Mousasi blog on M-1 Global website with pics and such
Mousasi's blog on a dutch website.
Google translate sucks.
Hey M.M.A. fans,
I am back for my second column, it has been a bit longer than I had hoped but thatís because of the hectic month in July / August, so this a extra long story. The month was going to be a good start because I would fight on August 1 during the event at Affliction against Babulu. My preparation was great and I was ready to go. The first bad news was very annoying because I was told that Barnett had been caught on doping. We were now 10 days before the event and then you hear something like this. What I found strange about the situation is that the case came to light before the match, usually these things come out after the match. Barnett is not even punished (because he has not fought) but will not be licensed to fight. Find it extremely doubtful that the committee chooses to change their policy during an Affliction event to tesing fighters early, but ok enough about Barnett. Its his own fault anyway as a fighter im not gonna worry about it. There were indeed several topmatches on the program and I assumed that a replacement for Fedor could be found. Who would not seize the opportunity to challenge the number one?
The second bad news soon followed; Affliction canceled the entire show! I was very surprised about it but at the same time very angry. So many fighters have trained hard for the right time to peak and then you get something like that to hear. Understood nothing about it and their explanation was very poor. Seeing that as fighters we not have a monthly salary so such matches are important, especially in my case I just bought a house and I needed money, I had so anticipated. Believe me, I was sick good. Fortunately there were some opportunities and we still decided to go to America.
One man's meat is another man's poison
Of course, not everyone mourning the death of Affliction, as UFC has a new sponsor to, nota bene Affliction itself! Unbelievable but true, first, the arch rivals of each other and now they return to bed. What a soap. But had already said that I did not want to talk too much about it. UFC has a number of fighters but also Strifeforce lay in wait. The contact between my management and Strike Force had already been made making a meeting with Scott Coker easy. It was a good conversation and I have to say that we could close a deal quickly, I could instant,ly on August 15 take on the same opponent as at Affliction namely Babulu. Another nice extra was that this time it would be for the title. Babulu was champion of Strike Force, which made made he match more interesting.
With Fedor BJ Penn by
Offcourse Fedor had also come to US because most attention went to him, everyone wanted to know what Fedor would do. Will Fedor go to the UFC or would it be Strike Force. Personally I already assume that he would sign with Strike Force. Must say that I would have liked to see Fedor in the UFC but I understand his choice to go to Strike Force very well. Many people see UFC as the largest organization and I certainly agree with that but to say that they have the best heavyweights I think not. The UFC is head and shoulders above everyone in the light heavyweight, welterweight and light weight divisions but the middle weight and heavy weight divisions, I think still weak, at least there are enough fighters around outside the UFC. As everyone knows, it became Strike Force, and there is a lot said and written about. Remember that Strike Force will star the best female fighter in the world, the best heavyweight fighter in the world and you guessed it the best light heavyweight fighter in the world, MOI! Hahahahah. But ok we go on, while everyone was fussing about Fedor, M-1 and UFC and we just went quiet chill. So I went with Fedor and the crew to the beach and we went to BJ Pennís gym, RVCA. Was nice to see that Penn, who can call himself the best lightweight in the world, was so impressed by Fedor. I didnít think he knew me that well but that will change. For now Fedor is the man and you could see that Penn was visibly happy that he came along.
Trained with Belfort?
You would think that I make a joke but it's true. Belfort and I had some words through the media, nothing personal of course, but the match that I thought would happen was denied by him and some comments were made left and right which made it not likely I would stop by his gym. But you never know. Was quietly shopping and guess who I bumped in to, Vitor Belfort. It wasnít that coincidental because some people who were with me had an appointment with him and his people, they would discuss the cancellation of Affliction to see whether legal action could be taken. While the people around us were talking I was talking to Belfort. He was quite a relaxed guy and it kinda clicked. I asked if I could train with him and he ok with it and I was grateful for the opportunity. Was a fun training is always nice to see how a fellow fighter trains and in what circumstances.
Boxing at Freddie Roach
My trip to America was mainly intended to look for a solution to road events of Affliction. Since the solution at the beginning of my arrival was solved I had a lot of time to spare. But you limp on two ideas, you have a match in about two weeks but you are also abroad. So the trip was a sort of combination. So I varied training with relaxing. You should take the opportunity and so I went to Freddie Roach, the famous boxing coach of America. Have said on several occasions that I would want to go back to boxing someday and what is now a better way to see if you can hang with those guys. During my visit to Freddie Roach I sparred with some guys from his gym. Roach was in my corner and wrapped my bandage around. The sparring went well and I must say that I certainly will fight a boxing match someday. Freddie Roach knows clearly where he is doing and I hope maybe in the future once again to visit there.
On The Affliction show, I would not only fight but at the same time celebrate my birthday. Was wonderfully sleeping when the door was beaten. I was a little afraid of the whole crew was singing at my door with cake and all Although I was not quite awake, it was nice to start the day. My day began with a training with Freddie Roach (see previous chapter) and then a photoshoot for Strike Force. When that was completed I went to my friends. There is a large Armenian community and have a good contact them. Every time I go to America, I go see them. The boys train in Gokor gym and I trained with them and in the evening went to dinner with all. Nice, just chilling with a group of fifteen. Then at about 23.00 I went back to the hotel.
Back to the Netherlands and back to USA
Although I was in America I could choose to stay till my fight. Only I'm still very attached to my area so I dont want to be too long from home. I would like before I go back in the cage again to pick up my preparation in the Netherlands, even if only for a week. So I just started like I always do going in to a match, it was cool that I got to relax in America but it was back to business again to train for the 15th.
Upon arrival in America, went to the hotel to prepare for the next day, there were interviews that I had planned to do. I was surprised that I had to do as many interviews on radio and TV. For someone who has never fought in America so much attention is always pleasant and is a sign of appreciation. Must say that everything was organized well and that I was picked up and neatly brought away. The next day was again more of the same, interview here and interview there. Also had some time for myself and I went shopping in a mall and went to the beach after. I must say that the last three days I dont train and let my body rest. I was surprised that I didnít have to do anything about my weight. On my first trip I was weighing at around 95 pounds but somehow I was on the arrival of my second trip just exactly 93 pounds so no need to train off. Is always a bonus. Day after that the weigh-in and everything went smooth. After weigh in a short interview done with MMA insight and bumped in to Babulu after that. You never know how an opponent responds when you will see each other but we greet each other and everything went with mutual respect.
Time to Fight!
The day of the fight had come. What I found very nice is that I just could stay at my hotel. You donít have to go all together. As I was fighting later, I was picked up at 18.00. Personally, I found that is nice. Upon arrival, the event already in full swing. Went immediately to the medicals. Damn what are these guys strict. I had A nasal spray because I had a little bit of a stuffy nose had but it was literally taken out of my hands. A can of RedBull couldnt be drunk, were probably afraid that I would be flying. Then I was in the locker room to wait for the moment. Also very good was that everyone gets a cutman. These are guys who know what theyre doing so they tape you in and they are also in your corner. Really professional! While waiting in the dressing room I always take a moment for myself and I think of why I do all this, I think of my family, my brother and my friends and I try to motivate myself inwardly and myself to keep quiet.
Once on the catwalk really nothing happens, everyone asked me later what you go through but I know never to answer it. I just walk to the ring and nothing more or less. I know I am ready and when I once stood in the cage I felt myself at ease. The cage is quite large so I knew that I could circle good and could keep distance. Yes, I like the cage. During the battle is much like automatic pilot. I had him against the cage and I knew that i had hit him a few times. When the full impact came I knew that he was KO and then stopped automatically. Again, I got many questions. My answer was the same, it happens automatically that I stop. It is a sport that we compete in and I have no hatred against him so I find it strange if someone would continue but I guess itís the nature of the beast.
After the fight you get the release, and then you realize that you just had a match and won a title. Must say that I knew I would win but that I would do it so fast, I had not expected. I had said though that I would get him with ground and pound hahah. During my victory walk, I was congratulated by Bas Rutten and Kevin Randleman. After the battle you get a check right away so that was always pleasant, this is something else in Japan. After I'm dressed nice dinner with the guys from EA game and they have promised me that I now release any EA get sent home, it's good to be me hahaha. On arrival at the hotel I was greeted by many people and I had to give signatures and take pictures. Although it is not my first time Iím not very used to it. Then to my hotelroom and looked on the internet at the fight and of course the responses on mixfight. Am not a real partyanimal so I just went to bed.
Oh incidentally, completely forgot to say, I have a new sponsor in Tapout and have concluded a deal with them and if it is I will soon get my own shirt.
I would also like to thank everyone for the support I have read on the Internet, in particular, I thank the people who helped me work for my party:
Bert Kops, Kita, Abdulla, Jessy, Gewik, Ricardo, Floris, Michael, Chris Dolman and the rest of the guys in the gym.
I would also like the best surgeon in the Netherlands Fred Riek, the trainers of M-1, the boys of Slamm, Mr Guus for his guidance with Jelte, Goksel, Apy, Joop, Jacob and Fabrice, the M-1 crew and of course my family and vriendem, oh I forget my old boxing trainer Luc without them all I would not have succeeded.
Gegard "The Dreamcatcher" Mousasi