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Ryan Jimmo’s ‘Big Deal Blog’ Number Seven: UFC 126 Thoughts and the Importance of Mental Training to Becoming a Champion

(“Left kick, Brock Lesnar‘s Canadian hospital.”)

Undefeated in the past four years, at 13-1 Ryan Jimmo is one of Canada’s most promising MMA prospects. The Big Deal is in the thick of training camp for a championship bout with fellow Canadian Dwayne Lewis at MFC 28 — a fight has deservingly named one of this month’s 10 Tussles Worth Watching — on February 25 in Edmonton Alberta and has offered to write about his preparations for the biggest fight of his career via a weekly training blog published every week leading up to the fight here at

Check out Ryan’s latest entry after the jump.

A little less than three weeks left until show time.

Warning: Dates in the calendar are closer than they appear.

At this point in my training I’m keeping the workouts short and intense and being very mindful of injuries – both prevention and taking care of any nagging ones that have been making themselves apparent. Weight is also an issue I’ve been keeping my eye on as well. I’m currently 230 but I’m consuming a lot of salt in my diet as well as a lot of creatine (both of which make you hold water).

What did you think of the fights on the weekend? My oh my Anderson Silva is awesome!!!! It’s probably because of Steven Seagal. Did anyone else think he looked like Bono from U2 with those yellow glasses on? I know a lot of people laugh when they see Steven Seagal. But the man is a very respected martial artist in his own right and highly decorated in Japan.

I thought Jon Jones looked great, but I think Ryan Bader made him look great. Did anyone else do a double take when they read what these guys made? Jones made $140,000 and Bader made $20,000. WOW!!!!! Bader won season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter and was ranked 6th in the division in the world prior to the fight. I think winning and being on the Ultimate Fighter is a good thing, but the contract they offer guys after is simply horrible. Getting back to what I said earlier, I think Bader made Jones look very good. I’m taking nothing away from Jones; he’s super talented. But I think once he put Bader on his back where he was not accustomed, Bader simply broke mentally. Now before all you keyboard warriors feel like I’m now part of your club, since I’m on a computer screen tearing someone else’s name down, I’m not. Jones and Bader are both highly skilled athletes, both are strong, quick, skilled, not to mention just tough as nails.

So what happened in that fight? What gave way in the match up to allow Jones to put on such a great performance and Bader a lacking one? The compass has to point to mental conditioning and mental toughness. In all sports, and really in every skill-based activity, raw talent only gets you so far. Everyone at a high level has talent and good work ethic.

So what separates the Wayne Gretzkys from the Mark Messiers?

At some point, it stops being a case of how good you are and changes to how good you want to be. Mental stability and fortitude is very important to fighting – maybe even more important than baseline skill. I remember when I was competing at a high level in karate, I would visualize myself winning every second of every day; this is a habit I still practice. It takes a long time to hammer real confidence into yourself so that you know beyond a doubt that you will win.

One time I was laying in bed visualizing myself with my hands raised, then all of a sudden my next visualization was one of me losing. I stayed up all that night and filled a small notebook with the phrase “I will win.” I probably wrote it over 5000 times, but I’ve never imagined myself losing since. Our minds are just like the muscles in our body; they can be trained to react a certain way to any kind of stimulus. It’s like when you’re boxing and you keep dropping your hands and you train yourself to react differently. There are so many things that effect our mental stability in a fight. It could be a range of things from injuries, to an argument you had with your wife, to not trusting you trainers and teammates, to just simply dealing with too much pressure.

Athletes are all wired differently and it’s hard to say what will affect each of us differently on an individual level, so a method I might use could be completely useless on another’s mind.

I already used this quote in an earlier blog, but it’s good enough to use twice.

“Anyone can throw a kick. Anyone can throw a punch. It’s what’s in our hearts and in our minds that makes a difference.” - Wayne Otto- 9x World Karate Champion -

Ryan “The Big Deal” Jimmo

Cagepotato Comments

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danomite- February 10, 2011 at 9:43 am
I love this pic. It looks like you belong on the top of a trophy or something.

How dare you call me a 'keyboard warrior' though. I will have you know that I am just as big a pussy behind my keyboard as I am in real life.
Fried Taco- February 10, 2011 at 7:19 am
Bob Sapp is highly decorated in Japan, too. Just saying...
mattleung- February 10, 2011 at 12:55 am
funniest caption ever
stupidhead- February 9, 2011 at 8:06 pm
Sudos KFC- February 9, 2011 at 7:43 pm
Woah, this is some futuristic shit...kudos for yall for innovating...I feel like I am in an episode of doctor who