I’m ok! I’m ok! I promise…

Well, my Lion Fight debut certainly didn’t go as planned.

The weight cut to 142lbs went surprisingly well, I rehydrated well, and felt on top of my game going into the fight. I haven’t seen the tape yet, but I felt like the first round was going pretty well — I was getting a good read on his offense, and I thought I was just beginning to open up some good opportunities on his defense. Then, about halfway through the first round, my opponent, Gaston Bolanos, hit me with probably the most well-timed and placed strike I’ve ever been hit with; a spinning elbow that landed directly on my eyeball. I suppose it was all downhill from there. The lights went out in that eye right away, and I could feel that he opened up a pretty good cut on my eyebrow. I remember thinking that I would kind of take the rest of the round off, regain my vision in between rounds, and get back on track.
I walked back to the corner on the bell, and argued with Professor Duane Ludwig and the ringside Dr. as they waived the fight off. Looking back, it was certainly the right call.

After spending about 7 hours in the most poorly run facility (the University Medical Center E.R. in Las Vegas) I’ve ever been in, I had 11 stitches and a rough idea of the rest of my injuries.

Got that Rich Franklin nose going on...

I got back to Colorado on Sunday, and was able to get a quick appointment with one of the most prestigious otolaryngologists in the US a couple of days later. Dr. Mario Imola performed several procedures on my uncle when he was diagnosed with jaw cancer years back. He became a good family friend, and fixed my nose 9 or so years ago the first time I got hit with a left hook and found it on the other side of my face. He did me a solid and got me into surgery last night (Friday, the 11th).

Dr. Imola re-broke my nose, and straightened out the 2 fractures I received in the fight. Don’t worry, ladies, I will be handsome once again. On the more fun end, he informed me that I had two fractures in the floor of my orbital bone, one of which was 40mm long. Seems like pretty important information, huh? I wonder why the Dr’s in Las Vegas felt the need to leave that out. My eye was, for lack of a better term, sinking into my face. On top of that, the bone was pinching one of my ocular muscles, causing double vision (which was making me feel like a drunk for the entire week leading up to surgery). He made an incision just under my eye and inserted a mesh plate to hold my eye in place.

This is a selfie record for me.

About 20 hours, a whole bunch of narcotic painkillers, and some terrible hospital food later, I’m back home and as good as one of those refurbished pieces of furniture you buy at scratch & dent stores. Shout out to the facilities and staff at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, Colorado — that place is heaven on earth compared to the UMC in Vegas (thanks Dr. Imola, Cassie, Jessica, Maggie, and Jenna for making my stay so comfortable). Once again, Colorado proves its superiority over the other 49 states.

And on that note, I’m going to rest up for a couple of days before my wife takes me on vacation. Rough fight, but life isn’t too bad…

Thanks for the support everyone!

Some love for my sponsors.

Before I leave for Vegas, and before I’m cutting weight (while I’m still in a good mood), I want to shout out some love to those that support me.
Of course, huge thanks to my family and friends, who put up with all the baggage that comes with my fighting – especially my wife, who is as supportive as anyone could possibly be. Her cooking has been instrumental in me keeping my sanity on the way down to 142lbs. I couldn’t do this without your support.
Huge thanks as always to Billy at Shompton, one of my best friends and biggest supporters since day one. It’s because of Billy that I have a webpage to keep you guys updated with, and his nagging is the reason I have more than two Twitter posts.
Also huge thanks to Brothers BBQ, big supporters of Colorado MMA for a long time, and the reason I get out of bed in the morning.
Last but not least, thanks to InFightStyle for hooking up my shorts and walkout jacket.  If you’re in need of any Muay Thai gear, InFightStyle carries the finest quality gear around.


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Here’s a quick preview of my shorts and walkout top for the fight.
Now, on to the weight cut. See you guys in a couple of days.

Returning to my roots at Lion Fight 16.

I love Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I can clearly remember watching in awe as Royce Gracie worked his way through the UFC 1 tournament, submitting superhuman looking dudes twice his size. Years later, when I first began training Jiu-Jitsu at the Easton Training Center in Boulder (then simply called Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Boulder), I can remember one of my coaches, Jay Jack, claiming that “Jiu-Jitsu is the closest thing to magic you will find in a street fight”. That was proven true time and time again in college every time I had to get into an altercation working as a bouncer. Takedown, mount, take the back, choke. It was effortless, and I very rarely ever had to even throw a punch. It really is an incredible art, and I can see myself training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for the rest of my life.

Now, years before I saw Royce Gracie win UFC 1, I remember that same since of awe when I got my first taste of Muay Thai. I, like many others, was first introduced to the art by none other than Jean Claude Van Damme. I wanted to learn Muay Thai the second I laid eyes on Tong Po, the villain in the movie “Kickboxer”.

Tong Po

I was never really the type of guy to cheer for a villain in a movie, but Tong Po was about the baddest thing I had ever seen up to that point. There is a scene in the movie where Tong Po warms up for one of his fights by kicking a concrete pillar in his dressing room. I was hooked at that point. I think I went to my bedroom to kick the post of my bed with my shin, which inevitably left me on the floor crying.

Regardless, Muay Thai was really my first love. Although I’ve spent 95% of my career fighting MMA, I’ve always had a bit more of an affinity for the standup game. I always picked up the standup techniques easier, and really, I always thought it was more fun.

So, that said, on July 4, I will be returning to my first love at the Lion Fight 16 card in Las Vegas. This will be my first Muay Thai match since June of 2009 (vs. Kenichi Ogata in Tokyo). I will be fighting Peru’s Gaston Bolanos, teammate of American Muay Thai standout Kevin Ross (who will be headlining the card). Bolanos has quite a bit of experience, amassing a very impressive 24-3 record in his career.

Lion Fight 16

I will be the first fight on the televised card, featured on AXS TV at 7:00pm Mountain Time. Put your fireworks away for a second, grab your American Flag Budweiser can, and watch me represent for America for 15 minutes.