(Jimmo making Wilson Gouveia think long and hard about returning to jiu-jitsu competition. Photo courtesy PicYourAngle Photography)
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 second entry after the jump.
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I had trained very hard right up until the 23rd – actually, I was probably overtraining a bit – but I did it on purpose for several reasons. First, I knew Christmas is a crazy time and finding people to train with is touch and go since most people’s focus is elsewhere. Second, because of the lack of training that I knew would happen, it was a good time for me to take care of my body and give any nagging injuries the time to heal up. I think it’s a smart thing to do to have a bit of a recovery week to ensure hard training can continue and your body is still receptive to change in the future.
I took the 24th, 25th and 26th off. I didn’t do too much other than relax.
I spent Christmas day at my friend and sponsors Jim Watchel’s house, who
owns the company X Factor and is proving to be a huge part of my support
system. I am very much appreciative of the support I get from friends such as Jim. So anyway, I figured I’d just be able to enjoy a quiet relaxing day at Jim’s house. I was wrong. You see, Jim has an Xbox 360 and he just got one of those
Kinetic modules that reads your body movements and puts it on the
screen. I had four boxing matches on the thing and I was dripping sweat. Then I played this dancing game he had and I must have lost 10 pounds. I
was honestly sore the next day.
When Monday started back up. I hit the gym in the morning for some lifting
and sprints. Right now I’m doing moderately heavy lifts. For hangs and cleans I’m doing sets of five reps with 225 pounds. I’m benching 225 for 12 reps (I’ve always been a bit weak with my bench) I do similar weight with my squats but I do them explosively. My legs get too big when I squat too heavy, so I keep it a
bit lighter and more explosive. In the New Year I’ll switch to a maximal strength phase strength (lower reps, heavier weights) for three weeks to increase my baseline, then ill do a strength endurance phase (moderate weight, higher reps) leading up too the fight.
I did only two strength and conditioning workouts this week since it was my recovery week. I also went to Frank Lees twice to work on my stand-up.
Both workouts were pretty hard. We usually start out with some light to moderate sparring and this week we did eight three-minute rounds with moderate intensity with some periods of high intensity. We’re putting a lot of focus on timing and technique right now. Now is the time to smooth out all the large wrinkles in my technique to prepare for the intricate refinements we’ll do near the end of camp to make sure I’m ready for Dwayne Lewis.
Frank Lee is a legend and a genius when it comes to the stand-up game. He’s 70 but you wouldn’t know it by his demeanor and sharp mind. He is much smaller than me but when he yells to hit the pads harder, I jump to action.
Keijiro is one of my trainers at Frank’s gym. You might have seen him in my corner for my last fight. He was the one who kept yelling OOYYH!!!! He’s been at the gym this week to help me prepare. He’s a great pad holder and he always knows how to communicate and encourage properly. The guy’s a great trainer who really helps me refine my game plans and solidifies Sifu Lee’s teachings.
Next week Billy is back!!
Billy Chow is a world champion who has been in countless of films. He always holds pads for me and he never takes it easy. When I was preparing for my last fight, whenever I was on my way to do pads with Billy I used to get nervous because I knew it was going to mean a ton of sweat and crying (Yeah, I wanna cry like a little girl sometimes, so what?).
I only went to one wrestling practice this week, but it was a good practice. My wrestling has come a long way in the last year. I am looking forward to competing in the national level tournament I mentioned last week. I think it’s a great chance for me to jump into a competitive arena to bring my wrestling up a level. I can’t wait and am really looking forward to it.
I’ve been living clean for the majority of the month of December. I only indulged with a moderate amount of food and one glass of wine for Christmas dinner and on New Year’s Eve my girlfriend and I went out for a nice dinner and shared a bottle of wine. Those were my only indulgences for the holidays, so I stayed in very good shape and I was able to do all of my workouts at a decent intensity when I returned to training after the short break.
So that was the past seven days in a nutshell.
I only had five workouts and gave my body a bit of a break to recover, which I didn’t feel bad about doing because I knew that come the New Year, the hellish times begin.
Sometimes when you feel like you’re falling behind, you’re really just backing up to get a running start.
Ryan "The Big Deal" Jimmo