Fight Week Emotions with Sisuman and MMA Fighter Glenn "Teddy Bear" Sparv
I had a fight a couple of weeks ago, even if I was not supposed to. After a tough loss earlier this year I retired, said I never gonna do it again, not because of the loss but because of the pre fight anxiety, all the emotions leading up to the fight was just getting to much to deal with for to little reward. A lot of people see the fights, but they have no idea about what´s going on behind it. The training camp physically is easy, the fight is physically easy, because the kind of pain and suffering is the kind that goes away pretty fast. It´s the mental part that is hard, getting the mindset right and dealing with the negative demons in your head. This time I just wanted to face that anxiety and accept it. I´m just gonna give you a day-by-day description how it looks like, for me.
My Fight week:
Monday to Wednesday , most of the hard training is done and by this time I´m just doing light training and keeping the body moving and trying to visualize the fight. Normally I got a bunch a weight to cut but this time I moved up one weight category so one less thing to worry about. These days always feels pretty good and I just looking forward to the fight. During these days people always comes up to me and ask "You feeling ready?" "No, but a little bit too late to do anything about it now, ain´t it" Never ask a fighter if he feels ready.
Thursday is departure day, taking off to Kunming, China. This is a pretty sweet day, finally get to leave home, leave all the built up stress behind me and just check in to a fancy hotel and enjoy a little bit. This is also the day where I´m starting to see some light in the end of the tunnel.
Friday I meet up with my corner man Jeff who I had flown in from Taiwan. I want him there for 2 reasons, He speaks Chinese and he don´t asks me stupid questions and keeps his mouth shut when I´m having my possible breakdowns. We just get a light workout in to get the body moving after the travels and sweat out the last kilos before the weigh ins. At this point everything still feels good.
Saturday is weigh in day
This is always a good feeling, even if it wasn´t a big weight cut for me, I still had to diet for 8 weeks, no water for 30 hours and nothing to eat for 24 hours. So it´s a relief that this part of the fight is over. Back to the hotel room and re-hydrate and get some food in the system. Couple of hours later it´s time to look your opponent in the eyes, it´s face of time!
Some people try to look for some weakness or some mental instability in their opponent, I just wanna size him up, give him a respectful handshake and walk away and not see him until the fight.
Back to the hotel and more food and now it´s just a waiting game. It´s probably the longest 24 hours that exists. This is also the time doubt starts setting in.
Saturday, FIGHT DAY. The waiting game continues, just in my hotel bed all day trying to get my head straight, trying to visualize a positive outcome. 3 o´clock and the hotel phone goes off. Time to head of to the venue, no the shit starts hitting the fan, I´m seriously hoping for the car to crash in to the wall so I can get out of this misery, unfortunately it makes it to the venue.
It is still 7 hours before my fight, I go into the cage to get a feel for it, feeling the carpet, feeling the fence and going from corner to corner trying to visualize and take something positive back in to the locker room, normally I don´t set my foot in the cage before my fight, because it scares me but this time I wanted to get rid of that feeling, face the fear before the fight.
Time is passing by slowly now. The event starts but since I´m the main event and the last fight, the waiting continues. The blue corner shares one locker room backstage, the prelim fighters comes back from their fights, some celebrating, some banged up and disappointed, I just wish my fight was over and I could feel what they are, the relief, the adrenaline dump. I still have this feeling inside me that I can get out of this, I just do a no show and make a run out of this place, even if I probably never would do that, the idea of doing it pops up in my head before every fight.
Two hours left. Hands getting wrapped, this is when it gets real, when it hits me that it´s to late to back out now.
One hour left. Starting to warm up and for the first time ever, it feels good. For the first time ever I´m enjoying it.
10 minutes left. They call my name. Time to walk the walk, time to fight.
Not much going on in my head at this time, it´s just to late to start thinking or analyzing anything, so I just go with "Killed or be killed, here we go"
Last reality check.
So I won it by TKO in round 2. But the biggest win for me was getting over the mental hurdles, facing my demons and actually enjoying fighting again. 2016 was a bad year for me, but I managed to finish it of pretty decent, but still a bad year. I´m not saying 2017 is gonna be my year but I'm sure as hell make it better than 2016.
Bottom point. Face your fears, be a SISUMAN!
To Follow Glenn and his Fighting Career, make sure to follow Glenn "Teddy Bear" Sparv on Facebook and "glennsparv88" on Instagram.