Live Report from UFC 112: Day 2

Kru Chatri Sityodtong reports live from Abu Dhabi behind the scenes for UFC 112:

"Yesterday (Tuesday April 6), I slept in for a change.  Truthfully, I've been super exhausted from a crazy few weeks of work.  I'm not complaining a bit though - I have the best job in the world.  I truly love what I do with all of my soul.  Muay Thai has been my greatest passion in life for almost 25 years ever since I was a young boy in Thailand.  I still feel like a kid every day when I am teaching, training, or fighting.  I love MMA and BJJ too.  However, I do have to confess that I'm a terrible Blue Belt even on a good day. Either way, I still enjoyed sleeping in until noon on a weekday!

By the time I woke up, everyone (Anderson Silva, Matt Hughes, Demian Maia, Renzo Gracie, Frankie Edgar, Ricardo Almeida, Rafael Gordinho, Roberto Gordo, etc.) was already by the swimming pool, frolicking under the strong Arabian sun in distinct separate groups.  The funny thing about the week before a big fight is that there is a lot of dead time.  It's a little like vacation, except everyone is a little grumpy and tense because they are tightly managing their weight and thinking about the fight.  Last week, Dos Anjos weighed 80 kilos.  He is supposed to drop 10 kilos by this coming Friday for the official weigh-ins.  The weight limit for his fight is 70.5 kilos.  Most professional fighters cut tremendous weight for the weigh-ins and then regain a bulk of it by the time the fight happens 24 hours later.  Of course, there is a detailed science to cutting weight for a fight so that you can still achieve peak performance on the night of the fight.  The human body is truly an amazing machine.  

Later in the afternoon, I went downstairs for a light snack with Dos Anjos and Renzo.  Rafael just nibbled on a very small - and I mean very small - portion of chicken breast.  His weight was 76 kilos.  So we were on target for him to weigh 70.5 kilos on Friday.  We walked through the game plan and strategy again for the fight.  Terry Etim is a world-class fighter and it is going to be a war.  Rafael has been super focused, confident, and serious.  Meanwhile, Renzo was super relaxed as always.  He started telling us some funny stories and we were all laughing our butts off.  UFC welterweight fighter Ricardo Almeida also joined us in the discussion.  Ricardo will be cornering both Renzo and Frankie at UFC 112.  Of course, the conversation did turn serious when we discussed Renzo's game plan for his fight with Matt Hughes, a former UFC World Champion.  It is going to be a super tough fight.  After hanging out with Dos Anjos, Renzo, and Ricardo, I went to the gym for a quick workout.  Dos Anjos went to get a full body massage at the spa.

At 9pm, Dos Anjos came to my room to pick me up for our training session.  Gordinho was down with a fever and was sleeping it off.  We wanted to simulate the outdoor conditions of UFC 112.  It is the first time that the UFC would be held in an outdoor arena in the fresh air.  So Dos Anjos and I walked out of the hotel to train outside in a park.  The desert is blistering hot during the day, but it is quite cool at night.  We started off with a 10 minute jog to warm up.  We started off with 2 rounds of boxing, drilling special combinations and technique that are customized to his opponent for this fight.  Then we did another 2 rounds of Muay Thai.  All rounds were 5 minutes a piece at 100% cardio output.  Afterwards, we talked about Terry Etim's game and went through all the details of the game plan again.  His weight was 74.5 kilos.  Dos Anjos' confidence has been super high because he has had a phenomenal training camp at Evolve MMA.  His cardio is unbelievable and his MMA game is razor sharp."