A Return to Jackson’s


Coming to Albuquerque is always a humbling experience. There is nothing like feeling confident in your abilities only to have that confidence stripped rudely away from  you. Case in point… I get absolutely crushed out here. By everyone. Learning is very quickly paced. The more experienced fighters look out over the controlled mayhem of Kickboxing practice giving corrections, encouragements and admonishments where needed.

I am GASSED. The altitude is awesome and I just went four rounds of getting my face kicked in. I strip off my headgear and collapse on the edge of the mat/ Cowboy Cerrone looks down on me and with an emotionless voice asks me if I am done already. Admonishment. I lift my tired carcass off the mat, strap on the head gear and wade back into the mangled throngs of sparring pairs. Every round we find a new partner. Which means that every round I’m getting beaten in a whole new way.

TapouT sponsored fighter, Travis Marx (15-1) is sparring with me. I land a right hand, but Travis responds with a quick flying knee. Out flies my mouthpiece. I drop to a knee.

“You ok?” He asks
“Oh yea” I grunt. I scoop up my mouthpiece, throw it back in.

I engage with a combo that I am fairly proud of. Travis kicks me in the head for my efforts. Out goes my mouthpiece. Dangit. Why did he kick me in the mouthpiece?

I feel bad. Then I watch the Machine Gun [Artenas Young] get suplexed by [Jon] Bones Jones. Suddenly I don’t feel so bad. I return my attention to getting beaten by Travis as I hear Bones Jones and the Machine Gun laughing like maniacs as they continue sparring.

After a day of getting beaten, I am talking to Coach Chris Luttrell. After coaching me through the morning’s workout, he thinks I need to be at 145 to be truly competitive on the national scene. Sam Hoger and I had the very same conversation only a week before. I resisted then, but after getting smacked around by BIG guys that are 155 fighters… I start to see the wisdom.

So I think I will fight at 155 for a couple more fights… but don’t be too surprised if I move down a class.

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