C.B. Dollaway blog: thoughts on the TUF Finale
If you have ever experienced shock, you likely understand how I was feeling post fight and continue to feel.
While I know I lost and have come to grips with how I lost, I am still struggling with my post-fight reaction. I have watched great fighters like Phil Baroni punch the referee for a bad stoppage, and I sat on my couch and asked myself what was he thinking. I now understand exactly what he was thinking -- or should I say, not thinking. I can also now understand my teammate Gerald Harris's (now at Arizona Combat Sports) post-fight meltdown.
You are immediately faced with all the people that supported you and your fans, and in your heart, you know you just let them all down. The crowd has gone blurry, and you can't remember the sequence of events that just transpired, but you can clearly see all the sacrifices you made and how they were all for nothing.
The hard work, time away from family and friends, and the six-figure contract are all gone. Dana White, the second chance, my trainers, teammates all either let down or squandered. All of these thoughts from the second Herb Dean stepped in until probably when Herb raised Amir's hand.
I would be lying if I said it had totally sunk in yet. I lost twice to the same guy, the same way. I guess it is pretty clear I need to work on some things. Amir won that fight fair and square. Once again he survived and took damage while looking for his opportunity to win. He found it earlier this time. My coaches and trainers worked on the defense for that move ever since we found out we were fighting Amir again. The defense is not to slam him and sink the arm bar in deeper; it is to stack him and pound him -- make him pay the price if he wants to hold onto my arm. As I went to tap (I was feeling the pain), I actually felt like I was able to get out and tried to pull the tap. I had already made the motion, and the fight was over before I knew what happened. I was and am in total shock.
I take nothing away from Amir and his team. They did everything they needed to do to beat me that night. He will do well in the UFC and makes for a great Ultimate Fighter. Knowing your faults and improving on them is all you can really do in life. You can't take the embarrassing or hard moments back. You can learn and grow from them and hope they do not continue to follow you for your career. I have heard that I am "overrated" or "overhyped," and all I can say is I am honored anyone would rate or hype me. I am just a guy that is pursuing his dreams. I am not the greatest fighter in the world and was not even the best fighter on "TUF 7."
I want to be and I am going to work hard to become one of the greatest fighters in the world. That doesn't have to happen at 24 years of age, and losing the show only means I will have to fight the best and beat the best to build a name for myself. Winning the show gets you a short cut to the "big show" and provides a whole new level of opportunities for the fighter that wins it. All of the rest of us will have to work and win our way to fame and fortune. For me I am used to working hard to get where I wanted to go. I had to go to junior college to get a scholarship to a Division I university. Hard work is what got me on "TUF," and I look forward to doing whatever it takes to get back the fans I lost and to my goal of being one of the best fighters in the UFC.
I wanted to thank Dana and the UFC for allowing me to be a part of the show. They treated us great and gave us an opportunity of a lifetime, and for that, I will forever be grateful. They asked us to come and perform at our best and gave us the tools we needed to become the next Ultimate Fighter. You really can't ask for anything more then that.
I am in a sport where losing is a part of it. My managers always say that no one will be undefeated and that it's what you do when you lose and how you bounce back that will define your legacy. I appreciate those of you that are supporting me, and I understand those of you that were turned off by my brief display of emotion. I ask that you judge me over time and judge me by all of my action on and off TV. I am human, and I will stumble on this path to greatness. Do not let 20 seconds of TV define who you think I am as a person and as a fighter. For those of you doubting or thinking I got screwed, don't. Let's get behind Amir. He beat the so-called "favorite" two times and he deserves all the credit and respect in the world. He fought tough fighters on his road to the finals, and every fight was a war that ended with Amir's hand raised. It doesn't have to be by brutal force to be a victory, and I take my hat off to Amir and his coaches.
My road to the finals was a unique road. I was offered a second opportunity at a semifinal round, and after winning it, I was back in. When I came back from the first time (after my loss in the semis), my team and coaches rallied behind me. I was tired from all of the fights and pressure of the show and immediately went into a mode of getting fat and lazy. When Dana called and the drama with Jesse Taylor unfolded, I had to get back into fight shape. After going into the war with Tim Credeur, I immediately began to prepare for a war with Amir. During the training camp, I was training 8-10 hours a day with a ton of emphasis on improving my cardio, explosiveness and power.
It was weird not being able to tell people what happened or what I was doing. My fellow students were great as I am sure they knew things were up with Spike TV filming in the gym and things like that. The show wrapped when I was in Las Vegas getting all of my pre-fight stuff taken care of. Along with my coaches, I had Jay Glazer and Jason Genet as my support group. They were all great and willing to help me with anything I needed. We had a lot of interviews and press conferences to do that week -- along with cutting 14 pounds of weight. For the first time, I was getting mobbed with autograph requests, and for the first time, I had an appreciation for what it is like to be a celebrity (in my case, a pseudo celebrity). We were all staying at The Palms Las Vegas, red corner in one tower and blue corners in the opposite tower.
We went to Cobra Kai to train and cut weight, and they were very accommodating to my coaches and me. When I had down time I found some peace in playing craps. It was a real fun way to keep my mind off the fight.
After weigh-ins, my management team took my family and me out to an amazing dinner (nicest dinner I have ever been to), and there at the restaurant amongst my friends and family, it began to sink in. In less then 24 hours, I would be fighting for redemption. I would be fighting to erase my only loss and fighting for one of the biggest prizes in all of MMA. I quickly lost my appetite and retreated to my room. I needed silence and some alone time. I needed to get ready for the biggest test of my young career.
On fight day I woke up late and had a nice breakfast and continued to get ready for this milestone fight. I got to the arena around 3:45 p.m. and was sharing a dressing room with Matthew Riddle. While in the dressing rooms, we had TVs so we could watch the action and gauge how close our fight was. My corner guys for the fight were jiu-jitsu phenom Jacob McClintock and Todd and Trevor Lally. To say we were ready was an understatement. I made the most of this second chance, and I wanted to come away with the victory.
As I walked out to the cage, I could hear my friends and family cheering for me, and that was an amazing feeling. As the cage door closed and the fight began, I felt like it was my fight to lose. I got overconfident and made the same mistake as before, and it cost me the ultimate prize.
I am preparing for my next fight already. I was back in the gym Wednesday working on becoming the best fighter I can become. I have already signed on for my next fight and I look forward to announcing my opponent soon.
C.B. Dollaway (6-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) penned his Team Rampage blog exclusively for MMAjunkie.com this season. The "TUF" runner-up trains with Arizona Combat Sports and is a former All-American wrestler at Arizona State University.
C.B. Dollaway blog: thoughts on the TUF Finale | MMAjunkie.com
I think I'll be rooting for CB in his next fight.
naw I was a fan, but he just rubs me the wrong way. He reminds me of Hughes but without the talent. Then he sealed me hating him by his reaction after he tried to be smooth and tap. This is him trying to save face. aka damage control.
Gerald Harris at AZCS? thats awesome
War CB and War Gerald
Gained some respect for him from this, I hated him before.. Now, not so much.
I guess i had CB all wrong. glad he came out and said this...
did u guys read this? he's still calling it a bad ref decision.
he's such a douche
While I think he's in damage control mode, I give him credit for realizing he was wrong in the first place. I hope he grows as a fighter and as a person and becomes another solid contender in the ranks at some point.
This was a good blog. Nice to see how he feels, and see some humility for his actions after the tap.
Good luck CB.
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