It feels good to be back home in Boston after my victory against Dokonjonosuke Mishima. I am also thankful that I didn’t suffer any injuries and can resume training after a few days off.
Although many fans are unfamiliar with Mishima, I knew I had a tough fight on my hands. He is a world class fighter and a true warrior. There was one word I had in my head while training for this fight and that was “punishment.”
I had to get his respect early. I had wanted to set him up with my jab and use Muay Thai kicks to break him down. I worked hard on avoiding takedowns and anytime we were on the ground, my goal was to be the guy on top working the ground and pound. As planned, Mishima took a lot of punishment on his feet and on the ground, but he hung in there. He ended up having to use even his most unorthodox techniques.
In the 3rd round, I had a big decision to make. It was tap or don’t tap. After getting my knee locked out and feeling the ligaments and tendons stretch, Big John McCarthy asked me if I wanted out. I looked at him and waived him off with my hand. I figured I either deserve to lose my knee or I need to find a way to get out.
I cleared my head, looked at the position of Mishima’s legs and pried apart his legs, escaping the kneebar. Then after escaping his heal hook, I got angry at myself for my mental lapse. Now I knew I had to quickly finish the fight. So I picked up the pace and secured a favorable position, which forced Mishima to give his back. This allowed me to utilize my favorite submission, the rear naked choke to end the fight.
My goal going into this fight was to show a complete MMA game. I wanted to demonstrate that I have what it takes to beat an experienced grappler, who wants to take opponents down to “ground and pound.” This victory moves me one step closer to getting back into the UFC Lightweight Title picture. Just as importantly, I learned a great deal from this fight.
It was truly an honor to go to battle with this extremely tough fighter. As a fan, I have been watching Mishima fight for a long time. Backstage I made sure I let him know that I had a tremendous amount of respect for him.
Some people noticed after the fight that I was sipping from a closed Xenergy can. Due to NSAC regulations I was told not to open the can in the ring. I did keep sipping though, hoping I would get some energy to prepare me for the after party. Rest assured, I had plenty of Xenergy later in the night.
I want to thank Xyience/Xenergy Energy Drink, Sprawl Fight Shorts, NHBGear.com, TUF Guy Productions, Tourtellote Solutions, Coolidge Corner Gym, Burn with Kearns, EFI Total Gym and Shoyoroll Clothing for all of their support.
I never fight alone, because I owe so much to my coaches. Kevin Kearns, my strength and conditioning coach, is without a doubt the reason I was able to fight and train without pain for this fight. The improvements he made in my overall health and strength and conditioning is nothing short of amazing. Kevin you are a master coach and have earned the name Dr. Evil!
I have to thank my brother Keith for constantly yelling at me and always demanding nothing less than perfection in training. He restructured my jiu-jitsu for this fight. I know he has much bigger plans for me and my ground game in the future.
I want to thank Mark DellaGrotte for allowing me to show just a sample of his brilliant style of Muay Thai. I am honored to represent Sityodtong Muay Thai in Boston.
I want to thank all of my friends over at Gracie Barra Boston and my training partners at Sityodtong for suffering in training with me. Much thanks to Elsie the miracle worker Physiotherapist and Chris Smith my massage therapist, for helping me stay intact and ready for battle.
Thanks to Jesse, my nutritionist and cardio expert guide, who allowed me to push to new levels in my training. I have never felt as healthy and knowledgeable about nutrition.
I must also thank Raffi Nahabedian and Ron Weinberg for all of their work and help. Much thanks and love to the UFC for their amazing dedication to the fighters and for giving a Bostonian a chance to fight among the best.
Thank you to all of my fans. I promise to be even sharper and better for my next fight.
Stay with the Flo,
Boston Herald Article
MMA 2007 Summit