There’s such a big build up to a fight that once it’s all over, it’s hard to adapt to normal life. You go through a fight camp of ten weeks or so, and often way before that, before it’s announced you’ll know about the fight. And it’s all over in fifteen minutes.
Some people want to go straight back in and go to the gym and start training again. I didn’t sustain any injuries so I could go back and train this week, but I’m allowing myself the week off, and next week I’ll head back to the gym – for both light training and some coaching. But for this week I’m going to focus on match making for my own event (Rise of Champions), and spending some quality family time with Sarah and Buddy.
Everybody could see what an emotional night it was for me. I put so much pressure on myself in the run up to the fight. Like I said, I was truly fighting for my job; going into this fight with three recent losses was a big deal for me, and I had a lot of demons to contend with. Should I be retiring, was I too old? I’ve said it before and I stick to it, that when the UFC no longer want me, then I’m done. But whilst I can still fight and still win, I want to keep fighting. It’s my dream job, and I’m not ready to quit.
There’s been a lot of chat about the result – and I admit it was a close one. I lost the first and won the third, in my opinion, and it all came down to that second round. It could have gone either way, and I’ve been on the other end of a close decision so I know how Francisco feels. To say it was a robbery is a step too far, but I am so happy that it went my way as it could easily not have done. I’m not a religious man, but I admit that when we were waiting for the results, I was looking up and I spoke to my mum and dad. It was a close call.
I was actually happier with my performance in my previous fight against Thomas Almeida – I looked good, fought good, but got caught. In this fight I didn’t look as good, but I still got the W. Of course, I would rather look good and get the W…
I was really sorry to hear that Francisco is having a difficult time now he’s at home. As he returned home he found out that his best friend’s father had passed away and he’s been trying to help raise some money for funeral expenses. If you can help, with even just a few quid, click HERE to donate. A lot of people think that opponents have to be enemies, but it wasn’t like that for us. We were cutting weight in the sauna together, chatting about our lives and families. He’s a good guy and is trying to do something good for his friend – so I think all help will be appreciated.
All week in the run up to the fight, I had been eying up the cooked breakfast at the hotel, unable to have it. So, on Sunday morning, I got up and had myself a good old English fry up and then I drove home to spend the day with my family. A lot rides on this sport – including my mood!
I genuinely meant it when I said I was prepared to end my fighting career on Saturday if that’s the way the chips fell, but I feel re-energised and the pressure has lifted considerably. I was hyped up to keep fighting immediately after the event, but perhaps UFC Rotterdam is a bit soon to fit in another full fight camp and get back out to America, so I hope to be back in the Octagon by the end of June or thereabouts. For those who think I’m done, I suggest you check out a film called The Cinderella Man – it’s based on a true story…
Before I wrap this up, I just want to say thank you to my fans all around the world, but in particular the fans here in the UK. I do this for them too – I enjoy earning their respect, as well as that of my peers. I’m a very proud person, and their continued love and support means so much.
I also want to thank Funky Gums, Positiv Energy Drinks, Sports Nutrition UK, Venum, Scramble, G-Form, American Top Team (especially Paulie Gloves and Mike Brown), Team Titan and Athletic Edge. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter for all my news!