From the Farm to the Octagon: Exclusive TUF6 Fighter’s Blog Wk12 -
by Tommy Speer
I might have looked confident out there with George but I was kind of nervous standing with him and you could tell. I was constantly trying to close the distance and tie him up against the cage.
But he had the perfect game plan. If he got close I was supposed to just throw my right. I kept on wanting to close the distance but he just ran away from me. Then when he did land a couple shots I thought, “If that’s all how hard he can hit me then he’s not going to knock me out.” George is a counter puncher and he likes to sit back and counter but when you have a big strong bull in front of you it’s kind of dangerous to do that.
After one time we tied up I pushed him off. I didn’t want to take him down in the middle of the ring and get in any more trouble than I had in my last two fights. He wasn’t fighting with me from the tie up, wasn’t trying to pummel or anything. I thought, “Come on fight me!”
That resulted in the accidental eye poke. I brushed my hand by his head because I was trying to pull his head to tie up with him and I ended up poking him in the eye.
I felt terrible doing it. Who wants do that? I want to win the right way.
If you look at it I should have just kept my hand closed because it looked like it would have been a decent punch. Whether it was from the poke or a closed hand he probably would not have been able to see out of that eye afterwards regardless.
People are going to say things about it. Matt Serra said that it made “all difference in world.” But the thing is that George went to his corner and had the doctor look at it. You’ve got five minutes at that point. What did he take, less than a minute?
The referee asked him “you ready?” George said, “yep.”
Obviously it wasn’t that bad or he would have sat there and let it heal up a bit. I have all the respect in the world for George. I think he’s a great fighter and he’ll be in the UFC for a long time. He deserves to be there
But when he came out to fight me after the poke so early it didn’t do him any good if it was so bad and it certainly didn’t do me any good because I want to win the right way.
And if you look at what happened afterwards, he won the first exchange. After that I was getting my range down a little better and he was kind of hunting me down so I planted through a right hand and it backed him up so I did it again and it dropped him. I shot in with some hook punches and I guess I hit him hard enough to knock him out.
I was catching him before then, that punch was not the first I landed. Looking at the fight now I believe that sooner or later that was going to happen.
The moment referee “Big” John McCarthy pushed me off of George and I got up I just couldn’t believe I had finished him like that. Then all of the sudden Matt Hughes jumps over the cage and lifts me up in the air. It was a proud moment in my athletic career so far. I’d have to say it’s at the top. My other moments with football or wrestling were great as well but they weren’t caught on camera. It was a great feeling.
I don’t think I really had time to be surprised by my teammates running in and celebrating with me. It couldn’t be more perfect.
I was the last fight on the show and it ends that way. If somebody would have told me at the beginning of the show, “You’ll knock out George and every one of your teammates will hop the fence and you’ll be hoisted up on their shoulders” there’s no way I would have believed it.
We all left to go back home the next day. We were done recording this episode about mid day. We finished up the last interviews and then Dana White took us out to eat and afterwards they put us back in a hotel. We got out flight itineraries and the next day we were on our own.
After I got back home I waited awhile but then I told my family the results. I made them sweat it out for a little. They signed confidentiality agreements as well when I signed on for the show to not tell anyone where I was. If we were in a big city it would be easy because I could have been anywhere. But coming from a small town it was a little harder because people know where I’m supposed to be and are like, “Where the hell is Tommy?”
That fight with George was my first time getting into a big stand up exchange. I think I got that out of my system and I’ve been working hard and am feeling pretty comfortable.
The only place I do not feel very comfortable is if I’m on back. I’m pretty comfortable with getting back up but that’s not for me and it will never be me no matter how good I get.
I’m pretty confident that Mac will not be able to take me down. The only way he gets me on my back is if he sweeps me from the bottom. But I know what he does from there.
Going through the show just got me exposed to a lot of good fighters at once. Going in I thought “I’m big and strong and an ok fighter.” And that got me this far but I still have a long ways to go.