am Not "Getting Jacked" For This Fight.

"Are you jacked?"  "Are you excited?"  "Are you getting pumped?"

Every time I fight I hear these questions at least a bazillion times in the week leading up to the fight.  When I shrug my shoulders and answer with "not really" or "not yet" people seem taken aback.  The truth is I've never been one to get all jazzed up before I fight and there's a few reasons. 
  1. It's counter-productive.  Some people think that fighting angry, or "psyched up" is the way to go.  That may be true if you think that overwhelming your opponent is the only way you can win.  If you have faith in your training, your skills and your game-plan though, getting all "psyched up" is a detriment to clear thinking.  
  2. When your emotional level gets too high you run the risk of an emotional crash when something doesn't go your way; and in a tough fight there are bound to be moments where not everything is going your way.  In such moments it pays to have a clear mind and be able focus on correcting the situation.
  3. Getting psyched up burns a lot of mental energy.  It can zap the system as badly as using up too much physical energy before the fight.  I often chuckle to myself when I see new fighters with their hands taped and mouthguards in, walking around with angry faces several hours before they fight.  Do they know how much work it takes to look that pissed off for that long?
  4. This is not new. This will be my 8th professional fight. Before that, I had several amateur fights.  I've fought overseas.  I've wrestled for a National Championship.  This fight is important.  It does not, however, overshadow everything I've done previously.  
    This will not be me at weigh-ins.
If you are coming to watch me fight on Saturday you'll probably see my opponent come into the cage yelling, jumping around, gesturing to the crowd and mean mugging.  He might try some of the same stuff at weigh-ins. That's fine.  Maybe, for his own confidence, he feels like he needs to do that, but you won't see any of that from me.  A few hours before the fight you're likely to find me hanging out, playing cards, having a nap or sneaking out to talk to some friends in the crowd.  When it comes time to focus on the task at hand I'll be all business, but there's no sense wasting all of my energy before hand.

I'm not saying that I don't get nervous or scared; I do.  I've said before that anyone who says they don't is either lying or stupid.  You should be nervous or scared.  Those feelings you get is your body preparing itself for battle, pulling out those fight or flight (hopefully fight) responses that have been ingrained in our DNA for millenia.  If you aren't getting those feelings, your body and mind are not properly prepared to do what you are going to do.  I recently heard a quote from Urijah Faber that sums it up nicely.  It went something along the lines of "Yeah, I get butterflies; I just make them fly in formation".


  1. This should be required reading for all new wrestlers.

  2. Well said and as noted above this commentary should be required reading for all fighters. However in the fighting game it can also be noted that not all fighters are educated or bring in the proper mental component and rely on overwhelming their opponent. But as you mention when their plan fails they are the first to crumble.

    I'd wish you luck in your fight like all the others but instead will say may the most prepared win

  3. Wow this is an excellent post Brent. I like how personal the post is and how you speak from experience. Keep up the writing and domination in the ring!