The Tactix Gym on Hornby St. was abuzz with the sound of clicking cameras and the primal roars of fighters as they hit mitts at the UFC open workout this afternoon. While the impressive facility was by no means packed to rafters with eager fans and busy hacks, a healthy mixture of tension and excitement filled the air as the fighters were put through their paces.
A strikingly bigger Sam Stout was up first and bore no signs of the elbow injury which forced him to pull out of UFC 126. He spoke of his opponent Yves Edwards, with the upmost respect, “Yves Edwards is someone I’ve been watching since I got into the sport, he’s a veteran and I’m sure he’s got a few tricks up his sleeve so I have to be careful. He’s very well rounded and I think he matches well with me stylistically”.
The Team Tompkins’s fighter is very happy with results of his twelve week camp, which was amalgamated with Mark Hominic’s preparation for Jose Aldo, “It’s been a very healthy camp, not just in terms of injury, I’m in better shape, and mentally it’s just been a fantastic camp, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been”.
You can’t help feeling screwed by evolution standing next to Junior Dos Santos, the man is a behemoth of masculinity and no matter how sweet and soft spoken he is; he emasculates the average man. He looked frightening during his workout.
The former number one contender is convinced his opponent is going to try to put him on the mat and he has trained accordingly, “I feel I have better boxing skills and Shane Carwin is going to try and take me down. I really like to train wrestling and I learn very fast like with boxing, I have learned a lot from guys like Phil Davies and Mark Munoz. I have very good takedown defense and Jiu Jitsu skills too”.
He is also confident in his preparation and ability to win this fight within the distance, “I believe in myself, work hard and do my part. I believe I can finish Shane Carwin on the feet or on the ground”.
The equally imposing Shane Carwin restricted himself to a far less intense workout than the rest of the fighters, with light stretches and skipping. He was in reflective mood discussing the lessons he learned from his loss to Brock Lesnar, “I tell myself when I left that cage I left it all in there, it taught me things about life and fighting and things I needed to change. Josh Fort taught me what nutrition really is, about eating healthy and eating for recovery”.
He spoke of the advantage his new sleeker frame has given him, “Weight-wise I’m 20-25 lbs lighter, as far as athleticism and speed goes I should be faster and just as explosive and strong”. Like Dos Santos he does not see this fight going the distance, “This is going to be an exciting fight, if you look at what Junior believes in and what I believe in somebody is going to go down on Saturday night, I don’t think this is going to be a decision.” Looks like everybody is on the same page!
The metabolism-defying Kenny Florian (who held court in both English and Spanish) explained his reasons for trying a fourth weight class, “I was always doing so well at 55 and didn’t think it would be an issue, but I said if I can make 45 and do it, why not try it?”
He has studied his opponent Diego Nunes to the point of exhaustion, “I’ve trained with a lot of guys like Diego, and I feel like I’ve fought him 100 times, we’ll see how fast he is fight night”. His coach, Firas Zahabi explained their reasons for such diligence, “Diego Nunes is a very tall order, he is a very seasoned striker with a lot of variety and we are completely focused on him”.
Tactix BJJ coach, Bruno Capediville is delighted with the attention the event will bring his gym, “This is huge for the gym, we have a lot great skill here and this will give it some exposure”. Like all MMA fans here, he is frustrated by the ridiculous legislation regarding professional fights on the mainland, “We are trying to make the best out of it, but it’s definitely taking a hold of gyms around and stopping expansion. Hopefully with the UFC in town things will change”.
Showdown Joe of MMA Connected is baffled by the whole affair, “I don’t understand the problem, why municipal officials and politicians have an issue. Do some research look around the world and see it is a safe sport with unified rules. The only insurance the promoters need is to cover the fighters and the fans; the track record for MMA speaks for itself.”
He does however, see light at the end of the tunnel, “Eventually guys my age are going to become politicians, who have followed MMA their whole lives, they are going to be in the positions of power and they’re going to make the changes but it needs to be soon. We need amateur and grassroots MMA across the country.”
Preaching to the choir Joe
The Tactix Gym is on 1449 Hornby St.Tags: featured, Junior Dos Santos, UFC 131