So, these past couple of weeks I’ve gotten a lot more busier because I finally got to the point where I can spar and I can start rolling. It’s not at 100% but being able to get back on the mats and just being able to spar and roll was something I’ve missed doing. Being out for a little over 10 weeks absolutely sucks, mentally and physically.
As of now, for my rolling sessions I can’t do any takedowns which means I always start from an open guard position. I’m not doing a lot of the things I used to do, such as singles from the bottom because I still can’t push off my knee and the resistance someone else puts bothers my knee a little bit. It’s even better like this for me because I get to work on things I normally don’t work on or I get to start experimenting new moves because I’m limited to the ones that I used to do before my injury. By the time I’m at 100% to roll and start working on my wrestling, I will definitely have a bigger tool box that to work with and develop other parts of my game.
For my favorite part of training, which would be standup sparring, I actually only doing boxing because once again I can’t do any wrestling and any leg kicks would definitely not help me with my recovery. Working on my boxing is going to help me develop my catching, slipping and body shots game a lot more since I can’t kick or do anything else. I’ve been sparring almost 3 times a week, simply because that’s how the classes are available for me during the week and because that’s how much I like sparring lol. So, far my knee was only bothering me the first couple of sparring sessions, but what bothered me the most was how much my lungs suffered because during the first couple of sessions they felt like they were on fire!
Overall, it’s definitely been great to get back on the mats and start sparring once again. Those classes are what help me keep calm and keep me from going insane. The only thing I can’t wait to start doing are takedowns, once I do that I know I’ll be in a position to schedule a fight and get back in the cage where I love to be. Before this year ends I will make my return back to the cage, and I will get the win which it will be a great way to end the year from this minor set back. I continue to take steps towards my goals and I know that I’m headed in the right direction. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s not a matter if I’ll get into the UFC, it’s a matter of when I’ll get in the UFC :-).
We are going to have new changes to the Jungle Gym really soon! This weekend all of the Jungle Gym staff members will be putting extra work to make the new changes happen as quickly as possible. I’m very excited about these new changes because it will be something that will benefit everyone at the Jungle Gym and it’ll be something everyone can look forward to doing in the future! For anyone that has any aspirations of fighting in the future, the new changes to the Jungle Gym will fit you very well and you’ll be even more prepared than ever before.
As for me, my knee is definitely making a lot of improvements these past could of weeks. I am able to move a lot faster, I have more mobility on my knee and I’ve started drilling more BJJ, which I wasn’t able to before because of the range of motion on my knee. I’ve started doing two classes in one day, doing pad work in one and then doing the Template classes taught at Jungle Gym. I’m slowly picking up the speed on my moves with BJJ and moving my knee in different angles, as long as I don’t feel any pain on my knee.
It’s been a long 8 weeks for me and I think I’ll finally be back sparring and doing live work in 2 more weeks. For the next two weeks I’m going to be drilling every day I get a chance too and continue to do my therapy to strength my knee up and get back on my full time training schedule once again. Once I get back on my full time schedule there will be more content on my blog and more info, for now there is not much I can do or tell you guys what I’m doing, but be patient because all the action is coming soon!
Last night I finally got to do one of Steven Katz workshop. He’s been working with the tribe consistently especially the guys fighting and everyones striking game has improved a lot. I able to notice this because I’ve been sitting on the side line this whole time watching the sparring class and they have all benefited from Steven Katz working with them. Their footwork has gotten better, their punches are tighter, and their reaction time is much quicker, so they’ve all improved from every angle you could think of in the striking game.
Yesterday I was finally able to get in and move around at a moderate pace where I could work in with the crew without getting my knee hurt once again. Moving at a slower pace is definitely good for me because I can slow everything down and pay attention to all my movements, from where my hands are as I move around to the placement of my feet. I tent to have a bad habit of thinking only speed and sometimes that actually makes me create bad habits, but since injuring my knee I’ve been able to work on all those bad habits and started creating new ones to be able to help my game improve once I’m at 100%.
It was definitely good to get back at training with Steven Katz, he has a huge amount of information to help every at The Jungle Gym improve with their striking game. of improvements in my game since I’ve been working with him, I could see the difference going from my second fight to watching my third fight, a lot more movements and a lot my loose with my hands. It’s always good to have good coaches with you because they’ll help you improve and pin point all the little details not a lot of trainers can’t see, especially if they’re not as experienced as Steven Katz. Can’t wait to continue making progress every day and continue to work towards becoming the best that I can be!
Little by little I’m working my way back on the mats. Therapy has been going extremely well and I’ve been making a lot of progress these last couple of weeks. I’ve already started doing some pad work at Jungle Gym, but it’s been at a very low intensity. During my pad work sessions I haven’t been doing anything to crazy and my movement is very limited due to the fact that my knee is still sensitive on certain movements.
I am trying to stay as active as possible, going to the gym and lifting weights and I got the ok from my therapist to start biking. I can’t run because my knee still can’t take on full impact, but biking is actually very helpful for me to strength my knee once again. Also, I’ve been playing close attention to my food intake because since I’m not as active as I use to be, I don’t want to run the risk of getting too heavy where I can’t make weight in the future. Taking this time to eat as clean as possible has help me understand food preparation more, and I’ve grown to start learning how to measure my food and only eat what’s necessary for me to function throughout the day.
Overall, I’m staying as positive as I can and trying to remain as patient as I can. I am not trying to re injured my knee in the future because it will probably be worst, I’m taking all the steps necessary to heal up my knee completely. I know once I’m back training I will get back in the cage asap and continue my journey to move forward towards my goals and be where I’m suppose to be. More updates to come when I’m back on the mats at 100% it’s going to be fun, I cannot wait!
So I’ve finally got on the mats and I’ve started drilling. The drills I’m doing are very simple and things that doesn’t require me to use my knee. It’s not what I really want to do but it’s definitely a start to getting back in the cage. These drills will definitely be good for me because I don’t think I drill enough. Most of my training consist of a lot of sparring and some drilling but overall I spar more than I drill, whether it’s grappling or stand up. So, this time that I’m using to drill will definitely help in my game and give me new tools to work with when I start going live again.
This small set back I got from my knee injury does truly suck but I’m staying optimistic, so I would say it was good that it happen. This helped me heal up some old injuries I had from previous training camps, and it’s helping my body catch up and heal from everything I’ve been putting it through. I’ve been feeling great, all my old injuries are definitely healing up and are getting better, and I’ve got a chance to work on my strength on my upper body. So, I’ve been staying busy and working on things that I normally don’t work on to continue to make progress and even if it’s small steps they will eventually add up and put me back in a better position than where I was before. There are always things to work on, no matter what is wrong with you, it’s a mentality I’m applying to all my sessions to make me a more productive professional fighter.
I’ve been doing a lot of physical therapy for my knee and have stayed off my leg for over a month now. I am not at 100% yet but I will make an attempt to start drilling tomorrow and start getting my moment back. I’ve been dying to get back to my regular training schedule, I want to get back into the cage as soon as possible. I will still not be able to spar as much as I want too but priority number is still to make sure my knee heals up completely. It’s been a very long time for me since I’ve done any skill work, all I’ve been doing is just lifting weights for my upper body.
Weight lifting for my upper body is pretty cool because I’m doing exercise I don’t normally do on a regular schedule. But it is not the same as hitting mitts, drilling takedowns, sweeps and it’s definitely no where near sparring. I miss those sessions a lot because they truly make me feel alive. A couple more weeks and I’ll be back doing what I love to do, and after that I will be fighting in the cage getting myself back on track and getting closer to my goals!
Last night we had three of our Jungle Gym tribe brothers stepping into the cage for an amateur league in NY. We had Oswald “Batboy” Perez, Paul Grant, and Christopher “Cena” Acevado. All three guys had fought before, and all of them were coming in undefeated from their previous bouts. Every time my brothers step into the cage I get extremely nervous, I get more nervous watching them fight than I do when I actually fight. I have full confidence in them that they’re more than prepared for the bouts because I am normally on the mats with them training.
Last nights results were not the best for the tribe. All three guys had tough fights and it sucked watching two of my brothers lose. Paul Grant got the win with a decision, he came prepared and it sucked for his opponent thinking he could get away with being a one trick pony. All Paul’s opponent was looking for was leg locks, Paul came fully prepared for them and broke his opponent mentally when he saw he wasn’t getting any leg locks on him. Oswald “Batboy” Perez had a extremely tough guy, nothing special but it came down to him outworking Batboy. And finally, Christopher “Cena” Acevado truly went to war with his opponent, both guys gave it their all. Cena fought to the last minute of the fight but in the judges eyes, his opponent did enough to get the win. Tough losses for my brothers but one thing is for sure they will come back stronger than ever!
Watching my brothers stepping into the cage always gets me worked up. I miss stepping into the cage, not stepping in there for more than 3 months seems like eternity. I look forward to get back into training and I am anxious to make my return back to the Ring Of Combat and work my way up the ranks once again.
I want to tell you guys a little about the progress I’ve made in my strength training program. It’s an extra session that was added into my training regimen because I need to work on my strength, I want to be as strong as possible especially since I come down to a lower weight class. I have a strict schedule that I follow with other members of the Jungle Gym tribe and we’re consistently working on our strength.
At this moment I have three main lifts that I focus on, the squat, the bench, and the deadlift. For every main lift there’s a specific exercise that we’re doing, so we already have a plan of attack to start making progress and continue to get stronger. At this moment my current personal records are, 315 LBS on my squats,205 LBS on my bench press and 405 LBS on my deadlifts.
Getting those numbers was not easy at all. It was a lot of consistent work, week after week and not taking a “break” after a fight. After every single one of my fights, on Monday I was back in the gym weight lifting. Thanks to the training regimen I have in weight lifting, I’ve never felt stronger. More videos will be up later on this week, you will be able to see me pick some heavy things up and down.
My third professional fight happened four mouth later after my second fight. Ideally I wanted to stay fighting every three months to gain as much experience and continue to rack up wins to eventually fight in the UFC. I was scheduled to fight in another promotion in December but for certain reasons that didn’t end up happening. Not such a big deal because I was still scheduled for another fight in January already.
The preparation for my third fight was like never before, it was the most I’ve ever prepared. Doing all of my strength training sessions, my skill work, the sparring sessions, and for the first time my diet was on point. I really have to thank IFBB Jon DeLaRosa for helping me with my meal plan. He is a great guy filled with a lot of knowledge and actually has his own business in New Rochelle. Any of you guys that live in New Rochelle should definitely check out his store, it’s called Nutrition Locker, located on 599 North Avenue. Following his meal plan got me to my weight easily and in the healthiest way ever! Even while I was losing weight I stayed strong not losing any strength but still losing the weight. Making weight always suck, the worst part is the dehidration phase but it felt better than any other time I’ve had to cut weight.
On the day of weigh ins I came in perfectly fine making my weight class as any professional would. However, my opponent came in at a pound and a half over. They gave him half an hour to lose the rest of the weight but came back half a pound over, forcing him to give up a percent of his purse. Making weight is something fighters have control over and it’s something that should be made all the time, for you not to make weight shows lack of professionalism. Fight was still on the next day, I’m not one to complain about my opponent coming over weight, a fight is a fight.
The fight went exactly how I planned. I knew I was going to have the advantage keeping it standing but in the first round I made two mistakes that I shouldn’t have made but they were made, not a big deal but that goes to show you what happens when you get away from the game plan. Coming into the second round, I was still controlling the cage and picking my shots which would eventually lead to the set up of landing my flying knee. I landed that flying knee at 2:32 in the second round and the set up for it couldn’t have been anymore perfect.
Like I said before, the preparation for this fight was truly on point. I’m extremely happy with the people I’ve surrounded myself with because they all help me continue to stay focused on my goals. They pressure me to become better every single day. As of now everything continues to go according to plan, all my goals will be accomplished soon enough.
Before I go into a recap of my second fight, I wanted to remind you guys that I made my professional debut on a 9 days notice. I did not plan on making my professional debut that soon but the opportunity presented itself and I had to take it. Even on a 9 day notice I was able to make weight at 135 ponds and still get the win that night. That goes to show the mentality we have at <a href=”http://www.junglegymbronx.com”>Jungle Gym Martial Arts</a>, we train all year around no matter what. There is no such thing as an “off season” for us because we constantly have fighters stepping into the cage. Even if you don’t have a fight you’re in there doing the same drills and same training sessions as the ones that do have fights coming up.
Three months later I got scheduled for my second pro fight. I was really excited to get back in the cage but I was even more excited for this fight due to the fact that I was going to rematch the guy that gave me my only loss as an amateur. I was really looking forward to this fight because I wanted to avenge my only loss in my MMA career. My opponent is a very good wrestler and was undefeated in his amateur career.
On our first fight, I took that loss primarly because I didn’t practice my wrestling enough. I would get taken down and I would have a hard time coming up. I have gained a lot through that loss because it made me realize what I needed to work on. Since that loss I’ve focused on my wrestling a lot and have actually seen a lot of improvements since then.
When we met for the second time things were different. I had a slow start in the first round but coming into the second round I started establishing my game plan keeping it on the feet (a stand-up fight). I prepared extremely well for this fight knowing it wasn’t going to be easy but having full confidence in my skills knowing I would come home with the win. Towards the last seconds of the third round I landed a flying knee and a flurry of punches almost forcing the TKO. If I had only about three to five more seconds I would have gotten that finish.
It was an extremely great night for me since I was able to avenge the only loss I had in my MMA career and also moving up to 2-0 record as a professional. With every win I get in the cage I come closer and closer to fight one day in the UFC. I don’t take any long breaks from training, there’s always a new fight I’m looking forward to after every time I’m done with fighting. I will continue to stay focused and continue to rack up wins to get to where I want to be as soon as possible!