Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009 | 5:20 p.m.
Hello Las Vegas!! I hope everyone has been good since the last time we talked. I want to start off with answering a couple questions that were asked on previous blogs. I was finally able to get on the Internet to see the articles with the comments at the bottom. We don’t have cable or Internet at our house so I only get online every once in awhile.
Do you train only at the gym or do you go to Red Rock or Mount Charleston for cardio?
Yes and no. I do go to Mt. Charleston and Red Rock, but I do it the opposite way than most athletes.
When I’m not in my training camp is when I go to those places. I like to run in Mt. Charleston, I usually go with the Elite Boxing Team. I road bike Red Rock from Charleston and the 215 around the loop and back. I also do some mountain biking in the Las Vegas area also. These are good ways for me to mix it up and get a change of scenery and pace when I’m not training for a fight, but I can get in some good workouts and stay in shape. I still go to the gym, but it isn’t two times a day, everyday.
It breaks the monotony of going to the same environment every time. When I’m in training camp, I’m pretty focused on specific skills and training. All of my workouts involve at least one of my coaches and for the most part takes place at their gyms.
Please keep us informed on the hyperbaric chamber.
Ok, it’s not really a question I know. But, I wanted to give you an update.
I think it’s helped with my recovery process during hard training and getting the normal bumps and bruises throughout camp. I wasn’t able to go do the treatment this week due to the fact that my nose and ears were stuffed up. I guess when going into the hyperbaric chamber your ears have to be able to pop. If they aren’t able to pop, there’s a chance of injuring your eardrums. So I played it safe this week and didn’t go.
I’ve already messed up the outer part with cauliflower ear. I might as well keep it looking good and working properly on the inside of my ear!!
What do you find the most challenging area in the transition from wrestling to MMA?
I’m a big believer that wrestling is the best sport to have a base in. It really teaches how to use and control your entire body athletically. But, the days of having a base in any one discipline are almost gone.
I see kids starting to do everything that makes up MMA at a young age, which is going to be interesting to see how much the sport will evolve as those kids grow up and start competing.
Back to the question now, it really wasn’t any particular sport like ju jitsu or boxing. It was more of the mentality that I needed to change. I grew up watching and mimicking the University of Iowa wrestling program, which is very aggressive and high paced both mentally and physically.
But, a college-wrestling match is also only 7 minutes long (unless it goes to overtime) and it’s based on points not knockouts and submissions.
A) It would be very hard to keep that pace for 15 minutes let alone 25 minutes, B) Not get careless or not be able to adjust so you don’t get caught by a fight changing punch or submission and C) An MMA fight has more time to implement the game plan you and your coaches came up with.
I experienced being careless in my first fight in the UFC against Robert Emerson when I knocked myself senseless trying to slam him on the canvas. I think I was trying to push the pace so much it didn’t give me time to think, it was just reactions.
Joe Stevenson had me slamming a punching bag on the ground during drills for weeks before that fight. I forgot to take into account that it wasn’t a big round punching bag anymore!!
It cost me a win and the fight was ruled a No Contest because he tapped at the same time. Lesson learned for sure!! With consequences like those, I think it’s important to be able to think and adjust during a fight. Don’t get me wrong a big part fighting is reactions, but it’s also a thinking game too.
Sorry for such a short answer!! Haha
Nothing too crazy has happened since my last blog. I’ve been focusing more and more on training and keeping any distractions out of my life.
I was able to go to the WKC Muay Thai Championship fights in Primm. My friends Kevin Ross, Shawn Yarborough and Chaz Mulkey all won their fights. They all looked great and it was a good event. The only downfall was they got done around midnight and I still had to drive at least an hour back home.
When are they going to come out with that transporting device that’s on Star Trek. I’d buy one for sure!!
Well, depending on the price.
I’m going to put that on this year’s Christmas list and see what Santa can do!! If you see me popping up anywhere that means I was a really good boy all year and Santa went the extra mile for me.
The following weekend I went to the Fight Club 2 Charity Boxing Tournament with Randy Couture and Jay Hieron. This is where “Nightlife industry professionals and casino personalities will lace up their gloves for a good cause as they battle it out in the ring to support Smile Train, the world’s leading cleft charity and Barry’s Boxing, a nonprofit group that is in affiliation with USA Boxing.”
I have to admit it was a funny event. I hadn’t been to “The Joint” in the Hard Rock Hotel after it’s remodeling. It turned out really nice and great place to hold events.
Speaking of Randy Couture, he’s back in the gym now for his training camp. He fights Mark Coleman at UFC 109. I think this fight is awesome!! I told the UFC matchmaker Joe Silva they should make it a throwback card. Tights and wrestling shoes are mandatory, bring back the old ramp the athletes would walk down, and go back to all the Ultiman Logos.
Maybe throw in some old names too. Hell, make it like a 15-year UFC reunion where everyone fights each other!! Ok, maybe that’s taking it a little far. But the tights, wrestling shoes, ramp and logos would be pretty cool.
Speaking of the UFC!! You see how I blend this blog together. I’m a poet and didn’t know it!! Actually, I think I’m just easily entertained.
Anyways, the UFC gave Amir Sadolloah, Arriany Celeste, Jennifer Wenk (She works for the UFC) and myself the privilege of delivering $5,000 worth of toys to the 98.5 KLUC Chet Buchanan toy drive charity for kids.
I had to get up pretty early in the morning, but hey, I’ll allow it this time because it was for charity and it’s Christmas time!! I couldn’t believe how many toys, gifts, and money were donated. The radio station camped out (I mean, they literally camped on a scaffolding outside) for like 10 days at the power company on Sahara and Jones to collect all the donations!!
It’s really going to make a lot of kids happy. They will probably be getting their gifts about same time I’m doing my first of two workouts on Christmas day.
Do you feel bad for me? Don’t, because like I said before, I love my job!! I was just adding a little Tiny Tim, "A Christmas Carol" twist to my story!! Haha
My training at PSI (www.philippisportsinstitute.com) has been great!! They’ve been putting me through my paces and have really opened my eyes to some cutting edge workouts. You might have also seen it on the UFC Countdown show for Frank Mir’s last fight.
I workout with Jay Hieron and Stephan Bonnar, we usually have Alonzo Freeman (former UNLV Linebacker) put us through our sessions. Mark Philippi (Won America’s Strongest Man in 1997) has also put the hurt on us numerous times.
It’s a staff that really enjoys what they do and gives you 100% for every workout. You always know a good coach when they know how to help you turn off your mind and the voices of doubt in your head and get the job done when training gets really tough. It always helps me to know my coaches have already been there and done that, when pushing me to my limits during the workouts. I think I’ve surrounded myself with that atmosphere in all areas of my training.
I have about 3 and a half more weeks until my fight with Nate Diaz in Fairfax, Virginia. It will be aired on Spike TV Monday, January 11th, and will be the main event. This is going to be a great rematch fight between Nate and I.
Hopefully you guys will check me out, of course if you have cable unlike me. Maybe next week we can look a little closer at my striking workouts. Please feel free to ask questions!!
Stay warm Las Vegas, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanza, and any other thing you might celebrate.
Editors Note: Gray Maynard competes in the lightweight division of the UFC. He attended Durango High School and Bonanza High School before transferring to St. Edwards in Ohio. Look for his blog entries for the Las Vegas Sun every other week.