Many people keep asking me, did you know that you had to fight to get in the house? The truth is they didn't tell us anything except to be 5 pounds over our fight weight when we showed up. That's about the only tip we got but really it could have gone so many different ways. I was prepared to fight the day we first got there. I wasn't sure what they were going to throw at us. I just wanted to be ready for whatever happened. I was pretty sure that we were going to fight because they had too good of a response from last year. Plus, it weeds out all the people who don't really want to be there. I think we are all sick and tired of seeing people get a second shot and make up some excuse why they don't want to fight!
The best part is watching everybody size each other up; everybody wondering who they are going to fight. They didn't show a good shot of everyone's face when they brought in the other 16 guys. Everyone's face went from excited to pure focus. I swear if someone would have said the wrong thing at that time WW3 would have broke out.
When Phillip passed out, first thing I thought to my self was "oh s--t are they gonna let this guy fight?" People don't see how long we were actually standing there under all those lights in the heat and at that we are all under weight. Of course, if you are from the south like me, Louisiana boys laugh at that heat. Try coming into 100 degree plus with humidity at around 80% or more. Then tell me if you can stand the heat and we train in that year around.
As for Guida's weigh-in, you can look at it 2 ways:
1. He should have been in better condition. He knew exactly what he was getting into. Let's face it, it was pretty stupid on his part, he blew his chance just because he didn't want to take the time out to come in lighter ahead of time.
2. Another way to look at it is this: Guida only had 1 pound to go and could have done it, but that wasn't the problem. Most likely for the first time he had a doctor watching over him. I must admit, I have done the same thing. There were times where I lost 20+ pounds to weigh in for a fight. I know for a fact that twice if I had a doc watching me they would have pulled me too. Its just one of those things you never think of.
Jules Bruchez vs. Eric McGee
The night before the fights I stayed up and read the Bible. It was the only thing I could do to calm myself down, I couldn't stop thinking about how I hadn't fought since July 29th 2007. I had only been training for two good months before this and I wasn't even close to the fighter that I used to be. But this was my only chance to make it into the biggest fighting organization in the world and I wasn't about to pass it up. I didn't know anything about my opponent, which actually made things a lot easier for me I couldn't overanalyze any situation. Instead, I just focused on what I had to do.
For the premiere on TV it showed that I fought fourth, but in actuality, I fought first. I remember telling people I hope I fight first, that way I can just do it and get it over with. Now I know why they say be careful what you wish for. I was such a roller coaster I couldn't stop from going up and down, side to side, it was impossible to calm yourself down, and tell yourself that everything was good and its no big deal. I laugh at it now but I will never forget how one coach would come up to you and say don't worry it's just another fight go out there and do your best. Then another would show up and say this is it, this is your whole life if you screw this up you go home. I was very excited to have the experts that were given to me in my corner. But quickly after hitting some mitts I never wanted my coach from home so close to me so bad before. I will never forget how the coach would call out combinations differently than what I was used to and I would begin to screw up the combos. He was so funny he would yell and hit you just like Mickey from Rocky. Just when I thought I couldn't get any more nervous he did a good job of making it a lot worse.
As for a game plan, I wanted to go in there throw a few kicks and punches and see how he reacted. From there I would be able to tell what approach to take. The only thing that was concerning me was that I knew that I was still dehydrated. I had trouble gaining my weight back for some reason, I was 7 pounds underweight than what I usually am for a fight, and I could definitely feel the difference. I knew that no matter what I had to do I had to make sure I ended it in the first round. Don't ever plan on fighting pass the second round unless your goal is to lose. When you are dehydrated your energy levels shut off like a light switch. At one moment you're 100% and then in the next you're 50%. The fight went quicker than I expected. I threw a leg kick and right away he took me down. Eventually I reversed it and I ended up back on top but that's when I was caught in a headlock. Now this is a position where you can get choked but I didn't feel any danger. It's a position that actually I don't mind getting into most of the time. They usually squeeze and use up a lot of energy trying to choke you and eventually what they have to do is let go. So, then I have the upper hand since I'm fresh. When I posted up, he scrambled and eventually I ended up with his back. I went to secure his shoulder and when I did, my arm just slipped right into the choke. I immediately began to apply pressure with one arm and before I knew it, it was over. I can't explain the feeling of relief and joy and everything else you can possibly think of that rushes into your body at one single moment. I will never forget how I stood up and yelled I didn't even throw a punch. No one knew that the only reason why was because I didn't want to waste any energy unless I had to. I didn't want to tire out throwing punches that weren't even going to hurt him if I was dehydrated. I went straight to my corner and apologized to them for being so cocky and ran down to the coaches and Dana White to thank them for the opportunity that was given to me. When I went back into the locker room none of the guys would talk to me. I was crying so much they thought I had lost but when they found out that I won we all just laughed.
It felt really good to be back in the ring doing what I love to do but it felt even better knowing that I just got myself into the UFC!!! I just kept saying inside my head I made it I made it I made it! I had to overcome so many things to get to this point and now even though I want to win this whole show I am truly happy just to be here. I am living what most fighters dream about, not too long ago I was fighting before people who were in my hometown and now I'm fighting for the world's largest fighting organization in the world the UFC.
Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Mike Stewart
There's not much I can say about this fight it pretty much speaks for itself, Krzysztof punched Mike in the face, Mike falls down, what else is there to say? One thing most people don't know about is that coach Mir tried to talk to Mike and help him before the fight and Mike just this disregrarded him and said he didn't need any help. Well?
Junie Browning vs. Jose Aguilar
On screen you couldn't have two better fighters paired up together. They both love to talk so let's see if they can back it up. It was a great fight. Jose was moving very smoothly with his transitions but Junie just kept bringing it then all of a sudden when the second round comes up, Jose quits. I'm not too sure what all of that is about but I can say this: don't ever quit!!!
Vinny Magalhaes vs. Lance Evans
I dont know much about Lance except he is Rashad's brother even though he denied it and for Vinny, well you dont want to be on the ground with him. Vinny's hands aren't so good but his legs are very powerful and he knows how to use them. Vinny has great kicks and he throws them like most people throw punches. Vinny uses his hands to set you up and finishes you with his kicks. This caused Lance to retreat most of the round and eventually led him to not coming out in the second round, due to Lance claiming his rib might have been broken.
Brandon Garner vs. Brian McLaughlin
In my opinion, this was one of the most exciting fights. There was a lot of action. I feel that McLaughlin was getting the best of him and definitely winning the round. Then all of a sudden they stop fighting and called that there was an illegal knee. While there, I never saw it but when I watched it on TV it was clear. Keep your eye on Brian this guy really can fight.
Philippe Nover vs. Joe Duarte
I was very impressed in this fight I felt that Joe was getting the best of Philippe. I couldn't help but notice the determination and the focus Philippe had. He stayed consistent throughout the round and when he came to the second round he showed everyone what he was really made of.
Fernando Bernstein vs. Dave Kaplan
This was another fight what I was very impressed with. Fernando continuously was pressing the action and it seemed like Dave had a little problem getting a shot in, but when it came to the ground Dave quickly showed his skills submitting him after a takedown.
Jules invites his readers to watch "The Ultimate Fighter 8" every week with him in person at the City Bar Downtown in Lafayette, Louisiana. Also, he would like you to show your support for him on The Ultimate Fighter Forum.