As I said in my initial blog, I am a guy who always seems to find his way to bad luck – or I guess I am my own worst enemy.
On last night's episode, you saw the event that has haunted me since it happened. It is not like an eye poke, accidental headbutt or anything like that. I fouled with an illegal move; I soccer kicked Tavares and ended what looked to be a great war. I felt so bad after it happened and still to this day I feel remorseful.
Tavares is a great guy and a very tough competitor. He did not come on the show to win like that, and I surely did not want to lose like that either. As he attacked me, I just resorted back to a place that I thought I had buried with fighting. As soon as the kick connected, I snapped out of the moment and realized I might have really hurt him, not to mention cost myself an opportunity to reach the finals.
I am really not even sure how to blog about this. I knew that this would air and I would have to discuss what happened. I basically really can't think of anything other than to say I am truly sorry to Tavares, his coaches and training partners that helped him make the show, and to his team and coaches on the show.
To Tavares, I took a great moment from us with one stupid action. I embarrassed myself, my coaches and my team, and I really am sorry for taking that fight away from you in that manner. We both knew losing was part of stepping into the cage, but you and I both would have rather lost like warriors than win on a disqualification.
I know Coach Tito Ortiz felt like they were stealing the victory from us, but I knew that kick landed on Tavares' jaw, and he was in a lot of trouble.
For me, this was the end, and I had no one to blame but myself. I was stuck in a house full of great guys and surrounded by great coaches, so all I could really do is suck it up and try to move on and make the most of my time left on the show. On the other hand, we already had a banged-up crew of fighters, and I was still injury-free. I think UFC president Dana White and the powers who be understood that it was an accident, so all I could do is hope for another shot and learn what I could from whom I could.
Speaking of learning, Kris McCray once again showed us that his hard work in practice was paying dividends. I think Kris had elevated his game and was underestimated a bit by Team Liddell. We were just a few wins away from having teammates fight, and I know everyone started to look at Kris as a real contender after this fight.
When Dana was talking about how he has no problem throwing teammates against each other, I had to laugh out loud. When Chris Camozzi and I were selected, our manager told us, "Whatever you do, do not act like you know each other, or you will fight your friend to get in the house." I had not thought much of that advice until I saw last night's episode, but it was sound advice.
I won't lie – I felt like I was back on the show because of my friendship with Camozzi, and I am sure he put in a good word for me. I felt like I was fighting for the both of us.
The episode ended with Chuck Liddell being told Tito is out of their season-ending fight. It was pretty evident in practice that Tito was not going to be fighting anyone. He was definitely willing to tough it out, but you could see a rapid decline in his mobility. He was in a lot of pain and likely only driven by his competitive drive.
I will close this blog out with one last apology to Brad Tavares and his people. I was honored to fight you and really disappointed with myself that I fouled you and potentially injured you the way I did. There is no room in this sport for dirty fights, and like I said, you deserve better from me.