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Drilling combos that focus on footwork and stance changing this evening #mma #ufc #tuf28 #heavyhitters #theultimatefighter #heavyweight #footwork #mittwork
A post shared by Josh Parisian (@parisianmma) on Sep 6, 2018 at 3:07pm PDT
Fight day had finally arrived. All of my typical pre-fight nerves started to set in upon waking up: shallow breathing and a slow, but hard, pounding heartbeat.
One thing that I wrote in my journal every single evening before bed, was a constant reminder that Team Whittaker were not working as hard as our team, and that I have never been mentally broken and that the upcoming fight would not be any different.
One thing the coaches really wanted me to do was establish my jab early, and try to fight in the medium range, where I could always hit him, but still be able to frame as he tried to grab a hold of me.
Fast forwarding to the start of the fight, I went to establish my jab, but he immediately started backpedaling away from me and putting his back on the cage. This seemed strange to me as, traditionally, heavyweight wrestlers try to pressure forward and get a takedown off the wall. I hadn’t considered the possibility that him backing up to the cage to drop for a takedown was his game plan. I thought he was just so nervous about striking that he was timid.
I fought tooth and nail to keep standing after being taken down over and over. The game plan was not to try and use my Jiu-Jitsu, but to continue to stay off the mat and re-take the center of the Octagon. We had drilled getting up off the fence a significant amount, but did not work breaking away. So, I only was accomplishing half of my goal in there.
In between rounds, I saw Batista across the cage and he looked absolutely exhausted. My corners were telling me to continue to work hard and he would break before me. As I came out for the second, I almost accepted that I was going to be taken down, but was okay with it, as I felt he was getting more tired than me. It must have been a combination of all my self-affirmations that I was working harder and I would not break mentally, as well as my coaches telling me he was more tired than me in between rounds, that made me give up on the possibility of keeping the fight standing and beating him up on my feet. At that point, I wanted to make it a battle of wills. I wanted to feel him break, not being able to break me.
During the second round, I continued to stand and continued to get taken back down. My cardio was still fine, my breathing still felt controlled, but after standing up so many times, my legs were giving out on me. Both of our weights combined equals out to be over a quarter ton, and having to lift that amount up so many times was taking its toll on my legs.
I did feel the fight was stopped very early, as I was still moving and not even taking any damage. In my mind, I still had lots of fight left in me and even though there was a slim chance of me winning at that point, I would have wanted the honor of the referee allowing me to finish the fight, as I take so much pride in my mental fortitude.
After the fight, I was at the emergency room for three and a half hours, waiting to have the skin below my lower lip stitched. I took a short elbow in the first round that put a hole in my face large enough I could slide the tip of my tongue completely through. I had to get 11 stitches - five on the outside, two in-between and four on the inside.