|The following opinion was written by David Michaud. All content © Native Sun News.
David ‘Bull Dawg’ Michaud. COURTESY/Ultimate Fighting
Getting hungry, but ready to go
By David Michaud
Native Sun News Correspondent
As I write this column I am currently two weeks out from weigh-ins. When the paper comes out it will be nine days from weigh-ins, 10 days until fight night. Things are starting to get real.
My camp has lasted forever, fine it's more like 10 weeks so far but it seems like forever: ten weeks of two-a-days, watching film, lifting, running, getting beat up, beating people up. This is the time when every fighter’s body starts to feel beat up. I'm no exception.
This is also the time when fighters start to get hungry, really hungry. Now, I don't mean for food; that comes next week. This is the week where fighters start to get hungry to get in the cage. This week fighters want to put their skills to use in a live environment, not just in the gym where we have to hold back.
That time is coming, but it can't get here fast enough. All day I have to stop myself from thinking about the fight. After training for so long all I want is to get in the cage. All the hard work that I have put in, all the suffering that I have gone through, is all going to be taken out on my opponent in that cage.
Training for a fight for so long gets old. Every day you go to the gym and fight the same people. You have some good days where you dominate and you have some bad, where people you should kill end up dominating you. No matter what though, you always have to keep your head. When I have a good day I can't let myself get too overconfident, just like when I have a bad day I can't get too down on myself.
Now the fight is right around the corner. It is not something that is far off in a month or two; it is in a few days and knowing that helps drive fighters. Knowing how close the fight is makes it tangible, makes these last few practices bearable. Now fighters really start visualizing what is going to happen on fight now. Imagining walking to the cage; hearing their walk out music, feeling the crowd; everything that is going to happen on fight night is there.
Not everything is great with the fight right around the corner though. This is some of the most stressful times there are for fighters. This is the time when everything starts to come down to a deadline. For most fighters part of their pay is dependent on selling tickets so now is when everyone finally starts to come out and purchase their tickets. Making it tougher on fighters because all they want to focus on is the fight, but they also have to focus on making sure they sell all their tickets.
To go along with that now fighters must make sure that they have their sponsors lined up. They have to ensure that whatever they promised their sponsors (t-shirts, pavement on the shirts, acknowledgement of sponsors in interviews) must be done correctly. If a fighter does not do what they promised their sponsors then that is more money they are missing out on.
Many fighters also have trouble with their personalized shirt sales. There is so much to go over. How many shirts can you sell? What size shirts? Who should you order from? I can say, through personal experience, this is extremely important. My last fight I ordered shirts more than a month in advance and they did not show up until the day of my fight. It was horrible. We ended up having to sell them all the day of the fight. Luckily for me I have a lot of great friends (who I lovingly call my minions, ha) that helped me and sold them for me.
With all these outside distractions going into the last two weeks of a fight camp it is sometimes hard to stay focused. But, as the fight gets closer, it is all that is on a fighters mind. The ones who separate themselves are the ones who can put all the outside troubles with tickets, shirts and sponsors outside their mind and totally focus on the fight.
With that said, here comes the fight.
(Contact David Michaud at email@example.com)
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