Following each episode of The Ultimate Fighter Heavyweights, Team Rampage member Abe Wagner will share his thoughts on what happened on camera and behind the scenes.
This week’s blog will be tough for me to write. Both my fight and the fight from this week happened on the same day, so a lot of what was going on in the first episode was the same as what was going on in the second episode. In fact you can see me preparing for my fight in the background of Wes Shivers’ fight preparation. And you can see a lot of my DNA left over on the canvas from my fight that was a few minutes before this weeks fight. But I’ll try to act as though the timeline for the TV show as presented is the actual time line for me.
One of the strangest things about this experience for me at the moment is the alteration of the timeline for television. Both of the first two fight selections happened within five minutes of each other, again before Team Rampage even had the opportunity to train even a single time. Then when it came fight time, we both more or less got ready for the fight at the same time in the same locker room. As far as I know, Wes stayed back in the locker room by himself during my fight. So it’s definitely strange to me to see how the editing is playing out in that respect.
Obviously the next few days after my fight were pretty low moments. Especially with all the time to do nothing but stare at the wall on contemplate what has happened, and also knowing that I had to be there for at least another month (without any of the support structure from my regular life) didn’t make it any easier. Further, I couldn’t really train for the first week or so after my fight because of the cut, so that gave me even more idle time. In the fight game, there is no higher high than right after a win, but subsequently, there is no lower low than after a loss. It causes you to reevaluate a lot of things (maybe rightly so.) But as long as you can learn something from a loss, then not all is totally lost.
As far as the Shivers/McSweeney fight is concerned, the fight started out about the way I thought it would; I thought Wes would take him to the fence and use his size to drag him to the ground. But what I didn’t anticipate is James being able to survive on the ground with someone that much bigger on top of him. After the first few minutes, it was apparent that Shivers was pretty gassed, and McSweeney started chopping at his leg. Honestly the TV didn’t do those kicks justice. You should have seen Wes’ leg for the next week after that; it was ridiculously swollen and bruised.
I personally thought the fight should have gone to another round, and so did one out of three judges, but James ended up winning a majority decision over Shivers.
Next week Kimbo fights Roy Nelson. The room I stayed in was Kimbo, Roy and me; the three of us…so I’ll have lots of interesting insights for next week, but we’ll save it until then.