(When he isn’t fighting, you can find Jimmo at a Karaoke bar.)
Arguably Canada’s top light-heavyweight fighter, Ryan “The Big Deal” Jimmo raised eyebrows when he turned down an MFC title bout against promotional newcomer Glover Texeira earlier this year because he felt that the Brazilian hadn’t done enough to earn a the opportunity to fight for the strap. Jimmo had to win seven fights in the MFC to be considered for a shot, and figured that anyone else he would have to fight for the belt should have to at least win one fight under the organization’s banner to earn the same..
His decision was met with an even split of support and opposition, but the St. John, New Brunswick native stood by his convictions and was eventually offered another shot at the title vacated by Trevor Prangley against MFC veteran, Dwayne Lewis at MFC 28 on February 25.
If you’re unfamiliar with Jimmo, you likely won’t be for long as 2011 promises to be a breakout year for the two-time Pan-Am medalist and four-time Canadian national karate champion who is riding a 13-fight win streak into his bout with Lewis – a fighter he defeated by decision three years ago.
In 2008 he appeared on the first episode of The Ultimate Fighter 8, but lost a very close majority decision to Antwain Britt and was sent home.
Since then he switched camps and moved from Nova Scotia to Edmonton where he joined the Hayabusa Fight Team, becoming a more well rounded fighter as a result of his hard work, diverse training partners and methods.
Ryan has offered to give the Potato Nation and inside look at his training and thoughts heading into his fight in February and as such he will be doing an exclusive training camp blog for us every week for the next eight weeks leading up to MFC 28.
Check out his first entry after the jump.
Well, here we are just eight weeks out from my MFC light heavyweight title fight on February 25.
I only had to beat everyone in the division, go through a few yards of political red tape and an equal amount of PR to defend the heavily-debated decisions I made to get there. Maybe my title shot is a bit overdue; maybe not. It depends on who you ask, I suppose.
My opponent is Dwayne Lewis of Fort McMurray, Alberta. Dwayne has won nine of his last 10 fights — all of them in the MFC and most of them by KO or TKO. I’ve got a hard couple of months ahead of me.
I’ve been staying in moderately good shape for the most part since my last
fight, but when I thought I was fighting in November, I was training more intensely. When I found out I wasn’t fighting, I tapered off the intensity, but picked it up again for most of November. I had a 10-day vacation at the end of last month so I could go back home to the east coast to visit my parents in Saint John, New Brunswick where I’m originally from. Since then I’ve been back at it, training hard the whole month of December.
My training picked up an extra note of importance when the title fight with Dwayne came through. Part of me was happy because I had a goal to shoot for and another part of me was a little depressed because of all of the hellish workouts I knew I would have to go through for the next couple of months to prepare for the fight.
Besides the two to three workouts a day, six days a week, for the next 60 days, preparing for a fight means I have to eat so much chicken and vegetables that I begin to taste them in my sleep. It also means that I have to kiss my free time goodbye in favor of early nights and early mornings.
I really love pizza and McDonalds breakfast sandwiches and I only get them once a week when I’m training. I put everything in my life on hold when I’m training for a fight, that means no friends, no nights out and no fun besides punching people in the head, which is pretty fun. It’s a time when I have to be very single-minded.
The second week in December is when I started my serious training. I dropped six pounds almost immediately. I was between 240 to 245 lbs and I dropped down to between 235 to 240 in the first week. The second week I actually put on a few pounds, I think due to added muscle mass and creatine consumption. My technique was light years ahead of where it was for my fight with Wilson Gouveia in May, but I knew my fitness needed some brushing up if I was to endure the volume of training that was needed. My first two to three weeks are a high-volume, moderate-intensity and my goal is to make every workout no matter what.
I train at four different gyms for the most part. I do my stand-up training at Frank Lee’s three times a week, I wrestle at the University of Alberta two to three times a week, I do jiu-jitsu and MMA training at Hayabusa Training Centre and I do all of my strength and speed training at Athletes Nation.
I don’t do all of that stupid Cross-Fit, tire-flipping crap you see on TV.
For conditioning I work on being explosive and strong and work on my endurance by hitting pads, sparring and wrestling. I saw a fitness commercial the other day with Shawn Sherk with a gas mask on hitting tires with hammers and pulling ropes. It was the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. He looked like he was in a Mad Max movie from the 80s. You don’t see GSP or Anderson Silva doing that crap.
I’d been lifting and sprinting pretty consistently, so my strength and speed was pretty good starting this camp. When I went to Frank Lee’s for my stand-up my timing and distance were good, but it was then that I realized that my fitness needed a boost. Our goal by fight time is 10 hard rounds of three minutes on the pads with 30-second rests in between or eight hard four-minute rounds with 30-second rests.
As far as my wrestling goes, I’m competing in a national level tournament January 8 and am working towards getting ready for that. I’ve been sharpening up my jiu-jitsu training since moving to Edmonton with the guys from Hayabusa three days a week and have been working on being more aggressive with my submissions, which I’ve been as of late.
So far the first two weeks of training have yielded a black eye,
numerous lacerations facial lacerations and a lot of sore muscles, and I’ve still got eight left.
Next week I’ll get a little more in depth into my actual training. I felt I
had to lay down a little groundwork for my first week’s entry.
Ryan “The Big Deal” Jimmo