Image via UFC
UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz is writing a five-part training diary on NBC Sports in the leadup to his October 1st title defense against Demetrious Johnson at UFC on Versus 6. The first half of part one deals strictly with his training, while the second is about his commitment to MMA and the sacrifices that were necessary to be the best. He offers some interesting insight into where's at right now in his camp:
With two weeks left of training, my foot is currently resting on the throttle, not quite off it, but not pressed down on it, either. It's a balancing act and one I am now used to. We are currently in the peaking phase of training, and that means I am in and out of the gym on a daily basis, but not to the point where I'm likely to collapse in exhaustion at the end of a session. The aim is to keep my body ticking over, but to not overdo it or peak too soon. I have to know my limits and prepare myself to peak at the right time – ideally, October 1st, the night I defend my UFC world bantamweight title against Demetrious 'Mighty Mouse' Johnson, live on Versus.
I'm already in fighting shape at this stage. I could do five rounds tomorrow if it was asked of me. The emphasis at this juncture is purely on sharpness, timing and getting the game plan prepared to the point where it becomes second nature to me once I step inside that Octagon.
He talks a bit about how training has good days and bad days, then goes into the sacrifices risks he dealt with to pursue MMA as a career:
I dropped everything else in my life at that time to become a success in mixed martial arts. I didn't want to look back on that decision and have any regrets, so I sacrificed relationships, friendships and family to make my way in this sport. My family live six hours away and it's never easy to visit them while training. I also sacrificed vital commodities like money and a house on the way up. While most guys my age were trying to put foundations down and build for the future, I was taking a chance on a sport and profession that was still relatively new.
All in all, though, I am happy with the sacrifices I made and also the decision I made as a 19-year-old to leave college and take a punt on a dream I had. That is all it ever was. Nobody told me I was any good at mixed martial arts, and nobody ever complimented me on my athletic ability. Nobody saw it coming. I simply had a dream that one day I'd become an athlete and UFC world champion. This is now all I do and all I think about on a daily basis. Nothing else consumes my life like mixed martial arts does. The dream is now happening...
While the last part sounds nice and all, it's really romanticized. The reality is that he was a really good high school wrestler that got hurt before he could be recruited by colleges. He was juggling jobs and coaching wrestling while taking a few college courses when he took his first MMA fight at 19. He wasn't really serious about the sport until he was 21, when he moved to California to train full time. That is when he quit his jobs and stopped going to community college. The funny part is that this he's the one that has told these stories to many media outlets over the past two years himself, so why try to make it sound so much more dramatic now all of a sudden?
I guess that's just how Dominick Cruz rolls.