You have to earn a view like this
So fresh of the heels of Bellator 106 I’ve decided to write a quick blog about, maybe some stuff I noticed about Bellator and what I have been doing in Thailand.
Quick Bellator notes. Does Eddie Alvarez have the best head movement in MMA? I don’t know, however his head movement was top notch, his footwork was amazing and so was his jab. Eddie used that jab to make Chandler pay every time he came forward it seemed. That was such an incredible fight, I was more impressed with Eddie than I was with Chandler, but that’s not to say Chandler didn’t have his moments. That flying knee late in the fight was really impressive, as well as the 4th round which was 100% Micheal Chandler. His top game was awesome, and so were his take downs. I agreed with the judges, I had Eddie winning the second round, and I do believe that would have been the round that was razor thin, super close fight and it actually was close enough where it could have gone either way. Hopefully no one is screaming robbery about this. It’s good of business, now Micheal Chandler can win another tournament and set up the third match. Overall I am loving Bellator’s Tournament format. I feel that it’s adding a legitimate sport feel to Mixed Martial Arts after we have been conditioned to the sports entertainment style match making that the UFC has conditioned their fans with over the years.
Joe Riggs winning the Fight master Tournament? Cool, I thought that was why they put the show on, to get an established Journeyman a little of his luster back. We have had it pounded into our heads over the years that “everyone loves an underdog story.” Well this is Bellators! Joe Riggs,now because of his Fightmaster tournament win, is now a credible opponent for whoever he faces in the upcoming 170 tournament, and good for him.
King Mo lost, I’m interested in seeing what’s up with him after the fight. He had a strong first round but seem to fade hard afterwards. Maybe he thought he was winning those rounds, I have no idea. I think maybe I am not giving Emanuel Newton enough credit, it was a stellar performance and this is one of the times where I legitimately bought into the hype. I was convinced that King Mo was going to crush Newton in the rematch. Shame on me for riding that hype train, but this just goes to show that even after being a fan for now 12 years, even the most jaded fan can buy into someone’s hype.
So on to Training and Thailand talk. Last week I spent the most of my time building on what I had worked on the week before, and that was snapping the bottom part of your leg into your kick your kick, it’s like a whip. Last week I spent most of my time working on leg kicks, body kicks, elbows, knees from outside the clinch as well as proper footwork when preparing to throw a knee/kick, and then the proper footwork to ensure that you are back in the correct stance that you need to be in after the strike has been thrown. I have been going to the morning sessions where it is basically 1 on 1 with you and the coaches. I have been working with one that speaks good English and I’ve improved in the week with his guidance. It’s such a rewarding feeling, working on something for hours, and then getting it, finally throwing it the proper way, and resetting and then throwing it again. Very cool stuff, after a week like that it makes me even more excited to get back to training. I normally don’t train on Mondays but I think I’ll show up to the afternoon session, just to get into the swing of things. This weekend I did a few things. I go cut off by some old man and it made me fall off my scooter. I have a gash on my right elbow because of it, so to say the least I won’t be throwing any right elbows for awhile. I went shopping for some fresh clothes. Let me go into that a little bit. Here in Thailand there are mostly two prices for things, the price that merchants charge Thai people, and then the “Farang” price. Farang is the word for westerner. So, I went out to get some more shirts and I was so happy that the stores gave me the Thai price without me even having to haggle for it. Very cool stuff. But I bought maybe 5 new shirts, and 2 new pairs of shorts. Nothing exciting, I just wanted to mention it. Lastly, I went to the top of one of the mountains here in Chaing Mai, and I took some pictures. You can take a cab up there, or walk, I chose to cab it but I saw a lot of people walking and running up it, maybe it’s something I’ll do at some point, but I considered it a lazy weekend.
In closing I want to point out how enjoyable it is watching Muay Thai with people that are involved in the sport. Watching MMA has never been a social thing for me, it’s normally something I’ve done by myself or with a few core friends that have been forced to watch it if they wanted to see me on a weekend. The times where I did go out I encountered what I like to call “fat dudes at the bar.” They like to talk about how this fighter needs to do this, or that fighter needs to do that, or my favourite is they couldn’t fight because of their mentality. “Once I go, it’s to the death bro.” While casual fans are important for the business of combat sports, that doesn’t mean I have respect that sort of bullshit. I remember staying up watching streams on 240 of fights in Japan. Why? Because that was the old way to watch international mixed martial arts back then, and guess what? There were a lot less douchebags, and fat know it alls involved both the community and online community. While I think it’s awesome that MMA has been on TV since 2005, being involved in the online community really tests my passion for the sport. People that have no idea about being in shape, have no idea of throwing punches, people that probably breath heavy while eating a meal, are now online and masquerading as experts in something they have no APPLICABLE knowledge about. It bothers me, but I’ll get over it.
It’s refreshing to spend time with people that train full time and have a love and respect for a sport, they they train in, compete in and most importantly a sport that they understand.
Stay Gangster, I’m out.
I am sorry for not even writing a single blog while I have been here. I hope to sort of play catch up from now on. I have been here a month and basically training full time at Santai Muay Thai in Chiang Mai Thailand. When I had first arrived here and started training, it was very frustrating, everything was different. The stance, the way that you hold your hands, the way you kick, your foot positioning. It was a lot to take in at once, so the first 2 weeks was a serious ego check. Some days I did not feel like I was 1% better afterwards. However sessions like today I do feel much more improved, even after a 2 hour training session. I am understanding movement more, this is a big thing with Muay Thai, and keeping a defensive posture. With boxing you typically keep your hand covering your chin while you throw a punch, but with Muay Thai you must have your glove much higher because unlike boxing, you can throw elbows, and believe me, they hurt.
This is a boxing stance.
Shogun used a more traditional Muay Thai stance when he fought Machida for the first time. Notice his hand placement and how high they are.
Everyday now I am finding I am tweaking, something, getting better at something, it’s remarkable. If you do morning classes like I just did, you get lots of 1 on 1 time with the trainers. This is key for improvement. If you haven’t trained, it would be hard to understand how valuable 1 on 1 time is.
But I guess I will just detail quickly what I did this morning. I started off with a 5 km run, and what I thought was a slow pace, but I was told it was a decent pace, which is good. The soundtrack was obviously some trap music, I’ve really been feeling that shit lately. I was my soundtrack while I was in Bangkok. Then afterwards I wanted to spend some time closing the distance, and fighting close. Mostly elbows. I am not a very tall man, I am about 5 foot 9 inches, so in my opinion if I were to have success in a fight, it would be in close, instead of being on the outside. So that is what I was going today and honestly I feel like I easily 1% better. Setting up the elbow, and turning into is is basically what I went over for a good hour today. Simple stuff like grabbing the hand and then going overtop with an elbow to his face, his forehead, stuff like that. Sessions like this are exciting. I’m going to get some rest, I’ll be going back for the afternoon session.
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