This week I’ve continued to take it easy with my training. I’m thinking of myself as good old fashioned sports car – just needing some fine tuning and a run out every now and again. I’m in good shape as I’ve been in three fight camps back to back, so there’s no need to go crazy.
As promised I’m looking back at my time in the WEC this week. I’ve written before about my WEC debut and how much faith they put in me as an overseas fighter. I repaid them with a Peruvian Necktie and took home a submission of the night bonus! But it was my second fight in the WEC that I get asked about the most.
Back then Demetrious Johnson was not a champ, in fact, he was barely known. It was his first fight in the WEC, and the only footage I’d seen of him was him doing a scissorkick and knocking a guy out! But when we stepped into the cage, I was undaunted, and thought that he was pretty small for the weight class. Once we started fighting my main thought was “fuck me, you’re fast!”. He’d dart in and try to blitz with a combo, but my timing was good that night, and my takedowns were on point – but he was hard to keep down.
I felt I’d won the first round comfortably, and didn’t feel threatened at any point. There was a crazy moment where I caught his flying knee and took him down with a slam. I heard the wind being knocked out of him but didn’t realise that I’d separated my shoulder, so I mounted him and tried to finish him. I felt fine coming out of the second round and again, confident that it was mine. In the third round I went out and threw a jab, and straight away knew that something was a amiss. I was convinced I’d broken my collarbone – the pain was that bad.
The third round was the closest but I was confident that I’d won. When the result was being announced, I offered Herb Dean my right hand to raise cos I was in so much pain. Afterwards, DJ and I both went to the hospital together. Whilst we were there, we discovered we both had a love of gaming – in particular World of Warcraft. That’s why we both look so happy in this picture – kindred spirits! He has, of course, gone from strength to strength, in both MMA and gaming, although I probably am still a higher level at WoW than him…
My third WEC fight was Scott Jorgensen, which was a tough fight for me, as he took my win streak. But it was still a great fight, he just had such a strong wrestling pedigree, and I wasn’t up to his standard.
My final fight on the blue canvas was with Ivan Menjivar – a guy who’d been around a long time, and had fought the likes of GSP and Matt Sera. Meanwhile I was coming off a loss, and when they announced the fight I was just thinking “holy shit, this sucks”. In the end it ended up being a three round war, and I loved it. Going into the third round, I think we had one round apiece, so I decided to just box rather than try to knock his head off, and I got there on points. Not only was it my last fight for them, it was the last WEC event ever – a memorable occasion.
My time in the WEC was one of my favourite periods of my career. My WEC record was 3-1 and they were all awesome fights. WEC was a fight fans favourite show – there were just so many great fights, which I guess is ultimately why the UFC wanted the promotion! My favourite to watch as a fight fan was Cub Swanson vs. Mackens Semerzier. There was just something about that blue canvas…