Reality of Professional MMA: So you Think you Want To Fight?

At MMATraining.com we have a cross section of fighters and trainers that we follow daily to give our fans a taste of what it is like at the top as well as working your way up the field – and all of the training that goes along with it no matter where you rank. The following is the latest from one of our fighters – Jeff Harrison. Read how his week started like any other – training on his weaknesses and improving on areas of strength until his phone rang and he had an immediate decision to make: get in the ring in a handful of days or pass up a good opportunity. The clock ticks and he decides to jump into another fight in TKO with very little preparation. Find out if his gamble paid off….

Monday

Today I started the day a bit late. At one we did some wrestling drills to start, I am focusing on defending that shot so I can keep the fight standing. We did some live wrestling after and it went fairly well. The cauliflower is still pretty tender and I’m considering having it drained just to relieve the pressure. At night I did Gi work on the mat, starting with fundamental position training, followed by some more advanced techniques and some live rolling. It was a great class and I feel like my understanding of the ground game is really coming along.

Tuesday

At twelve I got into some Jiu Jitsu with the Gi on to start my day. Escape from mount, cross side, guard work and guard passing was the focus of the class. After, in MMA, I worked on a pretty cool outside single, followed by some live no gi grappling. I am really working on picking up my grappling technique for the 8th, as the promotion is tossing around some fairly experienced fighter’s names at me.

At night it was MMA sparring night at the academy. I did 6 x 5 minute rounds, and worked specifically on the things I know I have to.


Wednesday

I went to the hill today to do some sprints to change things up… Everything is pretty sore from all the BJJ and wrestling being done, and my ear is still a mess. I took part in a Gi Jiu Jitsu class followed by a randori. I felt sharp in rolling and hit a lot of triangles today. After I did a vicious kettle bell workout that had us doing so many sets of one legged squats I doubt I’ll be walking normally this weekend.

Thursday

I got up a little early this morning so I could do a long distance run. I ran about 8km before I went in to the gym to train. At the gym I did more Jiu jitsu to start. Today it was submission defense.. MMA training today was more wrestling. No gi jiu jitsu and some ground and pound drills. Working with this wrestler is really paying off. His explosiveness is hard to deal with and is making me strong.

At night we worked on double leg takedowns and wrestling, and some MMA striking on the ground. The workout last about 2 hours and was pretty intense. Next week I’ll be really kicking it into high gear and adding in striking, strength and conditioning work.

Friday

Took the day off. We had a fundraising party last night for an event the Academy is putting on to raise money for the regional Cancer Foundation. Needless to say I was out a little late.


Saturday

I went for a nice long distance run. The distance is unknown but it took over an hour.

Image of Jeff Harrison and Jordan Mein at TKO 35, courtesy of Sherdog.com

 

Sunday

Got a call from TKO today. They wanted to know if I would fill in for Martin Grandmont at 165lbs against Jordan Mein. I’m 168lbs at the moment and far from lean. I can’t say I know too much about him, except that he’s a young, polished striker, is tall and has 5 times as many fights as me. We fought on the same card in February. He dropped a loss to Samuel Guillet and I beat Tyler Jackson. I decided to take the fight… He’s been training to fight Martin Grandmont, who is making his return after dropping a loss to Sam Stout for the TKO title. He’s probably been training hard for a stand up war, and I can’t say I’ve been keeping up on my striking. I’d have to leave Tuesday afternoon which gives me two days to cram in some training. I’’s a gamble for sure. However if I won.. It would be a big step. I accepted the fight at 155 lbs and hit 3x 5 minute rounds of pads at full speed. I gassed a little, but went to the track to do 25x 100metre sprints to try and open up the lungs.

Monday

Okay last day of training before I leave. I crushed a 45 minute Thai pad workout followed by a grueling sparring session of 6x 5 minutes and then 3x 5 minute sets of conditioning. At night I pounded out 4 x 5 minute rounds of Thai pads with takedowns and ground and pound.

Tuesday

I went to the ski hill before we took off for videos in Montreal today. Did some sprints to try and build some last minute lung and leg endurance. I did some work on the pads as well. I don’t want to overdo it obviously, or I’ll be burnt out when it’s fight time. I feel like I’m back in school and I should have studied for the big exam but didn’t. Now I’m trying to cram at the last minute. Videos went smooth tonight and my weight is good at about 168 still.

Wednesday

Today I started to get my weight in check. I did some light cardio in the morning with some plastics on and began super hydrating. I drank about 6 litres of water over the day to trick the system into urinating more than it should. I ate 3 small meals over the day and did about an hour of light cardio to work up a sweat before bed. I shut down the day at 163 lbs.

Thursday

Woke up to find I’d lost about 4 lbs over night which was a pleasant surprise. I only had 3 pounds to go. This cut only took me about 45 minutes in the sauna. My opponent was there as well, and he was hurting. He’d been there for most of Wednesday as well apparently and was having a lot of difficulty making the weight. At the weigh ins he missed his weight, which was good for me because I got 20 percent of his purse, but not good for me because he was obviously a much bigger fighter than I am.

Image of Jeff Harrison and Jordan Mein at TKO 35, courtesy of Sherdog.com

 

Friday

What can I say? I took a last minute fight as a gamble and lost. He came out to bang, and I’ve been training almost solely on how to deal with grapplers. My striking wasn’t on time, and it was a really horrible feeling to not have the proper reaction to what he was doing. I got caught by an uppercut that broke my nose the first shot of the fight, and it was kind of downhill from there. Damn I hate losing! But I’m still glad I stepped up. In this case I guess the better trained athlete won… I can’t beat myself up over it, since I fought a guy who was larger, had way more experience and who had obviously put in a few months of hard fight training. I’ll nurse my wounds and be back…

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