It looks like I’ve brought the Great British weather with me to Boca Raton, Florida. It’s been hurricane weather and if it wasn’t for the palm trees I might think I was back in England. My training camp is also going like a hurricane. My cardio is feeling better than ever and it’s showing in sparring sessions.

The training timetable at American Top Team has changed a little which is really working out for me. Previously we sparred at noon, then rested before doing an evening session. The problem with this was after sparring you’d be pretty spent and it didn’t seem all that long before we were heading back to the gym for an evening session.

Now we’re doing a technical session every morning and sparring in the evening. This is working out much better for a lot of the guys as we’re getting adequate rest in between sessions, which is improving the quality.  I personally also prefer sparring at night, as we fight at night so it has a truer bearing on reality. It probably only sounds like a small change but when you have a gym full of fighters that like their habits it’s not always easy. I think this move will definitely pay off for a lot of guys.

Dan Lambert, the man who owns American Top Team had a poker night round at his house recently for some of the fighters. Competition was fierce and with six experienced guys around the table so I was pretty pleased to take 1st place and the $80 jackpot. Dan also had an awesome poker table with the American Top Team logo on it. Maybe there’s a career in this for me after fighting, I might challenge Bruce Buffer to a game next and see how good I really am.

Last Friday we also took a team trip out to watch some of the young amateur fighters from American Top Team make their mark on the sport. It was great to see our guys take a clean sweep and it’s one of the many things I love about American Top Team. The gym makes a real effort to nurture young up and coming talent by keeping one foot in the local scene.

Looking ahead to my fight with Yves Jabouin, I think I’ve got another tough opponent who’s very underrated. His record is solid and he’s currently riding a win streak so his confidence will be high. Many people will be expecting me to win, but I’m taking nothing for granted and my loss against Renan Barao is still fresh in my mind.

Before we fought not many people had Barao on their radar. He now holds the interim title and whilst the top is getting tighter, winning the next fight is all that matters in this sport.

One Punch