Victor Bachmann

April 30, 2010

Let’s Get It On!

Filed under: Fights — The Professor @ 12:57 pm

Where I wanted to be. All too briefly.

Last Friday was my match up against Jordan Mein in the opening round of Let’s Get It On MMA’s welterweight tournament.

A tough draw for sure. Out of all the fighters in the tournament, Mein has the most fights and wins. My last fight, 5 weeks ago, was a good lead up to this fight. The style match up was similar, my wrestler style versus a striker. Since I didn’t get injured, I simply carried on with the same training camp and game plan.

The fight started out as planned. I got a take down right away, got on top, and started punching. He managed get to his feet. Every time I dragged him down, he’d get right back up until we ended up against the cage, trading knees. As I was working for a single, Mein grabbed onto a cross face and nearly twisted my head off and I was forced to tap.

It was a good fight and it was obvious that Jordan Mein had trained to defend against a wrestler. While I got him down right away, I couldn’t keep him down. He fought hard to keep me out of position, stayed low, and didn’t give up his posture to strike. Ultimately, it was him putting me out of position that allowed him to put on the neck crank.

This isn’t my first loss. If I keep fighting challenging opponents, it won’t be my last. While I am disappointed that I lost and more disappointed that I won’t be continuing on in the tournament, this is the first loss I’ve had where I am satisfied with my performance.

Where I ended up.

Not how my head is supposed to turn, or where I wanted the fight to go.

My other losses, against Aaron Bruce and Claude Patrick, I felt that I hadn’t fought to the best of my ability. Either I hadn’t trained properly, wasn’t mentally prepared, etc. I don’t want to imply that I could/should/would have won those fights, just that I hadn’t put on the best performance that I could.

With this fight, I wouldn’t have fought any other way. I made some technical mistakes and I will have to watch the fight to see what those are. I went in with a game plan and followed through with it. Mein went in with a plan and his won one over. Someone has to lose, and sometimes it’s going to be me.

Win or lose, there is a lot to learn from every fight. The lesson I am taking away from this fight have more to do with where I am as fighter rather than the game plan or preparation. The way Mein was fighting, it was obvious that he had trained to defeat me, not just any fighter. The problem with using the same tactics, effective or not, is that that sooner or later someone will find a way to beat it.

The only thing left is to continue training. I was fully planning on being in this tournament until the end. Now, who to fight? and where?

Update: Pictures courtesy of Jason Bouwmeester, Pixelens and Top MMA News!

April 16, 2010

Do you think you can fight?

Filed under: Training — The Professor @ 1:03 pm

Imagine you’re this guy, goes to the gym regularly, runs most days, is in generally good shape. Every now and then you play one on one basketball with your buddies. You usually win. Maybe you have a hoop on your garage and play with your dad on weekends. Do you think you can beat Michael Jordan, one on one? How about Jamar Samuels, forward for Kansas State? Current captain of your high school’s basketball team?

Sounds absurd. These guys play competitive basketball everyday, where you shoot hoops with your dad as he tells you about the birds and the bees.

How about instead of basketball, you get drunk on weekends and get into scraps or horse around with your buddies. You’re young and in good shape so you usually come out on top. Can you beat up Floyd Mayweather? Chael Sonen? The Professor?

I meet a lot of guys who want to fight professionally in MMA from aging local rock stars to kids fresh out of high school. Generally, they have little to no combat sport experience but still think they’re pretty tough. There have been more than person come in who already have a fight contract signed and want to get some training in with the pros.

Much of the problem is that there is no established amateur MMA. There are amateur grappling tournaments, but people don’t see a connection with MMA. There’s amateur boxing, but that’s a very evolved community and you’d be looking at a career as a boxer. So many people feel that local MMA is their best option.

Then there’s the ‘tough guy’ attitude.

Which one spent the day using his new Bedazzler on his T shirts?

Which one spent the day using his new Bedazzler on his T shirts?

There was a time I considered myself as ‘tough’. Like most young men I had a bit of an attitude, would occasionally get in to street fights, and generally act like an idiot. At the same time, I never though I could hold up against someone who fights professionally. Once I started wrestling, all that attitude went away and the image that I had of myself was crushed.

We get ‘tough guys’ coming in to Hayabusa saying they want to fight MMA, they’re going to be the next Georges St Pierre. We had one guy sign a picture of himself: ‘Hang on to that, it’ll be worth something.’ They start training and soon realize that they aren’t the person they thought themselves to be.

I guess the idea is that all it takes little more than attitude to be a professional athlete. The years I spent wrestling, training Jiu Jitsu, kickboxing, and MMA were a waste.

When tough attitudes, and little else, get their chance to fight it tends to end badly for them. What is frustrating is that occasionally these tough guys get matched up with other bums and they get their win. The fight is always ugly. What I could never figure out is how do they get fights? I hear stories of people walking up to promoters in bars and getting fight contracts. There are organizations which fill their cards with these fighters.

It takes years to develop any kind of athlete. Some people are naturally athletic and it’s those people who are going to rise past the rest when they put in time and effort. Fighting is very complex. There are endless technique and strategies to learn. Physical preparation is just as time consuming. Developing any real strength, power, speed, or endurance takes years. When coaches are developing an athlete, time lines extend into a lifetime.

If you are interested in MMA, start training in some combat sport. Be it boxing, wrestling, jiu jitsu, karate, it doesn’t matter. As long as it’s realistic, and the techniques are test against honestly resisting opponents. Keep in mind that it will take years for you to achieve technical proficiency and physical readiness. Compete as much as you can; test yourself against many opponents of varying experience.

You are going to lose, people will clown you, and you will generally feel crushed. The more attitude and ego you have, the less willing people are to help you. Keep an open mind, and if the time comes when you and your coaches fee that you are ready, fight.

April 8, 2010

Game Plans

Filed under: Training — The Professor @ 3:15 pm
Randy Couture is the master of game plans

Randy Couture is the master of game plans

My first fight was nearly 4 years ago. The training camp was a mix of everything; we would practice wrestling, boxing, jiu jitsu most mornings. Every afternoon, I’d go to wrestling practice. 3 nights a week I’d do jiu jitsu class. If I had the energy, I’d find the time to do some weight training.

The coaches talked to me about what I was going to do: wrestle my opponent down and either submit him or punch him out. Seemed obvious. But when I walked into the cage and the fight started, that didn’t happen. I ran at him with punches, he took me down, and we flopped around like fish until I managed to get mount and knock him out. It was ugly.

My coaches spent much of my next camp telling me not to mess around and wrestle the guy down and finish. But the next fight was much of the same. I didn’t understand what was going on. I had been a wrestler for years. I even competed in a wrestling tournament the weekend before. Yet I was still fighting aimlessly.

I thought I knew what it meant to have a game plan for a fight. It seemed simple enough, for me wrestle the guy down and maintain top position. I did that everyday in the wrestling room.

The difference was in the training. When competing in wrestling, you face more than one opponent during the day. All have different styles and in practice you train against different training partners. After a tournament, you look at where you had trouble, what people did to defeat you, and what you did that was successful. Then you go back and work on all those skills. Every day I was training for wrestling against wrestlers, not MMA against fighters.

When I was getting ready for my third fight, the training was completely different. This time it was run by Jeff Montemurro, who has been my main coach ever since. I was still training Jiu Jitsu with Kyle Cardinal, wrestling at the UofA, boxing, etc. But that was supplementary to the MMA training.

Before, all our drills were technique specific. I would do so many arm bars, guard passes, etc, with increasing resistance from my partner. Now, all our drills were skills specific. Techniques were left to be learned and improved between camps. Instead of repeating the same technique for reps, I would spend rounds taking down ever changing partners or submitting guys trying to pound me.

That next fight went perfectly. Instead of training perfect technique, I had trained to fight a certain way.

It’s a mistake that I see fighters make all too regularly. They separate their training, working on striking and ground at different times, only spending a small fraction of their time working on the fight plan. Then they walk into a fight with a plan in their mind that they rarely spent time practicing. While learning proper ways to perform technique is important, when getting ready for a fight, training for the fight is far more important.

Fedor dominates for 3 rounds where Nogueira is most dangerous

Coming up with a training regime can be challenging, but a good game plan can be near impossible. When dealing with one dimensional fighters, it can be as simple as defending a take down for 3 rounds while peppering your opponent with punches. With more experienced and well rounded fighters, it’s less obvious. There are many factors but it breaks down one simple idea: Control.

During a fight, each fighter is looking to control where the fight goes, the pace it’s fought at, the space given to the opponent. There are endless variables. By establishing control, you can shut down the strongest aspects of your opponents game letting you take the fight more places.

April 4, 2010

TFC 10: High Octane

Filed under: About me,Fights — The Professor @ 7:01 pm

Pass and Smash

My last fight, just a few weeks ago, was with The Fight Club  (TFC) against Markhaile Wedderburn.

Wedderburn had called my out 2 years ago when I held the CBF MMA title. Later, he sent me a message asking if I’d be willing to fight him. Being a good style match up for me, I told him I would, no problem; it would be fun and exciting fight. I suggested we get TFC to set it up and make that my first title defense.

There are a couple popular internet forums focused on Canadian MMA. He started making noise about wanting a chance at the title with all the typical fight building smack talk. I don’t pay much attention to these things, so when some of my teammates told me I was a little surprised and really amused.

That title defense never happened. Before the fight was even set up, I seriously injured my knee and was sidelined for a few months.

2 years later, I am finally getting ready for that fight- to take place at TFC 10 on March 19. As it usually goes with my fights (and most fights) I was originally set to fight one person but as the date gets closer, people get injured and my opponent changes a few times. I have had most of my fights cancelled and it seemed like this one wasn’t going to happen.

It was 3 weeks out and I wouldn’t have been very upset if TFC didn’t find me an opponent. I got the flu mid-camp and lost a ton of weight, had a bunch of injuries, and didn’t feel that I would have been ready to fight.

Then TFC found a replacement, Markhaile Wedderburn. I have never dropped out from a fight and this was the only time I ever considered it. But we finally had a chance to make this fight happen, it was a good style match up, and I could push for the next 3 weeks and get ready enough. The fight was on.

The rest of the camp went well. Teammates Mitch Clarke and Sheldon Westcott were fighting on the same card, so I had great training partners. While I wasn’t as strong or endurant as I like to be, I had trained my game plan and was ready for this fight.

I finished the fight in the 1st round. Wedderburn was a kickboxer and as a wrestler my game plan was pretty obvious. Rush for a take down, punch him in the face and if he gives up his neck take it and choke him out. It played out perfectly and by 3:38, Wedderburn was in a rear-naked choke, tapping out.

After every fight, when talking to my opponents, I consider the amount of opponents I’ve had drop out I am always grateful to the ones who do show up and fight.

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