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 third entry after the jump.
Third week of training camp is in the books!
I had a rather busy week of great training and I also competed in my first wrestling tourney since high school.
I did some intense sparring at Frank Lee’s, logged some really good grappling sessions at Hayabusa Training Centre, had an awesome wrestling practice at the University of Alberta and sweated through some tough conditioning sessions at Athlete Nation.
See, the life of a fighter isn’t as glamorous as most people think it is.
I took Friday off to rest up for the wrestling competition on Saturday so I could perform at an optimal level. If I feel like I need a day of rest I take it if needed. I take a two-hour nap in the early afternoon every day. It’s my beauty rest. I didn’t get this handsome by missing them.
This weekend I competed in the University of Alberta’s Golden Bears Open
Wrestling Tournament. It was a national level competition with competitors from across Canada. I competed twice in wrestling when I was in high school, but the experience was short-lived. If I remember correctly I only practiced for 3-4 weeks to compete in two tournaments. I think after two weeks of training I got second at Junior Provincials, and got second at Provincials two weeks later. That was the scope of my tournament wrestling experience until this weekend.
The day started off rather poorly.
I woke up late to find that my truck was frozen up due to the snow storm we had the night before so I had to get picked up by my manager and buddy Bobby and sponsor and buddy Jim from X-Factor. Jim drives an International semi truck as his road vehicle. this thing is badass!!!! Google an image of one of these things. They are awesome!!!
Anyway, we got there about an hour late and I had to forfeit my first match. Luckily I already had my wrestling singlet on underneath my clothes. Have you ever seen one of these things? My big ass and dingleberries look pretty flattering in a one-piece wrestling singlet. It was pretty snug on my apple danglers and I looked like I was smuggling grapes.
I didn’t feel like cutting weight for the tournament, so I competed at heavy weight. I think it was 100 kilos and over but I’m not 100 percent sure. To be honest with you, I didn’t know all of the rules of a wrestling tournament. I had to ask people two minutes before my match what the rules were and how long the rounds were. Some of the more experienced wrestlers were trying to give me tips. I figured it wasn’t a good idea to fill my head with a lot of new things right before I went in there, so my strategy was to take my opponents down and not let them take me down. Simple. I figured I had to keep it rather simple if I was to have any chance of success. I didn’t know how to do any of the ground wrestling that they do in the tourneys since it’s a lot different than in MMA, so when I took them down I just used it as a rest period.
I probably looked like a handicapped kid trying to figure out a Rubik’s Cube to the more experienced guys there. I had no clue what was going on. They’d call my name for the red corner and I would go to the blue corner. It was pretty comical. Sometimes the ref would give me warnings about something I was doing and I had to apologize in the middle of the match because I didn’t know any better.
Here are some video highlights of the day:
Anyway, my first opponent was a guy from the University of New Brunswick. I beat him in two rounds, I beat him in round one 3-0 and in round two 3-1. By the way, there are 3 rounds each 2 min in length. If you win the first two you don’t have to wrestle the third. I tried to shake my opponent’s hand after the match and he just slapped mine away. I wasn’t upset by it though. I might have been a bit pissed too if the guy that just beat me was apologizing to the ref during the match for not knowing what was going on.
Wrestling has given me a new respect for the sport. I think it’s the most physically taxing of all the combat sports used in MMA. Wrestlers always have good cardio and are usually machines in the ring or cage. They tend to keep pushing and pushing until their opponents break. On top of a wrestler’s ability to dictate where the fight goes, they also always seem to have the ability to wear their opponents down.
My second opponent was a guy from the university of Calgary and I beat him 5-0 in the first round and I can’t remember what it was in the second. I was wrestling him in round 1 and we were clinched up, and he pulled something in his shoulder. Bobby and Jim were on the sidelines and said it looked like I did a death touch to him. All of a sudden he just pulled away holding his arm. I guess I don’t know the power of my ninja skills. He was a really tough guy and he kept wrestling in spite of the pain and I beat him too.
I lost to my third opponent. His name was James Cadotte. He was a Greco-Roman national champ who has been competing nationally for 12 years and was a 12-time medalist. I think he told me he won bronze two or three times at Seniors and won some national champion university cup or something like that, so it didn’t feel so bad to lose to a guy of his caliber. He also outweighed me by 35 pounds.
The first round he beat me 1-0 by pushing me out of bounds for the point. The second round I was up 1-0 due to me pushing him out of bounds, then he went for a body clinch-shot and I did a sacrifice throw. I landed on my back, but reversed it right away so I ended up in mount. He got three points for me landing on my back and I got two for the throw I guess( I think that’s why), so it was 3-3 when the round ended. I thought we were going into the third round but he won because he had a three point throw and I had a two-point throw and a penalty point, so he was declared the victor. I think if it would have gone
into a third round I would have won because I had the momentum. He
was pretty tired and I was still pretty fresh. Regardless of what could have happened, he still won nonetheless.
My last bout decided who would take fifth place and it was a hard fought match. My opponent surprised me for sure. He was a lot tougher than I expected and fought very hard. I beat him in two rounds, but it was a hard fought battle.
Oh, by the way, my wrestling coach Roger Alves, who is an absolute beast of a wrestler and a great coach, also competed at this tournament. He fought two weight classes higher than his usual bracket. To no one’s surprise he swept the division and dominated each of his opponents (I think he had 1 or 2 point scored on him the whole tournament). Roger is now 2 for 2 in tournaments since his comeback from knee injuries. Watch out, he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with!!!
He’s as scary as he looks.
So that was it for the wrestling tourney. Because I had to forfeit my first match, the best I could have done was third and I got fifth. It feels good to know that my wrestling is on par with some of these guys that train seven days a week in just wrestling. It goes to show how much my training is paying off.
All in all I was rather happy I won three out of four matches and the only one I lost was to a decorated champion with a ton of experience. Not bad for an MMA guy who only wrestles two or three times a week.
Next week I’ll be getting into my diet a little and telling you more about my training and experiences at Hayabusa.
Until next time…keep fit and have fun.
If you don’t want to do that…keep fat and die young.
Ryan “The Big Deal” Jimmo