Training is going well. I’m working hard in the gym to get my shape up. I tweaked my knee a little bit awhile back which worried me initially but it feels a lot better so things are all good. With only a week to go before my fight at UFC 139 with Rick Story, at this point it’s all about refining my skillset. Now is not the time to learn new moves; it’s time to focus on what I’m good at and sharpen my tools.
Obviously I’m biased on this topic since he’s my teammate at Xtreme Couture but I truly felt Jay Hieron beat Ben Askren the other weekend at Bellator 56. At the same, I understand when you’re fighting a champion, especially in his home State, it’s gonna be hard to get the decision to go your way after a close contest. I think the outcome came down to the third round – I think Askren won #2 and #4 and Jay won #1 and #5. However, the third round was definitely close even though I think Jay took it. He may have been taken down but reversed him too and he did better standing, but, again, when you’re fighting the champ in his home State it’s tough to win over the judges’ favor in a close fight.
I’ve spoken some to Jay and, of course, it sucks to lose let alone like that. I’ve been there; a lot of people have been there. And especially when it’s a close fight like that where he knows he got the better of him. In the fifth round he completely dominated and put a beating on Askren. I just wish he could have performed like that in the four rounds prior. I know he wants a rematch but I’m not sure that will happen since Bellator is usually pretty tough on that front. I know Joe Warren has had some close fights too where people felt he shouldn’t have won but they didn’t give those guys rematches so the precedent is already there. I know I personally think he deserves another shot at Askren who himself even said he thought the decision could have gone either way. I’d love to see them fight again since it wasn’t just close but also an exciting fight as well. Good stuff without question.
I didn’t have a chance to see Hieron’s fight live since I was at the Mandalay Bay for UFC 137 but I made sure to stay away from Twitter to avoid results. I went straight home after the show to watch Bellator so it worked out well.
BJ Penn’s fight with Nick Diaz was great and it was cool to actually be at the show. There was a lot of energy in the arena. You really can’t beat being in attendance at a UFC event. The actual fight went the way I thought it would. I was rooting for BJ to win but I felt like Diaz’s size and pressure would tire BJ out in the later rounds, and it seems like that’s pretty much what happened. BJ won the first round, then he got tired or hurt and couldn’t handle Diaz’s pace. It was a terrific fight though.
I have no idea what Penn will do in the future but I will say I love to watch him fight, and I think he is still competitive at either 170 or 155 pounds. At the end of the day it’s up to him, and if he doesn’t have the fire anymore then he shouldn’t fight anymore, but if he still has it in him there are a lot of people who love seeing him in action and I’m one of them.
Finally, in case you’re wondering, my Halloween was actually pretty laid back. I pretty much trained and relaxed at home. I would have normally gone out but I’m 100% focused on my fight and Monday is a training night at Xtreme Couture. I’ll save my celebrating for the night of November 19.