No temper tantrums from Julian Lane and two fights will happen, what a great start to a seemingly perfect episode of TUF 16.
Pat Barry yells at me to punch him in the face! I do what I’m told and start throwing punches and leg kicks, which all landed by his allowing; damn, this gets me fired up! This is my pre-fight warm-up in the back room minutes before I walk out to fight Neil Magny.
Pat is a savage in real life, it’s not an act! I don’t mean to sound ‘funny’ or anything, but I really had a connection with him warming up. We understood each other and he knew which buttons of mine to push to get that ‘gorilla’ mentality out of me. The cameras didn’t show the backroom madness of us two maniacs going at it. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll tone it down next time, it did ‘rev my motor’ pretty high, but damn it was fun. Something I’ll never forget. Thank you, Pat “Hype or Die” Barry, for that animalistic bond we shared and sorry for the headbutt I gave you moments before stepping into the cage…
I did what I was told and marched forward, looking for a one-punch knockout finish. I controlled the center of the cage and scored two takedowns in the first round. I assumed I won the first round.
The second round, I continued to march forward despite having my face reconstructed with over 30 stitches two weeks prior. I was hoping the judges wouldn’t consider any reopened cuts damage as points for Neil, but who can ‘trust’ the judges to make the right call anyway!
I was excited for a third round and figured I’d get the ‘big shot’ I was looking for. But to my dismay, the judges gave both rounds to Neil. At this point there is nothing I can do but conduct myself like a professional. I must take losses with class and wins with humility.
I thought to myself, “Oh well, I’ll have to wait until the finale for my UFC contract.”
I’m out of the tournament, but not out of the game. My resolve is stronger than ever! I have a fighter’s heart and I’m relying on it outside of the cage right now to carry me to the next big victory.
I learned a valuable lesson: the UFC isn’t in the business of almost winning or A-plus for effort. Winning is the bottom line and the only way to secure your future in MMA. Ironically, Roy “Big Country” Nelson turns out to be the only one that was saying this all along. He could have said, “I told you so,” and I would not disagree. Touché.
A fighter must win, even if it’s boring.
Check out Bristol’s video blog as well:
Photo: Bristol Marunde (BristolMarunde.com)