(‘Okay fists, I don’t like you and you don’t like me, but let’s work together here.’)
Mike Dolce may have been eliminated in this week’s episode of The Ultimate Fighter, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to fade into the scenery just yet. In a well-written and surprisingly insightful blog entry for MMA Weekly, Dolce lets us in on some info that didn’t make it to air on Wednesday night.
Apparently, “Rampage” Jackson has his own ideas about how to prepare for a fight, even when you just fought a few days ago. Dolce doesn’t agree with him, but like most of us would have done when confronted with a big, bad man like “Rampage”, he went along with it despite being battered and exhausted and well under the weight requirement the day before the weigh-in:
The plan was for Rampage and Zach to alternate taking me down and just as I scrambled up, for the other to shoot back in and take me down again. For 15 minutes with no break.
Do you see the comedy in this? I’m laughing again as I write this.
Again, I tell both coaches I’m shot, and they tell me, “Don’t worry, we’ll just go light.”
Light? It was more like a live-drill pace than a fight pace, but in no way was it light.
When that was finally over, the other seven athletes on my team were brought into the cage and told to start in on double legs (takedowns) and make me fight out of it.
This fun little game ended when Dolce tore a ligament and damaged his rotator cuff, an injury he says he’s still being treated for.
“Surprisingly,” Dolce writes, “none of this made it to the television screen either.”
To Dolce’s credit, he doesn’t offer this as an excuse for his loss. He was pretty well dominated on the mat in that fight, and one gets the sense that the rotator cuff injury wasn’t all that stood between him and victory. Still, you can’t help but feel for him when he writes this:
“All things are possible to him who believes.” – Mark 9:23
I must have repeated that statement five thousand times, between the weigh-in and actual fight. You see, at no point did I ever question the outcome of the fight. I knew I was going to win. Losing wouldn’t even register in my mind. Even while lying on the floor of the octagon, with two grown men rubbing heating lube on my bare thigh and torso with television cameras catching every sordid detail, I did not question my chances of winning this fight. No way.
Damn. Tough break for Dolce. If only The Bible had made clear the need for a good takedown defense, things might have turned out differently.