Victor Bachmann

July 13, 2010

The Worst Part of Fighting

Filed under: Fights,Training — The Professor @ 3:01 pm

More like postBONED!

This coming Friday was supposed to beMitch Clarke’s title shot against Curtis DeMarce. Two weeks before the show, the whole event was cancelled. Many of my teammates had spent the last 2 or 3 months putting in hours everyday to get ready for fights on the card. All of them are devastated.

This is a pain I know all too well. I have, more than once, gone a year training for fights that had fallen through. Some promoters would try harder to find replacement opponents. I would go through a laundry list of names before finding an opponent or giving up.

Training camps are hard on the body and injuries happen all the time. Rarely does a fighter go into a fight at 100%. A week before my second fight, I had torn a bunch of ligaments in my elbow and could barely move my arm. I spent most of the week with my arm taped up and the pain was so bad I couldn’t sleep at night. The thought of dropping out of my fight never occurred to me. I’m not sure if I realized I could.

That fight was tough and my performance was terrible. I did manage a win, but in retrospect I’m not sure that it was worth the risk. Full function of your arm is important in a fight. The toll on my body was pretty bad, I spent the next week bed ridden with the flu and it took months for my elbow to fully recover.

Fighting is risking to begin with. You have got an athlete pretty intent on removing your head from your body and it’s important that you are able to defend yourself with everything you can. An injury can mean more than a loss. Pushing an injured body to it’s already stretched limits affects an athlete for the rest of their life. The injury won’t heal properly and will affect future fights. Not to mention that this is the same body that you will stick with for the rest of your life.

It’s hard to find a good promotion to fight for; one that has respect for their fighters, pays them fairly, is fun to fight for, and has their shit together. The last one is harder to find than you’d think. I was supposed to fight in KOTC: Terror on the Tundra and then KOTC: Battleground in Grand Prarie. Both cancelled. Many of my teammates were supposed to fight in TFC 11: Destiny. Cancelled.

A cancelled event can be more frustrating than a dropped opponent. Both fighters are wanting and able to fight, training camps have been set up or finished, and fighters have sold tickets to friends and family. Sometimes other promotions pick up fights, but most fighters are left scrambling to find an event to fight in.

There is little consolation to a fighter. They are trying to build a career. Most fighters I know are living paycheck to paycheck and if they miss a fight it might mean they have to miss the next fight because they are busy working to make ends meet. MMA is a fickle business and people forget your name quickly.

I have gotten used to the idea that when I am training for a fight that there is a good chance that the fight will get cancelled. I enjoy training for a fight, sparring with my teammates, and getting my body into shape. The challenges of training camp can satisfying, even if it seems pointless. Of course, it’s always pointless. Even if you win a fight, you’re back in the gym the next week. Right?

May 10, 2010

Making Weight

Filed under: Fights,Training — The Professor @ 2:00 pm
Moments after making weight. In 6 hours, I will have put on 15lbs.

Moments after making weight. In 6 hours, I will have put on 15lbs.

Three days before I fight Jordan Mein in the first round of
Let’s Get It On’s
welterweight tournament. The only thing I can think of is nachos and that chocolate cake my wife got me for National High Five Day. I have to make weight in two days. I fight in a weight class that maxes out at 170lbs, and usually weigh between 185 and 195lbs.

For professional MMA bouts, weigh ins are conducted the day before the event. Most fighters will spend the hours leading up to the weigh ins sweating out pounds of water to reach their weight class. The moment they step off the scale they start rehydrating and carb loading as much as they can before they have to fight the next day.

I have been cutting weight for competition for the past 8 years, since my first year wrestling. My first few tournaments I competed at the weight that sat at, 82kg. Sometimes I was bumped to the next weight class, 90kg. I would always end up the smallest competitor in my weight class, and couldn’t compete with the size and strength of my weight cutting opponents.

Going down to 76kg (167lbs) was an easy decision, if I wanted to be competitive. I would lose 5-8lbs during hard practices and didn’t seem to effect my performance the next practice. There was usually a 2kg weight allowance, and would only have to make 76kg once or twice a year. I would be much bigger and stronger than the other wrestlers in that weight class.

Cutting weight isn’t fun or easy. A fighter will do anything to get weight off, I’ve seen people shave their heads to lose a fraction of a pound (it doesn’t work, hair doesn’t weigh enough to register on a scale). The hardest part is sweating the weight off. Fighters break down and cry regularly when in the middle of a weight cut.

Some fighters prefer to sit in a sauna until they get on weight. I put on a plastic suit and sweaters and ride a stationary bike. I like to make it easy, so when I’m sweating to make weight I only have to lose 5-7lbs. I do most of the weight loss the days leading up to weigh ins. Others do all their cutting the day of weigh ins. I’ve know people lose 25lbs or more in a few short hours. I have also seen that back fire too many times, affecting fighters performance during their fight the next day or, worse, ending up in the hospital with their kidneys shutting down.

Healthy eating has made making weight infinitely easier. Nutrition is both more simple and complicated than most people think. During my wrestling years, most of the advice came from teammates. Their ideas were either passed down from other athletes or had just come up with on their own. The goal was always to keep the weight down.

Some teammates struggled harder than others at making weight. The ones that struggled tended to be straight out of high school and learning to live on their own. Their day to day diet consisted of the Lister Hall cafeteria, mac and cheese, and MacDonalds. When it came time to make weight, their diets would change to a daily bowl of oatmeal.

I made sure that I was eating the best I knew how. I did some research on proper eating. Most of the information I found was either from the Canada food guide or weight watchers. The closest thing I saw to eating as an athlete were geared towards body builders. I followed the best advice I found and I never ballooned up during the off season or struggled to make weight.

When I was living in Toronto, I had a chance to meet with nutritionist Kyle Byron. The first thing he told me was I wasn’t eating enough. Then we went over what I should be eating, when, and why. Most of the nutritional plan was simple enough. A balanced meal of protein, carbs, and veggies every few hours. The biggest surprise was eating for training sessions and performance.

Nachos! My favourite post fight meal.

Nachos! My favourite post fight meal.

Eating to lose or maintain weight is pretty easy. Timing meals to make sure you have enough energy to push through a tough training session and not feel sick can be challenging. A two hour training sessions takes a lot of energy and your muscles can only hold so much. Being able to put some energy into your body gives you a big advantage and you can maintain intensity for longer.

I don’t always eat according to plan. After I fought Jordan Mein, I skipped the official after party and ate a full plate of nachos from Original Joe’s and then went home and ate that entire chocolate cake. I usually take the week after my fight and eat nothing but garbage. After that, I go back to regular, planned, healthy eating. It means I don’t have to starve myself when I’m training my hardest and I don’t have to feel guilty when go out to dinner.

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 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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