Finally winning again!!! It has been a very long 2 months, having my last fight be a loss. I would say that my loss to David Heath has bothered me more than anyother loss, in anyother competittion. But, I would also say that I learned more from and used that loss better than anyother loss.
I have to thank all the people that helped prepare me for this fight. My managment team, Damage Inc., specifically Mike Camp. All the athletes at Jorge Gurgel's MMA Academy in Middletown, Ohio and of course the mainstays of Buckeye MMA, Josh Williams, Rex Holman, Marc Cofer, BJ Hedger, and my brother Danny. Danny doesn't get enough credit for getting me where I belong, when I belong there on these trips.
We flew into Corpus Christi, Texas on Thursday afternoon. I had some weight to cut, so we ran up and down the ocean front. Friday morning, I still had a few pounds to go...nothing a quick trip up and down the coast line couldn't get off. Weigh-ins went smooth, I weighed in at 204.5, my opponent Lucas Lopes, a Brazilian from American Top Team weighed in at 202. I was surprised to see that he is all of 6' 4", which I figured could cause problems coming from a Jiu-Jitsu brown belt. Danny and I figured that this was just the test I needed at this point in my carreer.
We got to the arena at about 4:30 on Saturday, a full 3.5 hours before the fighting began. I can't blame these promotors for wanting the athletes there early, they need to know if someone isn't going to show up. It wasn't all bad though, we did get to watch the hour long concert by Quiet Riot, which was better than I thought it would be.
When I went back to my dressing room to begin my preperation I found out that my opponent was better than the 6-6 record I was told, he was actually 25-6. A big difference, but I would have still taken the fight, so it didn't matter at that point.
My warm up went great and it was time to fight. My game plan was to test his stand up. I have gotten very confident on my feet, however when we started to approach eachother and he threw a flying knee at my head that landed, I decided I had to make him pay and rather than try and reach his head, which would be difficult given his height, I would take him down and pound him out. I scored the takedown and had to quickly defend an arm bar and triangle choke, I did but was still stuck in his guard. Good thing I had spent a lot of time training there. I probably landed 50-75 elbows and punches to his head, but he seemed to be doing just enough to keep the ref from stopping it. The round ended with me on top.
The 2nd round started with him kicking, obviously trying to keep me off his legs. I got the takedown about 45 seconds in to the round. I continued to throw elbows from inside his guard. After about a minute of that, the ref stopped the fight and took a point away from me, saying that I punched him in the back of the head and stood us back up. I took him down again and this time passed his guard and got to side mount. He was facing away from me, but I thought I would go for a keylock anyway, I locked it in real tight, his elbow started popping and he tapped. It always feels good to beat a Jiu-Jitsu guy at their own game. I am very happy to rebound from my loss and move on.
After the fight, my brother and I ended up at Mulligans Pub on Chapparelle St. I have to say the owners, Amos and Ryan are two of the coolest guys I have met on any of these trips. Huge fight fans and very friendly. I hope I fight there again, just so I can go hang out with those guys. If you are ever in Corpus, don't forget Mulligans Pub and tell them Sean sent you.
Up next for Team Salmon...the Legends of Fighting Title this Friday night in Indianapolis, Indiana. I have several friends from Ohio making the trip and look forward to a fun night of fighting. I will have an update after that fight as well.