Today was the day we trained for. Fight day. USA vs New Zealand. We slept in and lounged out before going for our last big meal for breakast. Eggs, bread, bacon, hash browns, sausages and mushrooms! Delicious. All of us had the same thing. As the day grew on it was closer to scrap time. We arrived at the arena around 4:00 for the fight debriefing, and then it was on. 6pm doors open and 7pm fights started. Fighters loaded the locker rooms and the crowds Loaded the arena. Music blasting and then it began. First fight was underway. We paced around until the 3rd of 10 fights and then Tahi wrapped our hands and we started to warm up. In a fairly small locker room kaleo and I started breaking our first sweats. Fight 5 ended, then 6, then 7. It was almost time. Fight 8 concluded and then they had short intermission before the co and main event fights. This was it. Time to shine. Kaleo was up first. Welcomed to a surprising roar from the crowd he stepped and the cage and it was on. Kaleo traded and showed dominant ground skills for a 3 round tough fight almost finishing the fight several times and walking away with the unanimous decision! Great performance. Next up was me. The main event of the show. As my walkout music sounded the arena surrounded by harley davidsons all started roaring, the crowd was going crazy. The energy was insane. I couldn’t stop smiling in excitement to get in there. I got to the cage, greased on, said my good byes and here we went. Me and NZ top bantamweight were starring eye to eye. Ding……the bell sounded and we went at. Both charged for center of the cage. I got a brief takedown and he worked back up, we got into a standing exchange. Crowd was loud as can be. Then he rushed me…I threw a long rear uppercut and that was it. Sleep! I just jumped on top and through it must have been 20 elbows before the ref jumped in and stopped the fight!! RD 1 KO!! We came, we saw, we conquered!!
Now it was time to relax. We headed back to the hotel, showered up and then met all the guys in town for some drinks. Holiday begins
I need to give big thank you to Brad Kora and the amazing town of Whakatane for not only bringing us to fight but for putting on a FANTASTIC event and welcoming us with open arms. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Today we woke up bright and early at 7am ready to hit the gym and cut off the last of our weight. Pretty exciting considering we would be all set and ready to eat by noon. We arrived at Sunny Gymz around 9 and spent the next hour doing for the most part a routine flawless cut. 5 minutes in the sauna, 5 minutes on the bike, followed by 5 minutes of laying down. Rinse and repeat for about 5 rounds and the weight was off. We were set, official and ready to eat our first real New Zealand meal. The show set us up with a near by cafe and it was on. We ate grilled cheese sandwiches, fruit, some veggie pie things and topped it off with a coffee at the end. Yeah, now were are back to normal. After our first meal we headed back to the hotel for a little recover nap before we had a formal tribal welcoming from the tribe. This was also a welcome home for Tahi. Ill start by saying this was AMAZING. As we walked into the Marae (a tribal meeting place) we were faced to face with a pack of tribe man doing a traditional Haka Dance. If you have ever seen NZ rugby, its a breath taking experience. Super energizing. Following the dance we were sat down and the elders spoke in Maori tounge about the land and welcoming us to it. A truly blessing to be apart of. Once the ceremony concluded we all took some photos and then went off to more sight seeing directed by Tahi. I cant believe this island gets more and more beautiful as we get to travel around. Except this time we also get eat! I could go on and on about what we say today, but i figured instead Id just show you for yourself. ENJOY! tomorrow is the fight. Kaleo and myself are ready to rock. Stay tuned and we will keep you posted. Thanks for all of your support and reading the blogs. TEAM USA!!