T Nation

12 Weeks Away

Ok, I have accepted a MMA fight again on Oct. 13th. It is for Bang Gym’s promotion in MS. I know some of you have asked about this sort of thing. I was thinking I might take some vids of my training; padwork, wrestling, jitsu etc and post it here. Also want to discuss my diet and other aspects of getting ready.

Do not have my opponents name at this point so I am not sure of what kind of strategy I might use either. I will be fighting at 170lbs welterweight I stepped on the scale this morning after a good piss and i weighed 186.5.
So to some of the more knowledgeable and experienced feel free to guide me as I move closer to the fight.

This is my last fight. I am in the black and white opponent is in the american flag shorts.

Let me say that this was not a stellar performance by me. I really did not want to be in the cage that night for whatever reason. I feel it was somewhat technically sound but watching it now I see tons of mistakes and shortcomings. I am not the same fighter as I was that day.

I have some good info for cutting if you are interested (I have some ebooks I could email you). Feel free to PM me if your interested. I cut to 135 and I usually start camp around 155. I usually cut the last 8-12 lbs the last 7 days and put it back on after weigh ins (and sometimes more). Either way i look forward to keeping up with your posts!

Good luck with the fight mate, I’ll keep up with your posts with interest. I watched your vid, and I’d say the following (I have never done MMA in a proper gym, never watched a full MMA fight (other than yours), and so don’t know what reasons there may be to contradict what I say, so if it is no use to you, by all means ignore it (although I shared a flat with an MMA fighter who won a couple of big tounaments and we sparred regularly):

As a boxer, I would say you are very very square on, don’t use much lateral movement or head movement, tend to circle in only one direction, and you hang your chin out and drop your hands when you throw a fair bit of the time. I am aware of the risk of leg kicks that you guys have to consider, but from that fight, most of the standup seemed to be striking. A little bit of slipping/work on fundamental boxing basics looks like it could have made a serious difference right from the off.

I read your post and I don’t want to criticise/comment too much or too harshly. I’ve had my share of off nights, and I know that sometimes you don’t look anything like your true self in the ring. What I said above is meant relatively. You look like a solid fighter, with solid skills, good toughness, good instincts, and good technique (again, no idea about MMA really, so can’t comment too much on that overall aspect). I put my comment bluntly just so that you could watch the video again with that in mind, and see if you agree. Either way, hope you find some use from my post.

Would love to see some training videos, Ranzo. Yep, it does look in the first round like you don’t really want to be there, but as the fight moves on you’re more committed & aggressive with your strikes.

I agree with London about the movement, it would be great for you to focus on that. My few boxer friends swear by loads of jumping rope to quickly improve your feet.

Good luck in October, I’m sure you’ll do great!

London, I would agree that in that fight my movement was bad. I switched gyms after that fight. I was 100% Krav Maga and my Karate background at that time and learned that I needed so much more training in areas that I was not getting. I have spent the last year improving myself with footwork and find myself tell others in training " its all in the feet" . I would also agree that I have some problems with dropping my hands.

as far as circling I think that comes from Krav always circling to the dead side or weak side. I have been working on some movement from a muay thai coach and some boxing but I find the boxing stuff difficult to employ in mma because of the range and takedowns being prevelant.

Thanks for the critique, it has reminded me to stay focus on the basics and do them right.

Miss Parker, thanks for the encouragement I plan on giving it my all

Best of luck for your forthcoming fight Ranzo.

I hope your training goes well.

Ranzo, did you get my message response?

Pm sent^^^

Thanks for the encouragement and critiques so far. Here is a focus mitt session. this was somewhere in the middle of training. I had been working on Thai pads with a new combo earlier. Also the video got cut off and there is about another minute after this.

Make me a better fighter guys…

You completely drop your guard when you punch.

Again, I hesitate to be overly critical, not knowing about all the facets of MMA.

That said, you do drop your guard a lot when you are punching. You also tend to slightly back circle/wind up your right hand before you throw it. Not every time, but often enough that I would be confident of making you evening miserable with left hooks in a boxing match.

Your coach doesn’t seem to be pushing you to be light on your feet, less square on, or even move your head after you punch. Again, I appreciate that there are more things to be concerned about in MMA than just boxing, but at the same time, if you are in punching range, and you feel it is an effective means of engaging, then really you should be looking to be much more effective with your shots. You don’t seem to get much snap, or body rotation into your shots. With those gloves you boys wear, I would be looking to make a few solid big shots count. A clean right hand or left hook with bad intentions and good technique behind it should stop most guys with only 6oz gloves on.

My personal, uneducated stance on this is: MMA fighters complain that there is much more to worry about than being punched, so you can’t stand square on because of takedowns etc. If this is the case, why waste so much time on trying to punch like a boxer, and string combinations together like one? You can’t do it from that position, but still you try, so whilst you think you are safe from leg kicks or take downs from having a lead leg, you are trying to throw boxers shots from a bad boxing position. Boxers are told not to box from that position because it leaves you off balance. Personally, if you have to fight out of that stance, I would flick jabs constantly when on the edge of range, then pick one to step in behind, throwing a crisp right to follow up. At least that way you can punch halfway effectively. I don’t mean it as a personal criticism, but if I came up against a guy in a boxing match punching from your stance, with the weak punches that it necessitates, I would be looking to walk through you from the start, landing power shots. I say that, because you cant go backwards in balance from that position, so I would be looking to hurt you, and force you back awkwardly (which, I would have thought, would leave you open to takedowns etc, and all the things you are trying to avoid by fighting in that position in the first place)

Ok let me say that yes I could have been more technical in that session. I guess my main question is what do you mean by being “squared” up. I think I know but in all of my training from the Marines to Japan and in my current gym this is the way I have done it. Are you suggesting that I need to stand more bladed?

Would like to hear what exactly you are talking about and why I should stand that way.

Sure, no problem, I should have been more constructive. You seem to be taking comment well, so I’ll do my best to explain what I see the problem is and how I would train to correct it. Sorry to be blunt in the first posts, but usually when you give a critique, people take it personally, rather than just seeing it as things to bear in mind when watching yourself back.

By squared up, I mean that you dont really have a back foot to front foot stance. If you stand with your feet together, side by side with the insides touching, and take a shoulder width step back with your right foot, balance your weight evenly on the balls of your feet, bend your knees an inch or two, then you are in a solid boxing stance. Fighters like Oscar De la Hoya boxed in that sort of position, weight evenly distributed between the feet, and pretty upright. I would have thought this is your best boxing stance for MMA (whether or not it needs adapting to be effective, you know much better than me). In a bid to be helpful, I have watched a few MMA fights and I personally think that stance could be made to work, although perhaps you would need to move your right foot out (away from your left, a little, say 6 inches or so). The advantage of this style is that you can move quickly, efficiently, and dictate range very effectively with your fists, if your style is to press the action, or be a busy fighter.

I’ve now seen a few MMA fights, and whilst I dont claim to be any kind of expert or have enough knowledge to make valuable judgements, it seems to me that kicks are often pretty ineffective, well telegraphed, and not thrown all that regularly. I would imagine the same holds true at lower levels. I would have thought that if you adopted a more boxing based stance, the kind suggested above, with it always in your mind that leg kicks were a possibility, it would allow you to capitalise on the more frequent situation where punches are being thrown.

I feel particularly strongly about that because, despite the fact that most people (even pros) go through their whole careers without realising it, a stance that allows you to slip to avoid punches, gives you the best possible chance of forcing your opponent off balance and into making mistakes. I would have thought this was particularly useful in MMA as if your opponent is off balance you not only have the option of striking effectively with your fist, you also have the option of an easier take down.

I’m in a bit of a rush now, but if you would like any further clarification or opinions on training for stand up striking, I would be very happy to make suggestions.

haha ok well at first I did take it personal and thought about it for a while and watched the video again. I think I will definately have to stay on point with my techniques before making another video but I think this is a great way to share information.

I have been scouring you tube for boxing stances etc… I think I see what you mean and it brought back many memories of my krav training when my instructor would say that lots of other styles stand more bladed and he being a Tae Kwan Do guy originally also stood more that way. I see that I could step wider and turn my knee out some do develop more power. That being said everywhere I train or anybody I spar with tells me my standup is pretty good. Normally people don’t come out and say things like that unprovoked, so for whatever that is worth. In the way I spar I am generally on the move and the ranging in MMA is totally different that boxing so I would venture to say that my stance when fighting is different than when hitting focus mitts.

I am going to try some things tonight and see how it works out for me. I appreciate the comments and critiques. It is awesome that anybody really gives a shit.

Haha, I don’t mean any of it personally mate. You’re a solid fighter, no doubt. But you don’t get anything of much value out of me saying that. You do drop your hands, not like an idiot, but like a guy who could do stuff better. Same holds true for the predictability of your movement, lack of head movement, lack of in/out motion etc. You’re no mug, but you’re no Floyd Mayweather, and like the rest of us, until you are, there will always be things that can be done better.

I watched your fight twice now, and you aren’t bad at stand up, that was never my point. All I hope to achieve is to point out areas where, from 14 years at a top gym, as successful boxer and more recently coach, I would be pushing you to be better. You may well be a good standup fighter by MMA standards, but you guys have to be proficient at more disciplines, so you will inevitably have more obvious flaws to someone who specialises purely in one discipline. All the things I mention above and in my first post are things that are obvious weaknesses to me from a boxing standpoint. Hopefully when you watched your video with them in mind, you saw areas that you could improve on. Always remember that one mistake in these sports can have a serious effect on your health and well being. Dropping your right, telegraphing, being predictable with your movement, are all things that a good opponent will capitalise on. Against someone good, you are lucky if you get away with one mistake.

Ok I have been training hard this week did some sparring last night with a few different opponents. I worked my stance and I feel if I open my knee up and keep my rear leg back a bit I can make more power with my punches, however it is slower for me to react to takedowns particularly a single leg. I have a couple good defenses even if they scoop the leg and I was working that pretty well.

we do three rounds with a fresh guy coming in every round to keep me on my toes. Going to be spending some time on cardio as fight day gets closer for sure. There is so much to focus on in MMA, sometimes its overwhelming. I have spent a ton of time on my ground game and wrestling and now my strking has suffered.

Long story short this week I have really been focusing on keeping a good stance, not dropping my guard and staying mobile to aviod takedowns. Thanks to everyone for pointing out my flaws so i can focus on them more.
I will post up some more training and maybe a sparrig session in the future… we will see.

Thought I might put and update here today. I have decided that at this point I am not going to learn a whole lot of “new” things and we have been focused on using my strengths to win the fight and improving the other areas ot keep the fight where I am strongest. Reading that even I am thinking big friggin deal everyone does that but I think it is often easy to start training some new submission or whatever and forget about the ebb and flow of a fight and sharpening the skills needed to put yourself in the dominant position.

Yesterday I did a ton of shadowboxing and worked thai pads a bit on combos and movement. We brought some wrestlers in and I worked takedown defenses quite a bit and worked on head and arm control to maximise jiu jitsu if the takedown ended up successful. Just another small nugget of a fight. Also did jiu jitsu and worked on a number of reversals and escapes and an escape to a submission, very cool stuff.
At this point in the game as I said we are focusing on using the techniques that will keep me where I want on the fight and training with lots of focus on specific areas of the fight and then start bringing it all together as we move closer to fight day.

Been working hard the last few days for sure. I had to slow downt the training for a couple weeks. My son came in for 3 weeks from Japan and I have not seen him in years. Was a great time but now I have to get back at it.

Monday, worked on several drills. One for dirty boxing as we call it. each person has their lead foot in the same square and you cannot move from that foot. Hands only working on getting to the inside and defenses etc. we would fight for 3 minuted total and randomly the coach would call “go” and someone goes for the takedown and the other must defend.
After that drill we moved to another drill where someone would hold you back with a belt or a band and you try to attack your opponent nonstop. this included punches kicks or whatever you want to use.

worked on some other intense drills with wrestling and jitsu. The kicker was next though in the cage, or our simulated cage…lol A guy on each side me in the middle. The goal is to do 25 consecutive takedowns, one guy after the other, or as many as you can do. Some guys gas at 12-13. The “victims” are punching, sprawling and giving “light” resistance so your experience can differ depending on who you are trying to take down. I find this drill horrifyingly difficult after about the 18-19th takedown you are tired! The better your technique the less you gas I can promise you that but at the same time the less you gas the easier it is to maintain technique.

After this I proceeded to go to No Gi jiu jitsu class then home to crash.

Tuesday,

Shadow boxing two rounds , Heavy bag work focusing on crisp solid combos and working on the accuracy of my kicks.

Tuesday is also wreslting day. we workded on 5 different wrestling techniques and drilled them over and over for a good hour. This turned into some sparring sessions using our takedowns and wresting to get a dominant position.

Proceeded to regular jitsu class after that.

Thursday,

Thursday was some great sparring anything goes 3 5 minute rounds. This included ground work to submission round ended.

went to regular jitsu class. 30-45 minute of instruction 20 minutes of rolling.

I will try to get some video of a similar session and get it up soon. I just been too busy latley

Good work mate. Looks like you’re putting in the time. Sure it will come off for you in the cage. Enjoying the updates.

Ok it has been a while since updated this. I have nobody to take video of training as of late which is good beause that means there is not a lot of onlookers in the way while I prepare for this fight. However I would like to show some things I have changed and some of the drills we have been working on.

Now less than a month away I know who I am fighting. I have a reach advantage and height advantage. I cannot find any good video on the guy so a definitive game plan is not in effect. That being said I have taken several crticizms given on here to heart. Found myself looking at lots of Boxing videos and have adapted a couple techniques. I took a hard look at my stance and worked with my teammates and coach on standing much mor bladed. What I found was that I when I sparred I was kind of in a differnt stance than when I hit the pads. Working from more of a boxing stance I find it easier to stay in range of your opponent and easier to dodge shots, bend at the knees and deliver a power shot with the counter. Now some of you guys are saying “no shit sherlock” and I was aware of this too but just learning how to use it against someone who is going to kick you and shoot in on you and bounce around Muay thai style is differnt. I have forced myself to stay aware of my stance and practice takedown defence for a couple of weeks now. It works pretty well but I think it leaves the single leg a little vulnerable but I can deal with that for now.

Working a ton on not getting took down because every person who has ever stood and banged with me eventually makes the decision to take it to the mat.:slight_smile: Lots of Sprawls and wrestling to stay on top and of course jiu Jitsu for when it fails. This week I am working on transitioning from a sprawl to position to submission and my own takedowns to submission. Also starting to focus on Cardio more and more. Fighting people who rotate in fresh sparring and sprawling takedowns for 5 rounds will let you know how weak you are. Also putting in road work. Last run was just over 3.2 miles in 27:50 one mile of that was off road trail running.

I feel ready but I am nervous of course. Trying to work, train, diet and rest takes a lot of time and preparation. Sure wish I was getting paid…LOL Weighing 178lbs this morning I should not have a problem making weight but it seems hard to loose weight right now. Have had a couple days where I really needed more food for the work I was doing and got light headed and weak in training. This is really one big learning process all the time.

Thanks to all of you guys who told me how crappy I am and to keep my hands up etc. I am working on it and I will post more video in the future.