As many of you have heard I will no longer be fighting Justin Edwards, my new opponent is Dan Stittgen. They are actually pretty similar in style as they are both really good on the ground. My training camp hasn’t changed a whole lot. We are going to try and keep it standing because my team wants to see a knockout. If I have to I’ll take him down I’ll do it, I feel really confident in my BJJ. I feel for Edwards, its part of the game and it happens, but it doesn’t make it any easier.
As the fight gets closer I am not as nervous as I thought I was going to be. This is the biggest stage I have ever fought on and the UFC is the top dog. I was training before I got the call to fight so even though I had a short training camp I feel very confident and very strong. I keep positive people around me and that really makes all the difference in the world. I feel strong mentally and feel like my technique is where it needs to be. I’m sure as the fight gets closer I will feel more nervous, but that’s to be expected.
This past weekend I had an opportunity to watch my brother play football at Elon University. We took a ride to North Carolina to show him our support. My brother is 270lbs and can do a standing backflip with a full twist! You can credit martial arts for that! I was also able to get to the movies this week and we saw Underworld 3, great movie I highly recommend it. Other than that I spent time with my family and friends. If I’m alone I think too much, they help me keep my mind off of the fight and on being with them. It’s not good to harp on the fight too much.
For any of you looking to get into the martial arts the best advice I can give you is to do your research before deciding on a gym. You have to feel comfortable first and foremost. I truly believe everyone should do one of the martial arts. People think it’s just about kicking and punching, but there’s so much more to it than the physical aspect of it.
It helps build confidence and allows you to be gain confidence. It’s more a lifestyle than anything else. I’ve been involved in martial arts for 25 years and I love to teach the younger kids. If you have kids start them young, get them involved at an early age. The martial arts will also help them with their hand-eye coordination and their agility which is really important.
I’ll be back in a few days with my thoughts on the UFC on Fox and let you know how I’m feeling as the fight is just days away.
Follow Stephen on Twitter at @WonderboyMMA. You can check out his gym at www.pitchblackmma.com and www.upstatekarate.com, and his official site at WonderBoyMMA.com.