It’s kind of crazy to think that if circumstances were different, I would be in Germany right now, making final preparations before UFC Hamburg. But, this is the way things are now – and I’m doing well, my back is on the mend and all I can do is prep for UFC 204!

I would like to take a moment to say a huge thanks to Neil Patel back home in London and Brett White out here in Florida who are my back doctors! They’re the guys who have been taking care of me, to make sure that I don’t do even more damage and that my recovery stays on track. I’ve been working with Neil for years now – I don’t know where I’d be without him!

It’s increasingly important for fighters to take good care of themselves – it’s the only way to have a long career. Not only do we need to fight smart, but we need to train smart too.  Especially at my age…

Recovery is as important as the training itself and given that the nature of the job means getting beat up on a daily basis, it’s essential to take care of our bodies!

I’ve never really focussed a lot on supplements, and aside from protein and multi vitamins which I take all year round – I often let that side of things slide. However, I focus on getting them right when I’m in camp. I can tell the difference – prep means I can get a better work out in, and the right combination of supplements helps me to recover quicker.

For those who are interested: I take a multivitamin and fish oil in the morning, BCAA, Protein and Creatine when I’m training – usually once or twice a day  – and at night time I take ZMA and Casein. All of my supplements come courtesy of Sports Nutrition UK, who I highly recommend! But it’s definitely worth checking out what will suit you and your training needs best before taking the plunge with supplements!

On top of all that… I also take ice baths here at ATT, and try to have massages as often as possible. They sort me right out! I also can’t recommend yoga enough – every Sunday I’ve been doing Bikram Yoga! It stretches me out and gets me back on track!

This weekend I’m off to the desert! I’m going to Burning Man Festival with a couple of friends. You’ll have to stay tuned next week to see what outfits I whip up, but trust me they’ll be worth the wait!! Hopefully I’ll find time to watch the fights – but I don’t know how good the internet connection is in the desert!!

I’m going to back Barnett in the main event. He’s very durable and can take some serious punishment which is pretty essential at that weight class. I think he’ll get him against the cage and then score a TKO victory, or possibly a submission. Latifi has been training here at ATT; I think he’s a bit of a slow bloomer! Winning against Bader will take him up a tier which would be great for him. He’s been doing well in his camp and looks great. It could be a close fight, but I’ll be cheering on Latifi for this one!

Finally – i’m looking forward to seeing Jim Wallhead make his UFC debut. We both started out at around the same time – he’s paid his dues! He’s got a great record and fought some of the best there are outside of the UFC (including ex-UFC-ers!). He’s a veteran like me and I’m looking forward to supporting him on Saturday night!

It still smarts that I can’t be there in Hamburg, but lots of my friends and family will be there watching the fights. I’ll make it up to everybody in Manchester!