The SF Open this past Sunday was a killer event and I'm really glad to have been a part of it even though I didn't quite achieve the results I had been expecting to.
I ended up having five matches total and at the end of the day I went home with two silver medals, a healthy amount of frustration and disappointment and a ton of motivation to turn up my training even more between now and the pan ams. I felt good as I fought my way to the finals in both the middleweight and absolute divisions but even in the matches I won I felt like I was fighting too loose, being too impatient and losing position too often.
I watched as Tanner Rice defeated Sean Roberts to secure the other spot opposite me in the final of the middleweight division. I felt confident going into the fight against Tanner knowing that I had recently defeated him but I also knew that my victory had come by a small margin and that he was a dangerous fighter. Tanner scored an advantage early in the fight for almost taking my back and from that point forward I felt the pressure to score before the time ran out. I was able to break Tanner's grips and get to his side multiple times but I was never able to get close enough to flattening him out in the side mount to deserve an advantage from the ref. As the time passed on I began to feel rushed and impatient and my game began to get looser and when I made a mistake Tanner took the opportunity to snatch a tight armbar from the triangle and I was forced to tap. Disappointed to have failed in achieving my goal in the middleweight bracket I went directly over to the administration table to sign up for the absolute.
It would be three fights total to be champion of the absolute. I won my first two fights against tough opponents, the first by points and the second by mata leao from the back. The final was against Sean Roberts and I was excited to be part of what I was sure would be an exciting fight. Again I felt like I was fighting well but also as if I was fighting with a certain impatience and anxiousness that I don't plan on bringing with me to the pan ams. When I made the mistake of trying to pass Sean's guard without breakhing his grip first, he locked me in a tight triangle and I was forced to tap.
I try my best to resist the feelings of frustration and disappointment that come with defeat because I feel you should always take satisfaction in taking a silver medal but I also feel that if you want to be champion you should never be truly satisfied with standing on the second place step on the podium. Still I'm really glad I competed this past weekend because I got a ton of invaluable experience from five tough fights against a bunch of tough opponents. Now I'm going to go back to my training with some added fire and renewed vigor as I increase my regimen for the upcoming abu dhabi pro trials and pan ams!!