Conner Miller 2-1 Vs Ryan McCarthy 5-2 WFC 18 March 14, 2014 Grand Sierra Resort Reno, NV (via Matt McGovern)
Sup motherfukers, just fuckin, uh, wanted to show yall my second mma fight, prove im a not a punkassbitch or nothin. Movin to 170's next, where you at George?!
But in all seriousness, on March 14th I culminated a 5 week camp and the hardest month of my life with my second amateur MMA fight for World Fighting Championships in Reno. It's been a long road. MMA has been my lifes dream since I was 16. It's saved my life from substance abuse, poor moral choices, and from being a fan of sports like baseball or golf. I have learned fitness, technique, self defense, proper nutrition, discipline, respect, honor, courage, and most importantly (and cliche-ly) how to grow up and be a god damn adult.
I've been training MMA for 2 years at Standalone MMA, and Nor Cal Fight Factory on occasion. Before that I had two years of high school wrestling under David Cobb (Brian Cobb of Terry Etim fame's younger brother), and two years of BJJ under Tom Cissero at Cissero BJJ in San Jose. My first MMA fight came after 8 months of training, I fought at 170 and lost a back and forth "Just Bleed" type fight by split decision. Injuries sidelined me and the party lifestyle of college kept me there longer than need be, until some life circumstances made me make some tough choices. I dug deep, pulled my life together, and got back in the gym full time.
I got offered a fight at 160lbs for the WFC and didn't think twice. I walk around at about 187, and even though I knew it would be hell I knew I could make the weight. I also knew that I needed a fight to keep me sane, and from going back down the same path of addiction that reared it's head every time I was without a goal in life. So I started training. Hard. I wanted to win more than anything I have ever wanted in my entire life. I hated the idea of being 0-1 so much already. I hated when people found out I trained MMA and asked that same question. "Have you had any fights?" Yes. "What's your record?" 0-1. "...oh". Sounds stupid, but it mainly sucked because I knew I hadn't worked hard enough to earn that first victory. This time would be different though.
The weight cut was brutal. I got down to 175 with steady dieting and a final week running on basically 1500 calories a day while still training with a full schedule. The day of weigh ins I cut 16 pounds. Thanks to a broken scale, I thought I was on weight when I was still 5 lbs over, which lead to a last minute weight cut on the stationary bike at the hotel gym. It was the hardest day of my life, and reaffirmed that I'm strictly fighting at 170 from now on.
My opponent was a 6-1 wrestler from Tahoe, and was basically the hometown favorite. On a 15 fight card with two title fights, we were the co main event. Suffice to say, he had quite the fan base at the event. One of my final thoughts before my walkout that really brought my thinking into sharp focus was that they had brought me there to lose. The only reason I got the fight was my coach had lied and told them I was 1-1. But the promotion was hoping I would end up on his highlight reel in front of his home crowd. In front of his fans who were yelling at me as I walked through the crowd.
"HE'S GONNA KICK YOUR FUCKING ASS!"
This blond woman screamed at me from 5 feet away right before I got into the ring, which was surrounded by a sea of green t-shirts marking out his supporters (You can see me point at them all at the beginning of the video, had to troll them a little bit). By the time I got inside the ring, the thoughts in my head had reached a crescendo of anxiety, fear, regret, and negativity. "dude, this is fucking stupid, you're going to get your ass kicked. He's 6-1, your going to lose in front of everyone, there's too much at stake, why are you here". But then the bell rings, and everything else just kind of melts away.
Notes on the actual fight:
-The shaved head was a first, didn't realize how scary I looked until I caught a side glance of myself on the monitor at the event. As my profile pic shows I had an afro previously, quite the shift in appearances, I know.
-My two biggest negatives about my fight were not throwing my kicks with authority and not turning him more against the ropes. I was worried about getting taken down and pulled the kicks a bit so they look like shit. My muscles felt like dead weight due to the altitude and the weight cut, so even though I was stronger I was apprehensive about burning out too early in the fight.
-I feel I did a good job minimizing his offense and generating decent knee strikes in the clinch despite not training any thai clinch stuff in camp (we mostly worked on angles and defensive wrestling)
-In my first fight, Cecil People's was the ref and he tripped me at one point. This fight was no different, the ref barely got out of the way and I blame him at least 27% for me getting taken down at the end.
-When I got the triangle, I wasn't sure if he was out until I let him go. But that ref fucked up, you can see where he goes limp around the 10 second mark and I was torquing that shit hard for a good 10 seconds while he was already out. sketch.
-After the fight, in the aftermath and celebration of victory I put on 37 lbs over 4 days, peaking at 197(!) yea, I really love food now.
Thanks for hanging in there for the read, I would love some feedback from the BE community!
****Also, Katie, I love your work on BE and thanks for providing a womans perspective in a forum dominated by men. But dear lord, never has anyone made me hate life as much as you did during those last few weeks of my cut. The Instagram pages with food porn had me going over imaginary deals I could make with the devil to just try a bite of whatever Gustaffson was eating that week, or whatever other delicatessen were on display. You should really but a disclaimer for potential weight cutting fighters before you cut to the food section of the post. All is now forgiven.