The following is Phil Baroni's guest blog post, where he talks about the lead up to his DREAM 18 - GLORY 4 bout against Hayato Sakurai on New Year's Eve. If you missed part 1, check it out here - Phil Baroni's NYE Guest Blog: It's now or never for me, and I sure don't like the sound of 'never'.
I'm getting ready to start my last hard week of training for my New Year's Eve fight. Well, not right this second as it's Sunday, and I'm at a local coffee spot. I'm drinking coffee for breakfast because I still have more than a few pounds to lose.
I'd say I'm a bit behind schedule going into this fight. At this point, I am not as fit or ready as I was going into my last bout. I've been working around an injury since my last blog post. I'll be okay, and I'll be able to fight, but it sucks nonetheless. It is what it is I guess. I have to fight.
10 years ago, I never would've imagined that I'd be a soon to be 37-year-old journeyman, but I'm playing the cards I've been dealt with the best I can.
Ah, who am I kidding? I've dealt them to myself.
I look at guys I've trained with over the years, like Mike Pyle and see how well they're doing nowadays. He is older than me but he's still knocking out guys on the highest level, and it inspires me. Him, Dan Henderson, and a lot of us old timers are still hanging in there and winning big fights.
My opponent, Sakurai, is a star of the early days as well. He's still going, still stepping in the ring and betting on himself, letting the chips fall where they may.
I'm going without a cornerman this time and I'm taking the long flight to Japan by myself. Nobody from AKA can make the trip with my ass for the entire week, and just coming in and out for one day is a waste. It's Christmas and New Year's. It's the holiday season and guys have families and friends to be with. It's totally understandable.
I'll have a cornerman when I get there, Riki Fukuda, a friend and training partner for many years. He lives in Tokyo, and he'll have my back when I step into the squared circle.
I have a hard week coming up.
Josh Thomson has been my sparring partner and he's really tough. I have black eyes, I was hurting all week, and I'll be more than happy to be done with him after the next few days. I'm glad he stepped up and is helping me, risking his body and sparring me hard.
Well, I think I'm risking my body a lot more than he has been.
I look forward to him making a lot of noise in the UFC's 155 lb division. He's at least top 5, in my opinion.
Well anyway, camp is ongoing and I'm receiving treatment for my injuries. I'm dieting harder 'cause the weight is slow to come off. I think it's the cold weather, because I find it a lot easier to get leaner in the summer. I'm not sure if that's true, but it's a theory I have as I've always been able to get leaner in the warm weather.
The weather here sucks right now in San Jose, and I miss the sun shine of Vegas. I'm not digging this cloudy, rainy weather in the very least. Why the f*ck did I move to Cali?
Well I'm about done with my coffee and writing this blog.
I'm at AKA, and I'm doing the best I can. All I know, is that the truth will come out in the ring. They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.
-NYBA, Phil Baroni