The crafty veteran is a unique animal. Their skill and technique is still there, but it comes slower, almost telegraphed. They say that power is the last thing to go, and I'm a firm believer in that. The word 'experience' gets bandied about, but when combined with the crafty veteran, it takes on a whole new meaning. With combat sports you'll see the old lion step in so far as to step on the opponent's foot to hold him in place for the briefest moment while throwing a haymaker. Maybe it's following through with an elbow, or even a subtle headbutt in the clinch. It's not exactly fair, but few things in life are.
When rising K-1 star, Randy Blake, took on Mirko 'CroCop' Filipovik last month, he was expecting a great fight with a legend in the sport. What he wasn't expecting was to meet a crafty veteran that was willing to win by any means necessary, including some controversial low kicks. As a result, the young talent was defeated in a tough fought, majority decision. It was the first loss of Blake's career, however, the measure of a man is not in defeat. It's in how he handles those losses. It's in how he learns from them that really show what he's made of.
The affable young fighter has come a long way since his days in Chuck Norris' World Combat League. He's held the Xtreme Fighting League's light heavyweight championship belt and has defended it numerous times. He's won the ISKA World heavyweight kickboxing championship and launched a successful career in K-1. He's fought MMA, and he's even nominated for Tulsa, Oklahoma's 'Badass of 2012.' All this and he's only 25 years old. I recently had the chance to speak to Randy, and got his thoughts on the fight with CroCop and his experience fighting in Chuck Norris' now defunct WCL.
World Combat League & Chuck Norris
That was a cool experience. The rules were different, and the fights always ended up being tough dogfights. I didn't really see too much of Chuck Norris, but when I did, he was really, really short [laughs]. That surprised me, because when you see him on TV, he looks so tall. The Japanese, who aren't exactly know for being overly tall are bigger than him. I don't want to say he's like a god or anything, but when he's in the room, you kind of freeze up.You're just like, 'Whoa, this is Chuck Norris.' It's a cool effect. for sure.
I'm the type of guy that wants to continue to improve and get better. I want to move on with my career. I don't want to just sit on the couch and mope about a loss. To me, it wasn't a loss at all, because I used it as a learning experience. The only way fights are losses, is if you don't take something from them, if you don't learn from them. That said, I would like a rematch with him. I won't put my career on hold waiting for it, but I do want that rematch.
Where that fight sort of went backwards, was just the little things he was able to get away with. I'm not real big on boo hooing and making up excuses, but there were times where I felt he was allowed to just do whatever he wanted, and there were times when I couldn't do anything. This was all explained in the rules meeting the day before, but he's the hometown guy, so I guess they just let him get away with things. What I took from that fight is that if I go somewhere else, and fight another legend like that, I'll know to make adjustments for that. I'll know how to not let the dirtier side of things interfere with my gameplan. I was expecting a cleaner fight from a guy like him. It's not the end of the world, though. I still have good things going on, and I'll definitely be back.
Basically, I'm one of five guys that was nominated for the 2012 Badass award. There's a boxer, a kickboxer and three MMA guys. All of us have fought at some type of high level, or done something with their career to help them get to the nominations. It's just a way for fans to interact and vote for who they think should be Tulsa's official Badass.
You can follow Randy via his Twitter account, @RB3BoomBoom